Claim compensation for A&E negligence
If you have been the victim of A&E negligence in a UK hospital, you may be entitled to make an accident and emergency compensation claim.
How Much Could You Claim?

Accident and Emergency Claims

When patients receive care in an Accident and Emergency (A&E) department that doesn’t meet the acceptable standard, their condition could worsen, or they may suffer further harm. Whether it’s a wrong diagnosis, failure to treat, giving the incorrect medicine, or any other medical mistake, problems in A&E can seriously affect a patient’s health.

Mistakes in an A&E department can worsen an existing injury or illness, cause new health issues, or even lead to death. If you’ve been hurt because of negligence or poor care in A&E, a medical negligence solicitor can help you get the compensation you deserve.

To find out if you can make an accident and emergency claim, call 0800 032 3660 today or use our contact form to request a call back. You will get a free consultation with a friendly legal adviser who will guide you through the claims process and let you know if you have a valid claim.

Why do errors occur in Accident and Emergency?

The NHS is a publicly funded healthcare system that offers medical services to all residents of the UK. In most cases, the care doctors and staff provide throughout the NHS is first-rate. Unfortunately, errors sometimes occur, and they can severely impact a patient’s health and confidence in future treatment. The most common reasons for which errors in A&E happen include:

  • Dealing with urgent cases, which creates a fast-paced and stressful setting where mistakes can happen;
  • Shortage of staff or inexperienced personnel can lead to errors as healthcare workers may be overwhelmed or lack necessary expertise;
  • Poor communication between healthcare providers, patients, and staff;
  • Long working hours and stressful conditions can lead to fatigue among healthcare workers, impairing judgment and increasing the likelihood of mistakes;
  • A large influx of patients can overwhelm A&E staff, leading to errors or oversights in diagnosis and treatment.

If you have suffered due to negligent A&E treatment, an experienced medical negligence solicitor can help you make an accident and emergency claim.

Common causes for A&E claims

Personal injury solicitors have extensive and varied experience in A&E negligence claims from patients who attended hospitals with various injuries and illnesses. Some of the most common causes for accident and emergency compensation claims that solicitors deal with include:

A&E Misdiagnosis

As in all areas of medicine, errors in diagnosis can occur in accident and emergency departments. Examples of potential misdiagnosis claims include:

  • Not carrying out a thorough examination of a patient
  • Not organising required tests and investigations
  • Misinterpreting or miscommunication of symptoms or test results
  • Errors in understanding a patient’s medical history
  • Failure to admit patients or sending patients home too quickly

A&E Errors with Treatment

Some A&E claims revolve around errors in providing treatment to patients. These include:

  • The administration of incorrect treatment
  • Failure to prescribe any treatment at all
  • Failure to recognise side effects
  • Not operating on a patient when needed
  • Surgical errors
  • Poor standards of aftercare
  • Neglectful treatment of patients
  • Waiting too long to receive treatment

If you have been the victim of an error by a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional while receiving treatment in an A&E hospital, you may be able to claim compensation.

Am I eligible to make an accident and emergency claim?

All doctors in the UK must follow the rules set by the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC decides what’s acceptable in patient care and treatment. Doctors who don’t meet these standards can be responsible for patient suffering, which could result in a medical negligence claim.

A solicitor can help you make a hospital negligence claim against an accident and emergency department if they can prove the following:

  • A duty of care. The GMC dictates that all medical staff in A&E departments must provide a reasonable standard of care. They are expected to diagnose medical conditions accurately, provide appropriate treatment, and ensure patient safety.
  • A breach of duty. This occurs when a healthcare professional fails to meet the expected standard of care. A breach of duty may involve misdiagnosis, delayed treatment or medication errors.
  • Causation. There must be a link between the breach of duty and the harm you suffered. Your solicitor will work with medical specialists to show how the substandard care provided in the emergency department caused you an avoidable injury.
  • Damages refer to the harm you suffered, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, out-of-pocket expenses, and financial losses.

To find out if you have a valid A&E claim, get in touch with a solicitor today for a free case assessment. You can find out within minutes if you are eligible, and a legal adviser will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the service or the processes involved.

What evidence do I need to support a medical negligence compensation claim?

You may be eligible to make a compensation claim if you have suffered an injury or illness due to accident and emergency negligence. For your claim to be successful, it must be proven that the doctor or medical staff who dealt with you provided a poor standard of care and that, in doing so, you suffered either physically or mentally.

You can use various types of evidence to support a medical negligence case, such as:

  • Hospital records that show your medical history before the A&E visit and how you have suffered as a result of the substandard care;
  • Reports from qualified medical experts who can assess the standard of care you received and determine whether negligence occurred;
  • Statements from friends or family who can explain how you have suffered following your hospital visit;
  • Photographic evidence of any visible injuries and your recovery process;
  • Your notes about the date and time of your visit, the names of the staff who treated you and why you feel you received negligent care;
  • You should also keep evidence of financial losses and expenses incurred due to your injuries, such as lost wages, further treatments or care costs.

Can I make an accident and emergency negligence claim against the NHS?

Although the NHS typically offers patients a high standard of care, mistakes can sometimes occur, especially in A&E departments. If a medical professional has failed in their duty of care towards you and caused you avoidable harm, you are entitled to make an A&E claim and seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

All claims against the National Health Service are handled by their own insurer, NHS Resolution. Each Trust pays an annual premium to cover personal injuries to patients. If you make a successful claim, your compensation will come from these premiums and will not affect the budget allocated for patient care and treatment.

Your claim can also help to highlight shortcomings within the system so that improvements can be made and similar errors can be avoided in the future.

If you believe that the care and treatment you received in A&E fell below the acceptable standards outlined by the General Medical Council, call us free on 0800 032 3660 to discuss your eligibility to make a claim.

Common injuries and illnesses seen in A&E negligence claims

Errors made by emergency medical staff can lead to a wide range of injuries, illnesses and diseases, including death. Although your doctor will try to treat you effectively, mistakes can happen. Some common examples include the following:

  • Failure to identify broken bones, which can delay treatment and lead to complications;
  • Misdiagnosed heart attacks, increasing the risk of serious complications or even death;
  • Failure to spot meningitis can lead to severe complications, including brain damage, hearing loss, and death;
  • Failure to diagnose infections promptly can result in delayed treatment and progression to severe sepsis or septic shock, leading to organ failure, tissue damage, and death;
  • Misdiagnosed aneurysms or strokes can increase the risk of complications such as brain damage, disability, or death;
  • Overlooking or underestimating the severity of a head or brain injury can lead to delayed treatment and potentially life-threatening complications;
  • A missed tendon tear or muscle tear can result in prolonged recovery times and long-term impairments in mobility or function;
  • Failure to recognise the signs of a miscarriage can cause emotional distress and affect future fertility;
  • Not identifying symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and paralysis.

These are just a few examples of the types of negligence that could lead to a successful A&E compensation claim against the NHS.

What is the time limit to make a medical negligence claim?

Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit to start your claim is three years after the date of the negligent emergency treatment. Alternatively, the time limit may begin on the date you became aware of the negligence, known as the date of knowledge.

Failure to claim within the three year period will mean that your case will be statute-barred and no longer valid. There are a few exceptions, such as:

  • With child injury claims, the three year time limit begins on the child’s 18th birthday. Before this, a parent can claim compensation for them at any time.
  • There is no time limit if the claimant lacks mental capacity due to an illness or injury such as brain trauma, PTSD or Alzheimer’s.
  • If you lost a loved one due to A&E negligence, you have three years to start a claim after their death.

Can I make an accident and emergency claim on behalf of a loved one?

If your loved one is a child under 18 or an adult who lacks mental capacity, you can make a claim for medical negligence on their behalf. For this, you must apply to the court to be named as their litigation friend. If the court finds you suitable, you can start the claims process, which will work in the same way as any other personal injury case.

You can also make a claim if you lost a loved one as a result of medical negligence. Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, you could be entitled to claim the following:

  • The lost financial benefits expected from your loved one
  • The loss of services they provided
  • Funeral expenses
  • A bereavement award of £15,120 for your grief and suffering

How much compensation will I receive if my A&E claim is successful?

The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend upon the level of damage caused by the errors or neglect you have suffered. The more severe your suffering, the greater the compensation you are likely to be awarded.

A&E errors can be fatal, and in instances such as this or where life-changing health conditions occur, the greater the compensation award is likely to be. When negotiating your settlement, your solicitor will demonstrate the physical impact of the medical negligence, as well as the emotional effects and any financial losses that you have suffered.

Your injury lawyer will be highly skilled in attaining the highest awards possible while maintaining an empathetic and skilful approach throughout your case.

All clients are offered an initial consultation, which is completely free and without obligation to proceed. During this, a solicitor will evaluate your case and provide an experienced estimate of the likely amount of compensation that you could be entitled to. You can also use our compensation calculator to estimate how much you could receive.

What are the benefits of hiring a solicitor to make a compensation claim?

Your solicitor will have extensive experience processing all types of medical negligence claims. Their service will start with a free case assessment, where your solicitor will determine if they can help with your case. They will provide this without pressure or obligation to proceed further, so you are always in control.

If your solicitor feels you have a valid case, they will offer you a no win no fee* service. Also known as a conditional fee agreement, no win no fee means that you won’t pay your solicitors a penny if they cannot win your claim. If you use a solicitor to make an A&E negligence claim, they will also:

  • Handle all communication on your behalf;
  • Know precisely how much your claim is worth;
  • Strive to secure the maximum compensation on your behalf;
  • Provide valuable support and guidance throughout the process;
  • Help you gather evidence to support your claim.
  • Apply for interim payments if required

Hiring a solicitor for your personal injury claim can reduce stress, increase your chances of success, and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

What is a No Win No Fee service?

The no win no fee service is a common arrangement in personal injury claims. With this service, you do not have to pay any legal fees upfront for legal representation. Your solicitor will take on the risk of claiming, and you will not have to pay them anything if your A&E negligence claim fails. They only receive a success fee of up to 25% of your compensation award if your case is successful.

With no win no fee, you also have After the Event (ATE) insurance against the costs and disbursements incurred during litigation. These include court fees, medical reports, and expert witness fees. If your claim fails, the ATE will cover all these costs, ensuring you will not be left out of pocket.

To find out if you have a valid accident and emergency negligence claim or to ask any questions you may have, do not hesitate to contact a solicitor today. You can request a call back by entering your contact details into our online form, or call the freephone number 0800 032 3660 to speak to an experienced legal adviser straight away.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.