Medical Negligence Claims

Clinical or medical negligence is when a doctor or healthcare professional provides substandard care which results in an injury or causes an existing condition to get worse. Negligence can happen at any stage in the care process, from diagnosis to treatment and surgery.

For the last 30 years, Bolt Burdon Kemp’s specialist medical negligence solicitors have consistently achieved outstanding results for adults and children who have suffered serious injury due to medical or clinical negligence.

Bolt Burdon Kemp is a national firm covering the whole of England and Wales, and our solicitors will come and see you wherever you are. We act for clients anywhere in the world who have been injured in England and Wales.

We offer exceptional direct access to our highly-motivated and committed medical lawyers who work closely with claimants and their families to guide them sensitively through the litigation process whilst proactively progressing their compensation claims.

We understand that no amount of money can ever undo the devastation caused by serious injury. However, we are experts in handling medical negligence cases and know how compensation can make a huge difference when managing the consequences of negligence, and so improve quality of life.

We will ensure that you receive not only the very best legal advice but also much needed practical support to help you to adapt and cope with the consequences of medical negligence. Whether you require financial assistance to fund medical treatment, care, therapy, essential equipment, adaptations to your home or to alleviate financial hardship where you have had to stop work, we will seek interim payments for you as soon as is practicably possible.

Our focus is on facilitating specialist rehabilitation at the earliest possibly opportunity (rather than following the conclusion of the claim) as we appreciate that this has greater potential to improve your outcome. We have arrangements with high quality providers of medical and other rehabilitation services to swiftly provide you with the vital support you need.

What are the different types of medical negligence claims?

Medical negligence claims can cover the following areas:

Do I have a medical negligence claim?

If you consider that you or anyone in your family have suffered injury as a result of sub-standard medical treatment, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim for the injuries and financial losses arising from sub-standard treatment.

To successfully bring a claim we will need to obtain medical evidence to demonstrate that:

  1. The medical professionals who treated you owed a duty of care and which was breached by following a course of action not supported by a reasonable body of medical opinion
  2. That as a result of the breach of duty, you have suffered injury and financial loss

Subject to proving the above, we will proceed with your compensation claim. Read more about the medical negligence compensation claims process here.

Your compensation will comprise of:

  1. General damages
  2. Special damages

General damages is the part of the compensation attributable to the injury, pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of sub-standard treatment received. This is assessed with reference to expert medical evidence that we will arrange on your behalf.

Special damages are essentially all of your financial losses and expenses arising from the sub-standard treatment, both past and future. These include loss of earnings, cost of any care and assistance, past and future medication costs, rehabilitation and treatment costs.

How much compensation will I receive?

If you are successful with your medical negligence claim, you will receive compensation for both the injuries and the financial losses you have suffered as a result of the substandard treatment you have received.

The amount of compensation you can expect to receive will depend on the seriousness of your injuries and the extent of financial losses incurred.

General damages: Compensation for pain, suffering and loss of amenity

If you are able to prove you have been the victim of substandard medical treatment, you will be able to recover a sum of compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering and loss of amenity as a result of the substandard treatment (not injuries you would have suffered in any event). This element of the compensation is known as general damages”. The amount you recover will depend on how serious your injuries are and how long you take to recover. How the injuries affect you now. The amount of compensation will also take in to account how the injuries may affect you in the future, the limitations they may impose upon you in your daily life (work and personal) and whether the injuries prevent you doing activities you enjoyed before.

Special damages: Financial losses

The principle behind compensation is to put you in the position you would have been in had you not received substandard treatment. You are entitled to claim for all financial losses that flow from the injuries you have sustained as a result of the substandard treatment (not injuries you would have suffered in any event). This element of compensation is known as “special damages”.

Who will pay my legal costs?

We would be delighted to provide you a free, no obligation initial telephone consultation to discuss your potential compensation claim. If we think you have a strong medical negligence claim, we will find the most appropriate funding solution for you.

The main options are:

  1. No win no fee’ agreement otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement
  2. Legal Expenses Insurance
  3. Legal Aid
  4. Private paying

Find out more about the funding options available to you.

What are the time limits for medical and clinical negligence claims?

Strict time limits apply to making a claifundm, which if missed, could result in losing the right to claim compensation. It is important to contact a solicitor as soon as possible if you suspect you have suffered injury and loss due to sub-standard treatment.

