Medical Negligence

Common medical negligence for which compensation can be claimed

Medical negligence
11 min read time
02 Aug 2022

Medical Negligence Case Examples

As a leading ranked firm in the respected Legal 500 guide, our specialist medical negligence compensation claims solicitors boast decades of experience and have a track record of succeeding in the most high-value and legally complex of cases.

Delays in appropriate healthcare can lead to worsening conditions – sometimes becoming life-threatening – so we are dedicated to helping our clients to spot signs that their healthcare may have been negligent as early as possible, and to securing them the compensation they deserve.

Below are some of the most frequent examples of medical negligence claims that we help with here at Hudgell Solicitors.

Birth injury

Fortunately, most pregnancies and births occur without any health issues for the mother or baby, however, this isn’t always the case, and negligent care during pregnancy and birth can have a lifelong impact on mothers, babies, and loved ones around them.

Birth negligence occurs when a health professional makes a mistake during pregnancy or birth that could have otherwise been avoided, and we see far too many cases where mothers and partners feel their concerns were not listened to early enough, or that they have been ignored completely.

Common mistakes seen by our team include:

  • Maternity staff failing to carry out tests quickly enough during pregnancy
  • Misinterpretation of scans leading to an incorrect diagnosis and inappropriate treatment
  • Failure to act upon reduced foetal movements during pregnancy
  • Failure to take appropriate action when a mother’s blood pressure has been at dangerous levels
  • Failure to perform a caesarean birth at the right time

In many cases, we see poor communication between health professionals and parents. In 2021, our Birth Injury Survey revealed that 13% of parents felt like they could not raise their concerns with their healthcare practitioner. Further, over half (51%) of participants felt that some (if not all) of their concerns were not considered by health professionals.
Birth Negligence

Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis

Not getting the right diagnosis for a medical issue can have devastating effects. Whether you’ve waited too long to receive a diagnosis, were informed you have the wrong condition or never got a diagnosis at all, you deserve to understand what has happened.

Our team investigates a wide range of medical misdiagnosis cases, with the most common being failures to diagnose fractures and the misinterpretation of scans which cause delays in the diagnosis of serious conditions such as cancer and meningitis.

We see many cases where GPs fail to refer patients to specialists, for appropriate tests and scans, when symptoms are indicative of certain illnesses, and even cases of blood tests being carried out but then not reviewed.

If you are diagnosed with a serious condition after a long period of illness and have had previous assessments by healthcare professionals which did not identify what was wrong, it is only right that you ask questions about the standard of care provided.
Misdiagnosis & delayed diagnosis

Misdiagnosis & Delayed Diagnosis Case Stories

Medical Professional listening to patients breathing with stethescope

Husband’s slow-growing lung cancer was missed on scans five years before eventual diagnosis – when it was then too late to operate.

Surgical Errors

Whether elective or due to an emergency, undergoing surgery can be a worrying experience, and one that shouldn’t be worsened by the operation going wrong.

It is a requirement of healthcare professionals to ensure that patients are made aware of – and understand – the details of any suggested surgery, any possible complications, and also alternative kinds of treatment which could be explored.

To not ensure a patient is fully informed – or somebody who cares for them if they don’t have mental capacity themselves – is a breach of duty of care.

Surgical errors can potentially lead to serious complications that may last a lifetime or could even prove to be fatal. Some of the more common forms of surgical error we see are:

  • Unnecessary or incorrect surgery (such as surgery on the wrong part of the body)
  • Damage to nerves and organs surrounding the site of surgery
  • Failed surgical procedures (for example surgery didn’t resolve the issue)
  • Mistakes resulting in damage to the brain
  • Failure to remove surgical instruments and swabs after surgery
  • Failure to appropriately monitor a patient after surgery results in complications

Some mistakes are labelled “never events” because they are serious incidents or errors that are entirely unavoidable.

Latest NHS Figures showed that between April 1 2021 and March 2022, there were 407 ‘never events’ in the UK.

This included surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body of 171 patients, 53 people being sent home with ‘retained swabs’ still in their bodies and 47 people having the wrong implants/prosthetics.

Each of these cases would be classed as medical negligence and patients would be likely to have a claim for compensation.
Surgical Errors


Sepsis, also known as septicaemia, is a life-threatening reaction to an infection that can lead to organs shutting down and even death, so it is a condition which health professionals must diagnose and treat within hours of the condition taking over.

