We know that seeking legal support and making a claim can be a daunting experience. Our experienced team is always on hand to talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. As many of our clients have similar queries and concerns, we’ve provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below:

Can I move my case to Enable Law?
Medical negligence and personal injury claims can be very stressful, and if you feel you're not getting the right level of support from your lawyer, you might be wondering if it's possible to move your claim to a new firm. Often this will be a difficult decision to make, with worries about getting a new lawyer up to speed on your claim, any delays that might involve, and the possible cost implications with moving to a new firm. The most important thing to know is that if you want to change your lawyer, you can. We will work with you to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum, and that your claim is not affected. How do I move my claim to Enable Law? Contact us and tell us who you would like to deal with your case if you already know the lawyer's name, or if you do not, tell us what kind of case you have and we will put you in touch with a specialist lawyer for that kind of claim.
What is a Group Action/Group Litigation?
Group Litigations are where a number of individuals with similar claims, arising from similar circumstances (and usually against the same Defendant(s), come together to proceed as a single group. A group action can be run by a single firm of solicitors acting on behalf of all the individuals, or those individuals could be represented by a number of different firms.  If they are represented by different firms, then it is usual to apply to the Court for a Group Litigation Order.  The Court will then appoint one firm to act as 'Lead Solicitor'.  It is the Lead Solicitor who takes responsibility for coordinating the group and for negotiations with the Defendant(s) and their legal team(s). The major benefit of a group litigation is that the more individuals that are involved, the greater the investigative and negotiating power that the group has.  Due to the detailed nature of many group actions, any solicitor working on such a case is usually highly specialised in that particular area of law.  This means that the individuals have the additional benefit of knowing that the solicitor representing them is experienced in both the specific area of law and in group actions.
Will the press or media know about the claim?
We keep your details and the details of your claim confidential and treat all documents in connection with your case as confidential. However, if it becomes necessary to pursue your claim through the court, documents submitted on your behalf can be viewed by the public and the public may attend any hearing; the public includes the media. However, if you wish, we can apply to the court for anonymity for you to make your details confidential on court documents in connection with your claim and for hearings to be made private.
Will I have to talk about what happened to me?
We understand and appreciate that you are probably not going to want to repeat what happened to you to a series of professionals. Whilst we do not need you to tell us in detail what happened to you initially, of course, we need to have some information as to what happened so that we can advise you as to whether you are likely to have a claim or not. As investigations continue, we are likely to have to prepare a witness statement for you and so we will need you to be as open as you feel you can be about what happened so that the court understands what happened. You will also probably need to meet with a medical expert, perhaps a psychiatrist or a psychologist, and you will need to be open with them about what happened so that they can properly assess how you have been affected, although they are likely to have a copy of your statement if already prepared so this will help limit the number of times you need to repeat yourself. On some occasions, the defendant might also instruct its own medical expert to assess how you have been affected.
What is Clinical Negligence?
Clinical negligence is any kind of failure by a medical professional to provide services to an acceptable standard. When clinical negligence happens and someone suffers harm or injury as a result, it can lead to a compensation claim. Clinical negligence can lead to physical and emotional harm – but what this looks like depends on the precise treatments and failures involved. Clinical negligence could be caused by a specific medical professional or a healthcare service including: Clinical negligence can happen in private healthcare and in NHS services. It’s also known as medical negligence.

What is clinical negligence law?

  Clinical negligence law provides a route for people who have been harmed by not getting appropriate medical treatment to claim compensation. It is what specialist solicitors use to make their case. For clinical negligence to lead to a valid compensation claim, it must be proven or accepted that all three of the following occurred:
  1. A duty of care was owed to the patient
  2. There was a breach of the duty
  3. That breach led to harm or injury.
It can be open to interpretation whether a breach of duty did take place and whether that breach led to harm. For example, a patient who suffers a delay in cancer treatment due to a misinterpreted test result may believe they are a victim of clinical negligence. They would only be entitled to compensation if it is proven, or accepted by their health provider, that the delay led to a worse outcome for them. If the delay didn’t change the outcome of their treatment, the compensation claim would likely not be valid. A delay may cause psychological harm even if the physical outcome is unchanged, however – this could make a claim valid.

What is clinical negligence compensation for?