For these claims, you must issue proceedings in the high court or the county court against the defendant(s) within 3 years of your “date of knowledge”. This is the date when a reasonable person in your situation would first have had knowledge that:

  • That your injury was significant
  • That your injury was either totally or partly caused by an act (or a failure to act) which you believe was negligent
  • Of the identity of the person (or organisation) who you believe was negligent

Failure to issue court proceedings within this deadline could result in your claim being time-barred and you could lose the right to claim compensation.

If, as an adult you did not have the mental capacity to instruct a solicitor to make a claim, the clock doesn’t start ticking until you have regained capacity.

If the claim concerns a child, then court proceedings must be issued by your 21st birthday to protect your right to make a claim. Failure to take this step could result in your claim being time-barred and you could lose the right to claim compensation.

What happens after my claim is won?

Protecting your means-tested benefits

Your financial circumstances change when you receive personal injury compensation. This means your means tested benefits may be at risk. You can however protect your entitlement to your benefits and benefit from your compensation by setting up a personal injury trust. Our specialist medical and clinical negligence solicitors will be happy to advise you if this is applicable.

The costs process

The legal costs associated with your claim include solicitor fees, barrister fees, experts’ fees, court fees and fees charged for obtaining records for your case.

When you win your claim, it is usual for the Defendant to pay most, if not all of your legal costs. Deciding how much the Defendant must pay can be a lengthy process. If we are unable to agree how much they must pay the court will decide. If the court has to decide the process can take in excess of 6 months. We have a specialist team who work independently of medical negligence solicitors to ensure the costs process is dealt with speedily and to your advantage.

Investment advice

Investing your personal injury compensation requires careful thought and often specialist advice. We can make a personal recommendation to an appropriate adviser on request.


In many claims for medical negligence compensation, your current medical situation and future prospects may be improved by appropriate medical treatment including surgery, physiotherapy, counselling or care (given at the earliest opportunity, rather than waiting until the claim has been settled). We have arrangements with providers of medical and other rehabilitation services to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Other Medical Negligence Claims

Bolt Burdon Kemp are highly recommended by the independent Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 guides. Over the last 25 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors have successfully represented clients who have sustained injury as a result of sub-standard medical treatment.

Examples of medical negligence claims include:

If you or a member of your family have been unfortunate enough to have suffered an injury as a result of substandard medical treatment, our specialist medical negligence solicitors can assist you in bringing a medical negligence case against the people and/or organisations responsible.

  • "The first time we met you Jo (Chapman), both Brian and I came away from that meeting confident and happy that you were the right person to represent Danny (in fact I can recall saying "Boy, I'm glad she's on our side!"). Our judgement was not misplaced. You've been absolutely brilliant! The outcome is the best we could have hoped for. Although no amount of money can compensate Danny for what he has lost, what it does do is secure his future, which in turn takes a great weight off my shoulders, and gives me peace of mind. You don't know how much that means to me. No amount of words can express our gratitude to you for all that you have done. We'll never forget you. God bless you."

    Sheila Kiff

  • I would like to take this opportunity to say how much my husband and I appreciated Ipek's professionalism, communication skills and, not least, the care and attention she devoted to my case every step along the way from its inception to its conclusion.


  • It was all really well handled – I was quite slack as I was pregnant for most of the process but Olivia was really good at catching up with me to make sure things progressed and kept me informed.


  • "It was a real pleasure working with you over the last year and I wish to thank you for all your efforts in keeping me informed at all times, for your availability to me, your willingness to explain things and for your open mind. I think we will be speaking later in the day, but should we not, I wish you a lovely (relaxing) weekend. You deserve it!"

    Dominique Levin

  • "I dont really know what else to say as I am shaking with happiness and excitement right now. Your firm is amazing and I have never ceased to be overwhelmed by the incredible results you have achieved for me. Thank you so much for everything."

    Mark Fraser

  • "Dear Caroline, Catherine, Melanie and Alex, Mere words cannot express what you all have done for George and our family as a whole ... It has been a a very long journey but we finally got here with all of your great understanding and expertise and advice…"

    George Ponos and Family

  • 'Initially I was wary of getting involved in litigation.  I'd heard it could take years and I worried it would rake up painful memories for my family and I;  However, Flora, our main contact at Bolt Burdon and Kemp was clear, efficient and genuine from the beginning.  Bringing this case against the medical team responsible gave us a more positive way of dealing with this and will now help us make a life for our child.  I would recommend Bolt Burdon Kemp and particularly Flora without hesitation.

    Elaine and Ish

  • Ipek Tugcu she was so helpful and very understanding in a very difficult time.

    Mr S Jennings

  • “We would like to express our sincere thanks to you for all your hard work, kindness and support through this last couple of years of getting me the compensation.”

