MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections can be very serious, with the potential for devastating long-term health consequences and even death in the most severe cases. This can make life very difficult for you and your loved ones, both personally and financially, which is why claiming compensation is often the only sensible option.
Where you believe an infection was caused by negligent medical treatment, it can make living with the consequences even more upsetting and frustrating. It is entirely reasonable to be angry and to want answers about what went wrong and an apology. In many cases, pursuing a medical negligence claim is the only way you are ever likely to achieve this.
Having represented people in these kinds of difficult situations for over 30 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend can give you the best chance of getting fair compensation and the answers you deserve.
Why choose Devonalds for your MRSA claim?
Our local community in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend have relied on our legal expertise for more than three decades. With most of our team being born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, we are truly passionate about getting results for the families we represent.
It is very common to find the idea of dealing with legal issues confusing and intimidating, but we want you to feel totally comfortable when picking up the phone to us or visit our offices. We won’t throw a lot of unintelligible legal jargon at you and will treat your case with sensitivity and empathy, giving you the personal support you need at this difficult time.
Your claim will be managed by the same member of our team from start to finish and they will always be available by phone and email if you have a question or need an update on how things are progressing.
We know that you probably want to see your claim sorted out and get the compensation you deserve as quickly as possible, and this is something we always keep in mind. We will always aim to secure an early out-of-court settlement where possible, getting you fair compensation as quickly as we can, while keeping your legal fees and stress to a minimum.
Speak to us about starting a MRSA negligence claim today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to MRSA compensation, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How MRSA compensation claims work
Starting a claim for a hospital-acquired infection
You likely have a lot of questions, including whether you are owed compensation, how much compensation you could receive, what the claims process involves and how long it takes.
We offer a free initial consultation to answer these questions and any other concerns you might have. We will always be entirely honest about whether we think you have a realistic claim and will never put any pressure on you to pursue a claim with us. We want you to be entirely comfortable that you are making the right choice about what you want to do next.
No win, no fee MRSA claims
Most of our clients work with us under a conditional fee agreement, more commonly called a ‘no win, no fee’ deal. This allows us to advise and represent you without you needing to pay anything upfront towards our legal fees.
Our fees will only apply if we secure compensation for you, meaning that if your claim does not succeed, you won’t owe us anything. This is where the term ‘no win, no fee’ comes from.
Funding your claim this way means there is no financial risk to you in pursuing compensation. Should your claim succeed, some or all of your legal costs may be met by the other side, meaning there could be no cost to you at all for pursuing a claim.
Proving a hospital-acquired infection was due to medical negligence
For a successfully claim, we will need to prove that the errors in the care you or your loved one received were caused by medical negligence.
We will gather various types of evidence to support your claim, including:
- Medical records
- Examinations by independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
Having done this many times over the years, our team know exactly what is needed to build a strong claim and how to present this evidence effectively. This means we can give you the best chance of securing an early settlement or a positive outcome if your case goes to court.
Valuing your claim for MRSA compensation
How much your claim might be worth is obviously key when deciding whether to pursue a claim. Calculating the value of your claim is often referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’ and should cover all of the costs you have incurred or are likely to incur due to your injuries, as well as the non-financial impact on your life.
Compensation for MRSA negligence can cover issues such as:
- The cost of medical treatment, specialist care & equipment
- Lost income if you need to take time off or give up work
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs and other expenses
- Loss of amenity i.e. not being able to carry out activities you/your loved one would otherwise have enjoyed
- Providing for your/your loved one’s future financial independence
Time limits for hospital-acquired infection claims
You will usually have 3 years to claim compensation for MRSA or another hospital-acquired infection, but a different time limits may apply depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim.
Understanding how these time limits apply to your situation can be complicated, so it is always important to speak to a specialist medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to claim.
As a general indication, the standard time limits for bringing a medical negligence claim are as follows:
3 years – If you are claiming for yourself. This time limit will be counted from the point when you became aware you had been a victim of medical negligence (referred to as a the ‘date of knowledge’).
Up to the age of 21 – If the claimant was under 18 when the negligence occurred. Their parents/guardians will have until the claimant turns 18 to pursue a claim on their behalf. Once they turn 18, the claimant will then have 3 years to bring a claim themselves if they wish to do so, giving a final deadline of their 21st birthday.
3 years from the date of death – If you are claiming for someone who died due to MRSA negligence.
No time limit – Where you are making a claim on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to pursue their own claim e.g. due to serious brain damage or learning difficulties.