  The aim of clinical negligence compensation is to allow the injured person to live a life as closely aligned as possible to the one they would have had without the injury. Due to the serious and life-altering nature of some injuries, that new life may still be a very different one. If you have suffered clinical negligence that leaves you unable to walk, you might need various mobility aids and home alterations to continue with your day-to-day activities. Clinical negligence compensation might help to cover the cost of these things. Proving negligence can be a complex process, as can agreeing on what help is necessary to allow someone the best life possible after a medical injury. Reliable legal advice from someone who knows what support is available can help to ensure everything is built into the compensation claim. That’s where specialist solicitors come in. Where a fatality occurs, those left behind might pursue a fatal injury claim for financial support and some sense of closure.

How do I bring a clinical negligence claim?

  To bring a clinical negligence claim against a medical body or professional:
  1. Contact a solicitor – those with specialist knowledge are often best placed to advise on the strength of your case
  2. File a complaint with the relevant medical body, if you wish to
  3. Gather evidence. Often, this means passing over certain medical records
  4. Make a settlement or go to court, once the case is prepared.
Our specialist clinical negligence solicitors can support you to make a claim and be by your side throughout the entire process. For more information see our medical negligence claims page or contact us. We’ll take the time to listen and advise you on how to move forward.
How do you prove a claim?

In order to prove a medical negligence claim, there are two tests that we must apply.  First, we must show that the medical staff breached their duty of care to you.  This means showing that the standard of care you received was below the standard expected of a reasonable medical professional and that no other responsible professional would have treated you in the same way.  Secondly, we have to establish "causation". This means showing that the substandard treatment you received caused you an injury on the balance of probabilities (over a 50% chance).  Causation is split into two different parts; factual causation (what would/should have happened had the breach not occurred) and medical causation (had the appropriate steps been taken, on the balance of probabilities, your injury would have been avoided).

In order to satisfy these tests, we will need to request copies of your medical records and instruct an independent medical expert to advise on whether the care you received was appropriate.  If this report is supportive, it is likely that we will need to instruct further experts to advise on whether the substandard care caused you an injury.  If all the reports are supportive, we will write to the Defendant (the organisation/person whom the claim is against) setting out the allegations in detail and ask them to admit liability (i.e. that they were negligent).

How much compensation will I receive for serious injury or negligence?
When you’ve faced a personal injury through an accident or medical negligence, compensation can help to get your life back on track. How much compensation you could receive depends on the nature of your ailments and the impact these have had on your life and finances.  

How is personal injury compensation calculated?

  Personal injury compensation is influenced by a set of guidelines published by the Judicial College – how much you might receive depends on where your injury sits in the recommendations. Every claimant’s circumstances are different, so damages differ depending on the type of injury sustained and how the injury may have affected his or her life. The law seeks to compensate based on the severity and impact of the injury. The amount claimed must relate to the harm caused directly by the negligence. There are two main types of ‘damages’ (ways in which you were negatively affected by your injury) that you are entitled to claim for as part of clinical negligence compensation.

General damages

General damages are compensation awarded for the injury itself and the pain and suffering caused. It can be difficult to quantify how much injuries are worth financially. There is guidance, however, on the ‘value’ of particular injuries detailed in the Judicial College guidelines. Courts consider this guidance, together with previous cases concerning similar injuries, to evaluate the amount of compensation to be awarded in each case.  

Special damages

Special damages relate to the compensation you might receive for expenses incurred because of the injury. The court can award money for expenses you have already incurred as a direct result of the negligence – these are called ‘past losses’. For example, you might incur travel costs when attending hospital to treat injuries, or purchasing mobility aids for your home. The court can also assess costs you may incur in the future, such as for equipment, carers, or therapies to help you cope. The courts also seek to address whether the harm caused will result in other future loss to you. If you are now unable to work due to the injury, you may be awarded compensation for loss of earnings. The courts may also award interest on the basis that money lost could have been put to other uses or saved during the period between incurring the expense and the date compensation is awarded.  

How much compensation is typical for personal injury and accident claims?

  The 16th edition of the Judicial College manual – Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damaged in Personal Injury Cases – was published by Oxford University Press in April 2022. This sets out standardised recommendations for personal injury compensation. It’s a tool designed to help solicitors to calculate the value of claims for personal injuries. Compensation awards range from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands, depending on the injury type and severity. Once your solicitor has assessed your case, you will typically get some guidance on how much compensation you might expect. Here are some examples of common personal injuries and the corresponding 2022 Judicial College compensation recommendations.  

