Ask the Experts
Knowing if you have a claim and the ways to go about pursuing it is a complicated subject.
We’ve been dealing with medical negligence claims throughout London for a number of years now and know how tricky it can be to find the right answers. Here are some quick answers to common questions we receive about claims.
This list is not exhaustive but should help answer a number of your queries.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is the part of our law pertaining to compensation as a result of injury or loss due to avoidable medical treatment.
While rare, there are a number of medical malpractice possibilities which can lead to problems for the patient.
Injury, illness, side effects of incorrect medication, loss of earnings due to time off work as a result.
The side effects of medical negligence come in many forms and are very case specific. Check out the rest of the site for more information on whether you might have a claim.
Do I have a claim?
If you think you have a claim as a result of medical malpractice, you need evidence to prove that you have been a victim.
This means having the necessary medical reports to demonstrate this.
Talk to your solicitor for advice.
They’ll advise you seek out a specialist in the specific area relating to your issue and will understand the legal process. No evidence means no claim, so you need to pursue the correct people.
What’s my Time Limit?
In general, you need to pursue your claim as soon as possible.
You’ll need to make a compensation claim through the courts, and this claim needs to be made within three years from the time of the negligent treatment.
When you talk to a solicitor they’ll outline the entire claims process and what exactly you need to do, from obtaining evidence and whether you have a legitimate claim.
The exception to this, however, is where you’re not aware that you’ve been subject to medical negligence.
In this case, the three-year period runs from the date you become aware of your injury.
Exceptions to these rules apply in the case of children and adults with mental difficulties. Talk to us and we’ll advise accordingly.
What Will a Claim Cost?
The short answer is it depends. Claims range hugely in complexity and so it’s very much a case by case situation.
The vast majority of medical negligence solicitors offer “no win, no fee”, which means for any claims they take on board they’re extremely confident of a successful outcome.
The costs can be high, however, so we can discuss your options for funding and so on.
Are there any Funding Options?
In cases where the result of medical negligence means you’re unable to work, it’s possible that this can lead to financial problems.
In this case you can request a financial payment to help with proceedings. We’ll help you with this step, and with any benefits you may be entitled to.
Do I have to Visit Court?
The idea of going to court puts many off from pursuing their claim. Most of the time, however, Court proceedings aren’t necessary for a case to be resolved.
Some cases do end up at trial, although it’s very unlikely. In this case, your solicitor will provide you with the necessary support.
How Long is the Process?
The process can in fact take a very long time before a conclusion is found, due to the typical complex situations and the large number of steps required to get to said conclusion.
You’ll need a full set of medical and GP records pertaining to the injury/loss.
You’ll need your injury verified by an independent medical expert who can confirm that said injury was the direct result of medical negligence.
With your claim validated, we’ll consider its value, before sending a Letter of Claim to the Defendant outlining the allegations.
They have four months to either admit or deny liability. During these four months a more detailed look at the intricacies of your claim can be examined, so we have a better idea of its value.
A number of factors determine how simple of complex this stage is, so the time can vary a lot before a conclusion is reached. Liability can either be admitted or denied.
If admitted, we can negotiate a settlement early on which is often the preferred route, saving you the hassle and validating your claim.
If liability is denied or another complexity arises, court proceedings will begin.
For something as complicated as medical negligence proceedings, the answers to questions are often specific to the individual. For more of your own reading on medical negligence, read The Mirror’s article on how to make a claim for medical negligence.
We hope if nothing else this short list demonstrates this! In all cases, the best thing to do is to talk to a legal expert about your specific case. Then, you can gain the right knowledge and advice to find out if you have a claim, your chances of success in pursuing the claim, and what your next steps are.