How To Sue A Hospital | A No Win No Fee Guide To Claiming Compensation

By Cat Todd. Last Updated 27th February 2024. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to sue a hospital. Have you experienced suffering as a result of a hospital’s failures? Suing a hospital for negligence may be possible if you can establish with evidence that it breached the duty of care that it owed you and this breach directly caused you harm. Here at How To Sue, we can utilise our years of experience handling medical and clinical negligence claims to help guide you towards successfully winning the compensation that you are entitled to.

Claims against large-scale organisations like the NHS can be a particular challenge to make. However, by seeking help from a solicitor, did you know that your claim’s chances of success could increase, in addition to the value of your payout?

a solicitor explaining how to sue a hospital to a client

 

In any case, it’s always best to seek help from a professional. So, if it’s specialist advice that you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today. For no cost, we provide one-to-one consultations to get a better understanding of your case and offer our expert advice on how best to proceed.

If it’s legal assistance that you’re looking for, then our panel of medical negligence lawyers are on hand waiting to handle your case. If we believe you to have a valid case for compensation, then we can connect you with a solicitor to begin working with you right away. What’s more, you can always expect to receive a No Win No Fee service from our panel. This way, we won’t take any money from you if we don’t win your case, so you don’t have to worry about any financial risk when making your claim.

So, for specialist advice or legal assistance, you can trust our team to help you. Our advisors can be reached any day, any time, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch using one of the following methods:

Select a Section

  1. How To Sue A Hospital
  2. Suing A Hospital – What Time Limits Are Involved?
  3. How Can A Hospital Breach Their Duty Of Care?
  4. Hospital Negligence Stats
  5. What Should I Do If I Experience Medical Negligence?
  6. What Is The Average Payout For A Hospital Claim?
  7. No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Claims
  8. Additional Guides On How To Sue A Hospital 

How To Sue A Hospital

If you believe that you could have grounds to sue a hospital, we’ll address some of the following questions commonly asked by prospective claimants in your situation, such as:

  • Why would you sue a hospital?
  • What is a hospital’s duty of care and how could they breach it?
  • How much is the average payout for a medical negligence claim against a hospital?

In addition, we’ll offer some of our top tips on what steps you could take towards  successfully winning the compensation that you deserve for your suffering, including:

  • What you should do if you experience medical negligence from a hospital
  • How entering into a No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you
  • Where to find the best medical negligence lawyer to handle your case

Once again, we’d like to reiterate that whether you’re looking for specialist advice or legal assistance, you can trust our team to help you. Our advisors can be reached any day, any time, and could connect you with our panel of medical negligence lawyers to begin working with you right away. So, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

A plastic cup of pills spills onto a table

What Is A Hospital’s Duty Of Care?

If you’re wondering whether you could have grounds to sue a hospital, you must be able to prove the following for you to have a valid medical negligence claim:

  • The hospital owed you a duty of care
  • This duty of care was breached by the hospital
  • You were caused to suffer as a result of this breach by the hospital

Typically, grounds for medical negligence can be established if the suffering that you experienced was avoidable. In other words, if the hospital adhered to the standards expected of them in their duty of care, then your suffering wouldn’t have occurred. Therefore, if you can prove that the hospital’s failures were responsible, you may be able to hold them liable.

Suing A Hospital – What Time Limits Are Involved?

When suing a hospital for pain and suffering, it’s important to be aware of the time limits that need to be adhered to. Generally, when suing the hospital, you have 3 years from the date you were injured to start a claim. This time limit can be found in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are certain scenarios where it can still be possible to sue a hospital following the expiration of this time limit.

For instance, some injuries are not always detectable immediately after you have sustained them. Because of this, the 3-year time limit can sometimes begin from the date you become aware of your injuries and the fact they were caused by negligence. This alternative start date, known as the date of knowledge, must be backed up by evidence such as medical records.

Additionally, claims involving children do not have a time limit imposed on them until the date the injured child turns 18 years old. Before then, the claim can only be made on behalf of the child by an appointed litigation friend.

If the claimant has a reduced mental capacity, their time limit is also suspended. Only if they reach a point where they are deemed capable of claiming for themselves will the 3-year time limit begin. As with child claims, before this date, a litigation friend can be appointed to claim on their behalf.

