If an eye surgery injury has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by laser eye surgery negligence, we can help. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
303 new ophthalmology negligence claims were referred to NHS Resolution in 2022/23 (resolution.nhs.uk).
The number of people seeking laser eye surgery has grown significantly in recent years. It is estimated that around 15,000 Britons have the procedure each year to correct long and short-sightedness.
The number of people receiving poor treatment has risen broadly in line with the number of procedures. According to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, almost one in 20 patients undergoing laser eye surgery suffer some sort of complication. For some clinics, the complication rate is as high as 40%.
If you decide to make a laser eye surgery claim, your medical negligence solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.
Am I entitled to make a laser eye surgery claim?
If you received treatment from a medical professional that fell below the accepted standard of care, and you were harmed as a result, you can claim compensation for laser eye surgery.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
How long after negligent laser eye surgery do I have to claim compensation?
You usually have 3 years to make a laser eye surgery claim. The timelimit starts from the date you discovered you were injured by negligent care (the date of knowledge).
How much compensation can I claim for an eye surgery injury?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Eye surgery negligence
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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 because of your accident. In addition to paying for loss of wages, commission and any other income income, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as corrective surgery and psychological support.
What is laser eye surgery?
Laser eye surgery permanently corrects certain vision problems, removing the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. The most popular type is known as LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis). This procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea (the transparent covering over the front of the eye). Treatment is considered non-essential and is not usually available on the NHS.
Other treatments are also available including LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).
Private laser eye surgery does not have to be done by an ophthalmic surgeon or even someone with specialist laser refraction knowledge. Instead, all that is required is that the person performing the procedure is registered as a medical doctor.
What are the risks of laser eye surgery?
The majority of people who undergo laser eye surgery experience no complications other than minimal discomfort in the months following the operation.
In around 5% of cases, the safety and effectiveness of the laser eye surgery is compromised. Patients may develop complications or unacceptable outcomes including:
- damage to tear ducts causing painfully dry eyes
- ghosting or double vision
- sensitivity to glare
- chronic eye inflammation
- scarring of the cornea
- poor night vision
- partial or complete blindness.
How Quittance has helped others
Every year Quittance's network of solicitors help people who have suffered complications as a result of laser eye surgery seek financial compensation and, where possible, corrective treatment.
Our network of expert medical negligence solicitors have advised clients who have suffered damage or disability as a result of:
- surgical error
- the suitability of the surgery not being fully determined before the procedure
- inaccurate information about the potential risks of the surgery
- defective laser equipment
- poor standard of post-operative care.
Quittance's solicitors take care of the negotiations and fight hard to ensure that clients achieve maximum compensation awards for laser eye surgery negligence claims.
Who can you make a claim against?
Claims are brought against the medical professional who performed the laser eye surgery or their employer. In the injuries were caused by defective equipment, a Claim may be brought against the manufacturer.
In each case, it is usually the defendant's insurance company who would pay compensation.
What can be done to maximise the chances of a successful claim?
There are a number of things that can be done to help support a laser eye surgery negligence claim.
The claimant will first need to procure all copies of their medical and optician records and give them to their solicitor, who will study them in detail. The solicitor will then instruct a qualified ophthalmic expert to examine the medical records thoroughly and establish whether the laser eye surgery was negligent in any way and whether it caused the injury for which compensation is sought.
Claimants are advised to make a note of the conversations they had with the clinic staff, both in the time leading up to the surgery and during the post-operative recovery period. In particular, the claimant should record any warnings given about the suitability and potential risks of the surgery.
The claimant must also submit to a medical examination. This allows an independent eye expert to arrive at a correct evaluation of the compensation according to the nature and extent of the injuries.
Clinical negligence claims
Laser eye surgery injuries are usually categorised as clinical negligence. Click on the icon below for more information.
How we can help you with your medical negligence claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning medical negligence claims.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.