GP Negligence Compensation Claims
For most people suffering with a medical problem, their first port of call is their GP. These family doctors are not usually specialists – it is their job to make an initial assessment of your condition and refer you on to an appropriate specialist if required.
The vast majority of patients will experience no problems with the medical treatment received from their GP. But sadly, with ever-increasing pressures on our NHS and consultation times a mere 12 minutes long on average, doctors are making more mistakes so negligence claims are therefore on the rise.
Many negligence victims are reluctant to pursue a claim against their GP – often due to a sense of loyalty to their family doctor, or even concerns about their future treatment.
But the results of GP negligence can be devastating – resulting in lifelong complications, the worsening of a condition or in the worst cases, death.
If you’ve suffered because of GP negligence, you deserve compensation to help you pursue the right treatment and improve your quality of life.
What Is GP Negligence?
GP negligence happens when a patient suffers injury or illness as a result of substandard medical treatment.
What Standards Of Care Must A GP Meet?
The standard of care that a GP is required to meet is that which any responsible body of GPs would consider acceptable.
If your GP has not met the appropriate standard – with the result of your suffering illness or injury – then you could make a medical negligence compensation claim.
Common Examples Of GP Negligence
Negligence can occur if your doctor fails to:
act within appropriate timescales, e.g. getting a specialist appointment within 14-days if cancer is suspected
- refer you to an appropriate specialist
- refer you for required tests or scans
- adequately consider your medical history
- conduct a thorough examination
- diagnose a condition – or diagnoses it incorrectly or too late
- prescribe the right medication or treatment
- record information correctly
- investigate symptoms
- act appropriately on test results
- review your medication.
Some common conditions which are misdiagnosed as a consequence of delay or failed referral by doctors include:
Real Life GP Negligence Case
Our client: Mrs GS
Defendants: GP and NHS Trust
The claim: Mrs GS suffered critical ischaemia (severe reduction of the blood supply causing tissue damage) of the left foot. She was seen several times by General Practitioners in the weeks prior to her eventual admission to hospital. Once in hospital the severity of her condition resulted in her requiring an above the knee amputation of the left leg. It was submitted that with timely and adequate investigation and treatment by her GP, the need for amputation would have been avoided. In addition, the hospital trust delayed providing treatment when she was eventually referred by her GP. The claim was settled at a round table meeting in August 2019, with the defendants sharing payment of agreed damages in the sum of £575,000 less Compensation Recovery Unit benefits in the sum of £18,248.05.
How Much Compensation Could I Claim For Doctor Negligence? What Can I Claim For?
The amount of damages you could claim for medical negligence at the hands of your GP varies greatly. There are many factors that will be taken into consideration. They include:
- the extent of any physical injuries, suffering and loss of amenity
- psychiatric injuries such as anxiety, PTSD or depression
- loss of earnings
- loss of pension
- care and assistance required
- medical equipment or adaptations to your home
- private medical care
- travel and parking.
Coles Miller solicitors have successfully secured compensation for hundreds of victims with awards ranging from £500 to £500,000.
For a better idea of how much you may be able to claim, use our medical negligence claim calculator.
Time Limits For Making a GP Negligence Claim
All kinds of medical negligence claims are subject to certain time limits.
In general, you have three years in which to make your claim. The three-year clock starts ticking either:
- when you became aware that your treatment was negligent and that you suffered significant injury at the hands of an identified GP
- when a child turns 18 if the negligent treatment occurred when they were a minor.
There are special rules for those suffering mental incapacity.
For this reason, it’s vital you seek legal advice as soon as you become aware that there has been an issue.
Claiming For GP Negligence On Someone Else’s Behalf
In the most extreme cases, you may need to make a negligence claim on someone else’s behalf; either because that person is not mentally capable of doing so themselves or because the negligent treatment has resulted in a death.
In the case of death, if you are a parent, spouse or civil partner of the deceased, you may be able to claim a bereavement award to the value of £12,980 through the deceased’s estate. You may also be able to claim for:
- funeral costs
- compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased had to endure
- dependency compensation if you were financially dependent on the deceased.
You may need a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration if the claimant has died.
How Long Does A GP Negligence Claim Take?
As with the amount of compensation you could claim, the length of time a GP negligence claim could take will vary greatly depending on the severity of your case. Typically, the case will be fought over many months but the most complex cases can take several years to settle.
Funding A GP Negligence Claim – No Win, No Fee
Coles Miller offers no win, no fee funding for every kind of medical negligence claim.
This means that you won’t have to pay anything upfront – only a ‘success fee’ if we successfully claim compensation on your behalf.
What Do I Do Next? Book A Free Chat
We appreciate that making a claim against your GP can be a stressful time.
Book a free chat with us today to discuss the circumstances of your case and to get reassurance and advice.