Pressure Sore Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a pressure sore 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 pressure sore compensation:

Introduction

It is estimated that almost 500,000 people a year will experience a pressure or bed sore, often during hospital stays on during recovery from an illness or injury .

In many cases, an underlying health condition makes movement difficult or requires extensive bed rest. The NHS estimates around 1 in 20 people admitted to hospital with a sudden illness will develop a pressure sore.

Solicitor advising clients

Who is legally responsible for my pressure sore?

Pressure sores typically develop as a result of pressure on one part of the body for an extended period of time. Also referred to as ulcers or bed sores, they can develop into very serious and painful wounds, vulnerable to infection.

The pain and inflammation from these sores can restrict the ability to walk or move and often take a long time to heal.

A duty to identify at-risk patients and residents

Medical professionals and auxiliary staff in hospitals, and other care facilities, have a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of individuals in their care. All individuals admitted to a hospital or nursing home should be assessed on admission for their risk of developing pressure sores.

The Waterlow Score is a protocol commonly used by medical staff to identify at-risk patients. A failure to follow the protocol may be evidence in support of a medical negligence claim.

The risk of developing pressure sores is known to be higher for individuals who are elderly, unwell, immobile or diabetic. Nursing staff should regularly monitor individuals to prevent pressure sores developing or deteriorating, and should:

  • Provide appropriate bed mattresses, such as air filled mattresses
  • Apply pressure dressings where needed
  • Regularly assess skin health
  • Maintain high standards of hygiene and cleanliness
  • Move and roll individuals regularly to alleviate pressure on bones and skin
  • Provide appropriate medication, foods and nutrients to support the healing process

If these, or similar measures were not carried out, you may have grounds to make a hospital neglect compensation claim. To be successful, it must be proven that failures in maintaining appropriate standards of treatment and care caused, or worsened, your pressure sore injury.

The hospital or nursing home responsible for negligent care and treatment can be held liable for the injury caused.

Do I have a pressure sore claim?

As a basic rule, you can make a pressure sore claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last three years, and;
  • someone else 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 pressure sore claim on their own behalf.

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

What if I can't prove who caused the pressure sore?

Your solicitor will work on your behalf to assess your pressure sore claim and gather evidence. They will identify the party responsible for your accident.

How much compensation can I claim for pressure sore?

The amount of money you could claim for your pressure sore 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 pressure sore 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 pressure sore? (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

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

Your pressure sore 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.

Pressure sore compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a pressure sore 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 pressure sore claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a pressure sore claim take?

How long it can take to settle a pressure sore claim can vary significantly.

A simple liability accepted injury claim could be completed in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your pressure sore 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 does no win, no fee work?

'No win, no fee' means that if your pressure sore claim is not successful, you won't have to pay any legal fees. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a contract between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.

No win, no fee 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 claiming compensation for your pressure sore injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my pressure sore claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after 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 pressure sore claim?

If your pressure sore 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.

How do personal injury solicitors get paid?

If your pressure sore claim is successful, the defendant, or their insurer, will pay the compensation and your solicitors fees.

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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Pressure sore 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 pressure sore claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a pressure sore 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 pressure sore compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a pressure sore 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