If you suffer as a result of negligence by an optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist, you could be entitled to compensation. In this article on optician negligence claims, we’ll explain when you could be compensated and what damages you could seek.
We offer a no-obligation telephone consultation to help you decide whether you’ll be able to claim. A specialist will review your case with you and offer free legal advice about your options. Should there be grounds to continue, we could ask a medical negligence lawyer on our team to help you. If they decide to represent you, they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis which will help reduce stress levels during the claim. That’s because you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work unless you’re awarded compensation.
If you’d like to discuss how we could help you to claim, please get in touch on 0800 652 1345 today. Otherwise, please read on to find out more about claiming compensation for negligence by an optician.
Can I claim compensation for negligence by an optician?
As medical professionals, opticians are responsible for doing a lot more than eye tests. They are trained to be able to spot any potential issues and either deal with them directly or advise you on what treatment is needed. In most cases, opticians in the UK provide excellent service. However, if the standard of care does fall below the expected standards, things can go wrong.
If you ask one of our solicitors to help with claiming compensation against an optician, they’ll make some checks before agreeing to take on your case. During your consultation, they’ll try to establish whether:
- You received a standard of care that fell below what could’ve been reasonably expected of a suitably qualified professional. You will hear this referred to as negligence or breach of duty; and
- Because of the breach of duty, you suffered some sort of illness or eye problem.
Solicitors are not medical experts even if they practice medical negligence law. As such, to check whether your treatment was negligent, independent specialists will be used in optician negligence claims. They will check your medical records and other evidence to see if they’d done anything differently during your treatment. If they believe the medical professional who treated you acted appropriately, your case probably wouldn’t continue. However, if they determine that negligence occurred, your case could continue.
If you believe you’ve suffered because of an optician’s negligence during eyecare, call us to see if you could be compensated.
Would I be suing an optician?
It’s quite common to refer to anybody who checks our eyes as an optician. However, there are three different roles of practitioner you might encounter when you go for an eye examination. They are:
- Ophthalmologists. This person deals with the most serious conditions in the eyes. They check for serious eye conditions, diagnose problems and plan treatment. This role is involved with both medical and eye treatment and can lead to the diagnosis of conditions like diabetes.
- Optometrists. This is the person that will perform eye examinations and check for changes in the eyes. The optometrist will prescribe the strength of glasses you’ll need and may refer any injuries or damage they spot to the ophthalmologist.
- Opticians. This is actually a non-clinical role i.e. the optician does not have any medical training. Their role is to help patients by checking prescriptions, fixing and adjusting lenses and glasses and advising on different frames.
Generally, if you suffer because of negligence by anybody carrying out the roles listed above, you would claim against the business or shop that employed them rather than the individual optician themselves.
What could I make an optician negligence claim for?
Due to the delicate nature of the eyes (and their importance) any mistake can result in permanent sight problems. Some of the main forms of negligence that might entitle you to be compensated for optician negligence include:
- Misdiagnosis. If a problem with your eyes is incorrectly diagnosed, you could be given the wrong treatment or prescription. Subsequently, this could mean your condition or your eyesight worsens.
- Delayed treatment. If your optician advised you to wait to have an eye problem treated and that delay caused you to suffer in some way, you could be entitled to begin a claim.
- Failed diagnosis. You could also start a claim if your optician failed to spot a problem that they should’ve been able to diagnose correctly if their negligence caused you to suffer.
- Wrong prescriptions. Mistakes made following eye tests could mean you’ll be given the wrong strength of glasses or contact lenses. Over time, these can cause problems like double vision, dry eyes, headaches, eye strain and other conditions. In some cases, corrective treatment could help to resolve issues caused by optician negligence. However, in others, any damage may be permanent.
- Laser eye surgery negligence. This type of corrective surgery is usually completely successful. However, negligence during laser eye surgery can be catastrophic and cause permanent sight damage or astigmatism.
If you have been affected by negligence by an optician, contact us asap to discuss your options. We’ll review your case with you for free and let you know what options are available to you.
How much compensation for optician negligence could I claim?
Asking for compensation isn’t a way of fining the optician for their negligence. The idea is that any settlement will help you to recover from your eye injuries. This can include elements relating to any pain you endured (general damages) and any financial impact (special damages).
We’ll be able to explain what compensation you could be entitled to if you call for a free assessment of your case. For now, though, here are some of the elements your compensation could be based on:
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of amenity. This is where a value will be placed on any hobbies or activities your injuries prevented.
