Rotavirus Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by rotavirus we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered rotavirus 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
Rotavirus and Norovirus are the most common causes of gastroenteritis. Both are highly contagious meaning that the illness may quickly spread to several people. Symptoms generally appear within 48 hours of exposure to the viruses.
Resistant to modern disinfectants and anti-bacterial solutions, rotaviruses can survive for hours on hands, and for days on hard, dry surfaces. Even in the most hygienic environments, viruses can be transmitted easily through children who forget to wash their hands before eating, or after using the toilet.
By the time they turn five most children will have been infected by rotavirus; some having several episodes. Symptoms include severe vomiting and diarrhoea and stomach cramps and typically last 3 to 8 days. This may result in severe dehydration and hospitalisation in some cases.
A vaccination was introduced in September 2013 for babies aged 2 and 3 months, resulting in a reduction of 70% in the number of reported cases (130,000 in 2013).
Adults may contract rotavirus through contact with a sick child, although symptoms are usually less severe.
Noroviruses can cause gastroenteritis in people of any age. An estimated 600,000 to 1 million fall ill through norovirus infection every year. As there are so many variants of the virus it is difficult to build up immunity, so a person may be infected several times.
How are rotaviruses and noroviruses transmitted?
Where large groups of people are contained in a relatively small area and facilities are shared, such as in all-inclusive holidays and cruise ships, it takes only one infected person to create an outbreak of sickness.
Good hygiene is the key to preventing transmission of both rotavirus and norovirus; thorough handwashing with soap and water may be helpful in preventing cross-contamination. Neglecting this basic good practice may result in an infected person contaminating food that is subsequently consumed by others.
Hard surfaces may also be contaminated this way. This may include toys that infected children share. Therefore it is vital to ensure that surfaces are kept clean using bleach based products to help prevent transmission.
Items such as towels and bedding used by infected people may also be a source of contagion, so should be laundered in a hot wash to kill the viruses.
Transmission may also be by direct contact with an infected person.
Anyone who has contracted either virus should avoid returning to the workplace or school until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
Do I have a rotavirus claim?
As a basic rule, you can make a rotavirus 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.
Injury 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 rotavirus claim on their own behalf.
Can I claim if the rotavirus made an existing injury or condition worse?
Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward rotavirus injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.
Can I make a rotavirus claim right up to the three-year limit?
Technically, yes. However, in practice, not always. Many solicitors will not take on a rotavirus claim that only has a few months (sometimes even a year) left before the time limit expires. The panel of solicitors will take a claim on as late as possible where it is felt that the claim could be successful.
The amount of money you could claim for your rotavirus 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 rotavirus 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 rotavirus? (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 rotavirus 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 rotavirus will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your rotavirus 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.
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a rotavirus 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 rotavirus claim could be worth now:
How long does a rotavirus claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for an illness can vary considerably.
For instance, a straightforward liability accepted injury claim could be completed in a few weeks. If the defendant denies liability, a compensation claim can take significantly longer. Usually, an injury claim will take 4 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your rotavirus 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:
How does no win, no fee work?
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a rotavirus claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
No win, no fee promise
If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a rotavirus injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my rotavirus 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%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my rotavirus claim?
If your rotavirus claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
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.
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:
if you can claim
to start a claim
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 rotavirus claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the rotavirus to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your rotavirus claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a rotavirus 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 rotavirus compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a rotavirus 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.