Physiotherapy Negligence Claims
Physiotherapy is a specialised branch of medicine that can help people of all ages. Though primarily known for treating back pain and sporting injuries, a physiotherapist’s knowledge can also help individuals who have been hurt in accidents or who are struggling with reduced mobility caused by ageing.
Whether you pay to have physiotherapy from a private practitioner or it is something you access through the NHS, you should not expect that your treatment to leave you struggling more than before. Physiotherapy negligence is a small area of medical negligence, but one in which solicitors at The Medical Negligence Experts have experience handling. If you have been hurt as the result of negligent physio treatment, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
What is Physiotherapy Negligence?
Physiotherapists treat injuries to muscles and tendons, as well as areas affecting circulation. Patients seek physiotherapy for treatment when injury or illness has limited their flexibility and range of movement. Some patients have physio to help them recover from a sporting injury or damage sustained in a fall or car accident. Others have it to help combat the symptoms of a degenerative condition or the natural effects of ageing.
The nature of the treatment delivered by a physiotherapist can take various forms depending on the type of injury. For example, some patients may benefit from hydrotherapy, while others will respond better to manipulation and massage. Physiotherapy negligence occurs when a patient receives an injury due to an avoidable error their therapist has made.
Examples of physiotherapy negligence are:
- Using an incorrect technique, or being overly vigorous when manipulating a patient’s body.
- Using an inappropriate type of therapy for the patient’s needs.
- Inadequate assessment of a patient’s condition before starting treatment.
A case study of physio negligence featured a woman who had an incorrect diagnosis from her physiotherapist. She subsequently received the wrong treatment which compounded her injury and caused her a significant quantity of pain. The physiotherapist was found to be negligent as he diagnosed her with a condition without having all available information, including a scan, which is the only way his diagnosis could have been accurate. The effects of the negligent treatment are ongoing, and the evidence was sufficient to prove not only was the physiotherapist negligent in the way he diagnosed her condition but that she suffered physical harm as a result.
How Can We Help?
Although we do our best to make it as straightforward and stress-free for our clients as possible, processing a claim for medical negligence can take a long time. We always advise clients to get legal advice as early as possible – even if they are still having ongoing corrective treatment – as the earlier a claim starts, the more likely it is to end with the best result for them.
The Medical Negligence Experts will gather the necessary evidence to prove your injury or illness was caused by negligent treatment and negotiate with the responsible party on your behalf. The majority of medical negligence cases never reach court as a settlement is agreed before then, however, should this not be possible we will continue to represent your best interest until a resolution is reached.
Medical Negligence Claims FAQ
We are happy to give you expert legal advice to answer any initial questions you have about whether you are eligible to claim compensation for physiotherapy negligence and how to do so. We offer this consultation free of charge and without any obligation, for you to proceed with an application, so you have nothing to lose by talking to us.
To help you work out whether claiming compensation is the right choice for you, we have provided a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about medical negligence claims and their answers. Contact us if your question is not listed here or if you want any more information about how we can help you or your loved one who has been hurt through negligent physiotherapy.
Can I claim compensation for physiotherapy negligence?
Have you been injured from physiotherapy treatment? Do you believe this was caused by the therapist’s mistake? Did it happen in the last three years? If you can respond positively to these questions, then you may be entitled to be paid damages for your injury.
A successful compensation claim for medical negligence requires more than merely you to have an injury. You, as the claimant, need to prove that your injury could have been avoided and that it was caused by your caregiver’s mistake. While it is accepted that most treatments have a degree of risk, your physiotherapist has a responsibility to make sure you are aware of these and to minimise the chance of you being hurt. Your claim will need to show they acted in a way which falls below what is considered an acceptable standard of care in that field.
To claim compensation, it is not enough to have suffered negligent treatment without a resulting injury – both damages and causation need to be proven for your request to have legal merit. Your solicitor will help gather the evidence to prove your claim, which may include an assessment by an independent specialist in the field of physiotherapy who has experience of acting as an expert witness in physiotherapy negligence claims. Even if both you and your practitioner know their negligence caused your injury, without proof to back up this up you will be unable to pursue a claim.
Is there a time limit for starting a physiotherapy negligence claim?
There are strictly enforceable timelines for bringing about a medical negligence compensation claim. In most instances, this must be done within three years from the date of your injury or from the date you became aware your injury was caused by negligent care, whichever is the most recent. The exception is if you were under the age of 18, in which case you have until your 21st birthday to start a claim. Parents of minors can avoid this delay by starting a claim on behalf of their child.
Can I raise a physio negligence compensation claim for someone else?
If a family member or very close friend is unable to raise a claim themselves – either because they are legally unable to manage their finances and affairs or because they have not yet turned 18, you can act as their Litigation Friend and raise a claim on their behalf. Compensation will go into a trust to be managed until they come of age or can make financial decisions for themselves. It can also be used by trustees to cover the cost of any additional care or treatment the victim may need. Because the payment of damages will go into a trust, it needs to be approved by a judge in court.
Will I have to go to court?
It is very unlikely your claim will go to court. In nearly all instances (98% for NHS medical negligence compensation claims) compensation requests are resolved out of court. We may recommend you submit your application to be heard by a judge if the other party denies liability but you have the evidence that shows they were negligent, or if they do not offer a fair amount of compensation.
You do not need to worry if your claim does go to court. We will continue to support and advise you and can arrange for a barrister to represent you on the day. Claims are heard in a civil court before a judge. These courtrooms typically look like offices or conference rooms, there is no jury, and the judge will be wearing normal business attire. Your barrister will present your case to the judge, who may ask a few questions for clarification. The defendant’s legal team will give their evidence, and a judge will make their decision on whether they were responsible partially or fully for your injury, and how much compensation should be paid. Their decision is final.
We always try to resolve claims out of court not only to avoid extra stress for you but because it can extend the time your application takes to process. We will continue to negotiate for a favourable outcome even once a court date has been assigned, and it is not unheard of for an acceptable offer to be made on the day of a scheduled hearing.
How much compensation will I receive for my physio negligence claim?
A medical negligence claim can take up several years of your life, so it is understandable you want to know what may be waiting for you at the end of it. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the type of injury and how it has impacted your life. General damages will be awarded in recognition of your pain and suffering, while special damages cover any additional expenses you have had as the result of your injury. Special damages can also take into account future losses like lost earnings if you are unable to continue working in the same capacity, or ongoing medical costs.
How will I fund my physio negligence claim?
There is no public funding available to cover the cost of legal fees for medical negligence claims. You may have some legal cover under an existing insurance policy, or you could have the savings to pay your lawyer directly and cover the cost of the defendant’s legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful.
By far the most popular way to fund the cost of claiming compensation for medical negligence with a No Win No Fee* agreement. All lawyers at The Medical Negligence Experts work on a No Win No Fee basis to make it affordable for everyone to access specialist legal advice and representation.
The main benefit of a No Win No Fee* agreement is that you do not have to pay your legal fees if you do not receive any compensation. If you win, your legal costs are typically covered by the other party, and you only need to pay your lawyer a success fee, which is a percentage of your total compensation agreed at the start of the claim and which will not be more than 25%.
As your lawyer is taking on the financial risks associated with claiming compensation, they will only accept your request if they believe there is a good (above 60%) chance it will be a success. While they will not charge you if you lose, you may be liable for paying the defendant’s legal costs. These may be covered by insurance you already have, but if not we can advise on an After the Event insurance policy which will protect you from paying this expense from your pocket.
The only costs you may have to pay upfront are those for any medical expert reports, travel expenses, and court and barrister fees if your claim goes before a judge. As with your lawyer’s costs, if you win the defendant normally repays these costs.
How long will my medical negligence claim take?
Most medical negligence claims we handle are resolved somewhere between 18 months and two years after they begin. The exceptions are those that go to court, which can take over two years. If the extent of a patient’s injuries is not clear, for example, if they have suffered brain damage but doctors are unable to immediately know the magnitude of the brain function that is affected, claims can take several years. If liability is not disputed, we can ask for an interim compensation payment to be made so that you do not suffer financial hardship during this time.
How do I start a claim for compensation?
The first step in your successful compensation claim is to talk to The Medical Negligence Experts. We will investigate and let you know whether you have legal grounds to make a claim. If you agree to proceed, then we will notify the other party of your intention in writing before beginning to gather the evidence that will support your claim.
At The Medical Negligence Experts, we have a great track record of providing our clients with excellent customer service as well as top-quality legal support. We will do all we can to make the process as easy as possible, starting by providing you with free legal advice at a time that suits you.
Contact The Medical Negligence Experts today and find out how we can help.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: the level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Expert, Friendly Solicitors
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert phsyio negligence solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a physio negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.