Have you been affected by medical negligence in Scotland? Has this medical negligence left you with an injury? If you have answered yes to both of these questions, then you might be entitled to claim.
Medical negligence can cause a wide range of different effects. In some cases, for example, if you’re misdiagnosed and not treated as a result, your original condition could get worse. On the other hand, you could be given the incorrect medication which could lead to you developing another condition on top of the one that you sought treatment for. In some cases, medical negligence can be fatal.
Our advisors are on hand 24/7 to give you free legal advice with no obligation, and can even connect you with a solicitor from our panel. This may make a key difference in your medical negligence claim. To find out more, consider:
- Calling us on 0800 408 7825
- Contacting us directly through our website
- Using our live chat to speak to an advisor now
For more general information, continue reading.
Select A Section
- What Is Medical Negligence?
- Types Of Medical Negligence In Scotland
- Patients’ Rights In Scotland
- Medical Duty Of Candour
- How Do I Prove I Was The Victim Of Clinical Negligence?
- Calculating Payouts For Medical Negligence In Scotland
- Start Your Claim For Medical Negligence In Scotland Today
- Support And Advice
When you seek medical attention, including in Scotland, the medical professional who is administering the treatment owes you a duty of care. This duty of care means that they need to provide a minimum standard of care.
If this minimum standard of care is deviated from, this is an example of medical negligence. A breach of duty of care can happen when you’re seeking care from the NHS or a private healthcare facility.
You can also be harmed by medical negligence in many different areas of medicine. This includes when seeking advice from a GP, undergoing surgery in a hospital or going to the dentist.
It’s important to consider that when claiming for medical negligence, you will only be compensated for the additional harm caused by the negligence. For example, if you fractured your leg and this was missed, causing it to worsen, then you might need to spend 6 weeks recovering. However, if you would have needed to take 4 weeks to recover if the correct level of care was administered, then only the additional two weeks of suffering will be considered in your claim.
Furthermore, you cannot claim compensation just because you have been harmed. In some cases, complications can arise even when the right level of care is given. In others, causing the patient necessary harm is a part of treatment (for example, when amputating a crushed limb or administering chemotherapy).
Call us for free legal advice on claiming for medical negligence in Scotland. Otherwise, read on for more information on how medical negligence can present itself.
It’s important to remember that you cannot claim just because you experienced negligent medical treatment; you must also have experienced harm as a result. Below, we have included some examples of how medical negligence can occur:
- Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. Sometimes, medical professionals make incorrect diagnoses or miss conditions entirely, even when administering the right level of care. However, if they do so as a result of negligence and you’re harmed as a result (for example, because your condition gets worse than it would have if you’d been diagnosed at the right time), you might be able to claim.
- Surgical errors. If a surgeon harms you because they breached their duty of care while performing an operation, you might be able to claim. Some events (referred to as “never events”) should never occur if the right procedures are followed. These include things like leaving an object in a patient’s body post-surgery and will always be claimable. Surgical errors could result in conditions like sepsis or nerve damage.
- Prescription errors. If you’re given the wrong medication when seeking care, the impact of this could be twofold. Your condition might not improve because you don’t have the drugs you need, and you could have an adverse reaction to the medicine you do take. You could also be harmed as a result of taking a dosage of medication that is too high or too low.
What Injuries Can I Claim For?
As well as physical injuries, medical negligence could result in psychological injuries like depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These can also be claimed for, provided you can prove that your injuries were caused by the negligence of a medical professional who treated you.
This list is not exhaustive. For more information on the types of medical negligence you could claim for, we recommend speaking to one of our advisors.
The General Medical Council outline the duties of a doctor. They are the body that aims to safeguard patients and improve medical practices across the UK. Their role includes:
- Deciding which doctors are qualified to practice medicine in the UK
- Setting professional standards that medical professionals need to follow
- Taking action against doctors who pose a risk to patient safety, or to the public opinion of the medical profession
In addition to this, the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 outlines the things that you can expect when you seek medical attention from, and receive care from the NHS, in Scotland. It also states that Ministers must release a Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities which outlines the rights of those who use NHS services in Scotland.
It’s important to note that while this legislation relates specifically to the NHS, you can make a claim if a breach of duty in a private healthcare facility has caused you harm.
There’s a general three-year time limit to starting a claim in Scotland. This also applies to medical negligence claims.
This three-year limit can begin from the date of the incident or the date that you knew (or should have known) that your injuries were caused by negligence.
There are some exceptions to this. For example, if a child has been injured because of medical negligence, the time limit is suspended until they turn 16. At this point, they can make their own claim if one has not already been done for them by a litigation friend.
For more information on the time limits that apply to claims for medical negligence in Scotland, speak with our team today.
The Scottish Government includes a duty of candour in the expected healthcare standards of medical professionals. It sets out the steps that should be taken if an unintended or unexpected incident occurs that causes harm or death occurs.
Medical professionals in these circumstances should:
- Agree to any actions that are required to improve the quality of medical care
- Apologise to those affected
- Involve those affected in a review of what happened
- Agree to any actions that are highlighted by the review as being required to improve the quality of care
- Tell the person who was harmed (or their representative) about the actions to be taken and when they’ll be implemented
To find out if you might be able to claim for medical negligence in Scotland, get in touch with one of our advisors for free legal advice.
In order to make a claim for harm caused by medical negligence in Scotland, it;’s important that you provide evidence in support of this. Some of the evidence you could use in support of your claim might include:
- Photographic evidence. If medical negligence has led to your condition worsening, you could take photographs of any symptoms that progress.
- Medical records. If you’ve been harmed by medical negligence, then you should seek medical attention so that you have the best chance of recovery. Medical records from this appointment, as well as ones that were generated when you received your initial treatment, could be used to support your claim.
- Witness statements. While you cannot collect a statement yourself, you could collect contact details so a statement can be taken down the line.
If you have any questions about the evidence you need to support a claim, speak to us today. If your claim is valid, you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.
When you make a compensation claim, your settlement could include general and special damages. General damages is the part of your claim related to the pain and suffering that your injuries cause you.
You might be invited to a medical appointment as part of the process of claiming. Here, a healthcare professional who is independent of the case will assess your injuries and create a report. This report will be used to value your claim.
In order to help assess how much this head of your claim could be worth, a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines may be referred to. This is a document containing guideline compensation brackets for a wide range of different injuries. Below, we have included a table that includes excerpts from these guidelines.
|Injury||Nature of incident||Possible compensation|
|(a) Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia)||Level of award will depend on factors like life expectancy, awareness and level of pain.||£304,630 to £379,100|
|(A) Brain Damage (c) Moderate Brain Damage||Moderate to severe intellectual disability, change in personality and no employment prospects.||£140,870 to £205,580|
|(A) Psychiatric Damage Generally (a) Severe||Marked problems relating to life, education and relationships with others.||£51,460 to £108,620|
|(B) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||The injured person will not be able to function the way they did before the trauma happened.||£56,180 to £94,470|
|(A) Injuries Affecting Sight (b) Total Blindness||Complete loss of sight.||£51,460 to £61,690|
|(F) Reproductive System: Female(a)||Infertility caused by disease or injury, resulting in severe depression and anxiety.||In the region of £139,210|
|(H) Kidney (c)||In which one kidney is lost, but the other remains unharmed.||£28,880 to £42,110|
|(B) Back Injuries (a) Severe (i)||Where there has been damage to nerve roots as well as the spinal cord, meaning pain to a severe degree, paralysis to an incomplete degree, and an impediment to sexual function.||£85,470 to £151,070|
|(L) Leg Injuries (a)(i) Loss of both legs||Where both legs are lost above the knee, or one below and one at a high level above.||£225,960 to £264,650|
|(B) Facial Disfigurement (b) Less Severe Scarring||Where the injured party has been disfigured to a significant degree, carrying a significant psychological reaction.||£16,860 to £45,440|
You could also receive special damages as part of your claim. This covers any financial losses sustained as a result of your injuries. For example, this could include lost wages if you have missed work as a result, or home renovation costs incurred to accommodate your injuries.
To find out how much you could be owed for a claim for medical negligence in Scotland, speak to an advisor. You could be connected with a solicitor from our panel if your claim is valid.
If you would like to start a claim with the help of a lawyer but are concerned about legal fees, you might like to consider a No Win No Fee agreement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. In this kind of agreement, you don’t pay anything upfront or as the claim progresses. There is also nothing to pay your lawyer if you’re unsuccessful in your claim.
If you win, you will pay a success fee. This is a legally capped percentage of your compensation that your solicitor will deduct; this legal limit ensures you get the majority of the compensation you’re awarded.
If you would like to know more about funding legal representation with a No Win No Fee agreement, get in touch with an advisor today. They are available 24/7. Contact us now for free legal advice with no obligation. You can do so by:
- Calling us on 0800 408 7825
- Contacting us directly through our website
- Using our live chat to speak to an advisor now
Complain about an NHS service — Scottish Government resource explaining how to make an NHS complaint.
Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013– The legislation outlining Conditional Fee Agreements.
About NHS Resolution — The official website for NHS Resolution.
Thank you for reading this guide about claiming for harm caused by medical negligence in Scotland.
Article by EC