    Mrs Brown

  • Tom took over and did a great job, as did Susan Slattery as it came to an end – really pleased with all of them.

    Emma Ayres

  • In a situation like this, communication is key and they both updated me at regular intervals even when there was nothing to update. This helped reassure me that the silence of waiting for third parties to reply was normal and nothing out of the ordinary. Both Ruth and Hannah are very professional but at the same time, they have a very down to earth and friendly demeanour to them. I felt very comfortable talking to them and I felt I could trust them. I had the odd health problem during the case and they were very good to accommodate and reschedule meetings and appointments around my hospital admissions and sickness.

    Katherine Tsang

  • "Raquel gave me a very individual service, I never felt like 'another client'."

    Stefania Giraldi

  • "Thank you for your help and support over the last 3 years. Karen and Jo and Eve all worked hard to achieve a final settlement. I really appreciate all the hard work to finally get there. Thanks once again to all at Bolt Burdon Kemp."

    Hazel Rabin

  • Many thanks for the update and confirmation of the final details of the case. Throughout this whole process you have been amazingly supportive and understanding of how difficult Nick has found this experience. It has made a huge difference to both of us that you have been able to run through things firstly with myself, as I am sure you are aware Nick does struggle with understanding and communicating things. It has taken over 2 years to go through this process, and I know there were points when Nick and I both felt there would not be a positive outcome. When these times have come Nick has spoken to yourself and you have reassured him that there was something to fight for. We can't thank you enough for the time and what has felt like a personal interest you have taken in Nick's case. I honestly think if it was not for your positivity he would have given up a long time ago. All I can say personally, is thank you for all of the hard work you put in and also the amazing team you put together to help us with this outcome. It does not take away any of the pain, heartache or hardship we went through, but it does mean life going forward will be easier. It also proves that sometimes you don't have to take "it's just one of those things" comments just because you are dealing with a big organisation. Once again Alex thank you so much and it would be lovely to meet up for lunch when we are next "in the City".

    Jo and Nick Medical Negligence Client

  • Tom was utterly brilliant, nothing was too much for him, this was a difficult time for me and he was amazing.

    Paul B

  • "Very quick and impressive assimilation - no wonder you win most of your cases."

    Liz Connelly

  • "Claudia was kind to my family on the phone. It was terribly hard for mum to give her statement and Claudia assisted her writing it sympathetically which removed a great burden.”

    Rebecca Woods

  • “Thank you for everything, all your help, understanding and respecting my wishes through my case, one of which was to complete the case as soon as possible. You were always easy to talk to and so polite. You were always very honest and very clear about everything, which give me confidence and trust in you. I can't describe in words how thankful [we] are and will never forget all the hard work you have done for us.”

    Ms E

  • Olivia was absolutely fantastic, she really went above and beyond for us.  My mum had absolute faith in her and she has no faith in anybody normally!


  • "I have for more than a year enjoyed the privilege of working alongside Jo Chapman in a difficult fatal accident case in which we separately represented the infant and adult claimants. That we achieved such a great settlement at round table conference on 6 March 2012 is down to her remarkable understanding of the strength of good evidence and her skills of persuasion. I can say without hesitation that whilst also a formidable adversary for any defendant, she is a fabulous person to work with and I shall miss our regular brainstorming sessions."


  • "Raquel, In my opinion you are wonderful, not just because of the outcome of my case but because of how supportive you were to me. Best Regards Bella x"


  • "I am writing this letter to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to your team. I would like to thank the whole legal and medical teams for all they have done and achieved for my wife. When my wife was dreadfully affected by the negligence of the hospital a friend of mine recommended Bolt Burdon Kemp. Throughout the case, the whole team has been very kind, supportive and sympathetic and the professionalism that you all have shown towards us has given me the strength to carry on. Since the case was handed over to Jo Chapman, she has shown great professionalism and worked tirelessly to bring this case to a successful conclusion. When the first offer was made by the Trust, Jo was not satisfied and found another "gear", strength and courage to continue fighting for my wife and what she believed she deserved. There are no words that can be used to thank Jo for the tremendous work she has done. She deserves 'five stars'. I would certainly not hesitate to recommend your firm to anybody who may find themselves in the position of needing your services. Thank you again for all you have done. My aim in pursing this case was to ensure that my wife would be well cared for for the rest of her life and this has been achieved."

    Mr Rummun

  • I just wanted to say to you that you have been more help to us than you could ever know. When I contacted you two years ago we were both in such a dark and frightening place, we felt powerless and like victims. You believed us and tried your best to get justice for us, you gave us hope when we had none and I will always be so grateful for that.

