GP Claims and Doctor Negligence Compensation
For most of us, our first port of call is our GP whenever we encounter a medical problem. In the UK, we have a referral system whereby we first visit our GP, who makes a diagnosis and then refers us to a specialist for further assessment. Alternatively, the GP makes a diagnosis there and then, and prescribes medication or recommends treatment.
It’s therefor important that your GP takes their time to listen to you, takes note of everything you tell them, and then makes the right assessment and judgement on what should happen next. Otherwise, the results can be devastating. Failure to see the right specialist after an illness can prolong it, and even make it worse.
Further, not being referred for x-rays or scans when they should have been part of the assessment could mean that conditions go undetected and therefore untreated. A misdiagnosis of the condition can delay the treatment, at times until it’s too late. Since your GP is ideally your gateway into the treatment you need and the NHS, getting it right is absolutely crucial.
What’s a GP Negligence Claim?
It can be defined in a number of ways. In general, a GP Negligence claim refers to the situations in which the GP has failed in their line of medical care. You’ll understand this concept better as you read along the guide. Nonetheless, when this failure is demonstrated in a court of law (or a legal environment) it can be proved that the GP behaved in a negligent manner. In such a case, a claim against the GP has better chances of being successful.
Once you have demonstrated that your GP was negligent and failed in their duty of care, you can try to file for compensation, which is specifically designed to address the losses you incurred. These losses may include provable financial expenses such as travel costs, medical bills, and lost wages.
The compensation can also include damages that seem a little abstract, including the compensation for the pain and suffering you had to endure as a result of the negligence. With the right legal counsel, you can make sure that medical negligence that wasn’t your fault doesn’t become too costly.
Before making a GP negligence claim, there are a number of considerations you have to make. For example, there’s a limit of three years from the time of the accident for GP negligence claims. Nonetheless, if the patient was under 18 years of age at the time of the accident, the time limit usually applies from their 18th birthday. Aside from these, you should consider the available evidence in support of your claim, and which law firm is best for your case. We’ll cover this and more in this guide.
The Duty of Care of a General Practitioner
The NHS (National Health Service) Act of 2006 outlines that General Practitioners owe their patients a duty of care. As such, GP are expected to give their patients skilled, reasonable care when treating and administering treatments to them. They are therefore expected to have the necessary educational and legal qualifications that are required to practice in the UK.
Reasonable care refers to the fact that the GP should apply reasonable caution during diagnosis, administering treatments, or giving advice. The duty of care parameters are likely to play a key role when filing for compensation.
Failure or Delay to refer the patient for specialised treatment
When we go to see our GP for an appointment, we tend to assume that our ailments are minor, and that the GP will be able to prescribe an easy and effective remedy. But this first appointment can sometimes reveal major problems, which often require the attention of a specialist in the respective field. It might be a condition that’s outside the area of expertise of the GP, meaning that you’ll have to be referred.
Failing to refer a patient when they are in need of specialist treatment can lead to severe consequences on their future health, and might result to the condition worsening or further health issues; when all this could have been avoided. If you feel that your GP failed to refer you or delayed your referral and it led to further complications, you might be eligible to file for a compensation claim.
Some of the common incidents where you might be able to make a claim include:
- Delay in carrying out the right treatment
- Delay in making a referral to a specialist
- Failing to recognise the need for specialist treatment
- Unnecessary delays in treatment
Patient Claim Line understands the devastation that medical negligence can bring to your life. We do understand that you’d like to get your life back on track as soon as you can, and we are here to help take off the burden from your shoulders when making a GP negligence compensation claim. We are always here to listen to you and take on your case and work to deliver the right outcome for you.
How Common is GP Negligence?
Based on the huge volume of patients in need of medical attention in UK hospitals daily, mistakes and accidents can occur. And these accidents can be quite costly. At the same time, an increasing number of patients in the UK are seeking private medical care as well as care for cosmetic issues. Such cases are vulnerable to medical negligence. If you suspect that you have been harmed by a case of GP negligence, you might be eligible for compensation.
What are the different GP and Doctor Negligence Claims?
Since the human body is prone to a wide range of medical conditions and complaints, it shouldn’t be a surprise that cases that result in medical negligence (or GP negligence) might involve a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common examples of GP negligence claims include:
- Surgical complication: Although the majority of GPs won’t perform surgical procedures, they can advise and prescribe on these matters in a negligent manner. If you suffer any form of injuries die to a poorly performed surgical procedure, your GP might be at fault.
- Errors in cosmetic procedures: Errors that result from various cosmetic surgeries have become quite common these days. Errors can result from wrong advice or misdiagnosis, which can be as a result of the doctor or the GP.
- Anaesthesia mistakes: Quite similar to surgical complications, mistakes from anaesthesia can be at the fault of the GP. Failing to diagnose or identify potential complications that could arise from anaesthesia could critically damage your health.
- General Misdiagnosis: your doctor or your GP is expected to provide a correct and timely diagnosis of your condition so that your illness is treated before your health worsens. In case they fail to do this, you can prove their inaction made your situation worse, and make a GP negligence claim.
- Care Negligence: If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, or you live in an assisted care facility and sustain injuries from improper care, it’s possible to make a compensation claim.
Ideally, a GP negligence claim can lead to different kinds of health-related accidents. In fact, even giving the wrong advice can be termed as a negligent action.
What are the different kinds of GP Negligence Claims?
Although each compensation claim has its own unique considerations and qualities, it’s possible to categorise the majority of the claims into four broad categories:
- Contributory Negligence: in these cases, it’s usually decided that the action or inaction of the patient was a contributing factor to their health concerns. For example, if a GP had prescribed medicine but the patient didn’t adhere or administer, the patient is deemed responsible, and therefore, no compensation is likely to be awarded.
- Comparative Negligence: if the patient is also liable for the different kinds of damages they suffered, this is termed as comparative negligence. In such a case, the patient is responsible, though the GP is not exonerated. In most cases, a court ruling determines the balance of liability between both parties, and also settles the compensation claims in accordance to the ruling.
- Vicarious liability: this refers to a situation where you choose to make your compensation claim against the organisation that’s responsible for employing and managing the defendant. For example, filing a GP claim against the NHS can be termed as a vicarious liability claim.
- Gross negligence: of the four categories, the most serious when it comes to the medical profession is gross negligence. Keeping in mind that GPs, doctors, and other medical staff usually have a duty to put their patient’s health as a priority, cases of gross negligence typically involve them disregarding this completely. Aside from compensation claims, most gross negligence cases usually go to court and any guilty party has their medical license revoked.
Based on the particular circumstances of your case, our experts are able to tell if your case matches any of the four main categories of medical negligence cases.
What to Do As a Victim of GP or Doctor Negligence
If you are a victim of medical negligence, there are several steps that you can take to make sure that your compensation claim is successful. In such a situation, it’s advisable that you:
- Collect your evidence: having records of everything associated with the case is important. Make sure that you have all statements, notes, prescriptions, and letters issued by your GP or doctor in relation to your medical issue.
- Seek medical assessment elsewhere: the first reason for this is to make sure that you are not currently being mistreated. When you seek advice from a different doctor other than the one you currently have can help you gain a different perspective about your health. Secondly, seeking advice from a different GP or doctor will let you determine the long-term health implications of the negligence of your current GP, along with the collaboration for any potential claim you may file for.
- Find a suitable GP claim lawyer: considering the complexity of a potential lawsuit, it’s essential to have the right legal counsel. For example, when you speak to our team, we’ll arrange for you to have a medical assessment from a local professional doctor. We can also offer you a free session to consult us on how to go about your case.
If you decide to go on with the case, we can act as your proxy. As such, we will deal with the GP or organisation in question, file the correct paperwork, and handle the process of seeking compensation on your behalf.
Filing GP Negligence Claims on Behalf of another Person
In cases where the GP negligence has led to the death of someone close to you, or in a case where the affected person is incapable of claiming for compensation on their own, it’s possible for a third party to seek compensation on their behalf.
If you can prove that their GP was negligent, and you are either a spouse, parent, or civil partner of the victim, you can claim for what is known as bereavement award. This is normally claimed through the estate of the deceased party, and it currently stands at just below the £13,000 mark. Additionally, it’s possible to claim compensation for funeral costs, along with compensation for the pain and suffering that the victim endured due to the negligence.
For parents that are claiming for their deceased children, you can do so provided that the child was under 18 years old. In cases where a spouse or civil partner was financially dependent on the deceased, it’s possible to make a dependency claim and make sure that the family doesn’t suffer financially due to a GP’s negligence.
How to Begin a Compensation Claim for GP Negligence
The quickest and perhaps the easiest way of filing a GP negligence compensation claim is hiring legal counsel. For instance, if you decide to call our offices, we’ll get started by arranging how you can take part in a free, consultation session with no obligations. The purpose of this initial consultation is providing you with an expert opinion on the merits of your case.
We’ll assess the available evidence and discuss with you in great detail about the case. When filing a doctor’s negligence compensation claim, there are three key things that you need to keep in mind. You need to be able to demonstrate and prove that:
- The GP owed you some duty of care
- You suffered significant harm due to the negligence of your GP
- The GP failed in their duty of medical care
Once the initial consultation session is complete, if we believe that you have a viable claim, we will provide you with the necessary guidance on how to proceed from there. We’ll also provide you with fact-finding assistance to collect more evidence for the case, have a medical assessment conducted by your local doctor, and discuss our No Win No Fee arrangement with you.
What you can Claim Due to GP Negligence
In case you’re considering filing a compensation claim for your GP’s Negligence, you might be interested in knowing exactly what you can recover in damages. Keep in mind that it’s not only the health concerns themselves that can be compensated. In fact, if you have the right legal counsel, you can be awarded compensation in form of:
- General damages: these include the pain and suffering that you may have endured as a result of the negligence. They can also include the impact of the consequences to your daily life along with the losses to your compensation.
- Loss of earnings: if the consequences forced you to take time away from work, the wages that you might have lost will also be accounted for in the compensation settlement. Moreover, in some cases, it’s possible to claim for the loss of future earnings.
- Care claim: if the health concerns or injuries required you to hire a personal carer or a nurse, you might be compensated for these costs through a successful claim.
- Medical expenses: these may include the need for physiotherapy, specialised equipment, private treatment, and rehabilitation.
- Travel expenses: these may include any expenses incurred for travelling back and forth for medical appointment, including train fare and fuel costs.
So, if you suffered injuries or other negative consequences as a result of the negligence of your GP, being able to seek compensation for such expenses can go a long way in restoring financial balance in your life.
How Much Compensation You can expect
It’s not easy to determine the amount of compensation you’ll receive after a successful GP negligence claim. However, we’ve included a table below to serve as a rough estimate calculator for GP negligence claims, and let you see some pre-determined figures based on the average payout seen in the past. However, don’t forget that each claim is unique, and your payout amount will be different too.
NHS Compensation Claims for GP Negligence
The NHS is expected to offer routine prescriptions, screenings, surgeries, treatment of mild or severe conditions, as well as end of life care to the patients. Plus, just like GPs, NHS owes the patient a duty of care to exercise caution and skill when handling medical cases. Nonetheless, due to the sheer number of patients, the NHS might be unable to offer the same quality of healthcare to all of its patients.
Fortunately, we have worked on so many NHS cases involving GP negligence, and we have been successful in helping many of our clients get compensation for surgical negligence, misdiagnosis, incorrect medical advice, and errors in prescription.
Currently, there’s a 3-year statute of limitation on NHS negligence cases, which is standard in lots of compensation claims. The NHS has an in house channel for filing complaints, and it provides procedures that could offer you a solution before you result into legal action. These two are mutually exclusive, though it’s possible to hire some legal assistance once you make a complaint. If you want to learn more about how to make an NHS GP compensation claim, be sure to call our offices for a free consultation.
No-Win No-Fee Policy
One of the most difficult parts of filing for GP negligence claims is perhaps dealing with all the finances. After going through the health scare, it’s often a tough battle to claim for GP negligence. This is especially the case if you had to purchase expensive equipment or take some time away from work, or even hire some medical personnel to help with your recovery.
This is why we provide our clients with a No Win No Fee arrangement. You don’t have to pay anything upfront, and you don’t need to worry about the case costing too much or mounting debts. We’ll simply take our service charge from your final compensation amount, which can only happen if the case is successful. With such an arrangement, you can seek for compensation with the peace of mind of no financial commitment.