Surgical negligence claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

Any surgical operation presents risks. Even the most routine procedure involves a patient entrusting their health, and life, to a team of doctors.

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When a surgical procedure goes wrong due to an avoidable surgical error, however, the effects can have an unplanned-for and life-altering impact, both physically and psychologically.

Personal injury law exists to compensate these individuals and their families for the unnecessary pain, suffering and losses they have experienced.

Surgeons in theatre

Do I have a surgical negligence claim?

If you were injured as the result of surgical negligence in the last three years (longer if children were involved) and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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How can compensation help people affected by surgical errors?

Compensation can also provide a means of ensuring full expert medical care is received where errors have resulted in longer-term conditions. A compensation award can also cover more practical costs, such as wages lost through inability to work.

Surgical error claims can be difficult to pursue as proving negligence can be complex. Seeking expert legal advice before deciding whether to proceed is highly recommended.

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How common is surgical error?

Every year there are approximately 4.6 million hospital admissions to the NHS is England that require surgery. This does not take into account surgical operations in private hospitals and clinics.

Surgery is a heavily regulated practice. The level of regulation recognises the inherent risk involved in surgery, but attempts to significantly reduce the impact of avoidable errors in surgical procedures.

Compensation has been claims for a very wide range of unexpected outcomes, including damage to internal organs and infection caused by poor hygiene, to insufficient anaesthesia and unacceptable levels of scarring.

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NHS Never Events

Categorised as ‘never events' by the NHS, because they should never happen, some of the most extreme examples of surgical errors include:

  • The wrong operation being performed
  • Surgery performed on the wrong body part
  • Foreign objects left in the body
  • Wrong implants/prosthesis
  • Misplaced feeding tubes

According to the NHS Litigation Authority, 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts, ‘orthopaedic surgery' (surgery of the musculoskeletal system) accounts for 15% of all clinical negligence claims received, and ‘general surgery' for 11%'.

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What is the claims process for surgical errors?

The main difficulty in making a claim for a surgical error involves proving that a qualified medical practitioner has behaved in a manner which dropped below reasonably expected standards.

The arguments will often be highly technical, revolving around the details of a complex surgical procedure.

Avoiding long delays

Another difficulty is that cases of surgical error can take years to reach the Courts, or take a long time to settle, as large amounts of evidence will be available on both sides.

In addition, expert testimonies from medical professionals may be required to present a strong case.

The Quittance team of experienced clinical negligence solicitors offer free, confidential consultations and will advise on the key issues surrounding your case.

These issues include what steps can be taken to either conclude the claim sooner, or to arrange interim payments to cover immediate financial needs such as treatment costs and mortgage payments.

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Guaranteed No Win, No Fee

A no win no fee contract (technically known as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is agreed between the claimant and a specialist injury solicitor.

A CFA is the terms under which the solicitor is instructed by the claimant.

The CFA lays out what the lawyers will do as well as how they is rewarded if the compensation claim is won.

If you choose our solicitors for your surgical negligence compensation claim there are no hidden or extra costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the peace of mind that you wont be financially out of pocket.

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How much compensation can I claim for surgical negligence?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our surgical negligence compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the QLS team

Our nationwide network of solicitors handle all types of clinical negligence claims and have a wealth of expertise with fast track, complex and catastrophic injury claims. Our lawyers are chosen for their track record in winning claims and their specialist expertise.

Click here to meet more of the QLS team.

 
Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
 
Carol Cook Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
 
Lee Raynor Clinical Negligence Panel Solicitor
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.

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