Failure to do so can leave patients in a critical condition for a lengthy period of time, or even prove fatal.

According to the NHS, in the UK around 100,000 people are admitted to hospitals with sepsis each year, and out of those, it is estimated that 37,000 will die from the condition.

Crucially, there are tell-tale early signs of sepsis potentially developing which must be considered by healthcare professionals. These are;

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Extreme chills and shivering
  • Extreme muscle pain

While there are other stand out symptoms such as confusion, slurred speech, and mottles or discoloured skin, these indicators may not occur until much later. Should you or a loved one experience these symptoms, we would expect sepsis to be investigated.

GP Negligence

Our GPs are of course the first people we turn to when we are concerned about our health and we look to them to put our fears at rest and decide on the best course of action to us get better as soon as possible.

However, doctors can sometimes fail to correctly diagnose patients and miss red-flag symptoms. This can lead to delays in appropriate treatment, causing the illness or injury to worsen.

Common mistakes we see from GPs, which lead to successful compensation claims, include;

  • Failure to refer to a specialist for further diagnosis or treatment
  • Failure to refer for tests
  • Not taking medical history into account
  • Adequate examinations not carried out
  • Misdiagnosing an illness (and subsequently prescribing incorrect treatment)
  • Failing to recognise an illness (and subsequently delaying treatment)
  • Prescription errors

GP Negligence

Can I claim medical negligence compensation and how much will I get?

Medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide a reasonable standard of care when carrying out their duties, and this is known as a duty of care.

Compensation can be claimed if treatment can be proved to have caused a patient harm, due to treatment that similar professionals would deem to be unacceptable.

At Hudgell Solicitors, our team consults specialist independent medical experts to gain their opinion of the care and treatment provided. This evidence is often crucial in helping us secure admissions of breach of duty, and compensation settlements out of court.

In terms of value, there are a wide variety of factors that can affect your NHS compensation claim including the type of injury or illness you have, the impact the negligence has on your day to day health, your ability to work, and your future health, including whether you will require any long-term care.

Your compensation damages may be awarded for:

  • Pain and suffering caused
  • Loss of earnings and future loss of earnings (such as being at a disadvantage in the labour market / loss of employability and reduction in potential earnings.)
  • Cost of surgery or medical procedures required after the negligence
  • Adaptions required to your home to help with daily living
  • Costs of occupational therapy requirements, such as aids and appliances to assist with daily needs
  • Costs of current or future care
  • Travel expenses for medical appointments or equipment

Medical Negligence

How to start a ‘no win no fee’ medical negligence claim

The first step for making a medical negligence claim is to get in touch with our experienced team.

At Hudgell Solicitors, our ‘no win no fee’ agreement ensures that people who suffer as a result of medical negligence can have the legal representation they deserve, and need, to pursue a claim.

Our medical negligence expert will arrange a free, no-obligation chat to discuss the details of your circumstances and walk you through the medical negligence claims process. This information you share with us is always treated confidentially and would only be used by our medical negligence solicitors in dealing with your enquiry.

This agreement ensures that there is no financial risk to you if you do not win your case, and once your case has concluded, you will only be expected to contribute to your solicitor’s fees if the case is decided in your favour. These costs are usually a percentage of the compensation you are awarded, which will be agreed upon before your case commences.

There are time limits for making medical negligence claims, typically three years either from the date that the negligence occurred or from the date that you became aware that the treatment you received was responsible for your injury.

There are some exceptions though, such as for people under 18 years old, so our solicitors will evaluate whether you meet the time limits for a medical negligence claim.

If we decide to proceed with your case, our medical negligence team will submit a claim on your behalf by formally notifying the person or organisation to blame for your injury or illness. We’ll then go about gathering evidence, setting up medical examinations, and discussing settlement agreements with the opposing party.

The vast majority of medical negligence cases are settled without the need to go to court, but our solicitors have demonstrated on many occasions our complete commitment to ensuring those who suffer as a result of medical negligence get the compensation and justice you deserve, and that has included rare cases held in front of a judge in court.

No Win No Fee

Final thoughts

If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you deserve answers and compensation for the impact it has on your life.

Here at Hudgell Solicitors, we understand many patients want to know why things went wrong and how things will change for others. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors and lawyers will take the time to understand what you’re going through and are dedicated to getting you the justice you ought to have.

Contact us using our online claim form and arrange a confidential chat to see how our team can help you today!

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Common medical negligence for which compensation can be claimed

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