What Happened?

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Recent Payouts

Road Traffic Accident Claims
A taxi driver - £60,000
Mr. A - £35,000
Ms. P - £30,000
Mr. M - £50,430
Mr. P - £19,152
Mr. F - £17,500
Mr. K - £40,404.40
Mr. X - £65,000
Industrial Deafness Claims
Mr. P - £13,000
Mr. P - £4,800
Mr. W - £4,500
Mr. H - £3,800
Mr. JW - £4,000
Mr. F - £5,000
Mr.W - £2,473.80
Mr. C - £7,500
Mr. K - £4,959.57
Accidents At Work Claims
Mr. M - £17,078.22
Ms. K - £57,500
Mr. S - £48,000
Mr. E - £20,000
Mr. R - £13,500
Mr. M - £3,000
Medical Negligence Claims
Ms. M - £15,000
Mr. M - £5,000
Mrs. W - £22,500
Mrs. B - £90,000
Mrs. A - £15,000
Serious Injury Claims
Mr. S - £35,000
Mr. Y - £1.4 Million
Mr. M - £264,676.58
Ms J - £100,000
Ms. B - £10,500
Miss F (minor) - £30,000
Mr. H - £75,000
Mr E - £60,000
Mr. A - £30,000
Mr. M - £35,000
Payment Protection Insurance Claims
Ms. E - £8,199.88
Mr. W - £7,920.09
Mrs. L - £7,126.16
Mrs. M - £7,819.29
Mr. L - £6,618.57
Mr. C - £5,009.37
Mr. B - £2,902.31
Mrs. N - £10,329.19
Mr. W - £7,268.27
Mr. G - £22,073.82
Mr. K- £8,458.03
Mr. F - £22,526.80

Medical Negligence

The area of law known as Clinical Negligence encompasses claims against a number of treating Clinicians. This includes Doctors, Dentists, Opticians, Nurses, Physiotherapists and other health care professionals.

To succeed in securing “damages”, that is, compensation following negligent medical treatment you have to show that the treating Clinician owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty of care and that, as a result, you suffered an injury or that your medical condition was made worse than it would otherwise have been.

– Medical Negligence Claims

– Pursuing a Clinical Negligence Claim

– Funding

– Inquests

– NHS Complaints Procedure

– Types of Claims

– Recent Cases

– News

If you were a patient (whether under the NHS system or privately) it is almost inevitable that the treating Clinician did owe you a duty of care.



In order to establish that the treating Clinician breached the duty of care they owed you, it is necessary to show that the standard of care/treatment they provided to you fell below the standard of a reasonably competent Clinician in the relevant field. For example, if your criticism is of treatment provided to you by your GP, then only another GP can advise on the standard of care/level of treatment provided to you. This report is called a liability report.

If the expert advises that, in the circumstances, a reasonable body of practitioners would have offered the same treatment, then the treating Clinician will have a defence to your criticism.

It is a common myth that Dentists/Doctors stick together and will not criticise their colleagues. This is not the case. The dental and medical experts that we use are not connected to the treating Clinician, are outside the locality of the criticised Clinician and will be entirely independent. Our experts treat patients on a daily basis, are willing to speak out when another professional in their field has breached their duty of care. Our experts have much experience of medico legal matters and attendances at Court. The aim of the expert is to provide independent evidence to the Court, so that it can decide whether there was breach of duty and if there were consequences of that breach.


If you receive a supportive liability report, then you have successfully negotiated the first hurdle in proving a clinical negligence claim. The next hurdle is to show that, as a consequence of the breach of duty, your medical condition is worse than it would have been had you been treated appropriately. This report is called a causation of damage report.

If the breach of duty did not cause your medical condition to become worse than it would have been with appropriate treatment, you will not succeed in establishing a clinical negligence claim attracting compensation. In short, it is important to not only show that the standard of care provided to you was unreasonable, but also that it is this substandard care that caused you to suffer some damage or loss.

