What is medical negligence?
Also known as clinical negligence, medical negligence is when a health professional fails to maintain their duty of care to you, this includes wrong, substandard or accidental care that has resulted in a patient getting injured or making their existing condition worse.
There are various types of medical negligence including:
- Misdiagnosis/delayed diagnosis
- Care home negligence – abusive staff, failure to provide food and water, providing the wrong medication
- Gynaecology and childbirth
- Laser eye surgery
- Dental negligence
- Hospital and GP negligence
- Cosmetic surgery negligence
- Fatal negligence – failed diagnosis of a fatal illness, birthing errors, surgical errors, pharmacy errors
Doctors and other medical staff are trained and the majority of the time provide an outstanding level of care but mistakes can happen. Unfortunately, every type of medical negligence carries the risk of resulting in life-changing effects for patients, that can be both physical and psychological.
If you or a loved one had suffered an injury due to the medical treatment you have had, we are here to help. Contact out legal advice team today on 08000 250 250 and find out how we can get you the compensation you deserve.
I’m interested in making a claim, what would I have to do?
We understand you will be going through a difficult time and a claim can feel like that the last thing you want to pursue. We pride ourselves on making the claims process as easy and stress-free as possible.
Gaining legal advice will always be your first step. Our team is legally trained to deal with all your queries and worries, we can give you the help and support you need on a free no-obligation basis.
We will have to find out what has happened so we can get an idea of your situation and be able to advise you on your options. Whatever your options are, we will never apply any pressure on you to make a claim.
If, however, you do wish to proceed with a compensation claim we can get everything set up for you quickly and easily. For your peace of mind, our solicitors have years of experience dealing with medical negligence claims and have a proven success rate. They will guide you through every step of the way and ensure you are up to speed throughout the entire process.
How will I fund my medical negligence claim?
In the large majority of cases, we deal with medical negligence cases on a No Win No Fee basis. This will mean there are no upfront costs for pursuing your claim and if your claim is unsuccessful you will not have to pay a penny.
No Win No Fee agreements give people who cannot afford legal representation the opportunity to pursue their legal rights and gain the justice they require to make a compensation claim.
No Win No Fee means our solicitors will work on a success fee basis rather than charging you any upfront costs.
If for any reason, we cannot take your medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis then we will tell you straight away and discuss other options available to you.
What will my solicitor do to prove my case?
A duty of care is owed to you by all medical professionals; they must ensure that you are properly treated and avoid causing you any unnecessary injury, pain or suffering.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitor will work on your behalf to prove that the care you were given was below the legal duty of care standards.
Generally, to prove this, they will consider three main areas:
- Breach of duty, we already know you were owed a duty of care, your solicitor will now work towards proving that this duty has been breached
- Causation, this is to prove it was the treatment that was the cause of your injuries (or caused your condition to worsen)
- Damages, providing evidence of the suffering caused to you as a result of the breach of duty
I’m still being treated, will my claim affect my treatment?
It is against the law for any hospital and GP to not provide you treatment due to an ongoing complaint or compensation claim. Therefore, it is very unlikely, you will be refused treatment or treated differently.
Is there a time limit to when I can make a medical negligence claim?
Throughout most personal injury claims, there is a three year limitation period; this is the same for medical negligence claims. This means you have three years from the date that the medical negligence incident happened to process a compensation claim.
With the above said, there are certain procedures your solicitor will have to follow to enable them to register your claim. Therefore, if you have 12 weeks or less until your 3 year period is over then we may not be able to assist you in time, however, if you are approaching that deadline then still give our team a call and we can tell you if we can still help.
The three year limitation period does have its exceptions:
- Children – parents, guardians or litigation friends can claim on behalf of a child/teenager up until they turn 21 years old. If no one has claimed on behalf of the child before their 18th birthday, then they will be able to claim on their behalf and has three years to do so.
- Brain damage – if a claimant is unable to make a claim themselves due to their psychological functions being compromised then there is no time limit to when a claim can be made.
If I make a claim, how long will it take?
The complexity and severity of your claim will determine how long the case will take to settle. It will also depend on the party being pursued, for example, if your solicitor is pursuing your medical negligence claim with NHS Resolution (government body handling NHS claims) or an insurance company of a medical professional (private healthcare).
After Direct Solicitors has assessed your claim, then we will be able to give you a rough idea of how long the process might take. They do usually aim to settle cases within a few months, however, depending on the complexity and intricacies of the case, some cases can take three years or more.
Will I have to go to Court?
The majority of cases are settled without the need for Court involvement; however, we cannot guarantee at this stage, that you will not have to attend Court.
At Direct Solicitors, we will aim to settle your medical negligence claim as quickly as possible by negotiating with the fault party’s insurance company or solicitors to try and conclude your case without the need for Court intervention.
However, if negotiations break-down and your solicitor is unable to come to an agreement with the other party then they may recommend Court proceedings, however, they will advise you fully before you make your decision and will only proceed if they think it will give you a better chance of gaining the full compensation amount you deserve.
If your case does go to Court, don’t worry, our solicitor will fully prepare you and ensure you are completely comfortable. Providing help and advice throughout the entire process, they will still work towards settling the claim before a Court trial.
If you want to find out more about claiming and the possible options then contact our legal advice team today on 08000 250 250.
How much compensation will I receive?
The aftermath of negligent treatment can leave you feeling frustrated in pain and sometimes alone; financial worries are the last thing you need adding to it all. At Direct Solicitors, we know it isn’t just the pain and suffering that you have sustained that has impacted yours and your loved one’s life’s, it is also things like the time spent in the hospital and an inability to work that can take its toll.
Depending on the severity of the incident of medical negligence, the amount you will receive can vary, therefore, unfortunately, we cannot give you a set answer at this stage, but once your claim has been set up with us, our solicitor will ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
As well as claiming compensation for your pain, discomfort, physical suffering, long-lasting effects and medical complications caused, your solicitor will also seek to include:
- Loss of income and time taken off work
- Future loss of income and other impacts the incident may have had on your working ability
- Any extra daily expenses caused due to the incident
- Medical care costs such as treatment, travel and accommodation
- Any adaptations you may have to your car or home
- Care received, even if was from a family member
- Psychological trauma
- Impacts on your social life, interests and hobbies
Only after your solicitor has started negotiations with the fault party’s insurance or solicitors will you be able to get an accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you will receive. However, if you would like to gain more of a rough idea now then try our claims compensation calculator.