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Medical negligence

If you or a loved one have suffered medical negligence our lawyers are here to offer you sensitive support and expert experience gained after representing claimants in this area for more than 35 years. 

35+ years' experience in the field

Choosing a lawyer to help you with a medical negligence claim can come at a worrying and stressful time. We are here to help reassure you that you are speaking to a team of specialist and skilled team of experts.

Medical negligence Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Find the answer in our FAQs.

What our clients say

Read about our medical negligence case studies

Further details about recent settlements

What our clients say

Quite simply, the best in the business.

Medical negligence client, via Trustpilot

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See how we helped others: medical negligence case studies

News Article
Defocussed Hospital Corridor
Clinical negligence Settlement

Almost £1m for man who suffered spinal injury during treatment for heart condition

A man has received almost £1 million in compensation in a legal claim against his GP following allegations that inappropriate medication was prescribed to treat his cardiac condition.

News Article
GP Surgery
Medical negligence Settlement

Woman receives six-figure settlement after prolonged antibiotic prescription caused irreversible lung damage

A woman has settled a medical negligence claim against her GP after being prescribed Nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic for treatment of bacterial infections, for eight times longer than recommended, resulting in Nitrofurantoin induced lung damage.  

News Article
Blurry hospital corridor
Breast cancer Medical negligence

Woman’s 10-year ordeal of multiple failures to properly diagnose and treat breast cancer

A woman, who we have called Marie, suffered a catalogue of errors including multiple misdiagnoses of breast cancer and further pathology and surgical errors.

News Article
Newborn Parents Blurred Behind
Medical negligence Clinical negligence Cerebral palsy

More than £18 million secured on behalf of child with cerebral palsy

A nine-year-old girl, who suffered permanent and severely debilitating brain damage as a result of negligent management of her mother’s labour, has received an eight-figure lump sum and annual payments in compensation to meet her needs for the rest of her life.

How much will it cost?

Find out more about paying for a medical negligence case

Medical negligence, in the broadest form, is when a medical professional or institute is in breach of the legal duty of care they owe an individual patient or patients.

Whatever the scale of the claim, for it to class as medical negligence you need to prove the medical professional failed to meet their duty of care, resulting in your injuries or illness. 

These two components are:

  • Fault - The medical professional failed to treat you in the way reasonably expected, causing your condition. Your health was under their responsibility and the consequences are therefore their fault. 
  • Avoidable harm - Also known as causation, this shows it was clinical negligence that led to your injuries or illness, rather than an underlying condition. Essentially, the harm caused was entirely avoidable had the medical professional upheld their expected duty of care.

Different types of medical negligence cases

  • Misdiagnosis - Receiving the wrong or no diagnosis for a condition, symptoms missed and illnesses worsening.  
  • Delayed diagnosis - Failing to diagnose your condition, leading to the condition worsening and avoidable pain and suffering, for example when birth asphyxia occurs. 
  • Incorrect treatment - Given the wrong drugs or receiving inappropriate therapy. 
  • Surgical mistakes - An error during a procedure or operation resulting in an injury or further illness. 
  • Consent - Receiving treatment without providing your consent. 

With all medical negligence claims, you’ll need to prove the care you received fell below acceptable standards.

Medical negligence examples

Examples can include causing birth injuries due to negligence on behalf of the doctor or midwife, which can lead to cerebral palsy in the child. 

Misdiagnosis  of symptoms can happen if test results are misinterpreted, the wrong treatment prescribed or a patient is referred to an inappropriate specialist. 

Mistreatment of many illnesses and diseases, or substandard care, can have a significant impact. This includes illnesses diagnosed too late, injuries missed by medical professionals or receiving incorrect treatment. 

Medical negligence cases can arise when you experience substandard care from any healthcare professional. If you’ve suffered negligent treatment from any of the following healthcare professionals then it may class as practitioner negligence:

  • GP or Doctor 
  • Nurses
  • A&E staff
  • Midwives
  • NHS employees
  • Private medical professionals

Making a medical negligence claim

  1. Book a free initial assessment. Contact our medical negligence lawyers for a free over-the-phone or in-person assessment
  2. Speak to our expert lawyers. One of our team will ask you a series of questions - in confidence - either over the phone or in person"
  3. Understand whether you have a claim. We'll advise you in whether you have a claim, how much compensation you may expect to receive, and what the next steps are"
  4. We'll support you all the way. If you appoint Leigh Day to represent you, our team will support you all the way and strive to sort it as quickly as possible.

