Infected Wound Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an infected wound we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered an infected wound and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
infected wound compensation:
Although inflammation around a wound may be a good sign, slowing blood circulation and allowing healing white blood cells to flood the area to fight bacteria, medical staff should recognise the difference between normal inflammation and signs of infection.
These include swelling and pain at the wound site and it may feel hot. Some patients - including the elderly and those with diabetes - may not display obvious symptoms, therefore nursing staff may need to be extra vigilant.
Where the wound infection is deep, X-rays or an ultrasound scan may be needed to detect fluid in the wound and assess any tissue damage. A tissue biopsy may also be needed.
Do I have an infected wound claim?
It should be possible to make an infected wound claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Do I have a claim? - Common questions
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 an infected wound claim on their own behalf.
What if I don't know who was to blame?
You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Specialist lawyers have years of experience identifying the responsible party in cases where liability is uncertain.
How does a wound become infected?
If a wound is not treated by thorough cleaning and the appropriate dressing to keep the wound clean, micro-organisms introduced under the skin may multiply and cause infection.
Streptococcus A, a bacterium which occurs naturally on the skin, may be serious if it becomes invasive and is often the cause of abscesses and infected surgical wounds.
When dressings are not changed regularly the wound may not stay clean - and its healing process may not be monitored.
Some infections, such as MRSA, are resistant to antibiotics and may be acquired in hospital, through cross-contamination. This may occur when healthcare professionals neglect to carry out good hygiene practices, by not washing hands between patients or using anti-bacterial gel to minimise the risks.
Diagnosing an infected wound
Determining the type of infection is usually done through swab tests or fine needle aspiration of any fluid in the wound. Laboratory tests will diagnose whether a wound has a bacterial or fungal infection, and which organisms are the cause. This will ensure the patient receives the correct treatment to combat the infection.
Failure to test for infected wounds and diagnose the micro-organism causing an infected wound may mean the infection spreads to other organs potentially causing sepsis (blood poisoning), which may be life-threatening.
Claiming compensation for an infected wound
It may be possible to claim for compensation if a patient's mismanagement of care has caused a wound to become infected, or an infection to worsen resulting in further pain, suffering or medical complications.
A healthcare professional may be deemed to have been negligent of his patient's care if:
- His misinterpretation of symptoms or inadequate examination caused him to fail to diagnose and treat an infection.
- He did not take action in response to any change in condition that may have resulted from the wound's severity.
- There were medication or documentation errors that led to an infection of either the wound or surrounding tissue.
- There was no treatment plan or documentation in place to ensure adequate wound care
- The wound was not regularly assessed at appropriate intervals to monitor its healing
The amount of money you could claim for your infected wound 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 infected wound 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 an infected wound? (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 infected wound 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 infected wound will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your infected wound 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 claim for an existing infected wound that has got worse?
Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.
Calculate my infected wound compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an infected wound 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 infected wound claim could be worth now:
How long does an infected wound claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for an infected wound can vary significantly.
For example, a straightforward liability accepted injury claim might be concluded in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied the process might take longer. Typically, an injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. For more information, see: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your infected wound 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.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee
'No win, no fee' means that if your infected wound claim is not successful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract entered into between you and your solicitor.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making an infected wound 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 infected wound claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. 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 infected wound claim?
If your infected wound 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 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.
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.
How can Quittance help?
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 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 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Infected wound 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 an infected wound claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the infected wound to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your infected wound claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an infected wound 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim infected wound compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an infected wound 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.
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.