Laser eye surgery claims

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Laser eye surgery is a very popular surgery used to correct eyesight.

LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is the most common procedure performed in the UK, and can correct both long and short sightedness. Surgeons cut across the cornea and raise a flap of tissue. The exposed surface is then reshaped using the excimer laser, and the flap is replaced.

Other methods of laser eye surgery include LASEK (laser epithelial keratomileusi) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).

What can go wrong with laser eye surgery treatment?

Complications occur in less than 5% of laser eye surgery cases, however you should always be made aware of all the risks. If your surgeon fails to explain the risks to you, and you would not have undergone the procedure if they had, it is likely that you have a claim in clinical negligence.

Crucially, private laser eye surgery does not have to be done by an ophthalmic surgeon or even someone with specialist laser refraction knowledge. All that is required is that the person performing the procedure is registered as a medical doctor.

Whilst 95% of people who undergo laser eye surgery experience no complications other than minimal discomfort for the first few months, in the other 5% of cases, patients may develop more serious complications.

If you have suffered any of the following, and feel that you have been subjected to negligent treatment, get in touch with our solicitors to discuss making a claim:

  • Damage to tear ducts causing painfully dry eyes
  • Ghosting or double vision
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Chronic eye inflammation
  • Scarring of the cornea
  • Poor night vision
  • Partial or complete blindness

I have suffered one or more of the above complications and believe I have a laser eye surgery claim. What should I do now?

If you feel that your laser eye surgery was negligent, compensation can contribute towards any financial burdens you have suffered, or are likely to suffer in the future, as a result of the negligence. Receiving a payout for damages can also help you deal with the physical and emotional distress involved. Find out more about our claims process here.

Claiming can seem daunting to many people, but our expert solicitors are here to take the stress away from you while seeking the compensation you deserve. The care and attention we deliver to our clients in all of our cases has even been independently recognised by both independent legal directories. We are ranked in the top tier by both Legal 500 and Chambers.

Our team aren’t just expert solicitors though; they’re also specialists in the field of clinical negligence. Several individual solicitors within the team are even ranked as leaders in the field.

We are also independently accredited by The Law Society, The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), so you can be sure that your case will have the best chance at success.

My laser eye surgery was a while ago. Can I claim?

Clinical negligence claims need to be brought within three years of the incident, or within three years of finding out about the negligence. We advise clients to start their claim as early as possible as this gives the solicitor more time to negotiate a better settlement amount from the Defendant.

I have been unable to work because of the issues I have suffered with my eyes. Can I claim for this?

Yes. If you are successful in bringing a claim for negligence, then the ‘special damages’ element of your claim will cover loss of earnings during the recovery period and in the future. This is something that your solicitor will discuss with you in more depth where appropriate.

What would my compensation for laser eye surgery cover if I am successful?

This depends on your particular situation. Compensation is made up of two parts:

  • General damages – this is compensation for your pain, suffering and effects on your everyday life. The court will determine the amount by looking at the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines and the amounts awarded in recent similar cases.
  • Special damages – this includes any financial losses you’ve incurred or will incur in the future as a result of the negligence, including loss of earnings or other income, travel expenses and other costs incurred that we can show were caused by the negligence.

All compensation must be proved to be a result of the alleged negligent medical treatment. If the link cannot be proved, then the court won’t award any damages. As the claimant, it is your responsibility to prove each and every aspect of your claim, including your entitlement to general and special damages.


Our credentials

“A premier Somerset firm with experience of a broad range of high-value matters, including catastrophic birth injury claims. Routinely engaged on cerebral palsy cases and spinal injury claims, and offers expertise in weight loss surgery and dental negligence matters. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “Withy King were caring and understood us. They listened to our concerns and needs, and helped in whichever way they could.” “They are incredibly organised, easy to approach and they have a very supportive team who are incredibly sympathetic.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Simon Elliman (Band 1) oversees an array of complex claims, including cerebral palsy and spinal injury matters. In addition he acts on dental negligence cases. Sources say: “He is very able and he inspires confidence through calmness.” Market observers consider Paul Rumley (Band 1) “a very approachable lawyer with vast experience on high-value and complex cases.” He handles a range of matters including birth injury claims, fatal accidents and delay in diagnosis of cancer claims.” Chambers 2017 Somerset

“Highly commended firm with an excellent reputation across a broad spectrum of clinical negligence matters. Routinely acts on catastrophic cases including brain and spinal injury claims. Also noted for its handling of matters arising from amputation, delayed diagnosis and weight loss surgery. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They’ve been amazing. They spoke to me on a level I understood. They are very understanding and compassionate and they advised me well the whole way through.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Richard Coleman (Band 1) offers vast experience of complex claims involving cerebral palsy, spinal injury and bariatric surgery, among other matters. “He is very good at negotiating settlements in difficult cases” and “doesn’t lose sight of the human aspect of it all,” assert sources.” Chambers 2017 Oxford and surrounds

“Royds Withy King is a ‘leading firm’ for catastrophic birth injury cases. Key figures include practice head Simon Elliman, who handles dental negligence, cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims; ‘first-rate solicitor’ Paul Rumley; and Kerstin Kubiak, who stands out for her ‘exceptional analysis’.” Legal 500 2016 South West 

“The ‘knowledgeable, dependable and competent’ team at Royds Withy King is led by ‘astute strategist’ Richard Coleman and includes Tracy Norris-Evans, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and committed to her clients’.” Legal 500 2016 South East

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To say Thank You is such a small thing but it is truly felt in so many ways.  For all your advice, care and concern and in the highly professional manner in which you have 'seen me through' all aspects of my case. I feel that we could not have gone to either a better firm or had such sincere, helpful advice and representation.
Royds Withy King Medical Negligence Client


By making a cosmetic surgery claim, your settlement will take into account what is referred to as “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”, as well as the cost of any corrective treatment you need, loss of earnings and travel expenses, amongst others.

No. If the doctor or surgeon worked for an NHS hospital, you will be suing the employing NHS Trust. In the case of a private hospital you will sue the company that owns the private hospital if the surgeon is an employee there. If you are suing a private consultant who operates at the hospital but is not employed by the hospital, you will sue them personally as they will have their own indemnity insurance.

Contact us If you have received laser eye surgery that you are not happy with, you can speak to our team on: