Kidney Injury Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a kidney injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a kidney injury 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 kidney injury compensation:

Introduction

The two main types of kidney injury are 'Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)' and 'Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)'. According to statistics from NHS Kidney Care, CKD affects around 4% of the adult population whilst AKI affects an estimated 33,000 to 40,000 people in the UK.

Although causes are varied, including diabetes and dehydration, in some instances kidney damage is the result of negligence in the workplace. The most common cause of CKD in work-related compensation claims is exposure to hazardous substances. For AKI it is medical negligence.

If an individual develops kidney disease under any of these circumstances, they may be entitled to claim compensation.

Doctor discharging patient

Do I have a kidney injury claim?

You should be eligible to make a kidney injury claim if your injury occurred:

  • within the last three years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Claim eligibility - 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 a kidney injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if there is no evidence?

Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a kidney injury claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.

How much compensation can I claim for a kidney injury?

The amount of money you could claim for your kidney injury 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 kidney injury 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

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a kidney injury? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Kidney injury compensation amounts

The following kidney injury payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Kidney injury
Risk of future infection Up to £51,000
Loss of one kidney £24,530 to £35,780
Serious damage to both kidneys £135,030 to £167,690

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

If you have sustained multiple injuries, the compensation amounts are not simply added together.

The upper bracket of the most serious injury may be considered as a starting point, with a reduced amount applied for the other less severe injuries.

For example:

General damages for a serious kidney injury can be £50,000

For a less severe internal injuries, in isolation, you would typically receive £4,200.

However, if you have a serious kidney injury and a less severe internal injuries, you would typically receive £50,000 + a reduced percentage of £4,200.

Special damages, such as loss of earnings are not usually increased if you have multiple injuries. Read more about multiple injury claims.

What is the average injury compensation for a kidney 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 a kidney injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your kidney injury 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.

Can I claim for an existing kidney injury 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.

Kidney injury compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a kidney 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 kidney injury claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a kidney injury claim take?

How long it can take to process a kidney injury claim can vary considerably.

For instance, a straightforward liability accepted injury claim could be completed in a couple of months. If the defendant denies liability, the process might take longer. Typically, an injury claim takes between 4 and 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your kidney injury 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.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) claims

Do the Courts recognise Chronic Kidney Disease?

Characterised by abnormal kidney function or structure, chronic kidney disease is the result of damage over a long period. Symptoms may not be immediately apparent and often occur only when very little kidney function remains. At this stage, recognised symptoms include weight loss, swollen ankles, blood or protein in urine, shortness of breath and itchy skin.

A change in kidney function is often discovered during routine blood and urine tests, so having chronic kidney disease does not always mean there are any obvious symptoms.

CKD is often caused by a pre-existing condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. However, industrial disease compensation claims are also commonly made following exposure to hazardous substances which infiltrate or are ingested into the body. For example, CKD can be caused by heavy metal nephrotoxins, common in many industries. These include:

  • Lead - used in batteries, ammunition, pipes and X-rays shields
  • Cadmium - found in batteries, pigments, metal coatings and plastics
  • Mercury - found in chlorine gas and caustic soda production, thermometers, dental fillings and batteries
  • Arsenic - used in wood preserver and pesticides
  • Uranium - used in nuclear energy and weapons

Other causal agents found in the workplace are silica, barium, dichloroethene, hydrazines, manganese, phosphorus, toluene and toxaphene.

Workplaces affected include dentistry, pharmaceuticals, nuclear energy production, the agricultural industry and many manufacturing industries. Industries that use manufactured products containing a hazardous substance are also at risk.

Who is liable for Chronic Kidney Disease?

In most chronic kidney disease claims, an employer is liable, provided it can be shown that their actions were negligent. Under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, employers have a legal ‘duty of care' to protect employees from the dangers of hazardous substances. In order to do this they are required to:

  • Carrying out a risk assessment to identify hazards and decide how to control them
  • Provide control measures, such as adequate ventilation, protective clothing and breathing masks, to reduce harm to health and ensure they are used
  • Maintain control measures to ensure they are in good working order
  • Provide staff instruction and training on the risks and procedures
  • Provide monitoring and health surveillance

If it can be shown that an employer failed to carry out the appropriate actions, which lead to a diagnosis of kidney disease in an employee, they would be liable in a compensation case. Evidence to prove this would include medical reports, company health and safety records and witnesses to the working processes.

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) claims

What is Acute Kidney Injury?

Acute Kidney Injury is characterised by a rapid decline in kidney function brought on by sudden or short-term damage. It is often the result of complications from existing conditions and can cause minor loss of kidney function or complete renal failure. Recognised symptoms include nausea and vomiting, confusion, high blood pressure, abdominal pain and a build-up of fluid in the body.

Symptoms are not always immediate but a possible early warning sign is reduced urine production. Acute kidney injury is usually caused by an event that leads to kidney malfunction, such as dehydration, blood loss from major surgery or injury or the administration of certain medicines.

Most cases of acute kidney injury occur in people who are already in hospital for other reasons. Common claims arise as a result of a failure to carry out an investigation or failure to interpret the information. Other claims involve kidney damage during negligent surgery and failure to keep the patient adequately hydrated.

Research from the NHS shows that around 20-30% of cases could be prevented.

Who is liable in Acute Kidney Injury claims?

In the majority of claims, a hospital or an individual medical practitioner is liable if their action or inaction caused the condition - for example, if:

  • an at-risk patient developed the condition
  • there was unnecessary blood loss during a surgical procedure
  • a person became dehydrated because of poor care

In these cases, where a hospital or individual member of staff acted against the best interests of the patient, a claim can be made based on negligence.

Kidney damage medical negligence claims can be complex, and often daunting, for example in cases against large NHS hospitals. A solicitor can help simplify the process and source the right kind of evidence to support a case.

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 your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your kidney injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

Our no win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is absolutely no financial risk in making a kidney 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 kidney injury 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%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my kidney injury claim?

If your kidney injury claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. 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. kidney injury claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

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:

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Kidney injury 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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a kidney injury claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the kidney injury to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your kidney injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a kidney injury 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 kidney injury compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a kidney injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert