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How much can I expect to get from my medical negligence case?

20th December 2017 Print

How much can I expect to get from my medical negligence UK case? The short answer is that it depends on your case. The longer answer is that there are a variety of factors that determine how much you can receive from your medical negligence case. Let’s look at each of these factors and how they impact a potential settlement. We’ll also explain the definition of each of the categories of compensation you could qualify for.

Time Frame

Before we say you can expect to receive money from a medical negligence case, we need to discuss the time frame. The United Kingdom has a general time limit for medical malpractice claims of three years. You are unlikely to be able to come back five years later and say this issue you’ve been living with should be compensated for today.

One general exception to this rule is if the medical negligence results in the death of the claimant. If someone died months after a case of medical neglect or misdiagnosis, their survivors can file a medical negligence claim within three years of the person’s death. If the medical negligence was within three years of the person’s death, the actual time frame could approach six years.

Another exception to this case is when you’re filing a medical negligence case on behalf of a disabled individual. If someone is mentally incompetent, their guardians can file a claim on their behalf. If you were waiting for them to recover before filing a claim, you may find that three years have passed. Consult with medical negligence solicitors like the Medical Negligence Experts, who offer free guides and consultations, to find out whether you can still file a claim. If a child was injured by medical negligence, their family can file on their behalf and the child can file the claim themselves within three years of turning 18.

General Damages

General damages include pain and suffering and the calculated value of the injury. These damages compensate you for your physical and psychological injuries. General damages can range from several hundred pounds to several hundred thousand pounds, depending on the severity of the case.

This amount can be estimated by a compensation calculator based on the type of the injury. For example, there are standard minimum and maximum payouts depending on the type and degree of injury. Consult with a medical negligence claim expert because you may need their assistance to get the necessary second opinions to demonstrate that the injured party classifies as having a severe injury versus moderate to severe. Why do these classifications matter? Because general damages payments are based on the degree of injury. If someone has a very severe head injury versus a moderately severe one, the ballpark increase in general damages is a hundred thousand pounds. Moderate pain is one payment, whereas chronic pain is compensated far more generously.

However, this isn’t all you’d receive if you won a medical negligence case. Special damages can multiply the total amount paid by the guilty party.

Special Damages

Special damages are intended to compensate you for the out of pocket expenses generated by the act of negligence. They include the costs incurred to date, though it often includes future expenses and losses.

Special damages include out of pocket medical costs like medical care, physical rehabilitation, and medication. Income you would have earned if not side-lined by an injury is reimbursed as a special damage, and if you’re unable to work, your expected lifetime earnings are classified as special damages. The costs of altering your home to let you continue living there, such as putting in an elevator or ramps, are special damages. The cost of skilled nursing care in a facility or the wages paid to in-home assistants are reimbursed via special damages. Consult with a medical negligence claims UK expert about seeking reimbursement of lost wages for a partner or family member who quit a job to take care of you, even if they simply retired earlier than planned. 

Travel costs for care fall under special damages as well, and this includes seeking care abroad to get care in a timely manner. Parking costs or the cost of a new vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair are reimbursable as special damages.

The challenge many claimants face is the fact that these losses must be proved. If you don’t have a receipt, you may not be able to claim it. You may actually lose out on potential financial compensation if you have a family member or friend do modifications to your home unpaid instead of charging you for the work and then getting reimbursed as part of your settlement.

There are many avenues by which a claim could be challenged. For example, someone who has lost their ability to engage in a physically demanding job may be told to retrain for another job that is not as demanding. Just because you cannot work in construction doesn’t mean you couldn’t work in a call centre.


Claimants who win their case are entitled to claim interest on the money you’d receive for both general damages and special damages. When you’re filing a case within the three-year limit, this rarely adds up to much. If you’re filing a medical negligence case on behalf of a disabled child or as a young adult suing for medical damages that occurred when you were a child, then interest can literally add up. Or, in many cases, compound it.

Legal Costs

In a no-win, no-fee situation, you can seek a larger settlement to offset the portion the best medical negligence solicitors charge in lieu of up-front payment. If you’ve paid for legal services privately, you can include these charges as part of the costs the guilty party has to reimburse you for.

But note that most medical negligence cases are handled on a no win no fee basis. This not only means that you’ll only have to pay if you win the case, but also that you have a solid case on your hands if you want people to represent you.

This also means that if you happen to lose the case, you won’t have to pay to compensate the other party. But if you win, your lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement. This may differ depending on if the lawyer actually goes to court and represents you or if the case is settled out of court, which is often the case. Medical negligence lawyers will be able to advise you on whether or not you should accept an offer or if you should take the matter before the court.


Medical negligence payments are only possible if you file the case within the time limits set by British law. Medical negligence cases, if won, pay anywhere from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand pounds. The payment depends largely on the severity of the injury, the long-term impact of the injury on the claimant, and the documented costs associated with the injury. 

A medical negligence expert can help you maximize your payout by aiding you in proving the severity of your injury, documenting all associated costs, and better arguing the lifetime costs of living with the injury.