Council Compensation Claims

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury specialists.

Council Compensation Claims

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Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

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No win no fee* takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Council Compensation Claims

Free, no obligation advice

Not sure if you have a valid claim? Contact us for free advice, with no obligation to proceed.

Council Compensation Claims

No win no fee guarantee

No win no fee takes the risk out of making an injury claim. If you lose your case, you don't pay a penny.

Council Compensation Claims

Talk to the experts

We work in partnership with National Accident Helpline, the UK's leading personal injury experts.

Hospital Infection Claims

When you go to a hospital, you expect to receive adequate care and treatment so that you can feel well again and resume your daily life. While this is typically the case, negligence and errors can sometimes occur, causing patients to undergo unnecessary pain and suffering.

All medical professionals have a duty to comply with the standards of care expected in their field and keep you as safe from harm as possible. That includes keeping stringent hygiene standards to prevent contracting and spreading infections such as MRSA. If you or a loved one suffered because of a hospital infection you acquired due to negligence, you might be eligible to make a compensation claim.

To find out if you have a valid hospital infection claim, please call 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a legal adviser or enter your details here to request a call back.

What is a hospital acquired infection?

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people acquire an infection during their hospital stay. In 2016/2017, there were an estimated 653,000 healthcare-associated infections among the 13.8 million adult patients in NHS hospitals in England, resulting in 22,800 fatalities.

A hospital acquired infection is an infection that develops in a patient during their stay in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital, nursing home or rehabilitation centre. These are caused by viruses, bacteria or even parasites and can have devastating long-term consequences and can even be fatal because they typically affect individuals who are already vulnerable and have underlying health issues. The most common infections acquired in hospitals include:

  • MRSA is a type of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics that can cause various infections within the body, such as pneumonia and sepsis;
  • C. difficile can cause diarrhoea, fever, stomach ache and loss of appetite and can damage the bowel in people with a weakened immune system;
  • E. coli can cause urinary tract infections and gastroenteritis, with severe pain and bloody diarrhoea;
  • Enterococcal bacteria can lead to urinary tract infections, wound infections, meningitis and bloodstream infections;
  • Acinetobacter infections can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, urinary infections and wound infections;
  • Salmonella can cause food poisoning with symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever;
  • Staphylococcus can cause illnesses ranging from minor skin infections to life-threatening conditions like pneumonia and sepsis.

Regardless of the type of infection you contracted, if it was due to the hospital’s negligence, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

Am I eligible to make a hospital infection claim?

The easiest way to find out if you can claim hospital infection compensation is to contact us today for a free consultation with a legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410. They will assess your circumstances and be able to determine whether:

  • The hospital had a duty of care towards you;
  • The care provided by the medical staff fell below the acceptable standard (a breach of duty);
  • Their negligence caused you to contract a hospital infection and become ill (causation);
  • You suffered losses as a result, such as pain, suffering and lost wages (damages).

Your solicitor will consult with independent medical experts to ascertain whether the hospital breached its duty of care towards you, causing your illness. If all the above can be proven in your case, they will help you gather the necessary evidence to start a medical negligence claim for compensation.

hospital infection claims

What types of negligence can lead to a claim for a hospital infection?

Several types of negligence or breaches in the standard of care may contribute to the acquisition of a hospital infection, including:

  • Failure to meet hygiene standards and provide a safe environment
  • Improper or lax hand washing
  • Failure to carry out routine screenings for MRSA and other infections before surgery and other procedures
  • Inadequate dressing of wounds and aftercare following surgery
  • Using unsterile, infected instruments to investigate or treat patients
  • Not using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves or masks appropriately
  • Failure to implement isolation precautions when necessary
  • Failure to monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection
  • Not providing adequate treatment for an infection once recognised
  • Poor check-ups following surgery leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment
  • Failure to dispose of needles, sharps and other equipment correctly

These are just a few examples of negligence that could entitle you to claim compensation for a hospital acquired infection.

How can you tell you have acquired a hospital infection?

Some indicators that may suggest you have acquired a common hospital infection include:

  • Your symptoms developed after being admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility;
  • A sudden worsening of an underlying condition or the appearance of new symptoms unrelated to the primary reason for your hospitalisation;
  • You were in good health prior to hospital admission and did not have symptoms of infection;
  • You underwent an invasive procedure or used medical devices like catheters, ventilators, or surgical implants;
  • You had contact with other patients or healthcare workers who were infected;
  • Your infection is consistent with known patterns of hospital acquired infections within the facility.

If you are entitled to make a medical negligence claim, your solicitor will be able to demonstrate that your condition was due to a hospital setting.

Possible long-term consequences of infections acquired in hospital

Infections acquired in hospitals can have a number of long-term consequences, such as:

  • Chronic health problems, such as recurrent infections, chronic inflammation, organ damage or compromised immune function;
  • Ongoing symptoms such as fatigue, pain and gastrointestinal disturbances that can affect your daily activities and social interactions and lower your quality of life;
  • Physical, emotional and psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression due to the illness and uncertainty of long-term health outcomes;
  • Long-term healthcare costs for ongoing medical monitoring, treatment, or rehabilitation which can put a financial burden on you and your family;
  • Loss of independence due to severe or disabling complications such as organ damage, neurological deficits, or mobility impairments.

Your solicitor will include any long-term impacts on your health and daily life in your hospital infection compensation claim and ensure you are fully compensated for your pain and suffering.

What evidence do I need to support a hospital acquired infection claim?

The types of evidence your medical negligence solicitor could use to support a hospital acquired infection claim include:

  • Your medical records from the hospital stay, with details of your admission, treatments, and any documented symptoms or complications related to the infection;
  • Any laboratory tests conducted to diagnose or monitor the infection, such as blood tests, urine tests, or cultures of bodily fluids or tissues;
  • Copies of the hospital’s policies and procedures related to infection control and prevention;
  • Statements from staff or other patients who witnessed negligent practices that led to your infection and the symptoms you experienced;
  • If applicable, photographs of visible symptoms or conditions related to the infection, such as rashes, wounds or surgical sites;
  • Expert opinions from specialists who can link your condition to the hospital stay and provide insights into whether the infection could have been prevented or treated more effectively;
  • Your statement about how the bacterial infection has affected your life;
  • You also need financial evidence of all the losses and expenses incurred as a result, such as private hospital treatments and lost wages during recovery.

Can I claim compensation on behalf of a loved one?

If your loved one is a child or an adult who lacks mental capacity, you could claim hospital infection compensation on their behalf. To act on their behalf, you must apply to the court to appoint you as their litigation friend. Your solicitor can help you fill in and file all the necessary documents, together with proof that:

  • You have no conflict of interest with the claimant;
  • You can make fair and competent decisions about the case.

Once appointed, you can begin the claims process, which will be similar to any other personal injury claim. You will help your solicitor gather the necessary evidence and will have some other responsibilities, such as paying any fees requested by the court, signing legal documents and considering any compensation offers made by the other side.

If you make a successful claim for a hospital infection on behalf of your loved one, you must typically go to an approval hearing in court. Here, a judge will look at the available evidence and determine whether the amount of compensation awarded is fair. Your solicitor could then help you set up a personal injury trust on behalf of your loved one.

Claims for fatal infections

In the case of patients with a weakened immune system or other severe health issues, certain types of hospital infections can be fatal. In such cases, you might be eligible to make a hospital negligence claim. While no amount of money can help ease the pain of losing a loved one, it can help you deal with the financial burden of their wrongful death. Generally, any dependent of the deceased can make a compensation claim, including:

  • Current and former spouses and civil partners
  • Parents and other ascendents, including anyone treated as a parent
  • Children and other descendants, including anyone treated as a child
  • Siblings, aunts or uncles

If you are entitled to compensation, your claim could include the following:

  • The loss of financial support expected from your loved one, such as salaries, bonuses and pensions;
  • The loss of services your loved one used to provide, such as childcare, DIY projects and household chores;
  • Funeral expenses and the financial losses your loved one incurred due to the infection before their death;
  • You can also receive a bereavement award of £15,120 for the grief and suffering caused to you by the wrongful death of your loved one.

What is the time limit for starting a hospital-acquired infection claim?

The time limit to start a hospital-acquired infection claim is typically three years from the date your condition is diagnosed (the date of knowledge). After three years, the case will be time-barred and no longer valid. It is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you start legal proceedings within the time limit and receive your hospital infection compensation as quickly as possible.

There are a few exceptions to the standard time limit, such as:

  • With child injury claims, a suitable adult can claim on their behalf at any time before the child’s 18th birthday. Afterwards, they have until turning 21 to start a claim themselves.
  • If the injured party lacks the capacity to start legal proceedings due to a condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf without a time limit.
  • You have three years to start a hospital infection claim after losing a loved one due to negligence.

How much compensation could I claim for a hospital infection?

The amount of medical negligence compensation you could receive for the harm you suffered will depend on several factors, such as the type and severity of your condition and the related financial losses. Two types of damages are included in a claim for a hospital infection:

General damages are awarded for the illness itself and the effects on your life, such as:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional and mental anguish
  • Reduced quality of life
  • The impact on your ability to engage in hobbies and social events
  • Loss of consortium or companionship

Special damages are awarded for the financial losses and expenses incurred due to the infection you acquired whilst in hospital, such as:

  • Cost of prescriptions and private treatments
  • Loss of earnings during recovery
  • Transportation costs to medical appointments
  • Care costs during illness or in case of a long-term disability

Based on the guidelines from the Judicial College, you could receive £750 to £3,100 for minor symptoms with a full recovery within a few months, and up to £63,980 for severe infections with long-term symptoms or loss of function. An experienced medical negligence solicitor will be able to provide an estimate of how much compensation you could be entitled to once they have assessed your case.

Can I make a medical negligence claim on a no win no fee basis?

If you have a valid hospital acquired infection claim, your solicitor will work on a no win no fee basis. They will help you secure the compensation you deserve without asking for an upfront payment. You only have to pay them anything at all if your case is successful. In this case, they will get a success fee of up to 25% of your compensation award. If your case fails, you do not have to pay them a single penny.

As part of this service, you will also have After the Event (ATE) insurance against litigation costs such as court fees, medical reports, expert witness fees and travel expenses. If you lose, the ATE will cover all these expenses, ensuring you are never left out of pocket. You do not have to pay for the ATE premium if your case is unsuccessful.

To learn more about the no win no fee service, and how to make a hospital infection claim, do not hesitate to call 0800 678 1410 or use our online claim form to request a call back.

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