In this guide, we’ll explain when MRSA compensation claims might be possible if you or a loved one has been made ill while staying in a hospital. MRSA is a superbug that is resistant to many common antibiotics which can make it hard to treat. As it’s mainly caught in hospitals, it can cause significant problems to patients, especially those with already weakened immune systems.
If you’ve contracted MRSA in a hospital, we can help. Our team of specially trained advisors are on hand to assess your chances of receiving compensation for any suffering you’ve endured. We’ll provide free legal advice about MRSA compensation claims and could partner you with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel. They’ll manage your MRSA claim on a No Win, No Fee basis if you proceed which means you won’t be asked to pay legal fees unless compensation is awarded.
Please read on to learn more about MRSA claims or call 0800 652 1345 to discuss your case right away.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a type of bacteria that lives harmlessly in around 1 in 30 people. Its full name is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, sharing sheets or towels or touching a surface that has MRSA on it.
Generally, if MRSA gets onto your skin, you will not become ill. However, there is a risk of hospital patients becoming infected with MRSA because:
- They have ways in which the bacteria can enter their body such as existing wounds, burns, drips or catheters.
- The patient may have a weakened immune system so they cannot fight off MRSA.
- The doctors and nurses are in contact with a large number of patients.
Some of the more common symptoms associated with an MRSA infection include:
- Pain and swelling.
- Pus in the area of infection.
- Warmth or redness of the skin.
- Fever (a high temperature).
- Pains, aches and chills.
- Dizziness and confusion.
Hospital staff should be alert to MRSA symptoms. If spotted quickly enough and treated accordingly, there could be a better chance of a quick recovery.
Can I claim compensation for MRSA?
To claim compensation for MRS a medical negligence lawyer from our panel, they’ll first have to check for:
- Medical negligence: This is where hospital staff including doctors, nurses, or surgeons provided a level of care below what could be reasonably expected; and
- Causation: As well as proving negligence, it will need to be proven that you contracted MRSA that caused you to suffer as a direct result of medical negligence.
Proving how you contracted MRSA and the suffering it caused you can be quite a complex process. We believe that claims are made easier if you’ve got a specialist solicitor working for you. If you work with one from our panel, they’ll gather the proof needed and refer your case to third-party experts to try and improve your chances of being paid the compensation you deserve.
Claims for MRSA compensation can be made against NHS and private hospitals and care facilities. In our experience, most claims will not need to be heard in court as your solicitor will always try to settle the claim amicably with the hospital’s insurers. The only time court action might be required is if the hospital denies liability for your illness despite clear proof to the contrary or if a settlement offer is deemed too low.
Common forms of negligence relating to MRSA claims
As stated above, to claim compensation for a hospital-acquired infection, your suffering must have occurred because of medical negligence. Some examples of negligence that could allow you to claim compensation for MRSA-related suffering include:
- Where hospital staff failed to wash or sanitise their hands before treating you.
- If the hospital did not have an infection control policy.
- Where a medical professional failed to use latex gloves while treating a wound.
- If your bed linen was not changed regularly during your stay.
- Where the ward you were on was not cleaned regularly during your stay.
If you or a loved one has been made ill by an MRSA infection while staying in a hospital, call us today to see if you could be compensated.
Providing proof for MRSA compensation claims
Your solicitor will need proof to show why you should be compensated for an MRSA infection. This might include:
- Copies of your medical notes to prove the extent of your infection. These can be requested by your solicitor if you decide to make a claim.
- Pictures that were taken by you or a loved one to prove the condition of the ward.
- A copy of the cleaning records of the hospital ward you were treated on.
- Information about how you’ve been affected by your ill health. This could be in the form of witness statements or a personal statement from you.
Additional proof that your solicitor might use include a diary of dates when your condition meant that you couldn’t work or participate in a family or social event. Also, a copy of financial records might be used to prove any costs you’ve incurred because of your hospital-acquired MRSA infection.
How much compensation do you get for an MRSA infection?
Each MRSA compensation claim is unique as each claimant will have suffered differently from the next. As such, any claim must provide details of any physical, mental and financial problems you’ve suffered as a result of an MRSA infection. The idea of any settlement you receive is to help you get back on your feet, as much as possible, following an MRSA infection.
If your claim is won, your compensation payout could cover:
- Discomfort and pain caused by physical symptoms.
- Distress, fear for life and other types of psychiatric suffering.
- Loss of earnings whilst you’re unable to work.
- Any impact on your normal activities and hobbies (loss of amenity).
- Care costs to cover the time someone else spent supporting you while you were incapacitated.
- Medical expenses.
- Travel costs.
- Any future earnings reductions caused by your condition.
- Changes to your home if they make it easier for you to cope with any ongoing symptoms.
It is important to spend some time assessing the extent of your suffering before filing your claim as you’ll only be able to claim compensation once. If you work with a specialist solicitor from our panel, they’ll review your claim in detail with you.
Compensation amounts for MRSA claims
There is no set amount of compensation awarded for MRSA infections. That’s because any settlement you receive will be based on how much you have suffered and whether that suffering will continue in the future. To verify your prognosis, your solicitor will arrange an independent medical assessment. An expert will read your medical notes, examine you if necessary and ask questions about how you’ve been affected.
The medical report will be used by your solicitor to help calculate what level of compensation for MRSA you might be entitled to.
No Win, No Fee claims
Proving how you’ve suffered because you acquired MRSA in a hospital can be tricky. However, the process can be made easier if you have a specialist medical negligence solicitor on your side. It could also mean you receive a fairer amount of compensation for your suffering.
Importantly, our panel of medical negligence solicitors provide a No Win, No Fee service for all MRSA claims they take on. If your claim is accepted, your solicitor will send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. Once you’ve done so, your solicitor’s main goals are to:
- Start working on securing proof to support your MRSA claim.
- Contact the hospital or NHS Resolution to file your claim.
- Act as a point of contact for all queries to stop you from having to answer any complex medical or legal questions.
- Ensure you receive regular updates about your case and how it is progressing.
- Provide additional information if needed to try and counter any arguments.
- Aim to ensure that you are fully compensated.
If your claim is won, you’ll pay a success fee to cover your solicitor’s costs and time. This is a fixed percentage of your settlement amount that’s listed in the CFA. Legally, the success fee cannot exceed 25 per cent.
However, you won’t need to pay for your solicitor’s work upfront and, if the claim fails, you won’t have to pay any legal fees whatsoever.
MRSA claim time limits
There is a 3-year time limit for medical negligence claims in the UK. This will usually commence on the date your condition was diagnosed and linked to hospital negligence. However, when it comes to MRSA claims, the start of the limitation can vary if:
- The claimant is under 18 years of age. In this scenario, the 3-year time limit does not start until the claimant’s 18th birthday and a parent or guardian can begin a claim at any time before then.
- The claimant lacks the mental capacity to manage a compensation claim themselves. In this scenario, there is no time limit unless they regain their mental capacity.
- A loved one has died from MRSA. In this instance, your time limit to claim would start from the date they died if that was less than 3 years since their initial diagnosis.
As part of our free consultation, we’ll check how long you’ve got left to begin your claim.
Claiming MRSA compensation for someone else
There are times when the injured party in an MRSA claim cannot represent themselves legally. This is usually if they don’t have the mental capacity to take on the claim or if they’re a child (under 18 years of age).
In these cases, a representative can be appointed under the litigation friend process. Our panel of medical negligence solicitors can help you to register with the courts to represent someone else. Once approved, you’ll be able to handle the claim directly with the solicitor on behalf of a loved one.
If the claim is successful, any compensation settlement will be vetted by the court and any funds will be managed in a court trust account. The money will remain there until a child claimant turns 18 years old or when an adult claimant regains their mental capacity. Until then, the litigation friend is able to write to the court and ask for funds to be released as and when they are needed.
Claiming compensation for a fatal MRSA infection
Unfortunately, MRSA can lead to fatalities. While we know that a compensation payment won’t help you to get over the loss of a loved one, it may help you to deal with the financial implications of your loss.
Compensation could be paid if you were financially dependent on your loved one’s income, benefits or pension. Also, you might be entitled to claim back any costs such as funeral expenses linked to their death.
If you would like to know more, please call our medical negligence team today. There’s no obligation to proceed but we’ll offer free legal advice about what you might want to do next.
Start an MRSA compensation claim today
If you call 0800 652 1345 to discuss an MRSA claim with us, your advisor will explain the claims process and answer any questions that you might have. They’ll offer free legal advice and review your chances of being compensated.
There’s no obligation to proceed with a claim but if your case is strong enough and a specialist solicitor from our panel agrees to help, you could be represented on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you won’t have to pay any legal fees at all unless compensation is awarded.
To find out more about MRSA compensation claims, please feel free to call or connect with an advisor via our live chat service.