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Negligence

medical negligence claims

Medical Negligence Claims

​If you have been affected by medical malpractice, you need to know what your rights are.  You have to know what is classified as medical negligence and what steps you have to take to get the compensation and help that you need.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence is classified as times when medical professionals make mistakes or have failed in their duty of care to you and this has lead to injury or the exacerbation of an existing condition.  There are a number of ways that this can happen and you need to be aware of this.  Medical negligence can occur when there is a misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes or when the incorrect treatment was prescribed.

How Can You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

The first step in making a medical negligence claim will be to contact a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims.  These solicitors will generally offer you a free initial consultation where you will be able to talk about your case and they can determine what the next steps will be.  They will generally be able to tell you if the case does fall into medical negligence and provide an estimate of the compensation you might be able to claim.

It is important that you contact the solicitor as soon as possible while all of the details are fresh in your mind.  If the private healthcare provider or NHS provider admits responsibility early, you could be able to get interim compensation payments which help with any rehabilitation.  These payments will be made before the final compensation settlement and will help with the immediate loving and medical costs that you are going to be facing.

Are There Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims?

Generally, you will need to start a medical negligence claim within 3 years of finding out that you have received negligent treatment.  It is important to note that you might not realise that this is the case straight away.  This could become apparent over time as your illness or injury becomes worse after the treatment.

There are some exceptions to this rule that you need to know about.  The first is when the medical negligence involves a child and occurred before they were 18.  In these cases, the 3-year rule will only come into effect when the child turns 18.  This means that the claim will need to be completed by the time they are 21.

Another exception relates to the mental capacity of the affected party.  If the person affected lacks the mental capacity to make a claim, there will be no time limit for the claim process.

How Long Do These Claims Take?

There are a number of factors that will impact the length of time that a medical negligence claims will take.  The most important will be the severity of the injury followed by whether the NHS or healthcare provider will accept responsibility for fault.  In most cases, the claim will take a few months to be resolved.  However, more complicated cases can take a few years to be settled.

The No Win No Fee Claims

When you are looking for a medical negligence solicitor, you will need to consider a no win no fee basis.  This means that you will not have to pay any upfront costs for the claim and you will only pay if the claim is successful.  Most medical negligence solicitors will offer this fee basis.

With this fee basis, if you win your claim your opponent will pay most of the legal costs with the rest coming from your compensation amount.  It is important that the solicitor you work with keeps you fully updated during the claim and lets you know the compensation you are likely to get.

What Is The Process When You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

If you want to make a medical negligence claim, you need to understand what the process will be.  The first step will be to set up a free initial consultation with a medical negligence solicitor.  During this consultation, you can explain your case and the solicitor will tell you what they think the best way to handle the claim will be.

The solicitor will then get in touch with the medical professionals responsible for your negligent treatment and ask them to accept blame.  At this point, there are some professionals who will accept the claim and the solicitor will then be able to secure interim compensation payments.  These payments can help you with the ongoing expenses that you have until you receive your full settlement.  It is important to note that the interim settlement amounts will reduce the final compensation you are awarded.

The solicitor will generally work with independent medical professionals to work out how much compensation you need to support your recovery and quality of life.  These experts will also be able to determine the mistakes which were made and what future treatments you will need.

After this, the solicitor will try and negotiate your claim out of court.  This will keep the process as short as possible.  However, if the medical provider does not accept responsibility or does not agree with the compensation amount, court proceedings will need to be started.

It is important to note that claims are still more often settled before they reach court even when a trial date has been set.  If the claim does have to go to court, you should be working with a solicitor that helps you every step of the way.  The solicitor will also be able to talk you through the court process for your claim to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during this process.

How Long Do You Have To Make A Claim?

You will generally have 3 years to make a claim of medical negligence.  The 3 years will start from when you received the negligent care or from when you found out that negligent treatment was the cause of your injuries.  It is important that you know the exceptions to the 3-year rule.

The first is when you suffer from medical negligence before the age of 18.  In these cases, you will have until your 21st birthday to make a claim.  Claims for children under the age of 18 will have to be handled by a parent or guardian.  These cases will be subject to different time limits because of the impact of growth on a child’s injuries.

If you need to claim for medical negligence on behalf of someone who does not have the mental capacity to do so themselves, the 3-year rule will not apply.  This will change if the person who received the medically negligent treatment does regain their mental capacity.  In these cases, the person will have 3 years from this date to make their claim.

Can You Make A No Win No Fee Claim?

A lot of medical negligence claims are completed on a no win no fee basis.  This means that there is no financial risk to you when you make a compensation claim.  Of course, you will need to ensure that the solicitor you work with offers this type of payment plan.  The solicitor should also explain the fee basis clearly and tell you about any fees that you will be liable for if the case is not won.