Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator
Medical professionals should be the people you can trust most but unfortunately, just like any other line of work, there are people working in the medical industry who are sometimes less than professional. Of course this is not acceptable and if you feel that you have been ill-treated by a medical professional then you have every right to make a claim for compensation.
If you or a family member want to make a claim for medical negligence, then one of the first questions on your mind will almost certainly be – how much compensation am I likely to get? This is quite a tricky question to answer conclusively since no two cases will be exactly the same. That said, it is possible to provide an estimate based on the type of claim you want to make.
Use our special compensation calculator today and get a better understanding on how much your medical negligence compensation claim could be worth:
How much compensation for medical negligence you receive will depend on the severity of the damage caused and how much it affects you, both now and in the future. The compensation provided is for any pain and suffering as well as for any money lost through your inability to work and earn money. You can use our medical negligence compensation calculator to find out how much you might be due.
Types of Claims
When it comes to compensation claims for medical negligence, there are a few different categories of claims that people make. These include –
- Misdiagnosis – This is obviously an extremely serious type of medical negligence, especially in the case of potentially fatal and debilitating illnesses. If you have been misdiagnosed multiple times by the same medical staff then you could be due a very hefty compensation payout.
- Poor Treatment – Unfortunately this is more common than it should be in the NHS, especially amongst elderly patients. If you or a family member has been poorly treated by a medical professional, then you should certainly pursue a claim for medical negligence. The amount you receive will depend on the type of mistreatment that took place and how long of a period it was for.
- Surgical Mistakes – Surgeons are under a lot of pressure so it’s understandable that not every surgery will be a success. However, if you feel that a surgeon performed below standard and you want to make a claim, then you certainly have the right to do that.
Factors that affect the amount of compensation you will receive
How much compensation for clinical negligence you receive will depend on a few key factors. These include:-
- The severity of your injury or illness
- What impact this has had on your day-to-day life and how it’s affected your ability to work
- How qualified those treating you were
- The long-term impact on your health and happiness
- How many times you were misdiagnosed
- The conditions in the hospital you were treated
Medical Negligence – A Complete Guide
If you want to find out more about medical negligence cases and the process of claiming for medical negligence, read our complete guide below.
- What is Medical Negligence?
- Making a Complaint
- Making a Claim
- How to Fund Your Claim
- Investigating Your Claim
- Commencing Court Proceedings
- Court Timetable
- The Trial
- Interim Payments
- Settling Your Claim
- Claim Valuation
- Provisional Damages
- State Benefits
- Setting Up a Personal Injury Trust Fund
- Court of Protection
- Time Limits
1. What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence or medical malpractice are terms that are used when someone working within the medical profession acts unprofessionally, misdiagnoses a patient or makes a surgical error.
The medical negligence definition might vary slightly depending on the country where the claim is being made. But generally it refers to any negligent action by those who provide medical care.
What is Clinical Negligence?
Clinical negligence is simply another term used for medical negligence or medical malpractice. The terms are often used interchangeable but they all mean the same thing.
What is classed as Medical Negligence?
Each case of medical negligence is going to be different in some way. Often the claim being made for medical negligence is due to poor treatment at the hands of medical professionals. More specifically, what is classed as medical negligence includes a situation in which a health practitioner, in the course of prescribing treatment, falls below a reasonable standard of care and causes unnecessary pain or suffering to the patient, either short or long term.
What is the Law of Negligence?
If you feel that you or a family member has been the victim of medical negligence then you have every right to make a claim. Legally, if you are able to prove that you have suffered an injury that was caused by a medical professional then you may be entitled to compensation. How much compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your case.
2. Making a Complaint
- You can make a complaint to the doctor or hospital where you were treated to ask for an explanation and apology;
- You can make a official complaint through the NHS, by using the NHS complaints procedure;
- You can contact the Healthcare Commission who is responsible for monitoring and improving the quality of care in the UK; or
- If you want to make a complaint about a particular doctor and their fitness to practice, then you can contact the professional regulatory organisation in your area.
3. Making a Claim
It is worth noting that just because the outcome of your treatment was negative, this does not automatically mean you are entitled to compensation. For you to receive compensation for medical negligence, you must be able prove the following:
- The health professional who provided your treatment owed you a duty of care. This is the case with all health care professionals so this is usually not an issue;
- The medical professional that provided your treatment or care was negligent. This is the key part of proving a medical negligence claim; you must contrast their acts to that of fellow professionals. The standard of care given by them must be consistent with that of a responsible body of medical opinion; and
- You suffered harm as a result of the medical negligence. This is known as “causation”.
