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What is Medical Negligence?


In most cases, when you go to see a doctor or consultant, have surgery or receive nursing care, the treatment you receive is of the required standard. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes happen and, if you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation. Claiming you have suffered from medical negligence involves providing evidence regarding what happened, what the consequences were and who is responsible. It also includes asking for financial compensation.

Medical negligence (sometimes called clinical negligence) can happen in a number of situations including:

  • when there are problems during labour, leading to a birth injury to the baby or injury to the mother
  • when a doctor fails to diagnose a condition – such as cancer – which then goes untreated
  • when something goes wrong during an operation
  • when the wrong medication or dosage is given

Common medical negligence claims include those arising from orthopaedic surgery and treatment for a gynaecological condition.


Who can I claim against?

A medical negligence claim can be made against a hospital, private clinic or individual medical professional. This includes GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, physiotherapists, osteopaths, psychologists, psychiatrists and opticians.

Most doctors insure against claims for medical negligence. A successful claim against them means that their insurance company pays the compensation to you. For those working in an NHS hospital, the claim is against the relevant NHS Hospital Trust.


How much compensation will I receive?

No amount of money can turn the clock back. But it can help ease the financial burden. The amount of compensation will depend upon:

  • the pain and suffering you have experienced
  • how the results of the negligence have affected your ability to continue your previous lifestyle (including your work and hobbies)
  • any financial losses you have had or are likely to have in the future because of injury. This can include paying for specialist care or equipment.

If the claim is settled out of court, the amount of compensation is negotiated and agreed between the two parties through their solicitors. If the case goes to court, a Judge will decide what is reasonable, based on the evidence.

When we investigate your claim, we will estimate how much compensation we feel it is possible to achieve and advise you of this. This is just a guide as to what you could expect but is not a guarantee of the amount you will receive. However, we can guarantee that you will not have to pay a penny upfront and will pay nothing if the claim is unsuccessful. See making a claim for more information.

At Gadsby Wicks we have experience of working on thousands of medical negligence cases and have covered every type of claim. See our case studies for details of some of our successful claims and the compensation we achieved for our clients.


Do I have a claim?

After you have spoken with one of our advisers, our medical negligence solicitors will meet to discuss the details. We will then let you know if we can take on your claim and you can decide if you want to take it further. If you want to go ahead, one of our lawyers will carry out a thorough investigation into what happened and, working closely with independent medical experts, build the strongest possible case for you.

Following our investigation we will be able to tell you if you have a valid claim and against whom the claim should be made. The National Health Service Litigation Authority handles all medical and clinical negligence claims against NHS hospitals but there are different procedures for GPs and doctors working in private hospitals. Whoever your claim is against, we will guide you through the legal process.


If you think you have suffered due to medical negligence and may have a claim for medical compensation, please call us now on freephone 0800 321 3112 and speak in confidence to one of our advisers. Alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.