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Medical negligence (sometimes called clinical negligence) is when you receive treatment from a healthcare professional, and you suffer an injury because the treatment was not up to the expected standard.

We deal with clinical/medical negligence claims that arise in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, dental clinics, physiotherapy treatment rooms and beauty salons. Negligence claims don’t just arise because of a specific treatment. You might have a claim if you have been misdiagnosed or you haven’t received necessary treatment on time or at all.

There are usually two things you need to prove to make a successful medical negligence claim:

  • The standard of care that you received fell below the accepted standard for your specific treatment (known as negligence); and
  • As a direct result of this negligence, you have suffered loss such as a physical injury (known as causation).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after medical negligence can you claim?

Typically, claims for clinical negligence should be brought within three years either of the date of the negligent operation or treatment or, in some cases, the date you first learned that there may have been negligence, which we would help to identify and advise further upon if this is applicable.

In the event of a claim involving a child, the time limit for starting a claim is usually three years from their 18th birthday.

There are other time limits which may apply and we will advise you of these if necessary. Because of these time limits it’s important to contact a solicitor once you become aware of a potential medical negligence claim. Occasionally we may be able to issue proceedings as a precaution to avoid you being prevented from bringing a claim because the time limit has expired.

Do you offer no-win, no-fee medical negligence claims?

In most instances we offer Conditional Fee Agreements (“no win no fee “) for medical negligence claims. A Conditional Fee Agreement means that whether you win or lose, making a medical negligence claim will usually come at no financial risk or cost to you.

How long does a medical negligence claim take?

The time it takes to complete a medical negligence claim depends entirely on the nature of the claim. Claims inevitably take time and patience to conclude, especially if clients continue to receive treatment, liability is denied, there is a need for extensive medical evidence or if there are pre-existing conditions which have been made worse by the negligent treatment. Remember it may not always be in your best interests to settle a claim quickly because the extent of your injuries and the amount of compensation you are entitled to may not be clear for several years.

How do I sue a medical provider for medical negligence

Whether to pursue a claim can be a very difficult decision, particularly when you have had a good relationship with either the treating expert or the NHS, as examples.  If you have suffered an injury because of medical negligence, you’ll very likely feel stressed and vulnerable. It’s important however to contact a solicitor so that the extent of your injury and loss is established as soon as possible. If a healthcare provider was responsible for your treatment, we will be able to advise you on the strength of the claim and begin to take the steps necessary to protect your legal position. These steps can include:

  • Obtaining your medical records
  • Commissioning a liability report and a full prognosis report

Analysing the details and instructing an expert on your condition where appropriate

  • Sending a letter of claim to the defendant
  • Seeking an admission of liability
  • Negotiating a settlement if appropriate
  • Issuing court proceedings if no agreement is possible

 

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Catherine Smith
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