An example of this would be that you obtained evidence which states that there was an unacceptable delay in diagnosing a cancer (liability). If the medical expert dealing with the issue of causation of damage advises that the short delay did not alter, make your condition worse, or significantly affect your treatment, it is unlikely that there will be a successful compensation claim.


Generally, you have three years in which to issue court proceedings starting from the date of your injury. If court proceedings are not issued within that three year period, it is highly likely that the claim will become time – or “statute” – barred.  You will not be able to make a claim. There are some important exceptions to this rule.

  • In claims for children, the three year period does not start running until the child’s eighteenth birthday.
  • In clinical negligence claims, the three year period begins to run from the date when the injury was first discovered.  In clinical negligence claims it is not unusual for patients to believe, at the time, that they had been treated appropriately, only to discover at a later date that the treatment they received fell below an acceptable standard and as a result they suffered injury. The three year period runs from the date that they discovered that there may have been a breach of duty which caused injury. This is known as “date of knowledge”.
  • For people who suffer from mental incapacity, the time may never start to run.
  • Judges have a discretion to override the time limits

If you think that there may be an issue regarding limitation period with your case, it may still be worth discussing it with your solicitor who will advise you further.


The crux of successfully pursuing a claim in clinical negligence will depend on the weight of medical evidence that you have obtained.  Before issuing court proceedings, and it is not always necessary to issue proceedings – medical evidence will need to be gathered to support your claim.

It is not unusual for a case to settle without the need to issue proceedings if the medical evidence is strong enough to enable negotiations with the Defendants to take place.

We offer a free initial consultation and the firm operates a ‘No Win No Fee’ scheme. We take a detailed statement, advise you on what is necessary to establish a claim, advise you about the various funding options and explain the process that will be taken in terms of investigating a claim.

You will be asked to sign forms of authority allowing us to obtain copies of all of your medical records, including all hospital and GP records (dental records if appropriate).  Once the medical records have been obtained, they will need to be collated and paginated and carefully considered.  This process can take up to three months depending on the initial response from the various sources of the medical records. For example, if someone has died as a result of clinical negligence, then the records are held centrally by the FHSA and will take a little longer to obtain. You will have the opportunity to consider your records and discuss them with your Solicitor before they are sent to an appropriate medical expert with instructions to report.

It is usual in cases of clinical negligence to instruct a breach of duty (liability) expert first. However, there are occasions when it is more sensible to instruct a causation expert first.  Again, your Solicitor will advise you as to the process that your claim will take.

It is not unusual to instruct several experts to advise on a clinical negligence claim.

If positive liability and causation reports are obtained, we shall then instruct an expert to provide a condition and prognosis report.

Experts are usually able to prepare liability and causation reports based on the medical records and your witness statement alone as they are commenting upon historic events. However, to prepare a condition and prognosis report, the expert will require up to date medical records and will need to examine you. The condition and prognosis report will detail what your current condition is and whether or not your condition will stabilise, get worse or require further medical treatment in the future.

On the basis of the condition and prognosis report, your Solicitor will be able to calculate a valuation of your claim. The Solicitor will need to place a value on your General Damages, that is, compensation  for the actual pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have suffered together with compensation for your Special Damages, that is, compensation for any out of pocket expenses you have incurred and any future financial losses that you may incur.

You are entitled to out of pocket expenses which would not have arisen but for the negligence. Often this includes care which has been provided by a family member. In such cases, it is usual to take a detailed statement from the person who has offered care, setting out in detail the level of care provided. These expenses are then recorded in a Schedule of Loss.

Once we have gathered all the necessary expert reports and evidence to support a claim, it is likely a Barrister will be instructed to advise. The point when a Barrister becomes involved depends upon the issues involved and the complexity of your claim.

It may be appropriate before instructing a Barrister to send a Letter of Claim to the opponents based on the evidence gathered. We may delay sending instructions to the Barrister until we have a response to the letter of claim.