    Medical Negligence Client

  • Olivia did a really good job.


  • It really has been a great pleasure dealing and working with you, Olivia.  I wish to thank you, Tom and Hannah for all your hard work in trying to help me. I have taken the liberty of attaching a little award for you, to show my appreciation.

    Peter Croughton

  • "Thank you so very much for all you and your excellent team have done...We will never forget what you have done for us. Thank you again."

    Nicole Gebhardt

  • Ipek exceeded my expectations. The service I received from Bolt Burdon Kemp was absolutely excellent. I was always kept up to date with everything and was always informed about what the next steps were. All my questions were always answered without hesitation. I couldn't have hoped for a better or more friendly service.

    Charlie Webb

  • “Ipek, I would like to thank you for all your hard work in settling this for me; you have been supportive, professional & sensitive throughout & have given me the confidence to pursue justice for what has been a very traumatic & challenging experience & I am so grateful for your efforts.”

    Medical Negligence client

  • “Both my mum and I want to thank you for your professionalism and dedication. Despite the difficult circumstances of going through a claim, I felt reassured and supported the whole way. Thank you for also being a pleasure to work with!"

    Mrs V

  • "Ipek's assistance with my Father's medical negligence claim was second to none, she kept me informed, really progressed matters and showed genuine empathy with myself and my family. Having previously enquired with another firm I was so pleased we chose Bolt Burden Kemp as we weren't just another number and we felt like we mattered to Ipek & the firm."

    Rachael Waring

  • In a situation like this, communication is key and they both updated me at regular intervals even when there was nothing to update. This helped reassure me that the silence of waiting for third parties to reply was normal and nothing out of the ordinary. Both Ruth and Hannah are very professional but at the same time, they have a very down to earth and friendly demeanour to them. I felt very comfortable talking to them and I felt I could trust them. I had the odd health problem during the case and they were very good to accommodate and reschedule meetings and appointments around my hospital admissions and sickness.

    Katherine Tsang

  • Ipek, thank you for your hard work. My words fail me to express how grateful I am to have been in your professional hands. It's a good relief for justice to take place. Even though I will not forget the pain at least I am happy with the results and grateful for your hard work. As a customer I applaud your hard work and trust in your organisation.

    Gladys Clarry

  • "I want to thank you so much for everything, I am so glad we found you, because of you, our lives will hopefully be a lot less stressful. Even though it cannot fix my health problems, it at least gives us peace of mind that whatever may happen in the future, we have choices we may never had had before, so thank you again, we appreciate every single thing you have done for us, and I think I speak for both Sean and I when I say, we will miss you. I bet you'll be glad to be rid of us, I know we have been hard work and you deserve a medal purely for not losing patience with me."

    Lisa Johnson

  • "I can wholeheartedly recommend Bolt Burdon Kemp, and particularly solicitor Alex Dabek, if you’re involved in any litigation arising out of a medical matter. When my mother fractured her shoulder after falling over in unfortunate circumstances while in the care of a hospital, I was at my wits end and when she died several weeks later, I really didn’t know who to turn to. Then someone recommended Bolt Burdon Kemp and Alex took over my case. She carefully explained each process in a sympathetic and understanding manner and my fear of becoming embroiled in a complicated legal matter soon subsided. It became a completely painless exercise and when the hospital finally admitted liability, the money I received helped to pay for the funeral and burial expenses. If you’re unsure what to do in similar circumstances, I suggest you contact Bolt Burdon Kemp. I can say, with complete confidence, that they will set your mind at rest and offer the best advice."

    Barry Cain

  • “Ipek and Suzanne... have been amazing, extremely empathetic and understanding...I was really amazed.”

    Dorthe Kaehne Schmidt

  • “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to you, Ruth and Tom for taking on both of my cases. There will always be a special place in our hearts for you.”

    Mrs Brown

  • "Dear Jo, Thankyou for everything you did for me, your expertise and compassion in my difficult case. B.B.K are a team of highly understanding caring professional team of solicitors. Thanks again to Jo and her team."

    Dennis Parkinson

  • Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone which was involved in my case at Bolt Burdon Kemp, for all you have done for me and for my family. I cannot thank my solicitor Claudia Hillemand enough. I have been really impressed throughout with the balance between professionalism and sensitivity she showed us . I really appreciate her efforts, patience regarding my case. I am very pleased with the result and the way it has been achieved. Claudia was always available when I needed to contact her and take her advise. So once again, thank you very much Claudia and the rest of the team!

    Cristina Goron

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