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14 Medical Accidents

Download Medical Accidents (PDF File, 819kb)

1. Introduction

2. What is a medical accident?

3. What should I do if I have suffered a medical accident?

4. How do I find out more about what happened to me?

5. What if I want to complain about a professional´s behaviour?

6. When can I claim compensation?

7. How do I claim compensation?
There is no system in the UK for automatically paying compensation to people who have suffered a medical accident. Sometimes, a hospital may admit it has made a mistake and offer you compensation, but this is usually for relatively minor injuries or losses. In most cases, you will need to make a legal claim for 'clinical negligence'.

If you live in Wales, you may be able to use a new compensation scheme being tested there. The Speedy Resolution Pilot Scheme aims to settle claims quickly and reduce costs, but you can use it only:

  • if your injury was due to treatment provided by an NHS Trust in Wales; and
  • for ‘small’ claims of between £5,000 and £15,000.

There are some other rules governing whether this scheme can deal with your claim. You will need to talk to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor from AvMA or the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel to decide whether you can use the scheme and weigh up its possible benefits and drawbacks.

8. How do I decide whether to take legal action?

9. What if I can´t afford to pay for a solicitor?

10. What do I have to prove to claim compensation?

11. What can I claim compensation for?

12. What can I do if my treatment was private?

13. What if a relative has died as a result of a medical accident?

14. What if my injury was caused by faulty medical equipment?

15. What if I want to make sure that the same mistake is not repeated?

16. Further help

17. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Action Against Medical Accidents.

Leaflet Version: June 2008