A letter of claim sets out allegations of breach of duty and a description of the injury that you have suffered.  It also sets out our initial valuation of your claim.  This gives the criticised Clinician(s) of the Dental Surgery/Health Care Trust the opportunity to respond.  Indeed, they are obligated to respond within a three month period. If they admit that mistakes were made, it may be possible to settle the claim without having to issue court proceedings. If they refuse to accept the allegations made court proceedings will have to be started.


Once proceedings are issued, you as the party alleging negligence become the Claimant and the Clinician or Health Care Trust become the Defendant.

We usually instruct a Barrister to prepare the Particulars of Claim.  This often happens after a conference with the medical experts and you, the client.  The Particulars of Claim is the document which sets out formally the allegation of breach of duty and the results of that breach. The proceedings are usually issued from your local court.

The Defendant responds by serving a Defence.

If the Defendant continues to defend the claim, Solicitors representing both parties, working with the court’s approval, agree a timetable of steps to be taken to progress the matter to a final hearing/Trial.

These steps include disclosure of documents upon which the parties intend to rely, exchange of witness statements and expert reports and an agreement that the parties experts should meet to discuss the case further.

It is not unusual, whilst these steps are being put in hand for the claim to settle by negotiation between the parties’ legal advisors.

There are a number of options available to your Solicitor to negotiate settlement of your claim on a cost effective basis and as your claim proceeds, your Solicitor will discuss these with you at the appropriate time.

If the case does not settle, it is likely that there will be a further conference or advice from your Barrister. The advice is likely to assess the strength of your claim, its value and recommend whether the matter should continue to a final hearing / Trial.

Very few cases in practice, ever reach a Trial as most cases are settled.

If your case goes to a final hearing/Trial, we shall prepare the necessary trial bundles ensuring that all the evidence is placed before the court for a Judge to consider. If witness statements and/or expert evidence remains in dispute, it is likely the Judge will need to hear oral evidence from those witnesses/experts.

Once all of the evidence has been heard, a Judge will decide whether or not your claim succeeds and if so, the level of the damages, that is compensation, that you should receive.

In larger cases, it may be that the court will direct that there will be a split Trial.  In that event, the court will deal with breach of duty and causation first. This is often arranged with the object of saving costs.


Every case is different and the value of your case will depend on your particular circumstances.  However damages (that is, the compensation that you are awarded) can be divided into two categories;

(i)    General Damages

(ii)  Special Damages

(a) Past Losses and (b) Future Losses

General Damages

This is an award of compensation for the your pain, suffering and loss of amenity. We value the general damages once we have had the opportunity of considering the medical evidence.

We can only claim compensation for the injuries suffered as a consequence of the negligence, that is, the additional injury that you would have avoided had you been treated appropriately.

The value of your general damages is based on previous reported cases similar in nature to your claim. There are a number of reference books that record previous decided damages claims. It is unlikely that a your claim will match exactly a previous case but such past, settled cases do offer a very good guidance as to what you could expect to be awarded at a final hearing/Trial. Both parties have access to these reference books so each party should have a similar view as to value of a claim.

There are also other information sources that your Solicitor can use in order to evaluate your claim such as a number of unreported cases previously settled by your Solicitors, cases that have settled without going to trial but are reported in professional literature and in the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines.

Special Damages

These are damages that we can work out “mathematically”.

We hope the following lists will be helpful but it is not exhaustive.

Loss of Earnings

If you are prevented from working in the short or the long term, you may be entitled to claim loss of earnings. This is true irrespective of whether you are employed or self employed. You will only be entitled to the loss, net of tax and National Insurance contributions.

We shall need to write to your employers even if you have been paid in full during your absence, as you may have a contractual duty to your employers to claim from the Defendant, the other party, sums paid to you during your absence.

Calculations will be made not only as to past loss of earnings, but also as to potential future loss of earnings, if as a consequence of your negligent treatment you will need time off work in the future.

Public Transport Fares/Taxis/Lifts

You may have to make journeys to attend medical appointments and to receive medical treatment. You should keep a note of the journeys you make and the fares that you pay. It would be sensible to keep receipts and tickets to prove such losses.

You can also claim your petrol and other expenses and again it would be sensible to keep a record of these expenses.

