A Guide to Claiming GP Negligence Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by GP negligence we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered GP negligence and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
The General Medical Council found that approximately 45% of complaints about doctors in 2009 were related to GPs. GP negligence can exacerbate an existing condition at best, and at worst, can endanger patients' lives. If you have suffered because of GP negligence, you may feel that taking action could be complicated and stressful. However, Quittance's panel of solicitors can guide you through the process, and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
GP negligence can be defined as the failure of a GP to provide an appropriate diagnosis or the correct medication. Negligence also occurs when a GP fails to refer a patient for assessment by a specialist, or to act on the results of tests. This can be especially detrimental to people who have conditions that affect the length or quality of their lives.
Do I have a gp 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 gp 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.
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.
What should you do if you have experienced GP negligence?
If your physical and mental well-being has been affected by GP negligence, it is important to seek the advice of a solicitor who has experience of dealing with cases like yours. The Quittance panel can advise you on whether or not you are likely to have a case for claiming compensation. The panel can also provide you with an estimate of how much your claim could be worth, enabling you to make an informed decision from the start.
Your solicitor can conduct an investigation into what has happened, and gather all the evidence necessary to pursue a claim for compensation.
Can I claim GP negligence compensation for someone else?
If a member of your family has suffered because of GP negligence, and is not able to make a claim, you can act on their behalf. If your family member has lost their life because of a lack of care from their GP, you could have a case for claiming compensation. An experienced solicitor will appreciate the extent of your suffering, and will work hard to ensure that you receive compensation for what has happened.
The amount of money you could claim for your gp 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 gp 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 gp 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 gp 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 gp negligence will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your gp 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.
I can't find my injury in the table, can I still claim?
The table is a list of the most common injuries associated with a gp negligence claim. You can see the full list of injury awards here: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a gp negligence injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Gp negligence compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a gp negligence injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your gp negligence claim could be worth now:
How long does a GP negligence claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for GP negligence can vary considerably.
A simple uncontested medical negligence claim could be settled in 12 to 24 months. However, if the case goes to court or there is a complex ongoing injury a compensation claim 2 to 5 years. Normally a medical negligence claim will take 12 to 36 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a gp negligence after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your gp 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.
No win, no fee, no risk
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your gp negligence injury.
What do I pay if I win my gp negligence claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. 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 gp negligence claim?
If your gp negligence claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a catch?
The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.
How do personal injury solicitors get paid?
If your gp negligence claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.
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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Gp 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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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