A nurse stands over a patients bed in a hospital

How Can A Hospital Breach Their Duty Of Care?

In order to help ensure safe and proper practice, hospitals owe their patients a duty of care as mentioned above. Sometimes, a breach of this duty is easy to spot. For example, if a practitioner acts in a way that no practitioner should, diverging from usual standards of practice. For more examples of how a hospital could breach their duty of care, please refer to the next section.

Many cases of medical negligence can be less straightforward to establish liability, even if the practitioner accepts your account of their actions. As the courts widely accept that things can go wrong without negligence being to blame, the dispute often lies in whether your practitioner’s actions were negligent. Typically, negligence sees a practitioner breach their duty of care to their patient through their actions.

Pregnancy And Birth Injuries

If you’ve received improper care that resulted in harm to either you or your baby, you could have grounds to sue the hospital for their negligence. 

The following are some examples of hospital failures that could take place in a maternity ward:

  • A birth injury was suffered by your baby as a result of receiving improper NICU care
  • Fetal distress was suffered by your baby as a result of a mismanaged procedure in an emergency
  • A traumatic birth injury was suffered by your baby as a result of excessive pressure to their head (for example, through the use of forceps) 
  • Birth asphyxia was suffered by your baby as a result of oxygen deprivation caused by a failure to deliver them quickly enough 

A doctor in a white coat and blue gloves gives a diagnosis to a patient

Prescription Errors

According to a recent NHS report, 1 in 20 prescriptions given to patients were wrong. The mistakes that led to these dangerous instances included:

  • Incorrect doses taken due to insufficient information accompanying the prescription
  • Lack of monitoring of the patient’s symptoms post-prescription
  • Insufficient checks given to patients with multiple prescriptions (16% more risk of error associated with each additional medication prescribed)

Misdiagnosis

If you’ve been given a misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis completely, then you could be entitled to sue the hospital responsible providing that you can prove that their failures led you to suffer. 

Whether you feel as though the diagnosis you received may be incorrect or think you should have received a diagnosis but didn’t, you should always listen to your instincts. By addressing the issue with a healthcare provider, you could explore the alternatives together, in attempts to find an answer to your concerns.

Hospital Negligence Stats

In this section, we’ll explore some recent statistics concerning medical negligence claims, including some information on success rates and valuations.

According to a 2019 report by the NHS, their organisation received over 10,000 clinical negligence claims that year alone. There was an increasing rate of cases mediated by the organisation before going to trial, standing at 6 to 1. The total value of these clinical negligence claims sat at around £83.4 billion.

Of the 10,678 clinical negligence claims reportedly received by the NHS, the most frequent specialist departments concerned included:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Orthopaedic surgery (musculoskeletal related)
  • Obstetrics (pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum related)

Financially, the report saw that the highest valued clinical negligence claims included those in the following fields:

  • Obstetrics (£2.5 billion)
  • Emergency medicine (£422 million)
  • Paediatrics (£333 million)
  • Orthopaedic surgery (£216 million)
  • Neurology (£147 million)

Another NHS report into medical negligence explored the occurrence of Never Events, defined as serious incidents that were entirely preventable. In 2020, a total of 205 Never Events were reported to have taken place between April and October. The most frequent incidents included:

  • Surgeries performed on the wrong site
  • Foreign objects retained in the body post-surgery
  • Gastric tubes misplaced leading feed to be incorrectly administered
  • Medication administered via the wrong route
  • Incorrect implants or prosthesis 

Whatever type of medical negligence that you suffered, it’s never acceptable. Providing you can prove that your suffering was preventable and was caused by the hospital’s failures, you could have grounds to make a medical negligence claim.

To learn more about what you should do if you fall victim to medical negligence, please see the next section of this article for some of our top tips on the steps that you can take. Alternatively, our advisors can be reached any day, any time, to provide you with free support in your time of need. What’s more, they could connect you with our panel of medical negligence lawyers to see that you get the compensation you deserve. 

So, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today for a free consultation.

A doctor puts a broken leg into a cast with bandages

What Should I Do If I Experience Medical Negligence?

As claims against large-scale organisations like the NHS can be a particular challenge to make, being as well prepared as you can be is crucial. In this section, we’ll talk you through some steps that you could take to increase your claim’s chances of success.

If you wish to sue a hospital operated by the NHS, you could complain through their official complaints procedure. This could allow you to learn more about the circumstances of your situation through the findings of their investigation. What’s more, their findings could influence your decision on whether to pursue legal action or not.

However, by seeking help from a solicitor, did you know that your claim’s chances of success could increase, in addition to the value of your payout? 

If it’s legal assistance you’re looking for, our panel of medical negligence lawyers is on hand to handle your case. If we believe you to have a valid case for compensation, then we can connect you with a solicitor to begin working with you right away. What’s more, you can always expect to receive a No Win No Fee service from our panel. This way, we won’t take any money from you if we don’t win your case, so you don’t have to worry about any financial risk when making your claim.

So, whether you’re looking for legal guidance or a solicitor, please contact us today for your free consultation.

What Is The Average Payout For A Hospital Claim?

In most cases, compensation is categorised as either general damages or special damages. These split payouts by two different types of damage caused by the incident, much like personal injury claims. 

To determine an exact figure for general damages—compensation awarded to account for the physical pain, psychological suffering and impact on your quality of life—a solicitor can organise a medical assessment with an independent specialist. This will attempt to evaluate the extent of your suffering and evidence the claim.

Calculating General Damages With A Personal Injury Claim Calculator

When wondering how much compensation you could be eligible to receive, it’s common to seek help from online ‘personal injury claims calculators’ or ‘medical negligence claims calculators’. However, we would advise against the use of these tools, as they can generate figures that are simply generalisations.

Instead, why not get in touch with our team today for a free consultation with one of our specialist advisors? With years of experience in the claims process, we know that your case is completely unique. Therefore, it deserves to be treated as such, particularly if you’d like an accurate settlement estimate. 

In the meantime, please see the table below for some example compensation brackets for general damages:

InjuryCompensation
Multiple Severe Injuries And Special DamagesUp to £1,000,000+
Brain damage (moderately severe)
£219,070 to £282,010
Back (severe) (i)
£91,090 to £160,980
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (severe)
£59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (moderate)£8,180 to £23,150
Kidney Injuries (a)£169,400 to £210,400
Kidney Injuries (b)Up to £63,980
Bowel Injuries (a)Up to £184,200
Bowel Injuries (b)Up to £150,110

Special Damages

In addition to physical and psychological harm accounted for in general damages, special damages can also be claimed. Such a payout could help you recover any costs that the incident in question caused you, both past and future. Therefore, you could be restored to the financial position that you once had prior to your suffering.

Costs with the potential to be recovered include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical fees (e.g. prescription costs)
  • Care costs (either gracious care or professional care)
  • Travel expenses (e.g. taxi fares to and from medical appointments)
  • Loss of earnings (also considers any potential for future loss of earnings)

However, please note that if you intend to recover special damages, you must be able to evidence them. This could be done using receipts, bank statements and the like, but without them, you risk losing out on compensation.

Surgical instruments lay on a sterile field

No Win No Fee Hospital Negligence Claims

Now that you know more about hospital negligence claims, let’s explore how medical negligence solicitors could help you through the claims process. 

While you aren’t obligated to work with a legal professional, their expertise can come with certain benefits; for example, medical negligence solicitors can help you negotiate a settlement. They can also help you collect evidence to support your claim. 

Our panel of solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This means that you don’t need to pay them upfront to start working on your claim, nor do you have to pay for their services if your claim fails.

If your hospital negligence claim succeeds, they will take a success fee. This fee is deducted from your compensation. However, the percentage that they can take is capped by law, and will be agreed upon with you before you get started. 

Contact Our Team

Our team of advisors are here to help if you’d like to learn more about claiming for hospital negligence. Get in touch today to claim your free consultation, and a member of our team may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. To get started:

Additional Guides On How To Sue A Hospital

Check out more of our medical negligence guides below:

Also, learn more about how to sue for data breach compensation.

We hope this guide on how to sue a hospital has been useful for you. If you would like to speak to an advisor about hospital negligence claims, then you can get in touch with How To Sue using the contact details featured in this guide.

Guide by Mav

Edited by Bill