What are the criteria to qualify for compensation for a patient injury?
To qualify for compensation for a patient injury, three conditions must be met. Please read the following carefully before applying for compensation.
1. The patient injury must be due to treatment failure
You must have suffered an injury that was caused by treatment, examination, diagnosis or follow-up. The patient injury may be temporary or permanent. In addition, your injury must be due to an error or omission in the treatment. If the injury is a result of the illness you were being treated for, you are not entitled to compensation.
If you sustain an injury that was not caused by an error or omission in the treatment, you are not normally entitled to compensation.
In some exceptional cases, you may be awarded compensation even if there has not been an error or omission in the treatment. This applies to injuries that are particularly severe and unexpected.
2. The patient injury must have resulted in financial loss
As a rule, the patient injury must have resulted in financial loss in addition to any losses that would otherwise have been incurred. The purpose of the compensation is to cover additional expenses incurred as a result of the patient injury. This could include expenses for medical treatment, medication, transport or similar. You may also be granted compensation for loss of income or loss of provider.
If the financial loss is less than NOK 10,000, you cannot claim compensation from NPE. Instead, you should contact the treatment provider where the injury occurred directly.
If you have suffered passing problems or had a bad experience, but have not incurred a financial loss, you will not be granted compensation. Nor is compensation awarded as a means of redress.
Compensation for permanent injury for non-financial loss
In some cases you may be granted compensation even if you have not incurred a financial loss; for example, if you have sustained a permanent and significant injury. "Permanent" usually means that the patient injury lasts for a period of at least ten years. "Significant" means that the patient injury must lead to medical disability of at least 15 per cent.
Medical disability is determined using a dedicated table for injuries.
3. The patient injury must not be too old
You can apply for compensation for a patient injury for up to three years after you ought to have understood that it was the treatment you received, or a lack of treatment, that caused the injury. If you apply too late, the claim will be considered to be expired.
The main rule is that claims will be expired after three years.
In order for the period of limitation to start running, the compensation claimant must have known that there is an injury that has resulted in financial loss and/or permanent medical disability and have knowledge of the healthcare provider/treatment responsible. The compensation claimant will have some duty to investigate in connection with this.
Claims that are more than 20 years old will, as a rule, be expired, cf. Section 9(2) of the Limitation Act. This also applies even if the compensation claimant was not aware of the injury and the healthcare provider/treatment responsible.
The limitation period will be interrupted when the claim is reported to NPE.
Should I wait before submitting an application?
In some cases, it may be better to wait before submitting your application until you can see whether you have actually sustained a lasting injury or whether you have incurred a financial loss of at least NOK 10,000. This is particularly true in cases where your injury is only temporary.
If you are unsure whether to wait before submitting your application, please call our helpline.