Examples of Medical Negligence
Each case of medical negligence will be different, but below are some of the most common forms of medical negligence that people make claims for:
- Failure to diagnose your condition;
- Misdiagnosing your condition;
- Failing to investigate and arrange for the correct treatment of your condition;
- The treatment being delayed and resulting in unnecessary suffering;
- Failing to warn you of the risks involved with a series of treatment or surgery;
- An avoidable surgical error;
- Mistakes in prescriptions or other treatments; and
- Poor treatment or unprofessional conduct that results in pain or suffering.
4. How to Fund Your Claim
- Legal expenses insurance;
- Private funding;
- No Win No Fee* arrangement; and
- Trade Union funding
The type of funding you use will depend on your particular situation and the strength of the claim you are making. If your case is particularly strong, then our solicitors can provide you with a No Win No Fee* agreement, which means there are no financial risks to our clients from the start.
5. Investigating Your Claim
The first step in this process is to obtain a statement from you detailing the events that led to your potential negligent care or treatment. A copy of all your medical records will need to be obtained and reviewed. This should not prove to be an obstacle as you are entitled to these upon request.
The next step involves getting support for your case from an independent medical expert to review your records and to advise whether the care you received fell below an acceptable standard. The reason this is so important is because it lends credibility to your case.
Once it has been established that the care you received was sub-standard, it must then be proven that this resulted in either the cause or worsening of your condition. It is only after this evidence has been collected that the strength of your case can be assessed.
It may then be necessary to consult with an experienced barrister who will be able to give their opinion on whether it is worth proceeding with your case.
If your case is strong enough to pursue, then the next step is to inform the Defendant by sending them a “Letter of Claim”. This essentially involves informing the Defendant of your grievances and intended actions if a satisfactory outcome is not able to be reached.
6. Commencing Court Proceedings
If you are unable to reach a settlement with the Defendant then the next step is to commence formal court proceedings. This is done by issuing a court document known as the ‘Claim Form’ to the court. You must also serve this to the Defendant along with the following:
- A full statement of your claim laying out the details of the allegation of negligence, referred to as the “Particulars of Claim”;
- A ‘Schedule of Damages’. This will lay out all the financial losses as a result of the negligence as well as estimated future losses; and
- A full medical report on your condition.
Before sending these documents to the Defendant, you must read through them and confirm that they are indeed accurate. You will then sign a ‘Statement of Truth’ and this will be sent to the Defendant.
7. Court Timetable
The Defendant is obligated to provide their defence within 28 days after the Particulars of Claim have been served. However, it is usual for the Defendant to request an extension of 1-3 months to file their Defence and in most cases this will be granted by the court.
Once the Defence has been submitted, all parties must then fill out a questionnaire (Allocation Questionnaires). The questionnaire will ask each party to detail the evidence they intend to submit in court and the timetable they think is suitable for the case.
After the questionnaires from all of the parties have been submitted, there will then be a court meeting – known as a ‘Case Management Conference’. The purpose is to set down the timetable of events for the court proceedings after having taken all the information laid out in the Allocation Questionnaires into account. Typically, the trial is scheduled within 12-18 months of the Claim form being issued.
From the time of the Claim form being issued to the beginning of the trial, the following usually takes place:
- Any relevant documents are provided – this is known as ‘Disclosure’;
- Any expert reports are exchanged (“mutual exchange of expert evidence”);
- Exchange of reports from yourself and all witnesses, including the health care professionals who are responsible for your care; and
- An ‘Experts Meeting’, where medical experts on both sides get together to discuss the details of the case and try to resolve any conflicting issues. This meeting usually happens without the presence of any lawyers.
This timetable enables you and the Defendant to try and negotiate an agreement before progressing to court, however, this can happen at anytime throughout the proceedings.
8. The Trial
If the case does proceed to trial then a judge will listen to all of the evidence presented to them, including the opinions of the medical experts. They will then make a decision as to whether you are due compensation. The length of time that a trial takes will depend on how complex the case is.
With medical negligence claims, usually a “Split Trial” will be held. This means that there will be one trial to determine liability and a second trial to determine how much compensation will be awarded.
