Medical Negligence Claim Process
Medical negligence is the substandard care provided by a medical professional to a patient while discharging their duty, which directly causes harm to the patient. Medical negligence can happen in a number of ways such as misdiagnosis, prescription errors, or surgical mistakes.
Victims of medical negligence and their loved ones are entitled to a medical negligence claim compensation. The compensation amount will depend on the nature and severity of the injury suffered, the impact of routine tasks, future prognosis, and the level of financial damage. In this article, we will discuss the medical negligence claims process, the role you can play, and how medical negligence solicitors can help you lodge a successful claim.
How to Make a Claim
The first step is for you to get in touch with us. At nhsnegligenceclaim.co.uk we work with a panel of specialist NHS negligence solicitors who will take up your case from this point. We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation to discuss what happened and if there are legitimate grounds for a claim.
How to Prove a Medical Negligence Claim
In order to make a successful claim, you must provide evidence to show that medical negligence took place. The evidence needed to prove a medical negligence claim includes:
- A statement from the victim of medical negligence, detailing how the incident occurred, and the impact it has had on them
- The patient’s medical records, which can be used to uncover key information regarding how the negligent treatment caused the patient harm
- Pictures or video footage showing the injury suffered, and potentially any external factors that led to the injury
- Witness statements if any third party can provide relevant information relating to the case
We can make arrangements for you to be examined by an independent medical expert. This is important as we need to show that the quality of treatment you received was below the acceptable standard of care. The outcome of this examination can be used to build a robust medical negligence claim on your behalf.
How Much Can I Claim for Medical Negligence?
“How much could my medical negligence claim be worth?”; this is one of the first questions many claimants want an answer to. While it does not have a specific answer, it is a very important question to ask. You need to know whether pursuing a claim is the right course of action for you.
As every medical negligence claim is unique, it can be difficult to determine the exact amount you can expect in compensation. In order for your solicitor to tell you how much you can expect, they must be able to prove:
- that you suffered negligent treatment, and
- the treatment has had a negative impact on your life.
In general, compensation awards for medical negligence are divided into two parts:
- General Damages
This is compensation for the physical impact of your pain, injury and suffering. The amount will depend on the type and severity of injury, guided by the Judicial Studies Board in their Judicial College Guidelines. This guideline is updated periodically and forms the basis upon which medical negligence solicitors and the courts determine the appropriate compensation value for a medical negligence claim.
This is compensation for other areas that have been impacted by the injury you suffered. It covers the economic aspect of your injury, including loss of earnings, estimated future losses, medical expenses, travel costs (for medical trips related to your injury), modified homes/cars, as well as cost of medical equipment required to make life as easy as possible for the victim of medical negligence.
If you or a loved one have suffered harm as a result of medical negligence at the NHS, our specialist NHS solicitors can guide you through the medical negligence claims process and help you make a claim for the compensation you deserve.
Suing the NHS
If NHS care goes wrong, you are entitled to a claim for medical negligence. However, before starting the claim, you may consider making a complaint to the medical professional or hospital responsible for your care. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the issue this way.
However, where a resolution is not possible via this means and you need to lodge a formal complaint, you have 12 months from the date of the incident to do so. The defendant in your case will have to respond with a letter acknowledging your complaint, and let you know when you can expect to receive a comprehensive reply.
While the NHS complaint procedure does not end up in a claim, the response you receive from your complaint can help you better understand what happened, if you can make a claim, as well as ensure the hospital does not repeat the same actions that led to your complaint.
Will I Need to Go to Court?
The vast majority of medical negligence cases are resolved before they go to trial. In most cases, your solicitor will be able to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf without taking the case to court. However, if your case is complex and goes to court, you can rest assured we will help you through the process. Going to court is also not the end of the world; in fact, many claimants have found the court atmosphere to be much more relaxed than they imagined.
Medical Negligence Claims Time Limit
According to the medical negligence UK law, you must begin your claim for medical negligence within three years from the date of the incident or the date you became aware that your injury was a result of medical negligence. If the medical negligence victim is dead, this time limit begins from the date of date. However, there are exceptions to this rule:
- If the victim is a child, he or she will be allowed until their 21st birthday to make a claim
- If the victim lacks mental capacity, there is no time limit.
How Long Do Medical Negligence Cases Take to Settle?
It is difficult to provide a definite answer to this question without knowing the details of the case, but the average medical negligence claim can be resolved within 12 to 18 months. The panel of solicitors we work with try to resolve claims as quickly as possible while working hard to ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve. The amount of time it takes will depend on the uniqueness of your case.