Medical Negligence Solicitors In Wells
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Medical Negligence Solicitors in Wells
You have the right to expect that a medical professional will protect your health while you are in their care. If you have been hurt because the standard of care you received was unacceptable, then our highly experienced medical negligence solicitors in Wells can help.
Medical negligence, sometimes referred to as medical malpractice or clinical negligence, is when the doctor or healthcare provider responsible for your treatment fails to uphold their duty of care. This duty is something they accept implicitly when they agree to treat you, in the case of a dentist or specialist, or when they turn up for a shift as in the case of a hospital nurse or care home worker.
If you believe your injury was caused by negligence, then talk to The Medical Negligence Experts today.
Making a Medical Negligence Claim in Wells
No one expects your doctor to be perfect because even the most experienced of professionals can make a mistake. Negligence happens when the risk of making an error is not managed, and your care provider makes a mistake that is considered unreasonable by their peers.
Medical negligence claims can include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a condition.
- Prescribing the wrong treatment.
- Making the patient’s condition worse either through taking the wrong action or not taking the correct one (or not doing anything at all).
- Failing to refer the patient for appropriate tests and assessment and thereby delaying their diagnosis.
- Misreading test results or misunderstanding test results.
If you have suffered physical harm because of negligent treatment, then you may be entitled to apply for payment of compensation. You may also be eligible to claim if you have suffered psychological trauma, financial damage, or are the dependent of someone killed as the result of negligent care.
Contact The Medical Negligence Experts today even if you only suspect your injury may have resulted from negligent care. We can arrange a free, no obligation consultation where you can talk to a legal expert for advice that is relevant to your situation. The sooner you seek legal advice, the earlier you will know whether you can claim compensation and have access to the rehabilitative support you need.
It is important to remember that you can’t claim compensation unless you have been injured or hurt, even if you can prove your care was negligent. For your request to be valid, you need to have come to harm as the result of substandard care.
Claiming Compensation in Wells
We work with the leading medical negligence solicitors in Wells to get our clients maximum compensation for their injury. It’s not about being greedy or asking for money for the sake of it – compensation gives you the access to the support and treatment that you need to make the best possible recovery, and it ensures that you do not suffer financially because of your injury either now or in the future.
Compensation is divided into two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages are calculated to compensate you for the pain and suffering your injury caused. There are industry scales which are published by the Judicial College and used to assess a fair amount. Typically speaking, the more serious your injury and the bigger the impact it has on your life, the higher the amount of compensation you will receive. This is not always the case, however, and why it is so important, you choose a medical negligence solicitor who specialises in your type of injury and has experience successfully claiming compensation.
Special damages make sure you are not left financially out of pocket because of your injury. It can include payment for anything from the cost of prescription medicine to special treatment like physiotherapy or corrective surgery. In addition to repaying the money you have spent because of your injury, special damages can make up for the money you have lost because you have been unable to work while you’re recovering.
Your solicitor can also request payment to compensate you for the cost of future earnings and pension if you have to change your working hours or take early retirement, and may even be able to incorporate this for your partner if they have given up work to be your carer.
No Win No Fee* Medical Negligence Claims in Wells
There is no reason for you to worry about whether or not you can afford to seek compensation for medical negligence. Nearly all requests we handle are down through a No Win No Fee* agreement because it takes away the need to pay anything upfront.
Also called Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), No Win No Fee* claims take the risk away from hiring a lawyer to make a claim with no guarantee that you will receive any compensation. Instead, by choosing to work with The Medical Negligence Experts, you can have the support and representation of a specialist solicitor risk-free. If you don’t win, then you don’t have to pay a penny.
We understand if you’re sceptical – after all, expert legal advice with nothing to pay upfront and nothing to pay if you lose can seem too good to be true, but No Win No Fee* agreements are almost as simple as they sound. Here’s how they work:
- Your solicitor will review your claim and, if they believe there is a good chance of obtaining a favourable outcome, then they will offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee* basis.
- They will help you determine whether you already have legal expense cover under an existing insurance policy such as your home insurance, or whether they need to help you to arrange an After The Event policy.
- If your claim is successful, then your solicitor will be paid your legal expenses, which are typically recovered from the other party. They are also entitled to a “success fee” which is an agreed percentage of your total compensation payment. This amount is legally capped at 25% and will be openly discussed before you commit to making a claim so you know exactly what to expect.
Until 2013 it was possible for successful claimants to keep all of their compensation with the solicitor’s success fee being paid by the losing party; however, changes to legislation now makes it necessary for this fee to be paid by the claimant.
Claiming Compensation on Behalf of Another Person
There are occasions where the injured party is unable to seek compensation themselves and rely on what is known as a “litigation friend” to act on their behalf. This may be necessary if the victim (also known as the “protected party” is under the age of 18 or lacking the mental ability to act for themselves. Their litigation friend could be a parent or adult child, a spouse, relative or close friend, or even a professional such as a solicitor. Those acting as a litigation friend will need to obtain approval from the courts to show they are a suitable person with no conflicting interests and we can help if you require any advice on how to do this.
There is minimal difference in the way a claim brought by a litigation friend is handled compared with one brought directly by a victim of medical negligence. Both have the same legal requirement to prove injury and negligence, and both focus on the impact the injury has had on the victim’s life. The main difference is that, where the majority of claims we handle settle out of court, any compensation amount agreed to by a litigation friend must be approved by the court before it is finalised, as must the way the compensation will be held and managed for the protected party until they can administer the money themselves.
Settling a Compensation Claim Out of Court
The prospect of having to go to court for your claim to be heard can be understandably daunting. After all, dealing with other barristers and judges is a regular occurrence for us, but the majority of people rarely encounter that side of the legal process. Our goal is always to reach an agreement out of court but sometimes this may not be possible and, if the other party denies liability or refuses to agree to a fair amount of compensation, we may recommend litigation.
Going to court can add up to a year to the processing time of your claim. This is not because you have to spend months in court giving evidence – the process is usually over within a matter of hours – but because court dates for claims are allocated months in advance. Often the notification of a court date is enough for the other party to have a change of heart and agree to reasonable terms but if not, and you do need to go to court, you can trust your medical negligence solicitor in Wells to be with you all the way, keeping to updated so you know what to expect.
A court hearing for a compensation claim is not a criminal matter and claims are commonly heard in a County Court, unless they are for amounts of £50,000 or more when they are heard in a High Court. There is no jury, and both sides will have to provide all relevant information in advance of the hearing so the judge can read and assess the situation. The judge’s decision is final and can include a financial penalty in addition to any compensation which is awarded.
Although we always do our best to settle your claim out of court, you should always make sure you are confident that the information given is accurate as you may have to testify to this under oath.
Medical Negligence Compensation Claims FAQ
We are happy to arrange a free, no-obligation discussion with a legal expert to help you understand your rights and options regarding claiming compensation. To get you started, here are the answers to some of the questions we most often hear from prospective clients.
Do I have the right to make a claim?
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you may be entitled to seek compensation.
- Have I been injured by negligent care?
- Is there evidence to prove this?
- Did it happen within the last three years?
- Am I over the age of 18 and of sound legal mind?
The three-year time limit for making a claim starts from the date of your injury or the date of knowledge (when you were aware your injury was caused by negligence) whichever is later.
How much compensation will I receive?
While it’s difficult to say precisely how much compensation you will receive, your solicitor will be able to give you a good approximation once they have assessed your circumstances. Compensation has two components: general damages and special damages.
General damages relate purely to the pain and suffering caused by your injury or illness. There are guidelines published by the Judicial College, and your solicitor will use these to determine what an appropriate amount will be. Special damages take into account any money you have spent or lost as the result of your injury whether it be having to pay privately for corrective treatment or lost wages and pension if you have been unable to work or need to retire early.
What if I find out later that I should have received more money?3>
When you agree to a payment of compensation, it is final. You are not able to reopen the claim if, at a later date, you discover you were entitled to receive a higher amount, nor can you raise a new request if you find your illness or injury were worse than initially believed. It is for this reason that it is vital you work with a solicitor who has experience in successfully handling your type of claim. Always seek legal advice before accepting any offer of compensation especially if it is unsolicited.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to The Medical Negligence Experts today. Either call using our free phone number or fill in the online contact form and we will get in touch at a time that suits you.