If you receive a lift from a friend or work colleague and make a payment for this, for example, a contribution towards petrol, you should keep a note of the journey, the mileage involved and the payment made.

If relatives visit you in hospital or at home, you may be able to claim their travel expenses/parking expenses so that you can repay them at a later date.

Medical Fees

If you receive private medical treatment you may be able to recover the cost and should certainly consider claiming. If you were a member of a Private Health Insurance Scheme, such as Bupa, you should inform us of the name and address of the insurers and your scheme or reference number, as the insurer may require us to claim back sums paid by them on your behalf.

It helps us if you keep a note of any invoices forwarded to your insurers, for cross checking purposes.

Medication/Prescription Charges

It is sensible to keep a record of all prescription charges that you pay for and a record of the dates that you made the payment.

A Change of House

If your medical condition becomes very much worse as a result of substandard medical treatment, you may not be able to continue to live in your existing house.  In that case you may be able to claim some or all of the costs of a change of house including incidental expenses. Again, this is a very complicated area of law and one which you will need to discuss with your Solicitor.

Aids and Equipment

We recommend that you keep a note of any purchases that you need to make as a result of your injury/condition and obtain any receipts.  Larger items of expenditure, for example, an orthopaedic bed may have to be backed up by a recommendation by a medical expert.

Household Help

If your medical condition demands it, you may have to engage a “home help”. You may be able to claim the costs of this help provided that it is reasonable and supported by medical evidence.

If relatives provide help for free, you should keep a note of the hours for which they helped and the dates on which they helped.

Your ability to make a claim of this kind will depend on the facts of the case but we shall be happy to advise you.


If you are seriously injured you may require help with decorating and gardening. A claim for these expenses requires a good deal of thought but your Solicitor will be happy to advise you.

Increased Bills

If you are seriously injured, you may find that your gas and electricity bills have increased because you are spending more time at home.

Depending upon the facts of the case you may be able to claim increased electricity, gas and water charges.


Depending on your medical problems you may require special clothing. You may have also increased laundry costs. The costs of these may be recoverable depending on the facts of the case.


State Benefits

If, as a result of your injuries, you have received any benefits paid by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), you should let your Solicitor know which benefits you have received and the approximate amount.

Although state benefits are not deducted from General Damages, that is the injury part of your compensation, certain state benefits may have to be repaid out of some parts of your Special Damages claim, that is the financial losses part of your compensation.

The Section of the DWP which deals with this is known as the Compensation Recovery Unit.  It is the Defendant’s responsibility to obtain a Compensation Recovery Unit Certificate from the DWP which clearly states the benefits that you have received which they believe are as a consequence of the injuries sustained due to the negligence. This is a complex area which will be discussed with you further if DWP Benefits have been received by you.

Other Loss and Expenses

This list set out is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible heads of claim. If you believe that there are other losses or expenses which you would not have incurred but for the negligence and the resulting injuries, please provide your Solicitor with details.

Evidence of Losses

It follows from the above, that you should keep records and documentary proof of the financial losses incurred. It is up to you to prove the extent of the loss to the Court.

Award of Compensation

Damages, that is compensation, can be awarded or agreed either as a lump sum or a series of periodic payments. The Court can now order periodic payments even if the client would prefer a lump sum. This could happen if:-

  • If the matter goes to Court because the Claimant is a child under the age of 18.
  • The Claimant cannot manage their own affairs or
  • The matter proceeds to a final hearing/Trial.


It is understandable that you might be anxious about the legal costs involved in pursuing a compensation claim for clinical negligence. When you or a member of your family are coming to terms with illness, serious injury or long term disability, the very last thing you need to do is worry about the legal costs of making a compensation claim.

Your Solicitor will discuss the options available to you with regards to funding your claim. Here are some points for you to think about in relation to the funding of your claim which will hopefully relieve some of your concerns about the legal costs of making a claim for clinical negligence.

