People suffering from short-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism may decide to have corrective laser eye surgery. In many cases, the surgery will result in the patient returning to 20/20 vision meaning glasses are no longer required. As with all surgery, laser eye treatment has some associated risk factors. While some minor side effects are to be expected following treatment, if you suffer more serious problems after surgery, you may be entitled to compensation.
In this article on claiming laser eye surgery compensation, we’ll explain when a negligence claim could be made and what process you’ll need to follow to be compensated.
The team of specialists at claimsaction.co.uk can help if you’ve been affected because of surgical negligence during laser eye surgery. We start by offering a free consultation to review the merits of your claim. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll receive free legal advice about your options. If the claim appears to be viable, we’ll ask a medical negligence solicitor from our panel to step in. Should they agree to work for you, they won’t ask to be paid upfront because they’ll provide a No Win, No Fee service. As a result, you’ll find the claims process a lot less stressful.
To discuss your chances of claiming successfully for negligent laser eye surgery compensation right away, please call our team on 0800 682 1345. Otherwise, please continue reading to learn more about when and why you could claim.
Can I claim compensation for laser eye surgery negligence?
All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to try and protect their well-being whilst treating them. This includes during aftercare too. If that duty of care is breached, you could be entitled to compensation for damaged eyesight or any other suffering that results. Before a solicitor will take on a laser eye surgery claim, they’ll check for the following:
- Negligence. This is where the medical professional who treated you acted in a way that fell below the standards you could reasonably expect of a competent practitioner.
- Causation. Here your injuries will need to be shown to have been caused as a direct consequence of the medical professional’s negligence.
It’s important to note that your solicitor will not be a qualified medical professional. As a result, they won’t be able to rely solely on your statement about what happened. As such, to help prove medical negligence, they’ll need to ask a suitably qualified medical expert to review your case.
During their assessment, the medical expert will consider whether they’d have done anything differently in the same circumstances. If they find that the defendant failed to follow the correct procedures or didn’t act appropriately, your solicitor may advise you to take your claim forward.
If you’d like to get started to see if you could claim laser eye surgery compensation, please contact us today.
Types of laser eye surgery
There are four different types of laser eye surgery that are commonly performed in the UK. They are:
- LASIK – Where the corneal tissue is reshaped.
- PRK – Here the shape of the cornea is changed with a laser.
- LASEK – Where an epithelial flap is created.
- Wavefront-guided LASIK – to reduce some of the natural irregularities in the eye.
Whatever type of treatment you’ve received, if it has led to problems because it was performed negligently by your surgeon, please call to see if you could be compensated.
What can go wrong with laser eye surgery?
While most laser eye surgery is successful, there are always potential risks. Some of the most common risk factors linked to laser eye surgery include:
- Dry eyes.
- Corneal scarring or haze.
- Halo effect.
- Corneal erosion.
- Increased eye fluid pressure.
- Under or over-correction.
Related risk factors associated with laser eye treatment
- Retina detachment – This is a serious problem that can cause blindness or severe vision impairment if not treated swiftly.
- Glaucoma – Another serious condition where fluid build-up can cause extreme pressure in the eyes.
- Failure to correct cataracts – If cataract surgery is unsuccessful because of poor surgical methods, temporary or permanent vision impairment can occur.
Again, some side effects are to be expected following laser eye surgery and these should be explained to you before you sign up for surgery. However, if you suffer avoidable damage to your eyesight because of surgical negligence, you could be compensated for your suffering. Please get in touch to check if you’ve got a valid claim.
Negligent laser eye surgery that can lead to compensation
You might be entitled to compensation for negligent laser eye surgery if:
- Any underlying health concerns were not considered before surgery.
- If your surgeon failed to inform you of the risks associated with laser eye treatments.
- Where the wrong procedure was used during surgery.
- If no aftercare advice was given or if the advice given was poor.
- Where you suffered an infection because of poor hygiene standards.
You should not be put off from claiming if you signed a consent form or waiver. Your solicitor will check through any documentation you have to see if you still have a chance of being compensated. Also, waivers do not prevent you from making a laser eye surgery claim if the surgeon who treated you was negligent.
How much compensation for negligent laser eye surgery treatment?
If you’ve ever watched a court drama on TV, you might be led to believe that compensation figures are plucked out of the air! However, in laser eye surgery claims, solicitors use various heads of loss to determine what amount of compensation you’ll claim. Every negligence claim is unique but, in general, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- The physical pain and suffering you’ve endured because of your injuries.
- Any distress, anxiety or other forms of mental harm.
- The impact your injuries have had on social activities, hobbies and family life (loss of amenity).
- Earnings you’ve lost because your injuries prevented you from working.
- Care costs including a value for the time a friend or relative spent supporting you.
- Medical treatment costs.
- Travel expenses.
- Costs associated with changing your home if they’ll help you to cope because you’ve suffered permanent eye damage.
Your solicitor will usually spend some time trying to ascertain exactly how your injuries have affected you. That’s because it’s only possible to make a single claim. If you forget to include something that you later realise is having an impact, you’ll miss out on that element of compensation once your claim has been settled.
To find out what could be included in your claim, please get in touch and speak with us today on 0800 652 1345.
Who would you claim compensation against for negligent laser eye surgery?
While you’ll be treated by a surgeon and your consultation might involve an ophthalmologist or an optician, you’ll usually claim against the company they work for. Whether that is a high street optician or a private medical provider, your claim is likely to be passed to their insurance company. Importantly, laser eye surgery compensation claims can also be brought against the NHS. That’s because surgery is offered for some conditions where vision loss would occur if treatment was not offered.
Our panel of medical negligence solicitors have the skills and experience to know what evidence insurers are likely to ask for to prove how their client was to blame for your injuries. If you’d like to discuss how they could help you to claim laser eye surgery compensation, please speak to our team today.
How to prove you’re entitled to be compensated for your injuries
To help prove how you’ve suffered and who was responsible for your suffering, your solicitor will try to provide supporting evidence as part of your laser eye surgery claim. This might include:
- Medical reports. This is a key piece of evidence. It can be used to show what injuries were diagnosed following your laser eye surgery treatment. You are able to request these reports at any time so don’t worry if you’ve not got a copy yet.
- Witness statements. Aside from your medical symptoms, your solicitor will need to prove what impact your injuries have had on you. As such, they may ask your family and friends to explain what changes have occurred since your treatment. Similarly, if anybody else was present during your consultation, they could be asked to declare what was said.
- Correspondence. You should retain any contracts, emails, letters or consent forms relating to your treatment. These could be checked by your solicitor to see if they are misleading or contain inaccurate information.
- Your own statement. At some point, your solicitor will help you to prepare a statement to explain how you’ve been affected by your injuries. To help with this, it might be a good idea to keep a diary. This could be used to record how your injuries prevented you from working, participating in family activities or enjoying social events.
- Financial documents. As you might claim for some expenses incurred because of your injuries, it’s a good idea to keep a copy of any relevant receipts, invoices or bank statements.
As part of your initial consultation, an advisor will discuss any evidence you might already have. If you’d like to check if you’ve got enough to take action, why not call today.
How long do I have to claim compensation?
In the UK, laser eye surgery negligence claims have a 3-year time limit. This is determined by the Limitation Act 1980. Usually, the time limit will start on the day you were treated negligently. However, in some cases, this could be extended to your ‘date of knowledge’ i.e. when your injuries were diagnosed and linked to your treatment.
The time it takes for a claim to be processed is based on a few factors. If you have already recovered from your injuries and the defendant has already admitted liability, you could be compensated in a matter of months. Where further investigation is needed or if your prognosis is not yet fully understood, your claim will probably take more than a year.
Our advice is to begin your compensation claim as quickly as possible. Not only will you find it easier to recall what happened, but your solicitor will have more time to collect any required evidence.
No Win, No Fee claims
We believe our team of expert solicitors could improve your chances of being compensated fairly for any injuries caused by negligent laser eye surgery. However, we also understand that most people understandably worry about the cost of having a legal representative. For that reason, our solicitors all provide a No Win, No Fee service for all accepted claims.
That means that your solicitor can start working on your case without any advance payment of their fees. In fact, you’ll only pay for their work if you are paid compensation.
If your case is accepted, it will be funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (explained here). Essentially, this confirms what work your solicitor will do and when you’ll need to pay their success fee.
The success fee you’ll pay is listed in your CFA so it’s clear from the start of the claim. By law, it cannot be higher than 25% of your compensation when using a CFA. Remember, you won’t pay this fee if your claim fails.
To see if we could help you to claim using one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors, please call today.
Start a claim for laser eye surgery compensation today
We hope this claims article on laser eye surgery compensation has helped. If you are now in a position where you’d like to begin a claim with us, you can get in touch by calling us on 0800 652 1345.
During your call, we’ll discuss your options with you and provide free legal advice. If we believe your claim has a reasonable chance of being won, we’ll ask a specialist solicitor to review it further with you.
Your solicitor will do everything they can to try and secure the maximum compensation possible if your case is accepted and will keep you up to date throughout your claim.
Thanks for reading this article about laser eye surgery compensation claims, and please contact us via live chat or here if you have any other queries you’d like answered.