9. Interim Payments
On some occasions it may be possible to apply to the court for a payment of compensation from the Defendant. The funds could be used for items such as a wheelchair, a car or a house. However, this will generally only be possible if the Defendant admits liability.
10. Settling your Claim
Parties to a dispute are encouraged to resolve matters without the need to attend a court hearing. As soon as both the parties have assessed all of the evidence in detail, it will then be possible to negotiate a settlement. In some cases Defendants may feel that they are not in a position to proceed to trail.
11. Claim Valuation
A big part of any medical negligence case is determining how much compensation the victim will receive. Of course this is going to depend on quite a few factors. These include how much pain and suffering the victim has gone through and is likely to go through in the future as well as the impact the illness has on their ability to make money, both now and in the future.
An investigation into the amount of compensation to be awarded will usually not take place until after the preliminary medical issues have been settled. That being said, it is certainly possible to estimate broadly how much you are likely to receive at the start of the case.
The following are key factors that will be taken into account when assessing your claim valuation:
- “General damages” which equates to the pain and suffering as a result of the negligence as well as “loss of amenity”, which means the effect the injury has had on your day to day life such as your ability to indulge in hobbies;
- Financial losses that have been incurred as a result of the accident, injury or illness (“past losses”). These include any losses that have been incurred since the start of your injury, so it is very important for you to keep an accurate log of any expenses incurred so you can claim for them later. These can include receipts and pay slips etc; and
- Any financial losses that will be incurred in the future as a result of the injury (“future losses”).
Pain and suffering
This is money that will be paid to you to compensate for any pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have endured that is attributable to your injury. When deciding on what amount this should be, the court will look at similar cases and consider guidelines for the type of injury or illness you have sustained.
Loss of Earnings
Loss of earnings forms a large part of the payout you will receive for medical negligence. You do not necessarily have to have been employed at the time of your injury or illness, as the loss of your future earnings are taken into account. Some of the aspects that determine how much compensation for loss of earnings you will receive include:
- Loss of earnings from your previous employment. This includes basic pay as well as overtime;
- Any sick pay that your employer had to cover for the period whilst you were sick;
- Employment benefits that you have lost including medical insurance, fuel allowance, company car, holidays, company stocks, car servicing, accommodation, free/reduced food at work, concessionary fares, free board and lodgings, allowances for children’s education and housing and telephone allowance etc;
- Any loss of company pension; and
- If you are self-employed – the effect your illness or injury has had on your ability to grow the business.
It is possible that you will be able to claim for any loss of earnings on your partner’s behalf if they had to take time off work to care for you.
If you have been receiving care, then you can often claim compensation for those who have been providing it, whether you have paid for it or not. Some of the assistance compensation that you can claim for includes:
- Nursing assistance;
- Any required domestic assistance such as help with cooking, cleaning, shopping and ironing; and
- Any additional costs of maintaining your home such as gardening, car maintenance and DIY.
Medication and Equipment
Another key part of the compensation in a medical negligence case is the cost of medication and any medical treatment that is required both now and in the future. Medical treatment such as physiotherapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy can be claimed for.
In addition to this, you can also claim for the costs of prescriptions fees, including, pre payment prescription certificates, painkillers and bandages, as long as the medication relates to your injury or illness.
The extent of your illness or injury might be severe enough to require your accommodation to be adapted. In this case you can claim for any related expenses. You can also claim for any added costs these adaptations might add to your energy bills.
If any special equipment has had to be purchased as a result of your injury, for example a wheelchair, bathing aids or stair lift – then this can also be claimed for.
You can also claim for any additional financial losses incurred. This could include things such as any special dietary requirements, extra washing expenses, babysitters, telephone calls or any additional costs as a result of cancelling a holiday. These payments can be made either as a single payment or an ongoing annual payment.
12. Provisional Damages
If there is a chance that your injury might worsen in the future the court can assess the value of your injury as it stands at the time of the trial or settlement. But they can also grant an order that would enable you to come back to court within a set time frame, this only occurs if medical experts anticipate that your condition will deteriorate. If there is a change in your injury, it must be a “serious deterioration” and must happen in a pre determined time frame.
13. State Benefits
As well as this, if you are awarded compensation, your future entitlement to benefits may also be affected. In order to prevent this from happening it might be possible to set up a personal injury trust fund.
14. Setting up a Personal Injury Trust Fund
If you receive any means tested benefits then you should strongly consider setting up a personal injury trust fund if you do not want to lose access to them. Means tested state benefits include:
- Jobseekers’ allowance;
- Housing benefits;
- Income support;
- Council tax benefits; and
- Working families tax credits.
If you are receiving any of these and have your compensation paid directly into your main bank account, then it is likely that your benefits will be reduced or cut off altogether, depending on how large the payout is.
Despite the name, personal injury trust funds can be set up for any form of compensation pay out, including medical negligence claims. If you receive benefits and do not want your compensation pay out to affect them, a personal injury trust is the ideal solution.
15. Court of Protection
In some cases, if you are suffering from a serious mental disability and you are not able to manage your own affairs, it may be necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection so that a Deputy can be appointed.
16. Time Limits
Claims for medical negligence in England and Wales must usually be brought within three years of the date of the accident or the day that you became aware that your injury was related to the original accident. This date is known as the “date of knowledge” and can be much later than the actual date of the accident.
How can Cute Injury help you?
We are a regulated, professional claims management company that has vast experience in dealing with medical negligence claims. You can have peace of mind knowing that our solicitors:
- Hold a corporate accreditation from the Association of Solicitors Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL);
- Are on the referral panel for AVMA (Action for Victims of Medical Accidents) as well as the referral panel for the Law Society’s clinical negligence referral panels; and
- Belong to APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers).
With these credentials you can have peace of mind knowing that your claim will be in safe hands.
Making a compensation claim for medical negligence
If you suspect that you have been a victim of medical negligence or malpractice then this practical guide will take you through the process of how to claim for medical negligence.
Why you could be looking to make a claim for medical negligence
There are several reasons why you may be seeking to make a medical negligence claim. You could be seeking an official apology from a healthcare provider, or looking for improvements to be made for certain medical services. You could be seeking financial compensation to give you the means to pay for the additional support you now need due to the injury you have suffered.
The first step to take in order to try and get an apology is to lodge a formal complaint to either the hospital or care service provider you hold responsible. This is fairly straightforward as all healthcare providers have a complaints procedure in place which can be accessed on their website. By obtaining that apology you may also raise awareness as to how the current system just isn’t working and bring about changes that reduces the risk of what has happened to you happening to others.
Seeking Financial Compensation
The aim of making a medical negligence claim with a view to receiving financial compensation should be to help pay for an additional care and support you now need. Financial redress aims to put you back into the position you were prior to sustaining whatever medical mishap had befallen you. The first stage of this process is to consult a solicitor which is best done sooner rather than later due to the medical negligence claims time limit.
Your solicitor will help you by;
- Gaining access to all your medical records
- Obtaining expert medical opinions which are both unbiased and independent regarding the causes of your illness/injury/disability etc
- Establishing from the outset whether or not you have a viable medical negligence claim and whether an award of monetary compensation is likely.
- If it turns out that you aren’t able to establish a claim for medical negligence then this investigation will at least provide you with an increased understanding of what might, or might not have happened to cause you or your loved one to be in the current predicament.
How to Make a Medical Negligence Claim
Securing the services of an experienced solicitor who is a specialist in the field of medical negligence claims is vital. These kind of cases can be extremely complex so you need the right person in your corner from the off. Your solicitor will be able to explain everything to you in a language you understand and will also be a source of support through every step of the process.
Funding Your Case
There are different funding options that will be available to you, which are:
- Private Funding
- Conditional Fee Agreement
- Trade Union Funding
Out of these options the most popular by far is a conditional fee agreement (CFA), usually known as a No Win No Fee* arrangement. Not only does this relieve you of the stress of having to find the funds for your solicitor’s fees, it also gives you assurance that your solicitor will do their very best for you, because if you don’t win your case, they don’t get paid.
While it used to be unusual to find a solicitor to take on a medical negligence case on a No Win No Fee* basis, this position has changed drastically in recent years which is a great help to those who wouldn’t be otherwise able to make a claim.
Remember your solicitor must provide you with a client care letter which will set out the firm’s fee structure and procedures after your initial consulation. Your solicitor also has a duty to keep you updated on costs throughout your claim.
Getting Your Reports
Once the funding options have been decided upon the next step is to gain access to any relevant medical notes or records pertaining to your case from any hospital and/or health practitioners involved. These reports will be used by a team of independent, medical experts to prepare your report. Your solicitor can obtain access to these records once you have give permission to them.
