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14 Medical Accidents
6. When can I claim compensation?
If you have been injured physically or psychologically by a healthcare professional's negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. The injury needs to be serious enough to make it worthwhile paying the costs of making a claim. It is probably not worth taking legal action if your injury:
If you are not sure about whether to try to claim compensation, get advice from a clinical negligence solicitor - many solicitors offer free initial advice. You can also get free advice from AvMA.
It is important to understand that a clinical negligence action is only about claiming compensation. The courts cannot:
If compensation is not your main aim, then you should seriously consider, for example, complaining to a professional body if you think that someone invloved in your treatment acted unprofessionally or made a serious mistake and should be disciplined. See 'What if I want to complain about a professional's behaviour?'.
What if my problem was not caused by a doctor?
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Action Against Medical Accidents.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: October 2017