Claim Compensation NHS Hospital: Negligent Treatment Causes Scarring

UK solicitor explains how to claim compensation for medical negligence in failing to correctly treat an injury leading to scarring

Clinical negligence victim question

I was at work using a scalpel to cut boxes and accidentally cut my leg over the knee causing a large deep wound. I was taken to an NHS hospital in London and was treated by a junior doctor who quickly stitched the wound in my leg over my knee.

After a week the stitching came loose and I re attended at hospital and was told that a wrong suture type had been used which was too weak to be used over a joint on my leg such as the knee.

The injury had partially healed, but I was told that I would now be left with raised prominent scar whereas had I been correctly treated my scarring would have been limited.

Can I claim compensation from the NHS hospital for the negligent treatment?

Accident at work / clinical negligence solicitor response

Your question relates to clinical negligence. It seems from what you have described that the junior doctor did not apply the correct suture and therefore your wound did not heal correctly leaving a much larger scar than could be expected.

You should put a written letter of complaint to the NHS trust setting out the problems you have encountered and allowing the trust to respond to in writing.

I do believe however it is very likely that you will have a claim irrespective of the response from the NHS trust.

In addition you may well have a claim from your employers for the original injury – if you were not given proper training for use of the scalpel and you not warned of the dangers of using such a sharp implement.

We would need to discuss the exact nature of the original injury to consider the claim against your employer and the extent of the claim against the hospital for its treatment of your injuries.

Quite often scarring can be reduced by intervention by a plastic surgeon and it might be the case that this option can be explored and the cost of such an operation could form part of your claim for compensation in addition to the pain and suffering of a large unsightly scar.

To see how much compensation you can claim for scarring click scarring compensation claims.