Surgical Error Claims

Mistakes or negligent treatment before, during or after an operation – by a surgeon, anaesthetist, nurse or other medical professional, can form the grounds of a surgical error claim. If you have experienced surgical negligence, you may be able to make a claim and receive compensation from the NHS, or a private hospital or clinic.

Mistakes made before, during or after surgery could include:

With one of our expert medical negligence solicitors working for you, you will have the best possible opportunity to win your case and obtain compensation for the mistakes made by your surgeon, anaesthetist or nurse.

If we believe that you have strong grounds for a surgery compensation claim, our experienced medical negligence solicitors will support you with our ‘No Win – No Fee‘ agreement. This means that you will not be charged any upfront legal costs in order to start your claim and if your claim is not successful, you will not incur any costs*.  Contact us today for your free no-obligation case evaluation. Call us on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Read Our FAQs

When you go into hospital for an operation, you expect to be taken care of  by a skilled surgeon and their well-trained medical team. It is possible that things can go wrong but this may not necessarily lead to surgical negligence.

However there are some circumstances in which you may be able to make a surgical error claim. These could include:

  • You were advised that surgery was the best or only possible option to deal with your condition or illness – however other, more suitable options were available.
  • Mistakes during the operation or procedure which caused excessive suffering, required additional surgery to fix these mistakes, or otherwise impacted your health and quality of life.
  • Surgery was excessively delayed, causing pain and suffering that would have been eliminated had the surgery been performed in a timely manner, or surgery that was less effective because of the delay.
  • The wrong body part was operated upon; for example, the wrong limb. This is a called a ‘Never Event‘ because it is the kind of error that should never happen.
  • A piece of medical apparatus was left inside your body during surgery. Sometimes this isn’t immediately apparent, and other times it can cause immediate significant discomfort. Examples of things that can be mistakenly left in the body include mesh, swabs, scissors, tongs, and clips. In certain circumstances these would also be known as “Never Events”.
  • An infection developed during or after surgery. Any surgery includes a certain degree of risk, but surgeons, doctors, and nurses should manage infection risk, limit the chance of infection and treat it promptly if one does develop.This particular type of surgical error claim may be connected to a general hospital negligence claim, or a misdiagnosis claim, in which an infection is not diagnosed correctly or in a timely manner.
  • Specifically with cosmetic surgery compensation claims, it may be possible to claim compensation in cases where a patient was not sufficiently informed about the risks of the procedure, leading to issues surrounding informed consent.

The common forms of surgical negligence include:


Many of these errors are referred to as ‘Never Events’ i.e. n umbrella term for a series of avoidable mistakes and errors made by NHS employees. For a full list of the Never Events which occurred between April 2019 – February 2020 click here.

If you believe that you or family member has suffered harm and injury, resulting from negligent treatment and care before, during or after surgery, it is important to contact solicitors who specialise in medical negligence.

Devonshires Claims has over 20 years’ experience securing justice and compensation for patients throughout the UK.  These claims can be quite complex, and navigating the legal process can be very difficult for those with no experience in the field.

Once you’ve discussed your case with our legal experts, you will understand the process of making a claim and what it will entails.

If we believe that you do in fact have a case, we will offer you our services on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.

There are several steps that you can take in order to have a better chance of making a successful compensation claim.

1.Provide all your records and evidence to an expert solicitor, or give them a summary of your medical history.

If you suspect that you are the victim of surgical error, you can compile all of the records you have related to the surgery, including all your doctor’s notes, hospital admittance information, and any other related paperwork.

Once you have gathered this evidence, you should bring it to a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims. Devonshires Claims provides a free no-obligation case evaluation.

2. Obtain medical reports from experts

The next step in making a surgical negligence claim is to have your lawyer assist you by directing you to relevant medical professionals who can review your existing medical records and provide an independent assessment of your treatment.

These experts will be able to determine whether any mistakes were made and if so – whether they could and should have been avoided. Depending on the details of your claim, you may need reports from different experts in different fields in order to support your case.

3. Negotiation

Negotiation with the defendant or defendants in your case is important in order to increase the chances of a successful claim.

Our medical negligence claims solicitors have the expertise necessary to skilfully conduct these negotiations on your behalf.

Often, especially with surgeries performed by the NHS, the defendant will be NHS Resolution (NHSR), the organisation responsible for defending the NHS in medical negligence claims.

A legal team that is familiar with the NHSR will be experienced with the arguments used to deny liability and avoid paying compensation, and will be equipped to fight against them on your behalf.

If mistakes were made during a surgical procedure, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to make a claim, you’ll need to prove that your surgeon or other medical professional involved in your surgery, made avoidable mistakes, and that those mistakes led to injury.

You can make a claim on behalf of yourself, or on behalf of a loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves (e.g., a child or someone with limited mental capacity).

How Much Compensation Can I Receive?

The amount of compensation you can receive from a surgical error claim is dependent on a number of factors. Instead of a single sum based on the degree of severity, there are several kinds of losses that can be claimed:

  • General Damages
    This includes pain and suffering that is hard to quantify in terms of monetary value. Physical pain, loss of mobility, and mental anguish all can be part of the general damages in a surgical error claim.
  • Care Claim
    If you needed additional assistance in your daily life as a result of the surgical error, such as a nurse or carer at home, you can make a claim for compensation for those costs.
  • Loss of Earnings
    If the damage from a surgical error prevented you from being able to work, you can make a claim for both past and future lost earnings.
  • Travel Expenses
    Any expenses incurred in the process of travelling to medical appointments, including fuel costs or transportation fares, can be claimed.
  • Medical Expenses
    The cost for the treatment of issues with a private doctor or physiotherapist resulting from a surgical error can be recovered as a part of your surgical error claim.

The final total of your settlement will depend on the specific details of the factors listed above in your case.

Every case is different, so it is difficult to say how long a claim will take to proceed to completion. Some cases are more complex than others, and based on the injuries, the medical evidence available, and the defendants involved, the time frame can vary greatly. However, once an expert solicitor has reviewed your case, they should be able to provide an estimate and advice about how to proceed.

What are the Time Limitations for Making a Surgical Negligence Claim?

The general rule is that you have three years, either from the date of the surgery or from the date that you discovered that surgical negligence is/was the cause of an injury. There are some exceptions to that rule being:

  • Claims on behalf of children
    These claims can be made at any time before the child turns 18. When a child turns 18, they must bring a claim within three years.
  • Mental capacity
    A child or adult without capacity to run a claim, may not have a time limit within which to bring a claim. We recommend you contact Devonshires Claims if you have any queries involving those who lack capacity and our specialist solicitors will be able to assist.

Free Initial Advice for Surgical Error Claims

If you believe you have a claim relating to a surgical error, give us a call to speak with one of our specialists. Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence solicitors have experience in dealing with surgical negligence as well as other medical negligence claims. They will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome including justice for the harm you suffered, and compensation which adequately reflects the injury, pain, financial losses and the need for further medical treatment and care.

We provide victims of medical negligence with:

Contact us today to start your free case evaluation. Call us on 0333 900 8787, email or complete our online form.

Client Stories

Negligent Surgical Repair of a Third-Degree Perineal Birth Tear: Compensation Awarded


The Claimant suffered a third-degree perineal tear during childbirth.  She underwent birth tear repair surgery which was performed negligently and further corrective surgery was required a week later.


A 5 figure sum for a mother who suffered negligent repair after she suffered a third-degree perineal tear during childbirth.

Compensation For Negligently Performed Hernia Repair Surgery


Legal Action following negligently performed hernia repair resulting in bladder prolapsing into the client’s scrotum.


Currently valued at £250,000

Compensation For Poor Surgical Care During Surgery to Remove Tumour in Salivary Glands


A clinical negligence claim brought by the Claimant for damages following substandard surgical care during a surgery to remove a tumour called a pleomorphic adenoma in 1994. The Claimant claimed for the failure to advise of the risks of surgery, allowing her to make an informed decision. Secondly, she claimed for the failure by the Defendant to perform an open surgery which would have allowed for complete removal of the tumour.


The claim settled at mediation for £425,000.

What our clients say:
Karen Cathcart worked extremely hard on my representation, she was friendly and accessible, and did make me feel that someone had ‘owned’ the problem. She did secure a good outcome. Consequently I would be more than happy to recommend Karen to friends and family. - P.G.
I am very happy with the service I got from Justin and his team. From the first day that they started my claim, they have kept me informed of every step they have made with my claim. Towards the end of my claim they explained how they would proceed to get me a good offer and also what would be expected of me. I would definitely recommend them my friends and family if ever they needed to make a medical claim. - T.L.
Devonshires solicitors are extremely good. Sandra Wheeler who helped me a lot is very kind; she always gave me good advice. A few times during the case, when I was nervous or disappointed, she encouraged me to go ahead. This case was 'no win no fee*', so they didn't charge me a single penny. Thank you to the Devonshires' team. I will definitely recommend you in the future if anyone needs a solicitor because your team is so helpful and do their job very well. - Mrs Kaur

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