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We’re specialists in helping people claim compensation for medical negligence and can help you too.

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Your Questions On Medical Negligence Answered In Our Video Explainer

You can find a complete explanation of medical negligence claims in this short video with our Head of Medical Negligence, Nick Banks (Medical Negligence Assist is a brand belonging to JF Law).

You can find a definition of medical negligence, details of what you can claim for, why claiming against the NHS isn’t an issue, and how we can help you if you’ve suffered an injury.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence refers to an incident in which the standard of care expected of a medical professional is not met. As a result, you may have suffered some form of harm.

Also referred to as clinical negligence, it can come in various forms, such as:

Our solicitors specialise in all types of medical negligence so if you don’t see your case type listed, don’t worry.

What Are The Different Types Of Medical Negligence Compensation Claims?

Clinical negligence can lead to all sorts of harm, ranging from mild injuries to life-changing and debilitating ones.

It is not always clear if medical negligence has occurred, as it may take a little while for the person to learn about what happened to them. Similarly, there may be a delay in the fall-out from the negligence that they suffered.

Coming to terms with the fact that you have fallen victim to this kind of negligence can be difficult, but you are not alone.

Whatever your situation, you could be able to make a compensation claim for your suffering, which could involve:

Can I Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

In order to make a medical negligence claim, it’s necessary to meet certain citeria. These are:

  • That the medical professional treating you breached the duty of care they owed you
  • As a result of the breach, you suffered an injury

Breach of duty can be difficult to prove. Sometimes a degree of harm is necessary in order to provide the required treatment. It therefore comes down to expert evidence, which we can help you obtain as part of your compensation claim.

What Happens When I Make A Claim?

If you want to claim compensation, our medical negligence solicitors are here to guide you through the process. They’ll keep you informed every step of the way with regular updates on your case’s developments.

Initially, when you contact us, we’ll carry out a free evaluation of your claim to ascertain its value and viability. If we believe we can help you, we’ll make you a formal offer of representation and can act for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

Once we have your consent, we’ll begin compiling evidence to support your case and commission a full report from an independent medical expert. We’ll then send the report to the legal representatives of the opposition seeking an admission of liability, after which, negotiations for settlement usually begin.

What Evidence Do I Need?

If you want to make a claim for medical negligence, you need to present evidence to support your claim.

There are a few different forms of evidence that you could gather. We have compiled a short list below. However, this list is not exhaustive.

  • Letters from the hospital/healthcare facility – if you’ve suffered harm as a result of medical negligence, sometimes the healthcare facility will write to you confirming what happened and that they made an error. This is a key piece of evidence.
  • Medical notes – Sometimes when you attend medical appointments you’ll be provided with notes and letters confirming what treatment you’ve received. To give an example, if you were prescribed the wrong medication, the medication you received could be detailed on such letters.
  • Visual evidence – Photographs of any physical injuries can come in useful during your claim.
  • Witness contact details – Medical negligence solicitors can help you gather statements from witnesses. There may have been a friend or relative who witnessed the act of negligence, for example, and they could submit a written statement.

How Long Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

In the UK, medical negligence claims should be started within three years from:

  • The date when the negligence happened
  • The date you discovered negligent treatment was the cause of an injury or illness

However, there are exceptions to the time limit when starting medical negligence claims. For example, if a child was harmed by medical negligence, the time limit would not apply until three years after they turned 18.

Furthermore, when an adult does not have the mental capacity to represent themselves, then the time limit would also be suspended. If the adult was to regain their mental capacity, then the time limit would then apply.

In both cases, a litigation friend could potentially claim on their behalf during the suspended period.

What Is A No Win No Fee Agreement?

If you are eligible to claim for medical negligence, and you wish to hire legal help, then you may be able to do so under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you could benefit from the assistance of specialist medical negligence solicitors without having to pay upfront fees or ongoing costs. You also usually won’t need to pay your solicitor any legal fees if the case is unsuccessful.

If your claim is a success, then a fee will be deducted from the awarded compensation. This is a legally capped percentage.

No Win No Fee therefore enables you to pursue a compensation claim without having to pay any fees unless your case is a success.

How Long Do Medical Negligence Claims Take?

This is quite a tricky question as all clinical negligence claims are unique.

If the injuries aren’t severe and recovery is quick and the defendant admits liability early in the case, a medical negligence claim could be resolved within 12 to 18 months, perhaps less.

More complicated claims—such as those involving injuries that are still healing, or ones in which further investigations are required, or perhaps the defendant disputes they were at fault—could take longer.

For advice on your own case, we recommend getting in touch with us for a free consultation.

Can I Claim Against The NHS?

Yes, you can claim against the NHS for medical negligence. Some people fear that to do so would put the health service under further strain. However, the NHS has insurance in place to cover compensation claims, so you do not need to worry about this.

Should I Make A Complaint To A Healthcare Facility?

If you feel you have received substandard care during treatment at a healthcare facility, then we recommend raising a complaint.

On the NHS website, you can find the information you need on how to make a complaint.

The NHS also has something known as the Patient Advice and Liason Service (PALS) which helps patients raise complaints.

Providing this feedback is important. It could stop other people from coming to harm and it helps doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff to learn from their mistakes.