A Guide to Claiming Faulty Defibrillator or Pacemaker Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a faulty defibrillator injury we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a faulty defibrillator injury and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
Faulty defibrillator and faulty pacemaker claims are among the most serious defective product claims that personal injury solicitors handle.
As with any defective medical product, a claim can be made for injuries resulting from a faulty defibrillator, including an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
Although the great majority of defibrillators and pacemakers work correctly, there have been a number of product recalls in recent years resulting from defects that cause batteries to deplete and defects that fail to correctly regulate a patient's heartbeat.
Do I have a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim?
It should be possible to make a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim if you were injured:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker:
What are the exceptions?
Even if these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.
To confirm whether you are eligible to claim speak to a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A short call will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim on their own behalf.
What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?
A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.
The amount of money you could claim for your faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker? (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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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?
What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?
If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.
Faulty defibrillator or pacemaker compensation calculator
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim could be worth now:
How long does a faulty defibrillator claim take?
How long it can take to settle a faulty defibrillator claim can vary significantly.
For instance, a straightforward liability accepted product claim could be settled in a few weeks. If liability is denied, however, a compensation claim can take considerably longer. On average a product liability claim will take 6 to 9 months. See more:How long will my claim take?
Will I still be able to claim for a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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 faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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.
Who pays for this specialist help?
The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.
What should you do if you think that you or a family member has been affected by a faulty pacemaker?
The first step is to ensure that the person affected sees a doctor. The doctor can investigate the matter and confirm if there is a defect or potential defect, and will arrange treatment for any injuries that have arisen due to the fault.
If the affected person has been injured as the result of the defect, and the manufacture of the defibrillator is found to have been negligent, a claim can be made. This will likely require an independent medical exam, which the solicitor handling your claim can arrange.
Who is responsible for defibrillator failure compensation?
The manufacturer, distributors, and medical facilities can all be held accountable, depending on the nature of the fault.
A medical negligence claim could be made if the medical team responsible for the installation and monitoring of the pacemaker were negligent, failing to install the item correctly, or installing a defibrillator they should have been aware was faulty.
No win, no fee - the facts
With a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim without having to pay upfront legal fees. If your faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.
Our no win, no fee promise
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim?
If your faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Why do most solicitors charge 25%?
25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. In some cases our solicitors can work on a reduced success fee. Call us for more information.
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 injury 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:Call me back
if you can claim
to start a claim
Faulty defibrillator or pacemaker 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.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the faulty defibrillator or pacemaker to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim faulty defibrillator or pacemaker compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a faulty defibrillator or pacemaker claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
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