Your Medical Negligence Action
There are three distinct issues which are addressed during a medical negligence action as follows;
Breach of Duty -This determines whether the care given to the claimant fell below a reasonable standard. This will be judged according to both the medical knowledge and the standards that were prevalent at the time the negligence is alleged to have occurred.
Causation – The link between the breach of the duty of care and the injury that has been sustained. Did the medical professional’s conduct make a significant contribution to the current state of affairs? It has to be proved that there is no other cause for the disability.
Quantum – The level of monetary compensation that you should be awarded based on the severity of the illness or injury that has been sustained.
How Long Does A Medical Negligence Case Take?
Medical negligence claims can be a complex process as such, the time it takes to finalise is very much dependent on how complicated your case is as well as other determining factors. These can range from:
- Experts being available to prepare your report promptly;
- Finding a court slot if it is decreed that the proceedings will go to trial; and
- The circumstances of the defendant.
What are the time limits for bringing a medical negligence claim?
You normally have 3 years from the alleged date the incident occurred or from the date when you first became aware of the repercussions of this incident. When it is a child who was the victim of medical negligence, the 3 year limit does not begin until they reach the age of 18.
It always recommended that you start the ball rolling as soon as possible when everything is likely to be still fresh in your mind. If the injured party has a significant intellectual impairment, whether as a result of the negligence or not, the general 3 year time limit does not apply so even if this person is over 21 and the incident occurred when they were born it is still worth seeking a solicitor’s advice.
Making a Medical Negligence Claim on the Behalf of a Child
If you are pursuing a medical negligence claim on a child’s behalf it is possible they will be eligible for, Community Legal Services funding (CLS), which used to be known as Legal Aid.
There are two parts to these criteria which have to be met for a claim to be funded via this method, which is merit and means.
The commission will have to be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds in existence for starting an investigation and, where it is appropriate, for the case to progress to a full claim. The child’s financial circumstances are also relevant as with the child being the claimant is it his or her means that are assessed, not their parents.
There are effectively two Stages to Funding
- Initial costs involved from obtaining the medical records, the experts reports and, if necessary, gaining the opinion of a barrister; and
- Ongoing costs incurred through the various stages that lead up to, and include, a trial if is the barrister’s opinion that the investigation should proceed and become a full claim.
Mental Capacity and ‘Litigation Friends’
You must possess the necessary mental capacity in order to make a legal claim for yourself. If a person lacks the mental capacity they can have a claim lodged on their behalf by a third party. This person is referred to as a ‘litigation friend’. As a child cannot by law lodge their own claim they will always have a litigation friend, usually one of their parents.
When a litigation friend is in place it is they who will both choose and subsequently instruct the solicitor and act in the claimants best interests. It is the claimants financial means which determine whether or not his/her legal costs will be covered or not and not the litigation friend.
Providing the Evidence in a Medical Negligence Claim
Once everything has been put in place, such as funding, the next step is your solicitor requesting copies of all relevant medical records and notes from your GP and the hospital. She will then check them over to ensure that they are complete and in the correct order before forwarding them to the independent expert/s to prepare their report. Your records remain strictly confidential during this time.
The Expert Reports
The independent experts will usually consist of professionals such as obstetricians, paediatricians, midwives, neurologists and radiologists. It is essential at this early stage that your solicitor correctly identifies the experts needed to assess your claim. If these experts prepare a report that finds the medical treatment received was of an acceptable standard and in accordance with that deemed as normal practice there will be no claim. If, however, their report concludes that the victim received sub-standard medical treatment and that a breach of duty of care occurred then the claim will progress to the next stage.
Your solicitor should possess the understanding of the report in order to be able to explain the report fully so you fully understand what it contains. It could be appropriate at this time to also have present at the meeting a barrister and those experts who prepared the report. They will be happy to answer any of your questions and if you are unhappy with their report you are entitled to request a second opinion from a different expert within the same professional field. However, you will need to discuss the funding options with your solicitor.
Providing the Evidence Needed
If the experts reports are supportive of your claim your solicitor will then contact the defendant setting out the full details of your claim. This will include such details as your allegations and the approximate amount of compensation you are seeking, the latter being dependent on the extent and nature of the claim.
The defendant then has 4 months to respond to this correspondence and their response will often give you an early indication of the outcome of the claim and could possibly even include an admission of liability. If this is the case and the defendant does admit liability at this early stage it eliminates the need for a trial. Even if court proceedings do begin many cases are still settled out of court when the two parties agree on the level of compensation to be awarded.
