Infected Blood Compensation

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Infected Blood Compensation

When you need a blood transfusion, you have every right to expect that the blood you receive meets the highest standards of safety. For this reason, donated blood is subject to very strict control procedures to ensure it is safe for use. However, when government authorities fail to screen blood effectively, or when medical professionals fail to administer blood safely, patients may be given infected blood, which can have life-changing consequences.

If you received infected blood during a blood transfusion or as a treatment for haemophilia, you may be entitled to claim infected blood compensation. JMW Solicitors’ clinical negligence team has experience securing compensation for infected blood victims, and we will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

We understand the emotional strain that people feel when they are failed by a medical professional, and we handle every case with care and sensitivity. An infected blood compensation payment can help you to adjust to your new circumstances more comfortably and ensure that the people responsible are held to account.

If you were treated with blood that caused you to develop an illness, speak to JMW Solicitors and learn more about making an infected blood transfusion compensation claim. Call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online contact form to arrange a call back at a convenient time for you.

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How JMW Can Help

JMW’s clinical negligence team has significant expertise in complex cases, and can bring a wealth of experience to bear. This ensures we explore every avenue and consider every facet of your case, to help you secure the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Our solicitors have been recognised by the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panel, and some members of our team have received a Clinical Negligence Accreditation from The Law Society. This demonstrates our expertise in this area of law and our commitment to providing the highest standard of legal services to every client in every circumstance.

Solicitors from JMW are also advising claimants who may have claims arising from the issues that were investigated by the Infected Blood Inquiry and were the subject of the Inquiry Chair’s report in May 2024. No matter the specifics of your situation, get in touch with JMW today to learn how we can help you.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Infected Blood?

There are two scenarios in which patients receive infected blood, each of which will be handled differently when it comes to claiming compensation:

  • Blood that became infected due to negligence on the part of a medical professional
  • Infected blood or blood products that were not screened effectively for diseases before they were administered

In cases like the former, patients will often be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim. Speak to a solicitor about your circumstances to learn more about the process and start your claim. It is important to do this as soon as possible - in most cases, there is a three-year window in which you must start your claim from the date that you learned of your illness and its connection to infected blood.

In the latter cases, you may also be able to obtain compensation, but your ability to do so and how you can claim compensation could be different and may depend on when you received the infected blood or blood products. The Infected Blood Inquiry was set up to look into failures in screening blood products from the 1970s to the 1990s that resulted in around 30,000 people being infected by contaminated blood and its final report was published on 20 May 2024.

In the report, the government announced plans to set up a compensation scheme for those who received contaminated blood and blood products. Sir Robert Francis KC has been appointed interim chair of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority, the body that will run the scheme. This authority plans to carry out consultations about the scheme with the infected blood community during the early summer of 2024.

An initial payment of interim compensation was made to some victims in 2022, and those already registered with a scheme should receive a further interim payment of £210,000 at some time in the summer, but many others have not yet received compensation. In these latter cases, those affected will need to wait for the Infected Blood Compensation Authority's scheme to be fully set up. This is expected by the end of 2024, but could take one to two years to pay all of the claims. We are awaiting further details on the scheme - which will be published on a dedicated government webpage - but it is worthwhile to speak to a solicitor if you think you may be entitled to compensation, to learn how they can help in the meantime.

Infected Blood Compensation: How to Claim for Medical Negligence

Blood and blood products that have not been properly screened or tested can cause patients to develop infections like hepatitis and HIV, which can have serious long-term consequences. Blood that is not stored properly may also become infected and cause illnesses in patients who are administered this blood as part of their treatment.

If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation. To start a claim for infected blood compensation, contact a member of the team at JMW today. We will be able to discuss your circumstances in a free initial consultation and advise you on whether or not you are eligible to make a claim. If you decide to move ahead, we will begin building your case and reviewing evidence straight away.

It is vital to secure representation from legal experts when pursuing a claim of this type. Our medical negligence solicitors can ensure that every aspect of your case is considered and build the strongest base of evidence for your claim. In medical negligence claims, we can arrange for an independent medical expert to review your case, which can help to prove the connection between infected blood and the illness you later contracted. They may also be able to comment on failures in care that led you to be given infected blood and estimate the impact of the situation on your life, which can support your effort to secure compensation. In this way, you will have the highest chance of successfully securing infected blood compensation.

Making a claim if you were infected or affected by the failures in screening in the 1970s-1990s

The process of making a claim as a result of the failures in blood screening from the 1970s to 1990s may differ from a standard medical negligence claim, although it is impossible to say with any certainty at this stage how compensation will be awarded. In 2022, the government paid £100,000 to each victim who was registered with a UK support scheme, or to partners in some cases where victims had died, as interim compensation. Now, the government has announced plans to establish a compensation scheme in response to the Infected Blood Inquiry, but this is not expected to be up and running until the end of this year.

Further compensation will be paid to patients (and the families of patients) who received infected blood due to failures in government oversight through this scheme. However, because it is yet to be fully implemented, it is difficult to advise on the best way of claiming compensation or how the claims process will work at this time.

Even so, you should speak to a solicitor at your earliest opportunity if you experienced similar circumstances or believe that you may be eligible for compensation from the government. The experts at JMW Solicitors can advise you on the next steps you should take and ensure that you are kept informed about the government’s plans for a compensation scheme and any alternative course of action you can take.

FAQs About Infected Blood Compensation

What infections are transmitted through blood?

There are several infections that you can contract if you are treated with infected blood. The most common diseases that are contracted through infected blood include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis (NANBH)
  • HIV
  • Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)

To pursue a compensation claim, you must be able to prove that infected blood was the reason you contracted a disease. Your solicitor can review your medical records and help you to prove this when building your case.

Alternatively, if you were infected due to the government’s failures decades ago, it is not yet clear exactly what you will need to prove. However, it is worth knowing that in those cases registration with a UK infected blood support scheme may mean you can obtain some financial support and may be enough to entitle you to some compensation.

How much infected blood compensation could I be owed?

Every clinical negligence case is different, and compensation amounts can vary greatly. Ultimately, the compensation you could be owed depends on many specific factors, including the infection you contracted, the circumstances surrounding it, the effects of the infection on your life, and any financial losses you incurred.

As such, it is impossible to provide an average or estimate of how much compensation you could be owed without understanding the details of your situation. To learn how much compensation you could be eligible to claim, contact the team at JMW today. We will discuss your circumstances and advise you on how much you could claim, and how to get started.

If you are eligible for compensation as a result of failures in screening in the 1970s-1990s, the amount of compensation you can claim will depend on the terms of the compensation scheme currently being set up by the government.

Talk to Us

If you contracted an infection because you were given infected blood by medical practitioners, you are owed compensation. Call JMW Solicitors to start the process of making a claim by calling 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, complete our online contact form to arrange a call back at your convenience.

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