Ready to talk?

Contact our medical negligence team in London on 020 7650 1200  or fill in our form. Our expert team of medical negligence lawyers has been based in London for more than 30 years and has unrivalled experience in this area. We can help you with your case wherever you are based in the UK. We also have a dedicated office in Manchester which helps clients throughout the North West. while our medical injury team in Leeds can assist clients based throughout Yorkshire and the North East. 

Why use Leigh Day?


We have more than 35 years’ experience, successfully fighting hundreds of cases. 100% of our medical negligence Trustpilot reviews are 5*


We have expert solicitors in London who work across a broad range of specialisms. These include everything from claims related to brain injuries, cerebral palsy, birth injuries, illness and disease.


The Times ranked us as one of the 3 top UK firms for clinical negligence in its 2021 Top Law Firms supplement. We are ranked highly in both the independent directory The Legal 500 and Chambers.

What the directories say

One of the best firms in the business. Supremely experienced, hardworking, and attuned to the needs of their clients.

Legal 500 2024

Healthcare news and blogs

Blog Post
breast cancer ribbon
Breast cancer Medical negligence

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: insights from a medical negligence lawyer

For breast cancer awareness month, Leigh Day specialist breast cancer lawyer Maria Panteli explains the importance of early diagnosis, and what to do should you or a loved one receive a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis from a medical professional.

News Article
Pair Of Hands
Nottingham Maternity Inquiry Medical negligence

Leigh Day welcomes steps to improve engagement with families from ethnic backgrounds impacted by the Nottingham Maternity Scandal

After the announcement that a review into poor maternity care in Nottingham will now include around 1,700 families’ cases, law firm Leigh Day says it is more important than ever to makes sure all those impacted understand what has happened and are given a voice.

News Article
Doctor Walking Down Corridor
Ian Paterson Clinical negligence

Further 1,500 patients recalled following unlawful operations by jailed surgeon Ian Paterson

An old computer database has brought to light 1,500 additional patients of convicted surgeon Ian Paterson whose treatment needs to be investigated.

News Article
Baby Sleeping
Maternity Services Medical negligence

York Hospital maternity services concerns

Healthcare lawyers have welcomed the response of York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to “serious and significant concerns” raised about maternity services at York Hospital.

Medical negligence FAQs

Your medical negligence claim process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle. Our team will strive to sort it as quickly as possible. The amount of time it takes will depend on:

  • The severity of your case
  • Amount and speed of gathering evidence
  • How long the responsible person or body takes to respond
  • Length of court proceedings (most cases settle before trial)

Whoever is dealing with your claim will be able to advise on how long they think the process will take.

An inquest happens when a coroner decides to investigate the circumstances of a death to determine how the person died before registering the death. Learn more about what an inquest is.

If you have suffered medical negligence then you have three years from the point of realisation to make a claim. Special rules apply for children, who are not subject to the three-year limit until they are 18 – so they have until their 21st birthday to claim. People not capable of managing their own affairs due to a mental disability are also exempt and will rely on a ‘litigation friend’ to bring a claim.

To prove medical negligence you’ll need supporting evidence to improve your chances of success. This can include medical documents, witness statements, medical records (such as x-rays, ultrasounds), photographs and financial records.

Yes, you can make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a child under 18 years old or a ‘protected party’ – someone who lacks the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves due to an impairment or disturbance in the functioning of their mind or brain. You will be appointed as a ‘litigation friend’ to make decisions about the case.

It is rare that medical negligence cases go to court – they are normally settled before reaching this stage. However, with complicated cases there is a chance. Our team will support you through the process if this happens.

As part of the supporting evidence for your case, it’s likely that you will have to see a doctor for an expert examination. They will assess the extent of your injuries suffered due to medical negligence to help support your claim.

Compensation can cover the costs of physical and emotional pain caused and the impact on your quality of life.

It could help cover:

  • Medication and treatment
  • Therapy
  • Care
  • Transport and/or parking expenses
  • Adaptations to accommodation
  • Loss of earnings
  • Specialist equipment

Examples of successful medical negligence compensation awarded:

  • Five-figure settlement for a first-time mother who suffered depression after delayed surgery.
  • More than £30 million for lifelong care for a boy starved of oxygen at birth.
  • Six-figure settlement for woman who received life-changing facial injuries after delayed diagnosis of sarcoma.
  • £2.25 million for a man’s life changing neurological injuries after doctors failed to investigate spinal compression after surgery.

More FAQs about medical negligence