Can you sue the NHS for negligence?
August 16, 2020
In a word? Maybe. But when you really have to weigh the question “can you sue the NHS for negligence”, it’s often best to assess your goals.
Can you sue the NHS for negligence: What Are Your Goals?
So let’s begin with the obvious things upfront to evaluate what you want from the NHS. Much like with any project or programme, there are expectations and goals you define at the outset. They might evolve over time, in fact, but the principle remains: what do you want to get out of this?
More often than not, we’ve found that compensatory damage and better clinical performance don’t always go together. And it’s universal too, as we work with a host of law firms specialising in NHS negligence. First, we’ll tackle the desires of those victims who might favour improvements in medical procedures.
Why a Complaint Might Suit Your Needs
The treatment you receive from the NHS might fall short of expectations. But we ask of ye these questions three:
- Are you suffering from a legitimate injury or illness?
- If so, are you positive that the injury or illness is a direct result of the NHS treatment* you receive?
- Moreover, are you suffering greatly as a consequence of those failures?
Lingering doubt with any of these three things might make a suing the NHS nigh on impossible. The system faces stress to begin with, as an entire department (NHS Resolution) is in place to handle claims. For clinical negligence claimants alone, the NHS in 2019-20 paid out £2.3 billion overall.
Thinking about that strictly from a perspective on the strain on NHS Resolution, this might not be worthy of a No Win No Fee basis claim. Accordingly, our legal advice is often that a medical accident claim that might seem speculative and spurious might better suit the NHS complaints procedure.
What does this mean to your complaints?
The above details are meant to illustrate just how strenuous and difficult the NHS negligence claim process can be. In contrast, by pursuing instead the NHS complaint process, it’s important to understand that you can:
- Make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again to someone else;
- Simultaneously helps the NHS streamline and improve their services.
- Accordingly, the NHS complaints procedure might be a more altruistic way to achieve your goals.
You have to look to yourself, too: the amount of compensation you might receive is one thing, but peace of mind is another. Whilst there’s no legal costs thanks to our Conditional Fee Agreements,^ you – the victim – have a goal in pursuing a better NHS performance. For that to happen, it’s reasonable to conclude that you want to be an influencer through complaints, rather than a detractor through a claim.
Can You Sue the NHS for Negligence: Compensation
The other type of customer, in general, faces a more difficult predicament when it’s clear their injury links to NHS treatment. In short, qualifying your situation effectively for compensation claim might be the way forward. Nevertheless, take some things into consideration so you can determine if you have grounds to bring a claim.
The three questions we asked in the previous section, for instance. If these are full ticket “Yes” across the board, you open up the possibility for a successful claim. To boost your potential to claim, though, it’s wise to choose an expert solicitor who can answer “Can I sue the NHS for negligence” question definitively.
Time limits, firstly, are critical to your compensation claim. The key number to remember with claims is three years, namely:
- you have three years from the date of the incident in question, or;
- three years from when we can legally establish that the negligence occurs and is responsible for your injury.
So what else might a legal expert we appoint ask of you, for instance?
Have you suffered any damages as a result?
Whether it be special damages or general damages, the new situation you find yourself in must tie back to the surgery. The financial picture, therefore, is a critical element of building a strong case regarding clinical negligence claims.
Damages are generally broken down into two categories:
- Special Damages: essentially, special damages cover actual financial losses and expenses as a result of your injury or illness.
- General Damages: general damages, in contrast, are often the simple pain, suffering and loss of amenity from the case.
Special Damage Examples
For example, you might incur new expenses as a result of the faulty medical treatment you endure. These expenses can add up and would constitute damages that you deserve recompense for. After all, were it not for the healthcare professional’s error(s), you wouldn’t be out of pocket in the first place.
In turn, the accident might alter your career path. Perhaps it even keeps you out of work, as you need time off to receive rehabilitation or other kinds of treatment. As a result, the potential loss of earnings can paint another telling portrait of your financial situation. This is especially real regarding temporary roles or contractors, too.
General Damage Examples
A general damage example can include those situations where your general quality of life suffers. For instance, such matters might affect companionship or relationship matters. Or, it may alter one’s ability to carry out everyday tasks you had previously taken for granted.
Moreover, you may have a unique career – oil rig operator, actor, model, athlete, even a role that requires basic, reliable motor functions that you’ve lost as a result of the incident. To lose out on the potential certain unique positions have, in turn, might leave you at a distinct disadvantage as far as starting over.
Also, the actual suffering and hit to you confidence is nothing to sneer at. In fact, the injury/incident itself could prove to be traumatic for you, thus altering your mental outlook and stability. Now that mental injury is on par with physical injury and increasingly recognised across the legal profession, a diminishment to your mental well-being is a serious matter worthy of compensating.
What Makes The Medical Negligence Experts Unique
TMNE stand out because we work with a wide variety of authorised legal firms dedicated to NHS negligence cases. Legal specialists, in other words, that can ensure
ensure that any time anyone approaches us for advice on making a clinical negligence claim against the NHS, or another medical provider, we will listen sensitively and advise you on whether or not you have grounds for a claim against the NHS, or another medical provider.