What Happens When You Get a Split Trial?
There is a possibility that the trial could be split. When this happens the first step is to consider liability for causation and breach of duty. If liability is then proven, or admitted to, the compensation will then be considered at a later date. There are several reasons for this including the following;
- It would be inappropriate to decide on the total amount of compensation should the case relate to a child still developing and their future prognosis or needs cannot be accurately predicted due to their age.
- Even though there is evidence against them the defendant/s does not admit liability voluntarily and thus it is viewed as a waste of time and legal costs to fully investigate the total amount of damaged before the right to them is fully ascertained.
- If the liability split trial is successful there may be an interim payment made to meet the claimant’s immediate needs while the claims full value is being investigated.
The one main advantage of a split trial is that you can be certain of the final outcome.
Compensation for Medical Negligence
Why award compensation
The monetary compensation is awarded to the claimant in order to provide them with the financial resources needed to obtain the specialist care and support they need and to give them the chance to have a choice when it comes to this provision.
What is medical negligence compensation awarded for?
The compensation is awarded to place the victim in the same position as they would have been had the negligence not taken place. However, this is a very grey area as it is impossible to do this for somebody who, due to their impairment caused by the negligence, had every aspect of their daily life affected and will do so for their rest of their life.
Helpful Tips to Assist You with Your Claim
- Keep an accurate record of any additional expenses incurred due to the impairment caused by the medical negligence; and
- Keep all the receipts pertaining to these expenses and affix them to a book or diary in the relevant sections so the records and receipts are together.
How the Compensation Award is calculated
There are numerous factors to take into consideration when a compensation award is being calculated. The future expenses which are specific to the needs of the individual are calculated by following advice from a wide range of health experts including occupational therapists, rehabilitation consultants, physiotherapists and psychologists.
The amount of compensation awarded should reflect the following;
- Both the capital and annual costs needed to provide appropriate accommodation as well as any adaptations which are needed to meet the victims needs;
- Any loss of earnings when the negligence has compromised the victims employment potential;
- The cost of both adequate care and any specialist equipment;
- The cost of aids needed to assist mobility and transport;
- Leisure and social pursuits;
- Any other factors which are relevant to that specific case including among others; the continuation of education, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy; and
- Any cost involved with administering that award through the Court of Protection
A compensation award is usually split into two separate elements;
- A lump sum – which is a capital award aimed at meeting past expenses which have been accrued and any further expenses in the immediate future.
- Periodical payments -these can be made in advance on a quarterly, bi-annual or annual basis. These provide a guaranteed tax free, index linked annual income that is intended to meet any future costs as they arrive on the predicted basis.
What Happens to the Compensation once it has been awarded?
If the compensation awarded is for a child then the court will usually hold the money for them until they reach 18. After this it can be paid out for that person to take control of it, the assistance of a case manager is often used in such instances.
If any individual who is awarded compensation is incapable of managing their own financial affairs properly the money will be administered by the Court of Protection. However, parents or spouses are usually involved in the awards management along with any decision making relating to it.
Medical Negligence Case Studies
When making a claim for medical negligence, it is important to be aware of the relevant case law pertaining to your case.
Case law is made by judges presiding over a particular case and represents the official opinion of the court.
When a case comes before the court relevant laws, regulations and statutes will be used, and the judge will also refer to any precedents that have been set in past cases to come before the court – which is where case law comes in.
The court doesn’t necessarily have to use case law as a precedent, but it can often be used to help settle similar cases.
There are many important case law precedents for personal injury claims which we have listed below. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch today using the options below:
Doy v Gunn  EWCA Civ 547 – 08/05/13
The Defendant GP wrongly diagnosed the Claimant with colic when in fact he was suffering from meningitis. As a result of the misdiagnosis, the Claimant suffered from mental and physical disabilities.
The Claimant brought an action against the Defendant GP in clinical negligence. At first instance this claim failed. Owen J had found that whilst the Claimant would have avoided being disabled if he had been referred to hospital on the day on which he was examined by his GP, the misdiagnosis or failure to refer the Claimant was not negligent. Owen J relied on the Defendant GP’s notes at that time. It was common ground between medical experts that if the notes kept by the GP were accurate and in contrast to the account presented by the Claimant’s mother then the GP was not in breach of their duty.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the Claimants appeal on the basis that Owen J had not made an error in relying upon the GP’s records.