If you make a successful compensation claim in England and Wales, generally your opponent will be ordered to pay the costs of your case and will have to pay their own costs.  Of course you have to think about the possibility that the claim might not succeed, however your Solicitor will ensure that steps are taken to protect your position as follows:

1.    We offer a first free interview. We will give you our honest and experienced assessment so that you can decide whether or not you want to proceed with a claim for clinical negligence.

2.    In terms of funding your clinical negligence claim, MRH Solicitors are able to represent you in pursuing your claim in a number of different ways. We shall advise you of these and decide with you which is the right option for you.

Conditional Fee Agreements (No Win, No Fee)

A Conditional Fee Agreement is a technical name for what many people call a “No Win No Fee” agreement. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to act for you under this type of agreement. If may be necessary for us to carry out some initial enquiries before we can reach a decision about this.  It will probably be necessary for us to arrange, on your behalf, a policy of insurance to work along side the “No Win No Fee” agreement and which will protect you in the event of any adverse costs and/or your claim being unsuccessful. This is the most common method of funding your case and does of course mean that the claim can be pursued at no cost to you.

Legal Expense Insurance

Increasing numbers of people already have legal expenses insurance covering the legal cost of pursuing a clinical negligence claim and other types of claims. This may be available though your home contents policy, motor insurance policies, building insurance policies, life and critical insurance policies and occasionally credit cards provide legal expense insurance cover.

Trade Union Funding

You may also be entitled to help with the funding of your clinical negligence claim if you are a member of a Trade Union. Your Solicitor will make the necessary enquiries in this respect.  Some Unions even have schemes to pay for cases brought by your children or a spouse.

Private Payment

It may be that private payment of costs is the only option; at least in the early stages of the case. As the case progresses it may be possible to reconsider the funding options described above.

If you decide to pay our costs privately, we can estimate them in advance.  We shall do our best to estimate what the Defendant, your opponent’s costs might be.


What happens if a member of your family dies?

If someone dies in hospital or at a time when they are receiving medical treatment, an inquest may be arranged and a Coroner will become involved.

The inquest process is currently undergoing review and the proposed changes may allow relatives to become more closely involved in the process.

The purpose of the inquest is to find out how and why the death happened. It may be very important for bereaved relatives and it can also be important if the relatives find they have to make a compensation claim or are thinking about doing so.

In the event of a death caused by fault on the part of someone else, the following damages, that is compensation, may be recovered depending on the facts of the case:-

  • Damages for pain and suffering.
  • Bereavement award.
  • Dependency claim.
  • Damages for loss of earnings.
  • Expenses connected with a funeral.
  • Damages for time spent in providing care.

We would be able to advise you fully about the inquest and explain what is likely to happen and whether or not legal representation at the inquest is necessary.


Making a complaint about the NHS

You are entitled to complain about any aspect of NHS Treatment. Your Solicitor will advise you as to the process involved in pursuing an NHS complaint if this is relevant to your case.  If, however, you require any further information in this respect, please ask your Solicitor who would be most pleased to discuss this option with you.

To speak to a specialist solicitor about your claim for medical negligence, call us now on 01204 535 333, or fill out our online form.

Recent Successes:

Manderson – Wrong Diagnosis

MRH were instructed at the very end of May 2013 on behalf of N in relation to a case of clinical negligence. MRH accepted instructions even though the time in which to issue Court proceedings was due to expire in the near future. N suffered a knee injury whilst playing football. Upon attending A&E, N was diagnosed with a minor soft tissue injury despite x-rays suggesting a more serious injury had occurred. A little over 4 weeks later, N was diagnosed as suffering a complete rupture of the patellar tendon which required emergency surgery within 24 hours of the diagnosis. Fortunately the delay in diagnosis had minimal affect on N and the long term prognosis for his injury. MRH successfully argued the diagnosis of the ruptured patellar tendon should have been considered based on the original x-ray taken when N first attended Hospital. The Defendant Hospital Trust eventually admitted breach of duty and shortly thereafter entered into settlement negotiations. MRH were able to obtain significant damages for N less than 12 months after first being instructed.

