Hospital Negligence Claims

Accident & Emergency Claims

Accident and emergency departments provide a vital and often life-saving service. On the rare occasions that you might need to visit A&E, you have the right to expect that hospital staff will be able to diagnose and treat a serious health condition as soon as possible.

A&E departments are busy, and doctors and nurses are under pressure to keep waiting times down and move patients on or out as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t expect a good standard of care.

Our medical negligence solicitors have years of experience helping people claim compensation who’ve suffered because of:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed treatment
  • Failure to refer the patient for appropriate tests
  • Insufficient examination of the patient

Most of our A&E negligence cases are funded using a No Win No Fee agreement, which means you’re not at any financial risk when you make a claim with us.*

We strongly believe in the importance of rehabilitation and we’ll help you access care and support throughout your claim and after it has settled.


No Win No Fee*
Personal injury trusts and benefits advice
Largest medical negligence team in the country
Access to client liaison managers and rehabilitation contacts

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0800 121 6567

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Accident & Emergency Claims - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and whether you have a legal claim. We’ll discuss what funding options are available to you to pay for your claim, including No Win No Fee agreements*.

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your negligent treatment at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for your injuries. If they accept responsibility, we’ll try to secure interim compensation payments which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. Any interim payments will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence from independent medical professionals. These experts evaluate what care you should have received and can determine any future implications to your health. They’ll also advise us on the care you’ll need in the future.

      We’ll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim does need to go to court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • In most medical negligence cases, you have three years to make a compensation claim, starting from the date your injury happened (or the date you first became aware that your injury was a result of negligence). For children, this three year period begins on their 18th birthday, so you have until they’re 21 to make a claim.

      If you have questions or concerns about the time limits, please call us for free initial advice on 0800 121 6567.

    • Can I Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Our Other Teams Can Help
    • Because we’re a full-service law firm, we also have a number of other in-house teams with specialist knowledge in areas such as rehabilitation, Wills and asset management.

      Rehabilitation

      We see rehabilitation as key and will make sure that you can access the care and support services you need to lead the best life possible. Our client liaison managers can provide support and information to you and your family, helping you with many of the other problems you may face, such as employment and benefit issues.

      Public Law

      Our Public Law department can offer advice on Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. The Act made sweeping reforms to child welfare legislation, affecting young people with special education needs under the age of 25. It replaced statements of special educational needs and learning difficulty assessments with a combined Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan).

      Please follow this link for more information on the Children and Families Act, along with factsheets and template letters.

      Asset Management

      Our Asset Management team can provide advice on how your compensation could be best invested. We also have Court of Protection lawyers who can set up personal injury trusts and make sure you have access to the benefits you’re entitled to.

They were always there to answer my questions and queries when I was at my most vulnerable and they persevered to obtain the best possible result."

Lisa, client

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Conditions Misdiagnosed In A&E?

Doctors and nurses in A&E are under a great deal of pressure, but they still need to meet certain standards. They’re specially trained to be able to recognise and diagnose illnesses, prioritising patients so that the most serious cases receive urgent treatment. When this process breaks down and people slip through the net…

… the results can be tragic and sometimes fatal.

Some of the most common mistakes involve failures to:

  • Take a patient’s medical history properly
  • Refer a patient for tests (e.g. x-rays, blood tests and scans)
  • Examine a patient properly

These errors can mean that patients are sent home from A&E when they should have been admitted to hospital. People with general (diffuse) pain rather than localised symptoms are sometimes simply given painkillers when in fact they’re suffering from a serious health problem.

By the time a doctor or consultant has diagnosed the medical condition – often after the patient’s made multiple visits to a GP or walk-in centre – it might be too late to give them the treatment they should have received when they first visited A&E.

We could help if you’ve had one of these conditions misdiagnosed in A&E:

  • Aneurysms
  • Broken bones
  • Cauda equina
  • Heart attacks
  • Meningitis
  • Misdiagnosed miscarriage
  • Severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock)
  • Strokes

Our medical negligence solicitors understand the impact that misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in A&E can have. We’ll investigate exactly which processes broke down when your condition went unnoticed, seeking answers from the organisation responsible.

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What Constitutes Negligent Treatment In A&E?

When you arrive at A&E after a traumatic accident, you should receive a reasonable standard of treatment.

But under the time pressures of an A&E department, mistakes and oversights can happen. For example, a fracture might be treated negligently if:

  • The pieces of bone aren’t aligned properly
  • Needless surgery takes place when a plaster cast would have worked
  • It leads to unnecessary scarring

It’s important that wounds are treated correctly too – negligent cleaning or dressing could result in infection and further complications, while negligent stitching could cause excessive scarring. 

If you’ve received sub-standard medical care in A&E, we can help you claim compensation. We’ll investigate your case, working out exactly how the malpractice happened and what could have been done to prevent it.

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What’s The NHS Complaints Process?

For many of our clients, an apology and an explanation is as important as compensation. We can guide you not only through your claim but also through the NHS complaints process.

There are a number of schemes to deal with complaints about GPs or hospitals. It’s often possible…

to claim a small amount of compensation from these schemes, and the organisation involved will also sometimes make an official apology.

If you’re not happy with the response to your complaint, we can help with the next steps. That could mean requesting an independent inquiry or taking your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman.

For very serious complaints, we can take your case to the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC disciplines doctors and has the ability to prevent them from working in future. While the GMC cannot award compensation, many of our clients take comfort from seeing steps taken to ensure that the mistakes made in their case cannot be repeated.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

Read More Feedback

We campaign for patient safety and justice.

As well as securing compensation and rehabilitation for our clients, we also campaign for changes to patient safety by supporting Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA).

This UK charity provides advice and support to people who have suffered because of lapses in patient safety, working in partnership with health professionals, the government and the NHS to ensure that safety guidelines are followed.

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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