What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence) is when the standard of care/treatment given to you was below that to be expected of reasonably competent medical staff and that as a result you have suffered an injury.
Depending on the professional involved, medical negligence may include:
- Failure or delay in diagnosing.
- Failure to treat or providing the wrong treatment.
- Errors made during surgery or other treatment.
- Prescribing, dispensing, or administering incorrect medication.
- Failing to advise of suitable alternative treatments.
- Negligence can happen at any stage in the care process, from diagnosis through to treatment and surgery.
How much will it cost to bring a claim?
We will provide you with a free initial consultation.
Most of our cases are funded by a “no win, no fee” agreement which means you will not be responsible for legal fees. You may require legal expense insurance, but we will discuss all funding options with you prior to your instruction.
Don’t let costs worries put you off from bringing a case. Although you may be concerned, it is not a bar to pursuing a case. We will discuss all options with you.
How long is the case likely to take?
It is very difficult to give precise information about how long your case will take because every case is different and there is no defined timescale. It will depend on a number of factors including the complexity, the nature of your injuries and whether the claim is contested.
Medical Negligence cases can be notoriously protracted, due to their complexity and the need to obtain expert evidence. You will need patience as they are not normally concluded quickly.
What can I claim for?
Each case and each compensation award is different.
The compensation you may be entitled to will depend upon the particular circumstances of your claim but will include sums for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused (known as “general damages”).
In addition, you will be entitled to compensation for any financial losses or out of pocket expenses you have already incurred and expenses which you may incur in the future (known as “special damages”). Special damages can include aids and equipment, medication and prescription costs, private treatment and rehabilitation costs, travelling expenses, loss of earnings, loss of pension, care given to you by friends and family, and house adaptations or a new property.
What are the time limits for bringing a medical negligence claim?
The general rule is that a claim for medical negligence must be brought within three years of the date of negligent act or the date of you first became aware that you had suffered an injury due to negligence.
The following exceptions apply:
- Children: The three-year time limit starts from your child’s 18th birthday, so a claim needs to be started before they turn 21.
- Death: If you are claiming for a partner or family member who has died as a result of the negligence, the three years starts from the date of death or when the negligence is discovered, whichever is later.
- Mental Capacity: Where the injured person lacks mental capacity at the time of injury, there’s no time limit until and if they gain capacity.
Will I have to go to Court?
The majority of medical negligence cases settle “out of court”. Cases that are most likely to go to court are those where liability is contested, or where there are complex issues about the nature of the injury you have suffered. In this case, we will be with you every step of the way.
Will it affect my treatment?
You should not experience any problems relating to your ongoing treatment from a person or department you are claiming against. However, some people do feel uncomfortable and you have the right to request to transfer your care elsewhere.
Why choose us?
We are a friendly and empathetic team with a proven track record in achieving justice and compensation for victims of medical negligence
We are specialist solicitors who understand complex medical issues with decades of experience. We are Members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and the Action against Medical Accidents (“AvMA”) Solicitors Referral Panel.
Most importantly our medical negligence solicitors understand what you’re going through. We know that, beyond compensation, you’ll want to know why things went wrong and we’ll help you get the apology and answers you deserve.