Private Hospital Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by private hospital 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.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist clinical negligence solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove the negligence happened. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
Every patient is entitled to expect a reasonable standard of care in the treatment provided to them by healthcare staff, whether that treatment is provided through a private organisation or the NHS. If the standard of care you received fell below the expected standard, and you suffered avoidable harm as a result, you may be entitled to claim for medical negligence.
Does a medical negligence claim have to be for a life altering event?
Any medical negligence can have a detrimental effect on a person. A procedure that was intended to be an investment towards an improved health or lifestyle may instead become a source of source of pain, poor health, physical disfigurement, or psychological trauma.
Claims may be for results of surgery or arise from care received in hospitals for various conditions. These may include cancer treatments, child birth, injuries to children, brain or spinal injury. When a patient's referral to a medical specialist or diagnosis is delayed a claim may be brought against the GP.
Even if the procedure was carried out electively , if it goes wrong the claimant may be able to pursue a claim for compensation from the practitioner who carried out the work.
How does claiming against a private practitioner differ?
Medical negligence claims against a private practitioner are similar to those against the NHS, but some key differences may occur.
When a procedure, such as cosmetic surgery, has been sold to an individual the risks and side-effects may not have been fully explained beforehand. The patient therefore may have not given proper consent due to lack of knowledge.
In private practice a patient may enter directly into a contract with the healthcare provider. A certain outcome may be guaranteed as part of the contract. Where the outcome falls below what was guaranteed it may be possible to claim on that basis.
Making a claim
This can sometimes be complicated as there are often a number of different individuals involved in the patient's treatment and care. Private hospitals and clinics may be part of a larger group, and a procedure, which appeared to be through the NHS, may have been provided by a private organisation.
It is essential to identify the individual or organisation against who the claim may be brought in order to proceed.
Be aware that all surgical procedures come with some risk. Wound infections and scarring can occur without any medical negligence having taken place. Similarly, dissatisfaction with the results may be no-one's fault.
If it can be demonstrated that the medical professional was negligent in his care of the claimant and that suffering was caused as a result, then the claimant may be able to pursue a claim for medical negligence.
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.
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 an injury? (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 an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Can I see the complete Judicial College tables?
The table above (excerpted from the Judicial College Tables) shows the most common private hospital claims. To see the complete list see: Judicial College Injury Tables.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:
- Instant accurate calculation
- Checks your right to claim
- Confirms No Win, No Fee eligibility
How long does a private hospital negligence claim take?
How long it can take to win compensation for a private hospital negligence can vary significantly.
For instance, a simple uncontested medical negligence claim could be settled in 12 to 24 months. However, if the case is contested or there is a serious or 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, see: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.
No win, no fee - our guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an injury claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my injury 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 injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
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.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in medical negligence cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
How we can help you
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.
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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 visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
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.