If you are unsure whether you still have time to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Reaching a settlement out of court
If you are like most people, you would probably prefer to avoid going to court if possible. Fortunately, our team is highly skilled in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) meaning we can often secure an out-of-court settlement for medical negligence claims.
As well as being less stressful, this approach can also typically allow you to get compensation faster and with lower legal fees, so we will always try to get you a voluntary settlement first before considering court proceedings.
Taking your claim to court
Should it be necessary to take your claim to court, we will make sure you and your family have the full legal, practical and personal support you need to give you the best chance of getting the right outcome.
We know that many people find the idea of going to court intimidating and stressful. To make the process as easy as possible on you and your loved ones, we will make sure every stage of proceedings is carefully explained to you, so you know what to expect and the potential outcomes.
You can rely on our close personal support every step of the way, with our team making sure your case is prepared effectively and that you have the best possible representation for your hearing.
Managing MRSA compensation
When you receive compensation, it is important to manage the funds effectively to meet your long-term needs and avoid any unintended consequences, such as losing access to means-tested benefits.
Receiving a large compensation payment can mean that you no longer qualify for any means-tested benefits you rely on or may rely on in future, but you can avoid this problem by placing the compensation into a personal injury trust.
Doing this allows you to ‘ring fence’ the funds, allowing you to use your compensation to meet your needs while making sure they will not be counted as part of your assets for the purposes of means-testing.
Common questions about MRSA compensation claims
Can you sue a hospital for MRSA?
Yes, but only if we can show that the infection was caused by or made worse by medical negligence. To be eligible for MRSA compensation, we would therefore need to gather evidence to prove that one or both of the following is true:
- Your infection could have been avoided with proper medical care
- Your infection was mismanaged, leading to a worse outcome for your health
To be considered negligent, we will need to show that your care fell below acceptable clinical standards i.e. that any under the same circumstances, competent medical professionals would not have made the same errors in your care.
How long does it take to get compensation for a hospital-acquired infection?
This is a very common question, especially where you have immediate need of funds to pay for treatment, care support and other essential costs. We will always do everything we can to get you fair compensation as quickly as possible, but we feel it is important to be honest that it can often take several years for a successful claim.
That said, where we can agree an out-of-court settlement, your claim can often be resolved a lot faster than if court proceedings are required. It is also often possible to secure interim payments to cover any immediate costs you need assistance with, helping to ensure you do not lose out on the chance to make the best possible recovery due to a lack of money.
How do interim payments work?
Interim payments can sometimes allow you to receive some of the compensation you are entitled to while your claim is still ongoing. This option may be available where the NHS trust or other healthcare provider involved admits their liability for your infection, but the total amount of compensation has not yet been agreed.
Courts tend to support the principle of interim payments as they can help to make sure someone affected medical negligence has access to all of the treatment and care they need it, when they need it. This means your care should not be compromised due to having to wait for a compensation claim to be resolved.
Will my claim go to court?
While medical negligence claims can often be resolved with a voluntary settlement, court proceedings may be required where the NHS trust or other healthcare provider involved refuses to accept liability or where you cannot agree on an appropriate level of damages.
Our medical negligence lawyers are highly experienced with pursing claims through the courts, so should court proceedings be needed, we can provide the high standard of legal representation required to help you win fair compensation for your claim.
Even if court proceedings are initiated, it is often still possible to agree a pre-hearing settlement allowing you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of attending court.
Can you claim compensation for a fatal MRSA infection?
If a loved one has died due to MRSA or another hospital-acquired infection, the effect on your family will be devasting emotionally, but can also leave you in real financial hardship.
Where the death was due to medical negligence, it is often possible to claim compensation on behalf of the deceased’s estate and their dependants. This can make a real, practical difference at this difficult time, helping you to cope with costs such as funeral expenses, as well as the loss of your loved one’s income and other types of support they offered.
You normally have three years to make a claim for fatal MRSA negligence from the date of death. To be eligible to claim, you will need to be able to prove that your loved one’s death could have been avoidable with proper medical care and provide evidence of the impact their death has had on you and any other dependants of the deceased.
Compensation for a death due to MRSA can potentially cover costs such as:
- Funeral costs
- Lost earnings
- Household costs
- Medical costs
- Childcare costs
- Loss of benefits (e.g. pension rights)
- Loss of services (e.g. personal care support)
Start an MRSA compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for MRSA, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.