Helen – Death of an Infant

MRH acted on behalf of H who suffered the loss of her daughter shortly after birth in February 2013. H had endured an uneventful pregnancy and was full term when very sadly things went wrong. H attended a routine Hospital appointment on a morning in February 2013 and the baby’s heartbeat was noted not to be as it should. H was transferred to a nearby maternity Hospital but not under the emergency pathway as MRH argued should have occurred. When arriving at the Maternity Hospital there was further delay. H was admitted to the Antenatal Unit as opposed to being admitted directly to the Labour Ward. H eventually underwent an emergency C Section at approximately 1.30pm in the afternoon. MRH successfully argued delay had occurred and there were missed opportunities to perform the C-Section earlier. The Trust eventually agreed the C-Section should have taken place 2 hours earlier. MRH argued if the delay had not occurred, the tragic outcome would on the balance of probabilities been different. The Trust accepted breach of duty and shortly thereafter entered into settlement negotiations. MRH were able to secure substantial damages for H and continue to represent H in relation to the Coroner proceedings.

Mrs. B – Failure To Diagnose A Fracture

The specialist medical negligence team at MRH Solicitors were instructed by Mrs. B from South Wales to pursue her medical negligence claim against the NHS Hospital Trust.

Mrs. B had suffered a fractured right wrist whilst on a weekend break in Blackpool and attended the A&E department at the hospital, but the doctors had failed to diagnose her fracture.

The fracture was then subsequently diagnosed at her local hospital in Newport. As a consequence of the delay in diagnosis, Mrs. B had to undergo two operations to her right wrist in an attempt to unite the fracture.

However, due to the initial delay in diagnosis the operations were only partially successful and Mrs. B was left with long-term and permanent pain and restricted movement in her right wrist.

The legal team acting for the NHS Hospital Trust strongly denied any negligence and as a consequence MRH Solicitors commenced court proceedings against the NHS Hospital Trust.

Despite the NHS Hospital Trust initially maintaining a strong defence to Mrs. B’s claim for medical negligence, the specialist medical negligence solicitors at MRH Solicitors were successful in recovering in excess of £90,000 in compensation for Mrs. B to reflect the additional pain, suffering and loss of amenity suffered by Mrs. B as a consequence of the delayed diagnosis, in particular, the need for assistance with her daily routine tasks.

Mrs. A – Allergic Reaction To Prescribed Medication

MRH Solicitors acted for Mrs. A in respect of a claim for medical negligence against both her G.P and her treating NHS Hospital Trust for their failure to check whether Mrs. A was allergic to a prescription drug used to treat her epilepsy prior to her being given the medication.

Liability, that is fault, was denied by both the G.P’s medical defence union and the NHS Hospital Trust on the basis that the allergic reaction suffered by Mrs. A was a rare side effect.

However, the expert medical negligence solicitors at MRH Solicitors and their instructed medical experts in the case were strongly of the opinion that even though the reaction suffered by Mrs. A to the medication was rare, it was still a known side effect of the medication prescribed to Mrs. A.

Nothwithstanding the robust defence advocated by the legal teams acting for the G.P and the NHS Hospital Trust, MRH Solicitors commenced court proceedings against both the G.P and the NHS Hospital Trust on behalf of Mrs. A.

MRH Solicitors were successful at court in relation to the medical negligence claim against the G.P and the NHS Hospital Trust in recovering compensation for Mrs. A for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity and for the associated financial losses incurred by her as a consequence of developing the allergic reaction in the sum of £15,000.


“Before I instructed MRH Solicitors, I was far from convinced that my medical negligence claim would succeed. However, after I instructed them I was re-assured that the claim had merit despite the denial of liability by the hospital. I am now so glad that I acted on the advice that I received from MRH Solicitors  and continued to pursue my claim. Once MRH Solicitors became involved my claim was progressed and I received a significant settlement which I was not expecting. I would not hesitate in recommending the medical negligence solicitors at MRH Solicitors to anyone else who finds themselves in a similiar situation to mine.”

Mrs. B – July 2012.


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