Nursing Negligence Claims
Nurses are often unsung heroes of medicine. They are the ones who care for patients when they are their most vulnerable, monitoring their condition, administering medication and doing all they can to ensure a patient is comfortable during their treatment and recovery. Hospitals can feel alien and impersonal but nurses provide the personal touch that is as vital to emotional well-being as it is to physical. As hardworking as they are, nurses are human and can make mistakes, and when nursing negligence causes an avoidable injury the consequences can be hard to bear.
Regardless of whether they are receiving treatment in a private clinic or an NHS setting, patients should expect always to get a standard of care that is at least acceptable, if not better. If you believe a nurse looking after you or your loved one has breached their duty of care by acting in a negligent manner, and that it directly led to your injury or illness, talk to The Medical Negligence Experts. We represent victims of medical negligence around the country, helping them to obtain maximum compensation so they can recover and move forward with their lives.
What is Nursing Negligence?
Nursing negligence is when the standard of nursing care a patient receives is below what is considered acceptable. Not all negligence causes injury. For example, a vulnerable patient falls out of bed because it was left in an unstable position, but suffers no injury. It can be argued the standard of care they received was poor, but there is no injury and therefore no cause to claim damages. If the same patient fell and broke their hip, they could be able to claim compensation for an injury caused by negligent care.
A nursing negligence claim requires two key criteria to be met to be valid:
- That your nurse had a duty of care and that they breached this in a way that was avoidable. We need to prove they did not provide the same standard of attention that you could reasonably expect from someone in their job.
- That their negligence directly caused you injury or harm. The onus is on the claimant – you – to demonstrate that you would not have suffered damage had you not been the victim of the negligent care. Depending on your circumstances this may be difficult to prove, which is why some medical negligence cases can take many months.
Examples of nursing negligence can include:
- Failing to monitor a patient adequately, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
- Failing to identify adverse changes in a patient’s condition.
- Incorrect administering of medication.
- Inadequate care when moving a patient, causing fractures or other injuries.
- Failure to take necessary precautions to prevent pressure sores.
- Omitting to communicate relevant information about a patient’s condition.
- Incorrectly following instructions for care left by the doctor in charge.
- Not following adequate hygiene procedures to prevent infection.
Nursing negligence can happen in any medical venue including hospitals, care homes and doctors’ surgeries, and in both private and NHS practices. If you believe you have been harmed as the result of nursing negligence, contact The Medical Negligence Experts.
An example case study of a successful compensation claim for nursing negligence involved a patient with a severe allergy to latex. This was clearly recorded in their notes, and the patient was wearing a wristband which highlighted her allergy. However, a nurse sent the patient into severe anaphylactic shock while attempting to administering medical care while wearing latex gloves. The patient spent two weeks in intensive care and now suffers from an extreme form of asthma and two other life changing conditions which have meant she has had to give up work and is unable to care for her children without assistance.
As with doctors and dentists, nurses are legally obliged to obtain informed consent before delivering treatment or administering medication. Negligence through lack of informed consent can happen in any setting and is often associated with midwives and birth negligence. Midwives have a responsibility to ensure an expectant mother is aware of all the associated risks with her birthing options, including knowing things like what could happen if she or her baby suffer distress during a home birth and the type of intervention that may be possible in a midwife-led birthing unit.
How Can We Help?
Lawyers at The Medical Negligence Experts treat every case as unique. Though they may share similar characteristics, there is no such thing to us as a “standard” claim because no clients’ circumstances are identical. We appreciate that making a compensation claim for medical negligence can feel daunting, particularly if you are still recovering physically from your ordeal. We do our best to be approachable, to avoid legal and medical jargon, and to keep your best interests at the heart of every dealing with have with you, and regarding you.
We are happy to offer you a free legal consultation so you can find out more about the process of claiming compensation for nursing negligence and whether you may have valid grounds to do so. There is absolutely no obligation for you to proceed with a claim after talking to us if you decide it is not the right course of action for you. We have listed some of the most frequently asked questions we receive below, but if your question is not listed or you want more detailed information just fill in our online form and we will call at a time that suits you.
Can I claim compensation for nurse negligence?
If you have received an injury that can be formally linked to negligent care, you may be able to claim compensation. We assess each new application carefully to make sure it has a good chance of success before we recommend whether someone proceed with a claim.
How is negligence assessed on a nurse negligence case?
A nurse has a duty of care towards their patients to take all appropriate actions to minimise risks that could endanger their patient’s health. Negligence is commonly determined using the Bolam test, which asks whether the care you received “reaches the standard of a responsible body of medical opinion”. If it can be argued that your nurse did not act in accordance with acceptable practice, they may have been negligent in their care.
How long does a nursing negligence claim take?
Most claims are resolved somewhere between 18 months and two years after they begin. Your solicitor can give you a better idea of what to expect once they have researched your claim and it is underway. Claims are typically resolved faster if liability and a compensation amount can be agreed out of court, and if no further medical treatment is required. The more complicated the injury, the longer a claim is likely to take however if liability is agreed then we can apply for an interim compensation payment to make sure you do not struggle financially while your claim is ongoing.
Is there a time limit for bringing a claim?
You need to start your claim within three years of your negligent treatment or three years of the date your injury was linked to this treatment, whichever is the most recent. Expert advice is always to contact a lawyer as soon as you suspect your injury was caused by negligent treatment, even if you do not yet have the proof. A good medical negligence lawyer, like those at The Medical Negligence Experts, can help you gather the evidence you need. Doing so at an early stage, when witnesses can clearly remember the incident and your medical records are easily obtainable, will help them prepare a stronger case in a shorter amount of time than if they need to find relevant information years after the event.
Can I claim compensation for someone else?
The Medical Negligence Experts can help if you want to claim compensation on behalf of a relative or close friend who has been injured through nursing negligence but who can’t claim for themselves. For example, parents of a baby who suffered brain damage due to nursing negligence at birth could raise a compensation claim on their behalf. An adult child with a parent who has suffered nursing negligence in a care home, but who has dementia and is unable to manage their own legal or financial affairs, can raise a claim on their parent’s behalf. In these instances, the person making the claim is called a “litigation friend”.
Compensation goes into a trust to either be held until the victim can manage their finances themselves, or to be administered by trustees to cover the expenses of the victim’s care and to make their lives more comfortable.
Will I have to go to court?
Understandably, the idea of having to face an opponent is an uncomfortable idea for many people. We always do our best to resolve all compensation claims out of court. While there is a chance your request may go before a judge, it is very small – typically less than 2% of all NHS negligence claims end up in court and the proportion is similar for claims against private practices. If you are acting as a litigation friend then there will be a hearing to approve the settlement and trust details. We may recommend you submit your claim to court if the other party refuses to offer what we believe to be a fair compensation payment, or if they deny responsibility for your injury.
How much compensation will I receive for nurse negligence?
Compensation is divided into general and special damages. General damages are payment for your pain and suffering. They take into account the nature and severity of your injury and your longer term prognosis. The Judicial College has published industry accepted guidelines of payments for particular types of injury, and these are regularly reviewed to make sure they are relevant.
The second proportion of your payment compensates you for special damages – expenses you would not have incurred had it not been for your injury. Special damages can include the cost of prescriptions and rehabilitative treatment, as well as the expense of transport to hospital or doctor appointments, any additional nursing support you have needed at home, and even lost wages if you have been unable to work during your extra recovery time.
Why do I need a solicitor if I don’t have to go to court?
You do not need to go through a solicitor to request compensation, but you are unlikely to receive maximum compensation if you don’t. Our medical negligence lawyers specialise in this area of law. They have significant experience of obtaining compensation for their clients and know what steps to take to minimise the chance your claim will end up in court and ensure that it is resolved as soon as possible.
How can I fund my nurse negligence claim?
It can be expensive to hire a lawyer privately, particularly when you consider that some claims take years to resolve and there is no guarantee you will receive any compensation at the end of it. The Medical Negligence Experts do not believe that quality legal representation and support should be out of reach of anyone who needs it, which is why we offer No Win No Fee* nurse negligence claims.
Also known as Conditional Fee Agreements, No Win No Fee agreements make claiming compensation affordable. Instead of you paying money up front, your lawyer agrees to shoulder the financial risk associated with starting a claim. If you win, the other party will pay your legal fees and you pay your lawyer an agreed percentage of your compensation as a success fee. If you lose, your lawyer waives any legal fees you owe. You could be liable to pay your opponent’s legal fees however an existing insurance policy may already cover these. If not, we can help you to arrange an “After the Event” policy to cover this expense.
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 nurse 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 nurse 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.