Medical Negligence UK
If you’ve experienced clinical or medical negligence, our solicitors are here to help you make the best possible recovery.
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What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence involves a healthcare professional providing a level of care that falls below that expected of them. This breach in their duty of care could directly cause an injury, or it may lead to an existing condition, such as a hairline fracture, worsening.
One significant form of medical negligence is known as a Never Event. This is an instance of clinical negligence involving an avoidable yet serious breach of patient safety. Examples include a surgeon leaving objects inside a person’s body after surgery, operating on the wrong side of the body, or the wrong limb is amputated. In extreme cases, medical negligence may lead to death, such as a misdiagnosis of cancer or prescribing medication that a person is known to be hyper-allergic to.
If you’d like to discuss your case with our panel of medical negligence solicitors, get in touch with us on the number at the top of this page.
How Do You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
In order to make a successful medical negligence claim, there are a number of criteria that have to be satisfied with the evidence. They are:
- Did the healthcare professional owe you a duty of care?
- Was that duty breached?
- As a result of the breach, did you suffer an injury or illness or a worsening of your condition?
When we visit our GP, the hospital, a dentist or any other healthcare professional for treatment, they will owe us a duty of care. This is straightforward to prove.
The biggest battleground in medical negligence claims is often over breach of duty. It’s necessary to prove that the treating professional provided a substandard level of care. This can be done by applying legal tools such as the Bolam Test. This process involves a panel of similarly qualified medics reviewing the case to determine whether they would have acted differently. If they would have, the healthcare professional could be deemed negligent.
It’s also necessary to prove that the harm was caused by the breach of duty. If no harm resulted following the incident, a claim wouldn’t be possible.
When it comes to proving medical negligence claims, evidence is essential. This will give the solicitors you consult a clearer idea of the strength of your case. Without any supporting evidence, they may not offer to represent you.
Time Limits In Medical Negligence Claims
There are strict time limits that apply to medical negligence claims. In order to be eligible for compensation, you need to comply with them. It’s therefore important for us to provide a breakdown:
- You have three years from the date of the negligent act to begin a claim
- Alternatively, you have three years from the date you obtained knowledge that the negligent acted at least contributed to your condition
- If you’re younger than 18 years old, you cannot make a claim on your own. Representation from a litigation friend would be required. However, the three-year time limit doesn’t begin until you turn 18. So if no claim is made on your behalf before this time, you would have until your 21st birthday to begin.
- If you or a loved one loses the mental capacity to represent themselves, the time limit is frozen until capacity is regained. A litigation friend can also provide representation.
For more advice on time limits, please reach out to our medical negligence solicitors.
How Do Medical Negligence Solicitors Help?
Medical negligence claims can seem daunting. You may find that you’d prefer to use the services of a solicitor rather than take action alone.
There are a number of potential benefits to claiming with the help of a solicitor. Solicitors can:
- Cut through legal jargon.
- Guide you in the unlikely event that your claim goes to court, and they can represent you.
- Try to negotiate the maximum compensation payout on your behalf.
- Accurately value your claim.
Additionally, our panel of medical negligence solicitors can work for you from anywhere in the country. To find out more, without any obligation to proceed with our services, contact us today.
Types Of Medical Negligence Cases
A medical negligence case could potentially be started against any place or professional which provides healthcare. Any type of medical procedure or other treatment could lead to a claim if there is evidence of negligent behaviour from the provider. Inaction or delayed action from a medical professional could also be found to be negligent.
Thousands of people attend hospitals each day. Some attend for minor injuries, like soft tissue damage or burns; others attend for life-threatening conditions, like head injuries or heart attacks.
With hospital staff expected to do more nowadays with fewer resources, it’s natural for mistakes to happen. In a hospital setting, this could involve misdiagnosing a patient or a surgical error.
Our panel of medical negligence solicitors can help you if you’ve suffered avoidable harm at a hospital.
Similar to hospital negligence claims, doctors and nurses can breach their legal duties in general practitioner settings too. This can come in the form of
- A misdiagnosis of an illness, symptoms of cancer or an injury, such as a hairline fracture
- A misdiagnosis may also lead to a failure to refer the patient on for further testing, which could reveal the condition they’re suffering from
- Negligent medical advice could also be provided by healthcare professionals, which could lead to a patient suffering harm.
- Prescription errors could cause a patient to suffer a multitude of problems, such as:
- Receiving too high a dosage, leading to toxicosis or poisoning
- Being given too low a dosage, meaning the condition or illness doesn’t get treated and worsens.
- Receiving medication that you’re known to be allergic too, leading to nasty reactions, such as anaphylactic shock.
Our panel of medical negligence solicitors can support you with a claim against a GP surgery or doctor. Just get in touch to learn more.
Medical negligence claims can also be made for the following:
- Medical misdiagnosis – as we’ve shown above, it’s possible to have conditions such as suspected cancer or fractured bones misdiagnosed. This, in turn, may lead to a failure to refer the patient on for further and necessary tests, meaning they may miss out on the treatment they need.
- Defective medical devices – to help some of our bodily functions, we may receive medical devices, like pacemakers. If these prove to be faulty, you could make a claim
- Fatal injuries – tragically, instances of medical negligence can lead to fatal injuries. This could involve wrong-site surgery or a foreign object left inside of a person after surgery.
Our panel of medical negligence solicitors is able to help you with any type of case set out above.
Find out if you're eligible to make a claim
Use our simple online claim form checker to answer a few simple questions and you’ll be able to get a good idea of whether you’re able to claim.
Proving Medical Negligence Claims
To claim compensation for medical negligence, you would need to provide evidence of your suffering.
You’d be required to prove that your condition was worsened or caused by medical negligence. Additionally, you’d need to evidence the severity of your injuries. This can be done if you attend a medical assessment conducted by an independent professional.
The medical professional would ask you questions, examine your injuries and create a report. The report would contain an evaluation of your injuries as well as a projection of how they may affect you in the future.
These assessments are crucial, primarily because medical negligence solicitors use these reports when valuing injuries.
You may also find that medical negligence caused you to suffer financial loss. Retaining documents that prove your losses can be extremely helpful in recovering costs.
Evidence of financial loss can include:
- Prescriptions that shows the costs of medication you had to take during recovery.
- Bills for hiring extra care at home if your injuries necessitated this.
- Travel tickets for the times you were required to attend healthcare appointments because of your injuries.
- Receipts for home adaptations you had to have installed because you were left with a disability or limited mobility.
You could also claim back the time that family or friends spent caring for you as compensation.
There are other forms of evidence that you could use in medical negligence claims. To discuss the evidence you have or could collect, get in touch.
No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors
Claimants can become concerned about paying a solicitor for their work if the case loses. After all, medical negligence may have already caused you to suffer financially. The risk of being out-of-pocket can seem like too much. That’s where No Win No Fee agreements can be of use.
It’s essentially an agreement between you and your solicitor that states:
- You won’t have to pay any solicitor fees if the claim doesn’t win.
- There won’t be any upfront solicitor fees.
- There won’t be any ongoing solicitor fees.
- You won’t have to pay the solicitor their fee until the compensation comes through.
If your claim is successful, you will pay the solicitor a success fee. It’s a small percentage of the compensation, and it’s capped by law. This cap aims to prevent overcharging so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Our panel of medical negligence solicitors offers their services under No Win No Fee agreements. To see if you could be connected with them or find out more about medical negligence claims, all you have to do is reach out.
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