Your GP is often the first person you go to when you experience a medical problem, so their judgement and medical expertise can be critical to ensure you receive the right treatment promptly. However, if your GP makes a mistake in your care, this can result in a very negative outcome for your health and a big impact on your lifestyle.
If mistakes made by your GP are due to medical negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.
This can often go a long way to helping you deal with the effects of the harm you have suffered, for example, making sure you can afford the professional care and support you need and replacing lost income.
Get expert help to claim GP negligence compensation
GP negligence claims are often complex, and the necessary burden of proof for a successful claim can be highly challenging to establish. It is therefore critical to have the help of specialist medical negligence lawyers from the earliest stages to ensure all of the relevant factors are considered, every available angle explored and that no important detail is overlooked.
IBB Claims' clinical negligence team regularly help a wide range of clients to pursue compensation for GP negligence. We understand how confusing and stressful these issues can be, so our focus is on providing compassionate, straightforward legal advice and guidance that keeps the process as simple and effective as possible.
We offer a free initial consultation for all clinical negligence claims so we can get a clear understanding of your situation and give an honest assessment of whether we believe you have a claim worth pursuing.
Where we believe your claim justifies further investigation, we are usually able to offer a no-win no-fee agreement, meaning there is normally no upfront cost to start a compensation claim for GP negligence with IBB.
Our expertise in GP negligence claims
Our medical negligence lawyers regularly support clients all over England and Wales with a wide range of GP negligence claims.
We are able to secure substantial compensation for our clients who have experienced negligent treatment by a GP in relation to issues including:
- Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of a medical condition (including cancer misdiagnosis and stroke misdiagnosis)
- Failure to recognise the symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Failure to recognise the symptoms of testicular torsion
- Failure to carry out a proper examination of a patient
- Failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests or correctly interpret test results
- Failure to refer a patient to the appropriate specialist for treatment
- Negligent record-keeping
- Failure to review a patient’s medical records
- Failure to attend a home visit
- Prescribing inappropriate medication or the wrong dosage
Our clinical negligence team are highly skilled in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution, meaning we resolve the majority of the GP negligence claims we handle without the need for a court hearing. This allows you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of having your case dealt with in court, while also normally meaning we can secure compensation faster and with lower legal expenses.
However, we are also highly experienced in taking GP negligence compensation claims through the courts. This means we can ensure you will have the right support and very best representation to help secure a fair outcome, no matter how your case progresses.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury, reflecting our expertise in this area.
Our team has also been recognised by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, the two leading client guides to the legal profession, for our exceptional skill in handling negligence claims.
Our no win no fee GP negligence claims service
Many people have concerns about how they will fund the cost of a GP negligence claim, but this should never be a reason to put of pursuing compensation where you are entitled to it. As long as we believe your claim has merit, we will help you find an appropriate way to fund it.
In many cases, this means using a ‘conditional fee agreement’ to cover the cost of your claim. Also known as a ‘no win, no fee’ claim, this means you do not need to pay anything upfront to start a claim and will only need to contribute towards your legal fees and expenses if your claim succeeds in securing compensation.
In the event of a successful claim, the fees you pay will be based on a pre-agreed percentage of the damages secured. This means you will always have transparency over the likely costs involved and always be able to keep the majority of any compensation we win for you.
What counts as GP negligence?
When a GP makes an error, it will not necessarily automatically count as negligence. To be considered negligent, the care you receive from your GP will need to:
- Fall below medically acceptable standards, i.e. another GP in the same situation would not be expected to have made the same errors.
- The negligence you experienced directly caused or contributed to a worse outcome for your health.
Knowing whether a GP made mistakes and, if so, whether these amount to negligence can be very hard to know without expert help. Our GP negligence solicitors are experts in these matters, so can help to firmly establish whether you have grounds for a claim and that your claim is as strong as possible.
Can I sue my GP for negligence?
If the treatment provided by your GP was sub-standard and caused you to suffer avoidable injury or loss, you can sue your GP for negligence.
It’s important to note that if you choose to bring a claim against a GP, it will be brought against the GP personally as they typically provide services under a contract to the NHS as opposed to being an actual NHS employee. This means that you are not suing the NHS itself when you make a claim.
There are medical defence organisations such as the Medical Defence Union, who typically investigate claims brought against their members and will pay out compensation if they believe they cannot win the case.
How do I make a GP negligence claim?
To bring a claim against a GP, you need to get in contact with a GP negligence solicitor who can assess whether your case is likely to be successful and guide you through the process of making a claim.
Even then, it’s often a good idea to make a complaint to the GP practice first so that you can investigate what went wrong and whether the GP was responsible for your injury or loss. Make sure to share this correspondence, and the appropriate medical records, with your solicitor.
Once your GP negligence solicitor has all the information they need and have assessed your potential case, they will make a decision as to whether a claim should be brought against your GP.
What evidence do you need to prove GP negligence?
To show that the care you received from your GP was negligent, we will rely on evidence including:
- Medical records
- Witness testimony
- Evidence from independent medical experts
Ensuring no key evidence is missed and that everything is presented in the right way takes skill and experience, so we strongly recommend contacting our specialist medical negligence solicitors as soon as possible to ensure your case can be built correctly from the outset.
How much compensation can you claim for GP negligence?
This will depend on the circumstances, including:
- How serious the injury your suffered was.
- What effect this has had on your health and overall lifestyle.
There are two types of damages for GP negligence compensation claims:
Special damages – for specific financial costs incurred before the date of settlement, e.g. paying for private medical treatment, lost income etc.
General damages – for non-financial losses, e.g. pain and suffering and lifestyle changes, plus expected financial losses yet to be incurred, e.g. paying for ongoing treatment support and any long-term impact on your career.
We will provide an estimate of how much your claim may be worth during the early stages of the claims process so you have a clear idea of how much compensation you may be able to secure.
Can you claim compensation for fatal GP negligence?
If a loved one has tragically died due to GP negligence, it may be possible to claim compensation. The claim would need to be brought by a close family member of the deceased or the Executor of their estate.
Compensation for fatal GP negligence might cover costs such as:
- Bereavement damages
- Funeral expenses
- Compensation for loss of income or services the deceased provided
While no amount of compensation will bring your loved one back, it can help to alleviate some of the financial burdens on you at this difficult time and help to give you security for your future.
Our GP negligence solicitors can advise you on whether you may have grounds for compensation. We can then guide you through the entire claims process with sensitivity and close personal support.
Will I need to go to court to get GP negligence compensation?
While there are no guarantees, most claims are resolved out of court through a negotiated settlement. This means your claim can be resolved faster and at lower cost, without the stress of going to court and without compromising on the amount of compensation you receive.
However, in some circumstances, it may be necessary to take your claim to court. This includes in the GP (or their insurers) refuse to admit liability for the negligence or if they are not willing to agree on a suitable level of compensation.
Even when court proceedings are issued, it is common for a settlement to be agreed upon before your hearing date, so starting court proceedings does not necessarily mean you will end up in court.
Our GP negligence lawyers are highly skilled in negotiating out of court settlements, so can give you the best chance of an early settlement that meets your needs. If court proceedings are needed, we can ensure you have the best possible representation, so you can secure the best available outcome in court.
Will suing my GP affect my future treatment?
A GP is not allowed to provide substandard care for any reason, so they cannot treat you any differently because you are taking legal action against them. In practice, most people will wish to be seen by a different GP anyway, and you can request to be seen by someone else at the same practice or move to a different practice.
Time limits for GP negligence claims
When bringing a claim for GP negligence, there are strict time limits for starting the claims process, so it is essential to seek specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity, so you do not run the risk of missing your chance to claim.
To make a claim for yourself – you will normally have 3 years, either from when the negligence occurred or when you found out about it.
To make a claim for someone under the age of 18 – you will normally have until they turn 18 to do so. After this, if a claim has not been made, they will have 3 years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim against a GP by themselves.
To make a claim for someone without the mental capacity to bring a claim of their own – there is no time limit.
To make a claim for a loved one who has died due to GP negligence – you will normally have 3 years from the date of death.