Brain and head injury

The brain is an important organ that controls all sorts of processes in the human body, from thought and emotion to motor skills and breathing. Injuries to the head can therefore have a big impact on quality of life – and compensation limits reflect this. Brain and head injuries are split into several categories, from minor to very severe. table { width:100%; } table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } th, td { padding: 15px; text-align: left; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(even) { background-color: #eee; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(odd) { background-color: #fff; } table#t01 th { background-color: #41748D; color: white; }
Claim type Lower compensation limit Maximum compensation
Minor brain or head injury £2,210 £12,770
Less severe brain damage £15,320 £43,060
Moderate brain damage £43,060 £219,070
Moderately severe brain damage £219,070 £282,010
Very severe brain damage £282,010 £403,990

Back injury

A back injury may span problems with the bones, joints, tissue, muscles, or nerves in the back, including the spinal cord. The severity of back injuries can vary a lot – while there’s no lower compensation limit for minor injuries, severe back injuries can entitle you to many thousands in compensation. table { width:100%; } table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } th, td { padding: 15px; text-align: left; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(even) { background-color: #eee; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(odd) { background-color: #fff; } table#t01 th { background-color: #41748D; color: white; }
Claim type Lower compensation limit Maximum compensation
Minor back injury - £12,510
Moderate back injury £12,510 £38,780
Severe back injury £38,780 £160,980

Pain disorders

Injuries may lead to long-term pain and because of the impact this may have on quality of life, pain disorders have their own set of compensation guidelines. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – a term that describes prolonged pain, usually in an arm or leg – has separate recommendations. table { width:100%; } table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } th, td { padding: 15px; text-align: left; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(even) { background-color: #eee; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(odd) { background-color: #fff; } table#t01 th { background-color: #41748D; color: white; }
Claim type Lower compensation limit Maximum compensation
Moderate pain £21,070 £38,490
Severe pain £42,130 £62,990
Moderate Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) £28,030 £52,500
Severe CRPS £52,500 £84,010

How much compensation is typical for medical negligence?

  For negligence, compensation is based on the harm caused – how much you’ll receive depends on the nature of your injuries or illness, and the impact these have on your life. According to NHS Resolution data, the average compensation payout for claims settled with damages paid in 2020-2021 was worth £311,448. A negligence claim may be worth compensation that totals a few hundred pounds or several million – each case is unique. Enable Law helped one family to win almost £19 million in damages in a case that concluded in 2022. This medical negligence claim was calculated based on the catastrophic nature of 11-year-old Megan’s brain injury, her resulting needs, and the impact on her parents’ careers. In this case, the final figure was calculated partly by estimating the financial implications of the medical negligence on Megan and her family throughout their lives. Factors such as care and other services, accommodation and equipment can all come into play. Every case is different, though, and medical negligence claims can vary widely. The best way to get an idea of how much compensation you could pursue is to get in touch with a specialist law firm.  

I was given the wrong medication: How much compensation could I get?

  For receiving the wrong medication, the stakes can be high – depending on the nature of the error, a range of illnesses may arise or become worse. For non-traumatic injuries such as those resulting from medication errors, the following guidelines applied in 2021: table { width:100%; } table, th, td { border: 1px solid black; border-collapse: collapse; } th, td { padding: 15px; text-align: left; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(even) { background-color: #eee; } table#t01 tr:nth-child(odd) { background-color: #fff; } table#t01 th { background-color: #41748D; color: white; }
Claim type Lower compensation limit Maximum compensation
Illness that lasts for a few days. £860 £3,710
Illness that creates a need for several days’ hospitalisation. £3,710 £8,950
Illness that leads to vomiting and diarrhoea for two to four weeks, with persisting discomfort. £8,950 £18,020
Illness causing symptoms such as severe toxicosis, acute pain or fever. At this level, the ability to work is impacted and you may need to stay in hospital for several weeks. £36,060 £49,270

How much compensation: Key questions


What is PSLA in personal injury?

