Medical Negligence: Sue the NHS FAQs
We are happy to give you a free, no-obligation consultation to answer any questions you may have about your entitlement to claim or the process for doing so. Here are the answers to some of the Sue the NHS FAQs. If the answer to your question isn’t here, just give us a call or fill in our online form and one of our expert legal advisors can help.
If you have endured an unacceptable standard of care and been injured as a result, you may be entitled to claim compensation. It is not enough that you received negligent care if your health was not adversely affected. Nor is it sufficient to be injured if you are unable to prove it was directly linked to negligence.
Medical negligence claims must be raised within three years of the event or, if you were under 18 at the time, by your 21st birthday. Expert legal advice is always to talk to a solicitor with medical negligence experience at the earliest opportunity, even if you are still physically recovering. They can help you access the rehabilitative support you need and can potentially secure an interim payment if the other party acknowledges liability but your claim is taking a long time to process and you need urgent financial support.
The processing time of your request will depend on whether the other party accepts responsibility and the nature and healing time of your injury. As a general rule, claims relating to life-changing injuries, or those where it can take time to determine the long-term prognosis and lasting impact on the victim’s life, take longer than claims where a patient can recover quickly. Since the treatment you received was provided by the NHS, you will sue the NHS medical negligence trust responsible. Some parts of the timeline are legally defined. For example, the NHS then has up to four months to perform their investigation and respond to your application for compensation, acknowledging or denying liability.
Hiring a lawyer privately can be expensive. At The Medical Negligence Experts, we believe quality legal support should be accessible to everyone who needs it. All the legal firms we work with represent clients on a No Win No Fee* basis. This arrangement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, means that you do not have to pay any money up front. If your claim is successful, your legal fees will be paid by the other party, and you will pay us a success fee, which is a percentage of your compensation agreed at the start of the process. If you lose, you do not pay us a penny in legal costs and an insurance policy - either one you already have or an After the Event policy we can advise on - will pay the other party’s legal fees. A No Win No Fee* claim lets you afford to apply for compensation without the financial risk of your request failing. It also gives you the reassurance that your lawyer will do all they can to ensure your claim is a success because their payment depends on the outcome.
NHS negligence claims, in truth, are difficult claims to prove in nature. As a result, you will need expert advice to work out whether you have a case. So, if you are thinking about claiming compensation, the first step is to speak to The Medical Negligence Experts. One of our trained advisors from the law firms we work with will chat to you about the details of your potential claim. If they feel your claim has a strong chance of success, they'll act accordingly on a No Win, No Fee basis. First, by connecting you with a solicitor who specialises in NHS medical negligence cases. We can also assist anyone interested in pursuing the NHS complaints procedure.
The duty will be on you to prove that the NHS was negligent and that its actions cause you harm. Most significant evidence comes from medical experts with specialist knowledge in the relevant field of medicine or nursing care. Sometimes, it is possible for one expert to deal with the various aspects of your injury. Usually, two or more reports are necessary for different experts. The reports can then establish both negligence and causation. Once these investigations occur, your solicitor will be able to advise you. Moreover, they'll have much more certainty whether your claim is likely to be successful.
In short, the amount of compensation you receive for the pain and suffering depends on a variety of factors. These include: - The type and location of the injury; - The seriousness of the injury, for example, whether it will heal on its own or whether surgery is required; - The impact the injury has on your ability to work and your lifestyle; - Your age; - How long it will take you to recover; - Likely complications arising from your injury in the future. The medical expert in your case will describe the nature and extent of your injuries. Additionally, they'll reveal the prognosis for your recovery in a condition and prognosis report. This report serves as a starting point for settlement negotiations.
On occasion, the medical expert may not be able to give a final prognosis and may recommend further treatment first. It's better to wait until the treatment concludes before settling your compensation claim. That’s because NHS negligence claims settle on a “full and final” basis. In other words, it's not possible to ask for more money if your injury becomes worse. Therefore, you should always enter negotiations ready with all the medical facts. In addition to General Damages for pain and suffering, you may claim for the out-of-pocket expenses associated with the injury. This includes medical costs, travel costs, lost wages and overtime. You will need to prove your financial losses, too. Therefore, it's important that you keep receipts for any items you purchase, taxi fares, wage slips and tax returns. Thankfully, with our No Win No Fee services, we won't add to your burden any legal costs. With our Conditional Fee Agreements, you pay a success fee if you win (and only if you win, too). It's worth noting that a success fee is a percentage of the compensation you win in a claim. In addition, you will agree on this with your solicitor at the beginning of the claims process.
Around six patients a week suffer a Never Events at an NHS facility. Never Events, in short, should not happen if NHS staff follow specific guidance or safety recommendations. The Never Event list receives regular updates from the NHS. Accordingly, it currently includes areas such as: Wrong-site surgery where surgery occurs on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient; Retaining foreign bodies in the patient post-operation; Failing to monitor oxygen levels; Administering chemotherapy drugs via the wrong route; Death from postpartum haemorrhage after an elective caesarean section. Since the NHS would find it very difficult to defend a Never Event, these claims bode well for your compensation. That's because it's highly likely the NHS Trust will concede liability. However, even if they admit breach of duty, you must still prove causation in order to claim compensation. This, in effect, is where the specialist knowledge of an expert medical negligence solicitor can assist.
You have three years to sue the NHS for medical negligence. When the clock starts, however, is the thornier issue. It can start for three years after the incident occurs. Alternatively, it may not be immediately clear that the incident is the cause. Therefore, when it becomes clear, it will be three years from that date instead.
It's highly unlikely that you'll need to go to court when you sue the NHS. The vast majority of compensation claims against the NHS (98%) find a resolution out of court. Of the remaining 2%, some close because there aren't legitimate grounds to claim. That, as a result, leaves you with a rather slender 1% likelihood of going to court. We appreciate the prospect of going to court can be stressful. Your solicitor would work hard to negotiate an out of court settlement on your behalf. Furthermore, we'll only advise litigation if the other party: - refuses to accept responsibility, or; - if you can’t reach agreement on a fair and reasonable compensation payment. If your claim goes to court, take confidence that your legal team is with you all the way.
Dissatisfied patients not wishing to pursue a compensation claim can also approach the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA). This independent mediation service, launched in 2014, can help patients and clinicians resolve disputes fairly and help the NHS learn from their mistakes. Using the NHSLA does not prevent you from making a legal claim if you are unhappy with the outcome.
In short, these are two completely separate areas of law in the civil capacity. For starters, medical negligence involves medical professionals as a cause for the injury of the victim. Personal injury is more commonly associated with scenarios outside the medical profession's purview. For example, work-related accidents or road traffic accidents. Our opposite number, The Compensation Experts, can help you address matters of personal injury.
For a compensation claim against the NHS to succeed, you must demonstrate you suffer an injury. Moreover, the injury was the direct result of negligent care from the NHS. Proving negligence and damage is a long and complex process: one where having good solicitors on your team will help. NHS clinical negligence claims can be stressful and time-consuming, so it's important to get support from the right legal firm. Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, our panel of solicitors only deals with claims against the medical profession. You can trust to give you the legal advice and support you need. Contact The Medical Negligence Experts today and let us assist you in winning your compensation claim against the NHS. *Please know that certain conditions apply.