Court: Court of Appeal (Civil Division) (England & Wales)
Burnett v Lynch  EWCA Civ 347 – 21/03/12
In this case the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal that was presented by a GP against a decision for a judgment for the respondent who was a patient that had brought a medical negligence claim for damages due to delayed diagnosis of breast cancer.
It was the patient’s case that she had a consultation with the appellant GP back in 2006. During this consultation, the GP had examined her breast and incorrectly
Diagnosed the patient, stating that it was a blocked milk duct; this then delayed the diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.
The GP denied that any such consultation had taken place. This was on the grounds that there were no notes relating to this consultation, and had she seen the lump in question, she would have referred the patient to a breast clinic. The Court of Appeal decided that the Judge was entitled to prefer the evidence of the patient as to whether the consultation had taken place and at which the GP had misdiagnosed the lump. In particular, the Court of Appeal held that in deciding the matter of the truthfulness of both witnesses, it was open to the Judge to accept part of such witness’ evidence and reject other parts.
Court: Court of Appeal (Civil Division) (England & Wales)
Ludwig v. (1) Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust (2) Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, QBD, 02/02/12
This case involved a claim for damages for alleged professional negligence brought by the Claimant against the Defendants. This case was dismissed by J Holroyde.
The Claimant alleged that the Defendants’ hospital staff had failed in their duty to identify or to treat a Group B Streptococcus infection. This infection was carried by the Claimant’s mother at birth and which had in turn caused the Claimants brain damage.
Holroyde J held that the probable cause of the Claimant’s brain damage could not be identified. Holroyde J went further and held that the care and treatment of the Claimant would not or should not have been any different even if the Defendant’s staff had identified the infection that was carried by her mother.
Court: High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) (England & Wales)
Wright v. Basildon and Thurrock Hospital NHS Trust  EWHC 3980 (QB) – 7th December 2011
In this case Judge Stockdale QC, sitting as deputy High Court judge, granted the Defendant hospital trust a summary judgment in regard to all outstanding issues in the underlying clinical negligence claim that was brought against it.
Judgment by consent had been entered in regard to part of the claim due to an admission of a breach of duty of care in a partial sense. However, summary judgment was entered in regard to other more discrete but serious allegations of breach of duty. Including, the surgery had been carried out without the Claimants consent and was barbaric, (on the grounds that they did not have real prospects of success).
The original expert that was appointed in support of the Claimant’s case later withdrew, and due to the terms of a Court Order, the Claimant was barred from relying on new expert evidence as he had failed to obtain such expert evidence by the set date.
Court: High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) (England & Wales)
Hussain v. Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & Anor, QBD (Bradford), 10/11/11
In this case, Coulson J decided to dismiss the Claimant’s claim for damages that was brought against the Defendant NHS trust.
The Claimant in this case alleged that he had received negligent treatment when he was admitted into one of the trusts hospitals. It was held by Coulson J that the Defendant had failed to diagnose the claimant with Cauda Equina Syndrome (‘CES’) and thus did not request an urgent MRI.
When looking at the evidence, Coulson J found that had the MRI scan been undertaken earlier, emergency surgery could have been performed around 48 hours earlier than it had been. However, the surgery was performed and was unsuccessful and the claimant was left with no sensation below the waist.
Based upon the majority of the expert’s opinion, Coulson J found that had the surgery been carried out 48 hours prior, that on a balance of probabilities the claimant’s prospects of making a recovery were less than 50%. Taking into account the expert evidence, that the swift onset of CES and deterioration in the claimant’s condition reduced his prospects of recovery even further, Coulson J found that the claimant had failed to establish causation.
Court: High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) (England & Wales)
Doona v. Matha, QBD, 8/7/11
This matter concerned a preliminary issue of fact in a clinical negligence claim. Mackay J was responsible for making a preliminary factual finding in regard to what had occurred during a consultation by the Claimant patient with the Defendant general practitioner concerning a lump in his groin, which turned out to be a malignant melanoma.
In deciding the preliminary issue of fact, Mackay J found that it was more likely than not that that the Defendant had asked the Claimant why he was concerned about the growth on his groin, and the Claimant had responded, (with words to the effect) that it had grown, itched and bled and the Defendant then diagnosed it as a sebhorrhoeic wart.
Court: High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) (England & Wales)
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