PSLA stands for pain, suffering and loss of amenity – it’s a key concept in the calculation of general damages for personal injury. A PSLA award is compensation designed to address physical and psychological injuries, any related symptoms occurring in the past, present or future, and the impact of these on everyday function.

What is a ‘moderate back injury’?

A moderate back injury might include cases where there is compression to the lumbar bones, or cases of spondylolisthesis. Defining minor, moderate, and severe classifications can be subjective, however – a legal expert can help to determine where your injury profile might sit within the guidelines.

How do I get maximum compensation?

How much compensation you could get rests on complex factors – speaking to a specialist medical negligence or serious injury solicitor could help you to pursue the best possible outcome. This will help ensure you gain professional insight about any compensation sums offered and what could be available to you.
Will my claim be successful?

To succeed with a clinical negligence claim we need to establish both breach of duty and causation. We need to show that the care you received was substandard and it has caused you an injury.   In the majority of cases, expert evidence will need to be obtained to support any allegations made. 

At Enable Law, we carry out detailed risk assessments at the very beginning of the case to ensure there are reasonable prospects of succeeding with the claim.  If we do not consider there are reasonable prospects, we will advise you of this and explain the reasons why.  If we consider there are reasonable prospects of succeeding with the claim and we accept instructions to act for you, we will continue to risk assess the claim at various stages; for example, upon receipt of the medical records, the expert evidence and a response from the Defendant.  We will keep you fully updated throughout the case as to what we consider to be the strengths and weakness of your case.  We will always act in your best interests and will explore all aspects of a claim to ensure we can obtain the best possible result for you.  However, as clinical negligence is a complex area of law which relies heavily on medical evidence, there can never be any guarantees that the case will succeed.

How much will it cost me to bring a claim? How will I be able to fund my claim?

Clients are often worried about making a claim because of what it might cost. Concerns about the cost should not put you off seeking advice about your claim in the first place.  When you contact us we will give you straightforward advice about how your claim could be funded and answer any questions.

There are a number of ways to fund your claim.  The basic principle is that if you win your case, the Defendant will pay you compensation and cover the majority of your legal costs.   If you lose, we will make sure that you have an appropriate funding arrangement in place to cover your costs, (except if you fund your case privately). 

Lots of people have legal expenses insurance that will fund a claim.  This will usually be included in a household buildings or contents policy and provides an amount of money that will cover the legal costs whether you win or lose.  If you send us copies we can look into whether your policies cover this for you.

Many cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) often referred to as a "no win, no fee" agreement.  Under a CFA, if your case is unsuccessful you will not have to pay any of our legal fees.  You can also take out insurance cover to fund additional expenses, such as the cost of obtaining medical records and reports from medical experts.   If your case is successful you have to pay a proportion of the insurance premium from your compensation. If you lose, there is nothing to pay.   If the case is successful everyone bringing a claim under a CFA also has to make a contribution to their legal costs. We will keep you advised as the case progresses and can assure you that there will be no hidden costs. 

Legal Aid (also referred to as “public funding”) is available but only for children who have suffered a neurological injury caused during pregnancy, childbirth or within the first eight weeks of their life.  We are one of only a small number of firms accredited to carry out work under a certificate of public funding. For children who are eligible, this is the best way to fund your claim. 

If you cannot fund your claim through any of the above options, your only option is to fund it privately. However, we would usually agree to carry out the initial investigation for a fixed fee and if you win your case, you will recover the money you have paid from the Defendant.

Why choose Enable Law?

Enable Law has one of the leading specialist medical negligence, personal injury and mental capacity teams in the UK. 

Friendly and approachable, straightforward and constructive in our advice, our clients can rely on us in good times and bad. We aim to be caring and supportive in the service we provide to you.

We have extensive experience in a wide range of claims against both the NHS and private health providers.  We have members on both the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) specialist clinical negligence panels.

We have good working relationships with a number of local NHS Trusts which means that some disputes can be resolved quickly and sensitively.

The Chambers Directory and the Legal 500 are top legal guides, who review the quality of services provided by solicitors. Both of them have praise for us, here are two excerpts from Chambers:

"The firm is excellent and has a very progressive approach. Its service cannot be faulted." Chambers UK.

"Their knowledge of the particular topics is excellent, and they balance a professional approach with kindness and compassion to clients who may have had very painful and traumatic experiences.Chambers UK