- Mental harm caused by your injuries. This could include suffering caused by depression, stress or anxiety.
- Lost income if your injuries stop you from working.
- Care costs if damage to your eyes meant you needed somebody to support you.
- The cost of changes to your home to help you to cope with any form of permanent eye damage.
- Future loss of earnings if your problems with your eyesight will affect your ability to earn.
- Travel expenses linked to your injuries.
As you can only make a single optician negligence claim for your current situation, it’s vital that everything is considered before you ask for compensation. If you decide to use one of our solicitors, they’ll review how you’ve suffered in fine detail. Essentially, they will try to make sure you are paid the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
Providing proof of negligence by an optician for your claim
Whether claiming against an NHS optician or a private company, you’ll need to supply proof to show a) how they were negligent and b) the extent of your injuries. Without it, you are unlikely to receive any compensation or too little could be paid. As such, your solicitor will try to secure as much proof as possible to back up your optician negligence claim. This could include:
- Details of where you were treated. You should make sure you get the details of the opticians that treated you. This should include the company name and address which you’ll usually see posted at the entrance. You should also note the names of those who treated you.
- Medical records. This is an important part of your evidence. Your medical notes could be used to show how you were before treatment and what injuries have been diagnosed post-treatment.
- Failed diagnosis. You should keep hold of any emails, letters or documents relating to your treatment. This could include receipts, incident report forms and any responses you’ve received if you complained to the optician about the outcome of your treatment.
- Witness information. It’s a good idea to give your solicitor the contact details, with their permission, of anybody else who was with you during treatment or consultation. If necessary, they may be asked to provide a statement of what was said or done during your appointment. Additionally, family or friends may be asked to explain how your injuries have affected you and your daily life.
- Your glasses, lenses and prescription. Your glasses or lenses might need to be tested to help confirm they were prepared incorrectly. A copy of your prescription could be helpful here too.
- A diary. When making optician negligence claims, keeping a diary can be a useful exercise. By doing this, you can track the days you couldn’t work, any costs you’ve incurred and any family or social events you missed because of your injuries.
If you call our team on 0800 652 1345, they’ll review any proof you have during your free consultation.
Independent medical assessments
During the optician negligence claims process, you’ll likely need to visit an independent medical expert. They will discuss how you’ve suffered because of your injuries during the meeting. They’ll also conduct eye tests to examine how you are currently.
Once the meeting has ended, the specialist will prepare a report that will detail all of your injuries and explain your prognosis. In most cases, your solicitor can book a local medical assessment to prevent excessive travel.
Optician negligence claims time limits
It’s important to point out that medical negligence solicitors can only help you to take action if you claim within the allowable 3-year time limit. This will either begin from the date of your treatment or from your date of knowledge any injuries linked to the optician’s negligence weren’t diagnosed until later on.
Our advice is that it’s best to begin a claim as quickly as possible. There are a few reasons for this including:
- It will allow ample time to collect evidence and medical reports.
- You should find it a lot easier to recall what happened and how you’ve been affected.
- If liability is admitted, your solicitor could ask for an interim payment to cover the cost of private treatment before your claim is settled to cover the cost of private medical care.
Optician negligence claims involving children don’t have the same time limit. A parent or guardian can represent the child at any point before their 18th birthday. This is known as the litigation friend process.
No Win No Fee optician negligence claims
Having a specialist solicitor on your side could improve the chances of winning your optician negligence claim in our opinion. Additionally, it could lead to a higher compensation payout. However, we understand that the cost of taking on a legal representative can be off-putting for many. That’s why the solicitors on our panel work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they take on.
That means you don’t have to pay anything for them to begin working on your case and you won’t pay for their work if the claim fails either. So that you have this in black and white, you’ll both sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) if you agree to work together.
The CFA will explain that you’ll pay a success fee if your solicitor wins compensation for you. This is a percentage that will be deducted from your settlement amount to cover the cost of your solicitor’s work and costs.
So that you’re not overcharged, the maximum success fee you’ll pay when using a CFA is up to 25% of your settlement amount. To see if we could provide a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you, get in touch today.
Start an optician negligence claim today
The easiest way to get started today is to call our advisors on 0800 652 1345. During your call, we’ll review your options and supply legal advice after a specialist advisor has reviewed your case. If they suspect you’ve got a reasonable chance of success, a medical negligence solicitor could be appointed who’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if they take on your claim.
If you have any extra questions about optician negligence claims, please get in touch via live chat.