Compensation Claims for Optician Negligence
Opticians, like medical practitioners in all health fields, are legally obliged to provide you with levels of care that are reliable, safe and effective. Breaches of this duty of care can result in pain, vision problems, emotional distress and even loss of sight.
Claims for optician negligence can be complex and as such, it is likely that a specialist will review your case to determine liability and the severity of your symptoms. Injury solicitors work closely with medical experts to ensure that a thorough overview of your condition is provided in order to secure the maximum compensation possible.
If you have suffered an illness or injury because of negligent treatment given by an optician or optometrist, the solicitors we work in partnership with would be pleased to assist you in claiming the personal injury compensation that you rightfully deserve. Your solicitor will work on a no win, no fee basis which enables you to seek compensation without having to face any financial risk.
The following guide provides information on optician negligence claims, including negligent laser eye surgery and how you might make a successful claim for compensation if you have been the victim of below standard care.
Who can make a claim for negligence against an optician?
If you have suffered an illness or damage to your eye health because of the failings of your optician, it is likely that you will be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Your optician has a legal obligation to provide you with a reasonable level of care, and if they have breached this duty, they are likely to be found liable for the harm caused to you.
There are several ways in which your optician may be found to have provided negligent care. Some of the most common types of negligence include:
- Wrong diagnosis of an eye illness
- Failure to recognise and diagnoses a condition at all
- Errors made during eye surgery
- Prescribing the wrong medicine or incorrect dosage
- Using unsanitary tools while performing examinations
When an optician makes an error like those above, the impact on the patient can be significant and is not limited to sight or physical damage. The emotional distress caused by such negligence can be substantial, so your solicitor will strive to ensure that all suffering is considered in the negotiations for your final settlement.
What damage can optician negligence cause?
When an optician provides substandard treatment or care, a patient can suffer from a host of complaints, both physically and emotionally. Some of the most common symptoms that are presented by victims of such treatment include:
- Blurred vision
- Cosmetic damage to the eye and face
- Headaches and dizziness
- Dry and painful eyes
- Double vision
- Partial or full loss of sight
- Stress and anxiety
- Lack of self-confidence
- Lack of confidence in medical services and further treatment plans
The above symptoms can severely impact on a person’s quality of life as well as affect their ability to perform daily tasks and work as they did before the negligence occurred.
Suffering medical negligence of any kind is likely to impact severely upon a person’s confidence in future treatment. Although the majority of opticians work entirely within the law and have exceptional standards of care, we empathise greatly with those who have suffered from poor treatment. Your solicitor will ensure that full consideration is given to all areas of suffering and loss to secure the highest levels of compensation possible.
Can I make a claim if I suffer an injury following laser eye surgery?
Optician negligence extends through to errors in laser eye surgery. With the popularity of this type of treatment consistently increasing, so too are the claims following injuries caused by below standard procedures and care. Laser eye surgery staff are bound by the same laws as opticians and so any breach of their duty of care to patients that subsequently causes harm or suffering is likely to be considered as proof of their liability.
Laser eye surgery is a delicate procedure that must be carried out with through care and precaution. Failure to meet the acceptable standards of treatment in this area can lead to significant discomfort, pain, sight impairment and even permanent damage to the eye and vision. To find out if you have a valid claim, call 0800 678 1410 or request a call back to receive a free consultation with an experienced legal adviser.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
In assessing the amount of compensation that should be paid to you, it will be necessary to consider how severe your symptoms are, the effect that these have had on your life, and whether there will be any lasting impact, such as permanent vision loss or scarring for example.
Your solicitor will also assess any financial losses that you have suffered because of the optician’s negligence. This is referred to as special damages, and will enable you to recover any loss of earnings, treatment costs or the cost of any visual aids that might be needed if your vision has been significantly impaired.
Your solicitor will strive to achieve the highest level of compensation award in all cases that they work on. The process starts with a free consultation, which you can arrange by calling 0800 678 1410. During the consultation, a fully trained adviser will answer any questions that you might have as well as provide you with details on how your case will progress. Once they have analysed the information that you provide, your solicitor will use their experience to assess the likely success of your case and provide an estimate as to how much compensation you could be entitled to.
If you have a valid claim and would like to proceed, your personal injury lawyer will offer you a 100% no win no fee service. So you won’t have to worry about any upfront costs, and if they cannot win your case, you won’t pay a penny.
What is the process of making a claim against an optician?
The first stage in the claims process is a consultation with a solicitor to find out if you meet the criteria for making a personal injury claim. This service is provided completely free of charge and without any obligation to continue with the service.
If you do have a valid claim for negligence caused by an optician and you would like to continue, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee service. This agreement, along with the details of the service they provide, will be fully explained to you by the solicitor.
You will then be sent some paperwork that will need to be signed. This is the no win no fee agreement, also known as a conditional fee agreement. Once signed and returned to your solicitor, they will then have the authority to start working on your behalf.
Your injury lawyer will then begin the process of gathering the necessary evidence to support your case. This will include medical evidence regarding your injury, and receipts and other evidence as proof of any financial losses.
The details of your negligence claim will then be sent to the optician and their insurance company. They are referred to as the defendant and will be asked to accept or deny liability for the accident and injuries being claimed for.
If the optician accepts responsibility for your injuries, the solicitor will then begin a process of negotiating a suitable award of compensation. As mentioned above, this will be based on a thorough assessment of both general and special damages.
If an acceptable settlement can be reached, the case will be concluded and you will receive payment of your compensation.
If liability is denied, or negotiations regarding compensation are unsuccessful, your legal team may need to initiate court proceedings against the optician. Although most cases are settled outside of court, your injury solicitor will take this step if necessary to secure you the compensation you legally deserve.
When should I start my claim?
It is highly recommended that you start your claim as soon as possible. Medical negligence claims, like most other forms of personal injury, have a strict three year time limit.
Failing to initiate your injury claim within this time can mean you miss out on receiving the compensation that you are legally entitled to.
If the injury you have suffered does not present itself until a later date, the time limit will begin on this date. Equally, if the fact that you have been the victim of medical negligence at the hands of your optician is not discovered until a later date, this date would be used as the starting point. In both cases, this date is regarded as the date of knowledge.
Although you have a three year period, leaving it until the last minute is not recommended. As time passes, the process of gathering evidence to support your case can become more difficult. So in most cases, the sooner you start your claim the better.
If the person that has been injured is a child, there are two options. Firstly a parent or guardian can make a claim on behalf of the child. This follows the same three year time limit discussed above. Alternatively, the child can make the claim by his or herself when they turn 18. In this case, the time limit will end on their 21st birthday.
Can my claim be made on a no win no fee basis?
Personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of people claim compensation for all types of accidents and injuries.
Through a no win no fee service, solicitors are able to help people from all walks of life get access to justice when they suffer an injury due to another person’s negligence.
By making a no win no fee optician negligence claim, you will not have to pay any upfront fees, and there will never be any hidden or unexpected charges.
If the solicitors take on your case and are unable to win the claim for compensation against your optician, you won’t pay a penny. So making a claim with the help of an experienced solicitors will never put you and your family at financial risk.
To find out more about the no win no fee process, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact a friendly legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410.