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Doctor Negligence Claims

Don’t let poor treatment at the hands of a doctor slide. If you’ve suffered as a result of doctor negligence, you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim

General Practitioners (GPs) are usually the first place a person goes when they feel unwell or have health concerns. As a patient, you expect your doctor to support you, treat you respectfully, and offer a diagnosis based on your symptoms.

While many doctors offer a professional and proactive service, there are times when you might not get the support you deserve. In these cases, you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To get started, speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.

What is doctor negligence?

Doctor negligence is medical malpractice when a doctor fails to provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor would under similar circumstances.

Typical negligence cases include when a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare, resulting in harm to the patient.

However, negligence can also occur when a doctor fails to obtain informed consent from the patient before performing a procedure. Informed consent means that the patient is aware of the risks and benefits of the procedure and decides to proceed.

In some cases, doctor negligence can even result in criminal charges. If you believe that you’re the victim of doctor negligence, it is crucial to speak with an experienced legal advisor to explore your legal options.

Here are some examples of medical negligence in more detail.

Delayed diagnosis

If you go to a doctor with a condition and they fail to make a timely diagnosis, you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

For example, if a patient visits the GP with signs of cancer, but the doctor fails to send them to a specialist or doesn’t take the symptoms seriously, this can result in a delayed diagnosis.

As cancer is a progressive condition, a late diagnosis could mean more treatment or a shorter life span, so these cases often fall under eligible medical negligence claims.

Even if you have a minor condition that the doctor didn’t notice, you might still be able to make a claim, as GPs are meant to act as the first point of contact and signpost patients to specialists if needed.

Misdiagnosing a condition

A misdiagnosis by a doctor can have devastating consequences. In some cases, patients may be subjected to unnecessary and invasive treatments, while others may be deprived of adequate care for their condition.

The most common reasons for misdiagnoses include the following:

  • Failure to order appropriate tests.
  • Incorrect interpretation of test results.
  • Failure to consider all possible diagnoses.

Patients can help protect themselves by being proactive about their health care and seeking second opinions when necessary. However, the best way to reduce the incidence of misdiagnosis is for doctors to take measures to improve their diagnostic accuracy.

Prescription mistakes

If a doctor gives you a prescription for medication, you expect it to be safe for you to use. However, in some cases, a doctor might fail to check your records and prescribe you a medicine that interacts with your current prescription.

It can also be dangerous if you have specific allergies that the medication might interact with or if a GP prescribes the wrong dosage.

There can also be implications if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, so these errors can result in a compensation claim.

Surgical errors

Surgical errors are a form of medical negligence, but you can also claim against a surgeon if they are at fault. Whether poor decisions during the operation or inadequate pre and post-operation care, negligence should never go unnoticed.

For example, if a doctor:

  • Performs an incorrect procedure
  • Operates on a different patient
  • Cannot stop bleeding or causes complications during a surgery
  • Makes an anaesthesia error
  • Leaves instruments or swabs inside a patient
  • Causes death during a general procedure

These all count as negligence, and the patient – or family – might be able to make a claim.

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To get started, speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.

Medical professionals have a duty of care to patients. If yours lets you down, you could make a claim

Every medical practitioner knows they have a wide range of responsibilities, and they enter the role with a deep understanding of their professional commitments. While it’s a stressful job, there is no excuse for negligent treatment.

Doctors should assess your condition

Every GP should listen to patient’s concerns and ask about their symptoms to decide on a further course of action. They often review your medical records to check for previous tests, conditions and medications to ensure they offer a thorough investigation into your symptoms.

When the patient requires treatment, the doctor should explain what’s wrong with them and offer advice on their prescribed medications.

Specialist treatments

As GPs often act as the first point of contact, they’ll only be able to offer general prescriptions and examinations. However, in some cases, you might require further tests and receive a referral to the hospital or a specialist doctor.

All doctors should act immediately when referring patients for further tests, especially if they suspect a serious injury or illness, such as cancer, might be causing the symptoms.

Unfortunately, not all doctors follow this protocol, and your GP might delay a referral, leading to a prolonged diagnosis.

Keeping patients’ records up to date

Doctors must also document their patient’s symptoms, diagnoses and medications and keep in touch with outpatient departments and specialist consultants. Even minor medical report errors could have severe implications for a medical professional.

If you can prove your doctor is at fault, you might have a medical negligence case

The factors surrounding their diagnosis are the key to proving your doctor was negligent in your treatment.

For example, if someone goes to the doctor with symptoms and puts it down to something else without offering any blood tests, then continues to go back, and the doctor ignores the signs, they have a right to claim compensation.

However, if a doctor takes your symptoms seriously but asks you to wait for two weeks before going back for blood tests and examinations, you probably won’t be able to file a claim.

It’s the same if your doctor gives you medication that makes your existing condition worse or if they fail to diagnose an injury correctly.

The important thing to remember is that medical practitioners have a legal duty of care to follow; if they don’t, you should make a claim.

Medical mistakes can be dangerous, but in some cases, they can be fatal – so claiming medical negligence could prevent both NHS and private doctors from repeating their mistakes.

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To get started, speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.

How to make a claim against your doctor

Medical negligence claims work differently, depending on whether you went through the NHS or a private hospital. If you suffered medical negligence, the first step is to look at your private health insurance company or the NHS Trust to view the complaints procedure.

While you won’t usually get any money from raising a complaint alone, it is a good starting point for making a potential clinical negligence claim, as you’ll be able to see whether you’re eligible for compensation.

Speak to a specialist solicitor

While some people rush off to contact a medical negligence solicitor, the first step you should take is to seek support from a free, no-obligation team of legal advisors to discuss your eligibility.

Meet with a no win no fee lawyer

Most law firms will handle medical negligence cases, but a no win no fee solicitor will only take your claim if they feel you’ll win. No win no fee specialist medical negligence solicitors assess each case and don’t get paid any fees unless they win compensation for you.

The main benefit is that you don’t have to worry about upfront costs and have peace of mind that your medical negligence claims team will fight hard to win your claim.

Gathering evidence

During this stage, your solicitor will gather evidence and look for any medical errors that might have occurred during the consultation. Having a private medical assessment to strengthen your case and prove all the errors is also a good idea.

Presenting your case

Once your lawyer has all the necessary evidence, including details of the misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment, they’ll forward your case to the surgery or hospital’s legal team.

In most cases, the claims process will go relatively smoothly, but it depends on whether the negligent party is willing to accept responsibility.

Your lawyer will argue on your behalf and try to get the maximum compensation for your needs, but in some cases – the case might go to court.


Once your lawyer wins the case, you’ll receive compensation, and the legal team will take their fee. You’ll then be able to recover and move on with your life, using the money for private hospital treatments, getting a specialist team of carers or anything else you might require.

Find out if you’re eligible to make a claim today

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To get started, speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does the claims process take?

The amount of time it will take to resolve a medical negligence claim will depend on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the number of damages involved, and the jurisdiction in which the case is filed.

In most cases, the claims process will take at least several months. However, it could take years to resolve if the case is complex or contested – but most solicitors will try to hasten the proceedings.

How much compensation could I claim?

How much compensation you get depends on numerous factors, including the extent of negligence and how it impacts your life. Your compensation could be anything from a few hundred pounds to over £50,000 – but it’s different for everyone.

For example, a mild reaction to medication might result in an award of £900-£3000, but a more severe reaction and toxicosis could pay an excess of £50,000.

Damage to the female reproductive system will also offer more compensation – especially if a woman loses her ability to have children.

Ultimately, there’s no way to say how much compensation you’ll receive, but your no win no fee solicitor will be able to give you a ballpark figure.

Why choose a no win no fee lawyer?

A no win no fee lawyer is someone who agrees to represent a client in a civil case, where the lawyer does not require any upfront payment for their services. If the case is unsuccessful, the lawyer does not get paid.

An arrangement benefits the client as they only have to pay if they win their case. No win no fee arrangements are common in personal injury claims, where people may not have the money to pay for a lawyer upfront but may be entitled to compensation if they succeed in their case.

How likely is it that my case will go to court?

When most people think of medical malpractice, they picture a court scene from a television drama where an angry jury hands down a massive verdict against an uncaring doctor. In reality, however, only a tiny fraction of medical negligence cases go to trial.

The vast majority are settled out of court – especially if you claim against the NHS. Going to trial is expensive, and it can be unpredictable, so most negligent parties will usually want to settle out of court to avoid extra stress.

I’m worried about claiming against a doctor. Is it the right thing to do?

If you’re the victim of medical negligence, you might wonder if you should file a claim against the responsible doctor or healthcare facility. It’s important to understand that there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but numerous factors to consider.

Ultimately the decision will come down to what feels suitable for you. However, filing a claim might protect people in the future as your doctor will be more likely to think about their actions.

Compensation can also help you get justice and compensation for what you’ve been through and pay for carers, private treatments and time lost from employment.

Should I claim against the NHS?

Many people worry about claiming against the NHS, but they have a duty of care to every patient, and it’s your right to call them out on any negligence. It’s no secret that the NHS has a lot to handle, but if they fail to protect you and treat you correctly, it can lead to devastating consequences.

The NHS will have insurance, and by stepping up and discussing the negligence of a healthcare professional, you can make sure it never happens again.

Will I have to go for a medical assessment when I claim compensation?

When claiming compensation, you will generally be required to undergo a medical assessment to determine the extent of your injuries and whether or not you are eligible for compensation.

An independent medical expert or other healthcare professional will usually conduct the assessment. During the evaluation, you’ll provide a detailed history of your injuries and how they have affected your life.

You may also undergo a physical examination, and the assessment results will determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.

In some cases, you may be able to avoid a medical assessment if your injuries are well documented, and there is no dispute about the extent of your damages. However, in most cases, a medical assessment will be required to receive compensation.

Can I claim on behalf of a family member?

In some cases, poor medical treatment might result in a fatality, and the injured party won’t be able to make a claim. The next of kin can file a claim in their loved one’s name and get compensation.

The amount you receive depends on how negligent the doctor was and the money lost through the injured parties’ loss of employment, including mortgage costs, childcare and anything else.

I suffered negligence as a child. Can I make a claim now?

In most cases, you have three years from the incident to make a no win no fee negligence claim, but there are different rules for children. When the child becomes an adult (18 years old), they have three years from that point to claim medical negligence.

It’s a good idea to find a clinical negligence solicitor as soon as you turn 18 because the process can take a while.

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To get started, speak to a trained legal adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or request a callback by submitting your name and phone number using one of the contact forms on this page.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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