A Guide to Claiming Delayed Care Negligence Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by delayed care negligence we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered delayed care negligence and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
Time is a valuable asset in identifying and treating illnesses. When care is offered at the earliest opportunity, patients typically stand a much better chance of making a full recovery than when care is delayed.
A doctor or other health care provider's failure to deliver timely care can result in a potential claim for medical negligence, although the likelihood of such a claim's success will be dependent on the facts of the case.
A patient who does not receive the care they need when they need it may be eligible to claim compensation if the delayed care causes further harm that they likely would not have experienced otherwise.
Do I have a delayed care negligence claim?
Medical negligence claims differ from personal injury claims as the following will need to be established:
- there was a breach of duty ("negligence" or "fault"); and
- the breach of duty was the cause of your injury, damage or loss ("causation" or "avoidable harm").
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty means that the standard of care you received was below the standard that could reasonably be expected of a competent healthcare professional.
To establish causation, it will need to be demonstrated that the injury you suffered resulted from the negligent care rather than the underlying condition.
Get an impartial opinion
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to a delayed care negligence claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
Is compensation always payable?
If an error occurred during treatment and the patient was harmed as a result, this may be referred to as an "undesirable outcome".
Not all treatment that results in an undesirable outcome will result in the payment of compensation.
Sometimes an undesirable outcome is due to a known risk associated with the treatment, or due to a mistake that a doctor could reasonably have made in the circumstances.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start a delayed care negligence claim on their own behalf.
What if I don't know who was to blame?
You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Specialist lawyers have years of experience identifying the responsible party in cases where liability is uncertain.
Can I still make a delayed care negligence claim more than three years after the negligence?
In general, a delayed care negligence claim can only be made outside of the three-year limit if you were injured as a child and are still under 21, you were diagnosed within the last three years with a health condition that was caused by historic exposure, or you were fundamentally unable to make a claim within the three-year window, due to incapacity.
How long do I have to start a claim?
If your injury is apparent immediately after medical treatment, you will have 3 years to start a claim.
It may be that the negligent procedure happened more than 3 years ago, but your injury was only diagnosed recently, within the last 3 years. If so, you may still be able to make a claim.
What if your injury was diagnosed months or years after treatment?
You may not be immediately aware of your injury. In some cases, months and even years can pass before symptoms appear.
The law allows you to make a medical negligence claim up to three years after the 'date of knowledge' (when you first learned of the injury).
It is recommended that you start a claim as soon as possible, as medical negligence cases can be complex. Starting your claim sooner will give your solicitor more time to gather medical evidence, assess the extent of your injury and to negotiate interim payments and your final compensation amount.
The amount of money you could claim for your delayed care negligence will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your delayed care negligence has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a delayed care negligence? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for a delayed care negligence claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a delayed care negligence will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your delayed care negligence compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Find out what your delayed care negligence claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages?are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the delayed care negligence injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your delayed care negligence claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Examples of negligently delayed care
Delayed care negligence can potentially apply in a wide range of circumstances, including:
- A delay in correctly diagnosing an illness or injury
- A delay in administering medication
- A delay in carrying out surgery
- A delay in providing or recommending physiotherapy, occupational therapy or other rehabilitative care
- A delay in providing personal care, such that the patient develops an infection in hospital or pressure sores
- A delay in providing suitable care following discharge from hospital.
Who is responsible for the delayed care?
The broad definition of delayed care negligence means that a number of parties could be legally responsible.
For example, if the delay in care is caused by a delay in diagnosis, then a claim might be made against the negligent GP who failed to refer the patient for tests, or it might be based on the negligence of the NHS specialist who failed to identify the patient's condition.
Where nursing home staff have delayed in administering medication, the claim will be brought against the owner of the nursing home or the relevant NHS Trust.
What are the consequences of delayed care?
If treatment is delayed for any reason, the patient may experience pain, complications and health issues that become more serious than first anticipated.
Some of the specific consequences of delayed care include:
- The illness or condition spreading to another part of the body
- A significant deterioration in general health
- Having to undergo a more invasive procedure than might otherwise have been the case if treatment had been delivered on time
- Developing a more serious illness, injury or condition
- The illness becoming untreatable or terminal
Making a claim for delayed care negligence
To make a successful claim, the claimant's solicitor must prove:
- That the doctor or healthcare provider owed a duty to take care of the claimant
- The health care staff breached that duty when they delayed in providing care; and
- The claimant suffered further or worsened injury or illness as a result of the delay
Where it can be established that the care fell below expected standards, and the patient suffered harm as a result, a claim may be made in clinical and medical negligence. Compensation typically will cover an amount for claimant's pain and suffering, as well as medical costs, loss of income and the costs of rehabilitative or palliative care.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any legal fees if your delayed care negligence claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
Our no win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a delayed care negligence claim, even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my delayed care negligence claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my delayed care negligence claim?
If your delayed care negligence claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees.
Please note, under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:Call me back
if you can claim
to start a claim
Delayed Care Negligence FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
How long will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert