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Are you suffering because of a surgical error?

Any injury is painful and distressing, but nobody expects to be injured when they go in for surgery. It's likely you were already worried about your health before your surgery - you don't deserve to suffer from further complications.

Making a compensation claim can seem like an added stress at a difficult time - but please don't worry. We have more than 26 years experience of helping people with medical negligence claims and we're here to help you make it right.

If you've been injured in surgery or during your recovery, we can give you free, impartial advice about making a claim following surgical negligence. We'll never rush or pressure you into making a claim. 

If you're ready to speak to somebody about your experience, then you can get in touch with us on . You can also speak to us on behalf of a loved one.

What is surgical negligence?

Surgical negligence refers to mistakes or errors that can happen during surgery. This generally means that the issue the surgery was supposed to fix has not been corrected due to a medical professional's error, or that further injury and complications have been caused.


Surgical negligence can cover a wide range of errors, including:

  • Damage to organs such as the bowel, heart or lungs
  • Nerve damage or other internal injuries
  • Excessive or unexpected scarring
  • ‘Wrong site' surgery - when surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body (for example, amputating the incorrect limb) or on the wrong patient
  • Surgical items or other foreign bodies being left inside the body
  • Infections received
  • Anaesthetic complications

Mistakes can sometimes happen after surgery, and it's likely these will have an impact on your health as you're more vulnerable and open to infection.

Post-surgical errors can include:

  • Early signs of infection not being noticed
  • Organ problems going unnoticed or untreated
  • An obstruction in your bowel, veins or intestines going unnoticed
  • Being prescribed the wrong medication and suffering side-effects

If you've experienced a surgical error which isn't listed above, then please don't worry - it's likely we can still help. You can speak to us for free on to find out whether you could make a claim.


Can I make a surgeon negligence compensation claim?

All medical professionals, including surgeons, have a duty of care towards their patients. If that duty of care is breached and you are left experiencing pain and suffering, we can help you make it right by making a surgery malpractice claim.

When you speak to us, our empathetic, legally-trained advisors will talk through what happened with you at your pace, in your way. This conversation will help us to understand the circumstances of your surgery and the injury you suffered, as well as the impact which it has had on your life. This will help us to advise you on the next steps towards making a claim. 

When you speak to us, remember that we're here to give you the advice and guidance you need to help you decide what to do next. We'll never pressure you into going ahead with making a claim - that is entirely your decision.

If you do choose to go ahead with making a claim, we will match you up with one of our medical negligence experts from our panel of specialist solicitors. Your solicitor will then guide you through the surgery negligence claims process.


Can surgery negligence claims be made using No Win No Fee?

All of our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis, which means that if your claim is successful, you'll be asked to pay any costs and expenses not paid for by the other side from your compensation. If your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing to anyone. 

At the start of the surgery negligence claims process, your solicitor may need to take out special legal protection insurance for you. This insurance takes the risk out of making a claim, because it means you don't pay anything if you lose your case. You'll never have to pay anything upfront and there are no hidden charges, so you'll never be out of pocket.

In rare circumstances, sometimes it won't be possible for a solicitor to pursue a claim on a No Win No Fee basis. If this is the case, your solicitor will tell you straight away and explain what your options are.

If you're not ready to call us yet about making a claim, another way to see if you may be eligible to make a No Win No Fee claim is to use our claims checker.


Can I speak to you on someone else's behalf about a surgical negligence claim?

Yes - if a friend or a member of your family has been left experiencing pain and suffering because of surgeon negligence, you can speak to us on their behalf.

Some surgical errors can leave the victim unable to claim for compensation themselves - on those occasions, you may be able to make a no win no fee claim on their behalf.

This means you could claim for a friend or family member who is unable to make decisions about the court case themselves.


Can I speak to you about claiming on behalf of a child?

We understand that no amount of compensation can make up for your child experiencing pain and suffering because of surgeon negligence. If your child has been left injured because of surgical negligence, you can contact us to discuss making a surgery compensation claim.


Katie's medical negligence story

Katie's Mum Julie spoke to us to start a medical negligence claim after her daughter was left suffering with appendicitis which went undiagnosed for 17 days.

Julie and Katie talk through what Katie went through and how our specialist medical negligence solicitors were able to help.

Katie's medical negligence story

Julie and Katie talk through what Katie went through and how our specialist medical negligence solicitors were able to help.

How much compensation might I receive in my surgeon negligence claim?

We've seen how much of a difference compensation can make. It can help people like you get back to where they were before they were injured.

Compensation may not be able to take away the distress, pain and injury you've suffered because of surgeon negligence, but it can help you get the support you need - both physical and emotional. It can also take away some of the financial strain your injury may have caused you and your family.

Anything that has left you out of pocket because of your injury will be considered by your specialist medical negligence solicitor when you make a claim - including any future costs or implications.

We look at each case on an individual basis, which means we're unable to give you an exact figure of how much you could claim before you start. But if you do decide you'd like to be put through to a specialist solicitor, they'll usually be able to give you an idea of the amount you might receive.

We monitor the standards of our solicitors to make sure you're getting the best possible service, so you can be sure your solicitor will work hard to get the full amount of compensation you're entitled to.

We understand that it's important for you to have an idea of the amount of compensation you may receive, which is why we created our negligence compensation calculator. Remember that your specialist solicitor will be best placed to give you an accurate figure of the amount which you may receive, once they have begun negotiations with the other side in your case.

However, if you'd like to understand a rough amount of the settlement which could be reached in a case like yours, our industry-leading compensation calculator will give you an estimate.


How long do I have to make a surgical negligence claim?

Generally speaking, the time limit for surgery negligence claims is three years from when you were first told, or it was established, that you had been treated negligently and that your surgery caused you harm or injury.

There is an administrative process which our specialist medical negligence solicitors must complete to get a new claim underway, so if you're approaching the three year mark, it is best to get in touch with us as soon as possible to avoid the claims deadline elapsing - known as being ‘time barred'.

There are two main exceptions to this three-year time limit. 

The first is if you are making a claim on behalf of a child - in this case, there is no time limit for starting a claim up until their 18th birthday. When they turn 18, if you haven't started a claim on their behalf, they then have three years (until their 21st birthday) to start a claim themselves.

The other main exception is if you are making a claim for someone who, for whatever reason, lacks the mental ability to make a surgeon negligence claim themselves.


Find out more about how long you have to start a medical negligence claim.

Is there a time limit on when I can claim?

Find out more about how long you have to start a medical negligence claim.

Patients undergoing surgery deserve to feel like they are in safe hands.

Most surgical procedures are completed successfully but when something goes wrong because of surgeon negligence, a specialist solicitor can help to guide you through the process of making a claim.

Jonathan White

Legal Director, National Accident Helpline

Who pays my compensation in a surgical negligence claim?

Medical negligence claims following NHS surgeon negligence are handled by an organisation called NHS Resolution, which acts like an insurance company.

Every NHS Trust in the UK pays an annual premium to NHS Resolution, which means that there is always a pot of money in place to settle any medical negligence claims made against them. 

If your surgery was carried out by a private healthcare professional, surgical negligence claims work differently. Guidelines from the The General Medical Council (GMC) state that medical practitioners working in private healthcare must take out their own liability insurance to cover negligence claims as they are classed as contractors (while NHS surgeons are classed as employees).

This means that medical negligence cases made following private treatment are usually a little more complex than those made after NHS treatment. It means that the case may take slightly longer to settle and it is more likely that it will go to court.

Whether your surgeon negligence case relates to NHS or private treatment, we can help you - call us for free on for a free, no obligation chat.


What are Surgical ‘Never Events'?

‘Never events' are defined by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as serious, largely preventable safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures are implemented. 

Examples include foreign objects being left in a person's body after an operation or “wrong site surgery” - when surgery is performed on the wrong patient or the wrong site within the body (for example, the wrong knee).

Thankfully, surgical ‘never events' are rare occurrences - according to the CQC, 469 cases were provisionally reported between April 2017 and March 2018 - but we believe that even one case is too many. 

If you or a loved one has been injured because of a surgical ‘never event', we're here to help you. Call our friendly, helpful team on or complete this form to ask us to call you back.


We paired Ben up with a specialist solicitor when an accident left him unable to get out of bed or go to work.

The person I spoke to understood everything that I was going through. It's not about the money, it's about having that help to be able to get back to where you were in the first place.

See more of our customer stories

Can I make a surgeon negligence claim following cosmetic surgery?

As with any type of surgery, surgeons who carry out cosmetic procedures and beauty treatments have a duty of care to ensure your safety and well-being. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly, as surgery malpractice can have long-lasting and traumatic effects.

If you've experienced an injury from cosmetic surgery, not only can claiming compensation for cosmetic surgery negligence help you get your life back to normal as soon as possible, but making a claim can also draw attention to poorly skilled or unqualified organisations.

Complications can be caused by defective products, treatment errors and a poor standard of care after the cosmetic surgery. Some examples of cosmetic surgeries we can help you claim compensation for include:

  • Breast enlargement
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Face or neck lift
  • Liposuction
  • Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty)
  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)

If your experience isn't mentioned here, you may still be able to make a claim. You can get in touch with us for free, impartial advice on .


Why choose National Accident Helpline?

Over our 26 year history, we have helped more than two million people after they've been injured in accidents or because of medical negligence. 

We believe that if you've been left injured and suffering because of surgeon negligence, that's wrong. That's why we work to match injured people up with a specialist solicitor - in surgical negligence cases, a medical negligence expert. Their solicitor can then take on their case and make it right by helping them to access compensation.

We understand the true impact of suffering an injury, and know that it can have a profound effect on your life, your work, your finances and your loved ones. 

While the focus will naturally be on the physical injury you've suffered, we understand that the situation can have a big impact on your mental health too.

When you call us to talk about your experience, you can expect a friendly reception from one of our empathetic, legally-trained advisors. Calls with us are taken at your pace, in your way, because we understand that talking about what has happened to you may be difficult. 

We're here to listen and to offer advice on next steps towards making a claim. If we think you may be able to make a claim, we can pair you up with a specialist solicitor who will then take your case forward - but there is no obligation to go ahead, and we will never put any pressure on you to do so.

So if you, a loved one or a friend is experiencing pain and suffering because of surgeon negligence, we are here to help. You can speak to us for free, impartial advice seven days a week. Our Legal Support Centre is open late on weekdays and throughout the weekend, so we are ready to talk when you are.

To speak to a member of our friendly team, call us on or fill in the form below and we'll call you back.