MRSA Compensation Claims

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

If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, 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 personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. 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 personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Although cases of MRSA infection have reduced in recent years, there are still hundreds of cases of MRSA bloodstream infections recorded by NHS trusts every year.

Proof that an individual was infected by MRSA is not enough make a successful claim. It must also be demonstrated that the person was exposed to infection as a result of clinical negligence on the part of the hospital; demonstrating this negligence will depend on the facts of the case.

What is MRSA?

Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium. The term is used to refer to a bacterial infection that mainly affects people who are already unwell or debilitated, or who have a weak or compromised immune system.

As its name suggests, bacteria causing the illness are resistant to Meticillin (Methicillin), a particular group of antibiotics commonly used to treat Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections.

S. aureus is carried by 1 in 3 people - usually harmlessly - but may become a problem when people are having healthcare treatment and the skin is broken, for example during surgery or by using a drip to give fluids or drugs. This allows the bacteria to get into the bloodstream where they multiply.

Once in the bloodstream MRSA may lead to serious infections in the lung (pneumonia), bone (osteomyelitis), heart valve (endocarditis), or blood poisoning (septicaemia).

The symptoms of MRSA infection vary depending on which part of the body is infected, but there is often redness and swelling at the site of infection.

MRSA prevention and hospital negligence

MRSA is contracted through contact with a carrier. It is most commonly passed on via the hands - and via contaminated hospital equipment.

The NHS and other healthcare providers have introduced strict guidelines to prevent MRSA infections being introduced and containing them when they are.

These include the pre-screening of patients going into hospitals for planned procedures for MRSA and treating any "carriers" before they enter hospital.

Healthcare staff are required to observe strict hygiene practices - using alcohol based gels for hand cleaning; proper disposal of paper hospital gowns; regular sanitising of medical equipment and surfaces - all help to prevent the spread of MRSA.

Anyone developing MRSA symptoms requires urgent medical intervention. As well as treatment, a patient must be immediately isolated from other patients.

Can I claim if I caught MRSA through a hospital?

MRSA is an extremely serious infection and in some incidences can prove fatal. Hospitals and their staff have a duty of care to do everything possible to protect the health of patients.

Anyone contracting MRSA in a hospital, nursing home or other healthcare environment may have done so through the healthcare provider failing to follow strict infection control procedures.

However, as MRSA is an infection it is impossible to eradicate it entirely. For a successful claim against a healthcare provider it has to be demonstrated that it was negligent in its care of the patient.

Negligence may be proved if:

  • A patient subsequently contracted MRSA having been screened as MRSA negative before admission.
  • There are delays in diagnosis and treatment of an MRSA infection
  • There was inappropriate treatment for the infection and other conditions, including open wounds.
  • It can be proved that medical hygiene procedures were not followed correctly.

If a healthcare provider is found negligent then a claimant may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the MRSA infection and for any long term physical or psychological effects.

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.

Read more:

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

No win, no fee

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if your claim is not successful.

No win, no fee - our guarantee

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation 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, 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 injury claim?

If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees . Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

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 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
  • 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:

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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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.

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:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make an injury claim?

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

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

Can I claim for an 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim injury compensation.

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

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor