Infection claims

Infection claims

For finding answers and getting justice

Going into hospital means trusting your health to professionals who owe you a duty of care. They have a responsibility to minimise the risk of infections and if they have failed to do so, there can be serious consequences.

Some infections might be detected quickly and treated easily, but some can be life-threatening or cause permanent damage to your health. No matter the circumstances of your hospital-acquired infection, you’ll be entitled to claim compensation if it was caused by clinical negligence.

Switalskis has a deep understanding of the laws that protect patients in these cases. Our experience and high success rate in making infection claims make us the perfect partner for you. We’ll always work hard and do whatever it takes to give you the highest chance of making a successful claim and securing the compensation you deserve.

To speak to a member of our friendly team, call us on 0800 1380 458 or contact us through the website to learn more about making a hospital-acquired infection claim for compensation. 

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your situation in confidence, call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

How Switalskis can help you

Infection is a recognised risk in every operation. If it diagnosed later or not treated adequately with the right drugs or correct form of dressings to protect the wound, it can be negligent. Some infections may only be minor, but others may have permanent symptoms or cause life-changing injuries. If you suffer severe complications from an infection that should have been treated more actively, you may have the right to compensation.

Switalskis has a wealth of expertise and experience in making claims for clients in this same position as you. Our clinical negligence team believes that hospital-acquired infection claims are the best way to make sure other people don’t get infected under similar circumstances in the future. For us, it’s not just about securing the maximum amount of compensation for you - although, of course, that’s important. We also want to seek justice and make sure that the mistakes that caused your suffering never happen again.

Members of our team are accredited by the Law Society and by Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) , in recognition of their knowledge and the quality of service they provide. Our solicitors know the right questions to establish liability, build a strong case and reach a suitable settlement to get you the compensation you deserve.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What are the most common hospital-acquired infections?

If hygiene standards are not maintained, there is a high risk of sustaining a variety of different types of infections in healthcare settings. The most common infections that people sustain in this way include:

  • MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus): this is a type of bacteria that has become resistant to several widely used antibiotics. MRSA can lead to serious conditions like bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. If there is a high risk of a patient contracting MRSA, doctors should look out for symptoms and order tests where appropriate.
  • C. difficile: this bacterial infection commonly affects people who have recently been treated with antibiotics, especially in healthcare settings. It can lead to severe diarrhoea and more serious intestinal conditions, including colitis. Healthcare providers should be alert to the risk of C. difficile in patients.
  • E. coli: though many strains of E. coli are harmless, some can cause serious infections. In a hospital setting, they might cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses and bloodstream infections.
  • Norovirus: also known as the 'winter vomiting bug,' norovirus can spread quickly in healthcare settings. It primarily causes vomiting and diarrhoea and usually clears up after a few days. Nevertheless, these symptoms can be unpleasant and sometimes lead to more serious complications.

The type of infection and severity of the symptoms you experienced will determine how much compensation you could be eligible to claim.

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your situation in confidence, call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

How does medical negligence cause infections?

Medical professionals are responsible for keeping you safe and healthy and should take reasonable care of you. Unfortunately, infections and the resulting complications can happen when those responsible for your care don’t meet their obligations. Healthcare mistakes that might entitle you to make an infection compensation claim include:

  • Poor sterilisation procedures: inadequate sterilisation of medical instruments can introduce harmful bacteria into a patient's body during surgery or other procedures. Poor sterilisation of surfaces and equipment generally can also increase the risk of an infection, because if a hospital does not properly clean rooms, beds or equipment, this can create an environment where bacteria and other pathogens can flourish.
  • Failure to follow infection control guidelines: hospitals have specific guidelines for hygiene and infection control, such as hand-washing protocols. Failure to stick to these measures can result in the spread of bacteria and other pathogens.
  • Improper antibiotic use: overuse or misuse of antibiotics can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA. If a healthcare provider negligently prescribes or administers antibiotics, it may lead a patient to develop a more resistant infection that is more difficult to treat.
  • Negligent post-operative care: after surgical procedures, rigorous hygiene and care are needed to prevent infection at the surgical site. Doctors should also provide clear instructions for patients to follow their own aftercare procedures. Failure in any of these areas could be considered negligence.
  • Inadequate staff training: medical staff who are not properly trained in infection control measures can make errors that lead to the spread of infections. This could be anything from improperly inserting a catheter to failing to identify symptoms of an infectious disease.
  • Improper use or maintenance of medical devices: devices such as ventilators or IV lines can become sources of infection if they are not properly sterilised, maintained or used.
  • Communication errors: a lack of effective communication between healthcare providers can result in oversights that lead to the spread of infections. For instance, if a medical professional doesn’t communicate that a patient has a particular infection, the facility may not be able to take the right precautions to prevent it from spreading.
  • Improper disposal of medical waste: medical waste needs to be carefully handled and disposed of to prevent the spread of infections. If medical waste is not disposed of according to the relevant regulations, this can significantly increase the likelihood of infections spreading.

If you’re unsure whether you experienced medical negligence, speak to a member of our team. Switalskis’ infection claims solicitors have a wealth of experience in this area and can help you to identify whether or not you’re eligible to claim.

What is the process for making infection claims?

The process for making any medical negligence claim will usually unfold in essentially the same way. The stages involved will typically be as follows:

Step 1: Initial consultation

Reach out to Switalskis for a free, no obligation initial consultation. During this meeting, we’ll listen to your story, understand your concerns and explain whether we think you have a strong case. If we decide to proceed, we can then discuss the next steps and the available funding options.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

We’ll gather all the relevant information we need to build your case. This will include applying for all of your medical records, including your GP records. We’ll ask you for photographs, receipts and any other documents that may support your claim. We’ll take detailed witness statements to tell your version of events. We may arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert to provide an unbiased view of your injuries and future prognosis. The aim will be to prove the negligence was responsible for your injury and consider the potential value of the claim.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

Nnce we have supportive evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the doctor and/or hospital involved. This will outline details of the claim and state allegations regarding the negligence treatment.

Step 4: Defendant response

The defendant will then have four months to investigate the allegations made against them and respond to the letter of claim. This is known as a letter of response. The letter will include whether the defendant accepts they are at fault. This is called an admission of liability. If they do not accept fault, they will state this in the letter and this is called a denial of liability. We’ll advise you of the next steps at this stage.

Step 5: Court proceedings (where necessary)

most claims will be settled through negotiation, without needing to go to court. In the rare instances where the case does go to trial, you can trust us to represent you throughout the process.

Step 6: Settlement and compensation

 If the defendant or practice has admitted fault, negotiations can start. Our hospital infection claims solicitors will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible compensation amount for you. This stage will include a discussion about how much compensation you may receive. This will be calculated to cover the pain and suffering caused by your infection, as well as any financial losses or expenses you’ve experienced as a result.

Once your claim reaches a successful conclusion, you’ll receive the compensation you’re owed. In some cases where the other party admits fault but negotiations take a long time, we may be able to ease your financial burden by securing interim payments.

Throughout this process, we’ll stay in touch to make sure you know what stage your case has reached and have an idea of when it might conclude. Switalskis will stay fully committed to your case throughout, to relieve as much of your stress as possible.

To speak to one of our specialist solicitors about your situation in confidence, call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through the website.

Our infection claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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How much infection negligence compensation can I claim?

The amount of compensation you’ll receive for a hospital-acquired infection varies greatly according to the individual circumstances you faced. Things like the harm you suffered, the nature of your infection and the impact on your life will affect how much compensation you could receive.

Compensation payments consist of two types of damages: general damages, and special damages. General damages take into account the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experienced as the result of a hospital-acquired infection. Judicial College guidelines and previous settlements for similar infections can affect how much you should expect in general damages.

Special damages are calculated based on any financial losses or expenses related to your infection and recovery. If you took time off work and lost earnings during your recovery, or will be unable to work in the future due to the aftermath of your infection, a claim will cover these losses. Similarly, if you’re left with a disability that needs you to make modifications to your home, vehicle or lifestyle, special damages can cover the costs associated with this.

Because of these factors, it is difficult to provide estimates for how much compensation you could be owed. The best way to get an accurate estimate of the compensation you’re due is to speak to a solicitor about the specifics of your case. Contact Switalskis today and we’ll be able to provide an estimate of how much compensation you could receive based on a discussion of your circumstances.

Is there a time limit for making a hospital-acquired infection claim?

For any medical negligence claim, there is usually a time limit of three years to begin the claims process in court. This starts on the date of your negligent treatment, although in some cases it may begin on the date that you realised that clinical negligence was the cause of the harm you suffered.

There are some exceptions to this three-year limitation period, including:

  • Children: if the person who suffered the negligence was under 18 at the time, the three-year period doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until they turn 21 to start legal proceedings.
  • Mental capacity: if the person who suffered the negligence lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions, there may be no time limit to make a claim on their behalf.
  • Fatal cases: if you’re claiming on behalf of a deceased family member who passed away due to complications arising from a hospital-acquired infection, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that negligent treatment caused their death.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re eligible to make a claim, speak to the infection negligence claims solicitors at Switalskis. We’ll talk about your situation, advise you of any deadlines that apply, and get the claims process started for you.

Can I get financial support to make a claim?

At Switalskis, we believe that no one should be held back from claiming compensation simply because they are worried about the financial cost. We offer a few different arrangements to cover legal fees and minimise risk to our clients, so that anyone who has the right to make a claim is able to do so.

  • No win, no fee agreements: also known as conditional fee agreements (CFAs), no win, no fee arrangements are the most common way to fund an infection negligence claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: under this arrangement, we’ll begin an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we use. However, you may have legal expenses covered as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaise with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

During our initial conversation, we’ll talk about funding options to put your mind at ease when it comes to paying for legal support. That way, you can enjoy peace of mind about your case and not have to worry about facing any financial risk when making a claim.

Why Switalskis?

Making a medical negligence claim can be a challenging, emotional journey. In such circumstances, a trusted, experienced partner is not just beneficial but essential. This is precisely where Switalskis stands firm as your ally.

Clarity in complexity

Medical negligence claims can seem overwhelming, but understanding it doesn't have to be. We’re dedicated to simplifying the legal terminology and processes. We take pride in addressing your concerns, unravelling the intricacies and ensuring you’re well-informed at each phase of your journey.

Empathy at every step

We make it a priority to immerse ourselves in your unique situation. We attentively listen to your worries, acknowledge your feelings, and offer considerate advice customised to your particular needs. We become more than just your legal representatives - we are your supporters. For us, you're not just another case but an individual grappling with a challenging and very emotional situation.

Expertise you can trust

When dealing with a matter as serious as a medical negligence claim, you need seasoned professionals on your team. Switalskis brings together years of unrivalled expertise and a track record of success in medical negligence cases. We're committed to championing your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Championing your rights

Our devoted team is committed to protecting your rights and amplifying your voice. We will walk you through every stage of the claims process, ensuring you're well-equipped and confident to make informed decisions. At Switalskis, it's more than just a case - it's a crusade for justice and the compensation you rightfully deserve.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you believe that you or a loved one have been subjected to medical negligence during pregnancy, it's vital you take that first step towards justice. Switalskis is here to guide you through the process, providing expert advice, emotional support and strong representation.

Contact Switalskis today by calling 0800 1380 458 or getting in touch with us through the website to discuss your concerns in confidence with a legal specialist.

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