What is clinical and medical negligence?
Medical negligence, also know as clinical negligence, is a broad term used to describe errors, accidents or sub-standard care provided by medical professionals or hospitals. The sub-standard care you or a loved one has received could have happened in a private or NHS hospital or in a healthcare treatment centre, such as a walk-in clinic or GP surgery.
When you visit a medical professional or hospital, you are protected by their duty of care. When they fail to uphold their duty of care to you, then accidents happen, and you can become a victim of medical and clinical negligence.
While we know in the majority of cases medical professionals carry out their work to a high standard, sometimes negligence does happen, which can often lead to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment and potentially serious injuries.
If this has happened to you, then we are here for you. We believe that nobody should have to suffer injury or negligence when they are seeking professional advice, which is why we're proud of the work we do helping people like you claim compensation and receive the apology you deserve.
If you think you've suffered medical negligence and you'd like to know if you're entitled to compensation you can call us now on. Your call with us is free and you're under no pressure to start a claim – so you can get the advice you need.
Types of clinical and medical negligence
We understand that because medical and clinical negligence can cover a broad range of errors that it can sometimes be difficult to know if you've suffered negligence.
If you would like clarity on whether your experience was negligent, we recommend giving us a call on. As you're under no obligation to start a claim when you do call us, this is the simplest way to get advice based solely on your experience.
However, we also understand that not everybody is ready to talk about their experience. That's why below you'll find a list of some of the different types of medical and clinical negligence. This list isn't exhaustive, so it may be that you have suffered neglect, but it isn't listed below. In that case, please contact us using our live chat function or by calling us on.
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
When you seek professional advice about an illness or injury, the last thing you expect is for that advice and prognosis to be wrong. Misdiagnosis or failing to diagnosis something quickly may seem like an honest mistake but it can lead to very serious complications, and in severe cases death.
If you've suffered delayed treatment, prolonged pain or health complications because of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, then we can help you.
Surgical errors and amputations
We often don't anticipate suffering from further injury when we're in a hospital for surgery. In fact, expect the opposite and for us to leave hospital on the journey to recovery.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case and sometimes you can suffer an injury, pain or health issue as a result of a surgical error.
Surgical errors can include scarring and cuts and in severe cases surgery to the wrong body part, amputation or foreign objects, such as surgical equipment, being left inside you.
Suffering as a result of surgical errors can be an extremely traumatic experience, so if this has affected you in any way, please do contact us onso we can help you.
Medication or prescription errors
Medication or prescription errors may seem like a minor mistake to make, but taking the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can have serious side effects.
Simply receiving and taking the wrong medication doesn't amount to medical negligence, but if you took that medication and suffered side effects or health complications, then you may have a medical negligence claim.
We know that it's not always your doctor who's responsible for a medication error and that sometimes a pharmacist may have dispensed the wrong medicine to you – if that's the case, it's likely we can still help you.
Pregnancy or birth related injuries
Negligence during pregnancy and birth can lead to severe and life-changing conditions for both mother and child.
While we may not be able to fully understand how it feels to experience the traumatic event of a pregnancy or birth injury, we are fully prepared and able to help you get the financial compensation you're entitled to as a result of this horrific experience.
We do have some more information on birth injuries here. However, if you're ready to talk to somebody about your experience, we're here to listen. We promise your call with us is confidential, free and advisory.
You may be reading this page as a parent of a child who was injured during birth and is now suffering long-term health implications.
Although we understand compensation cannot begin to make up for your child’s injury, it can help you and them be prepared and supported for their future.
We’re able to help you make a claim on your child’s behalf, so that they don’t go without the support they need and the compensation that’s entitled to them. You can contact us now for free on claiming on the behalf of a child here.to have a confidential, no pressure chat or you can read more about
What does "duty of care" mean?
Quite simply, "duty of care" means the legal obligation that a medical professional has to you, while you’re in their care. It involves caring for you and not causing injury.
Every medical professional has this obligation to you, from your doctor or nurse to your physio or occupational therapist.
When you make a medical negligence claim, your solicitor will be looking to prove that the care you received was below the “duty of care” standard.
To do this they will generally look at three things:
Breach of duty
This involves proving that your doctor, or the medical professional treating you, provided care that was below the standard of a competent doctor or professional in the same specialism. This may also be referred to as "fault" because your healthcare provider failed in their duty to you.
This involves proving that your doctor, therapist or nurse caused your injuries by providing sub-standard care.
This is about proving your injury experience has caused physical, mental and financial damage to you. Your solicitor will also use this to help negotiate your compensation.
Who pays your compensation?
You may have a concern that if your compensation claim is successful that the person or persons responsible for your injury will pay your compensation out of their own money. This simply isn’t true.
If your compensation claim is successful your settlement will be paid from the insurance covering your doctor, nurse or medical professional. This means whether you were a private in-patient, an NHS outpatient or simply visiting your GP surgery, you don’t need to worry about an individual being left out of pocket by your claim.
Making a medical negligence claim
We understand that financial compensation is often the last thing people think about when there suffering an injury. We know that your priority is recovering from your experience and getting your life back on track.
We don't want to add unnecessary stress to your situation or slow the process of you returning to your daily routines. We simply want to help you get the justice you deserve. That's why we've worked hard to make the process of finding out whether you can claim, and starting your case, as simple as possible.
When you contact us, you’ll speak to one of our friendly, legally trained advisors who will let you know if we can help you.
As we have a network of specialist medical negligence solicitors, if you do want to start a compensation claim we can help you do so and connect you with one of our solicitors in minutes.
Starting a case with us means you don't have the unnecessary stress of ringing solicitors and repeating yourself over the phone. It also means that you'll have a solicitor who is on hand throughout your claim and that has signed up to the high-standards of our customer charter.
Finally, starting your medical negligence claim with us means you'll be making a no win, no fee, no risk compensation claim.
What is no win no fee?
No win no fee refers to the agreement you make with your solicitor at the start of your claim. This agreement protects you from paying the legal costs of your claim if your case is unsuccessful.
It also means that if your case is successful, you know exactly how much your solicitor will take from your compensation for their services.
If you'd like to read more about no win no fee, please visit our "What is no win no fee?" page here.
Looking for advice?
If you're not sure whether you want to make a medical negligence claim, we can provide free advice on your accident and the claims process.
Our legally trained advisors can answer any questions you might have about making a claim or speaking to one of our specialist solicitors.
Over our 22 years' we've helped hundreds of other victims of medical and clinical negligence find out if they have a case. While we may not have experienced the severity of medical negligence we can use our experience to help you find out if you can claim.
Learn more about the people and culture that make up National Accident Helpline, and how proud we are to be able to help you by watching the video below.
Ready to start your claim?
If you're ready to start your claim, you can contact us onfor free. You'll speak to one of our contact centre staff, who are legally trained and able to advise you on the next steps of the claims process.
Alternatively, please enter your details in the form below and one of our legally trained advisors will call you about your claim.