Would-be clients often ask us: “Am I eligible to make a medical negligence claim in the UK?”
We’re sure that you can forgive the uncertainty, too. Experiencing the aftermath and effects of medical negligence is something that no one wishes to have to go through. When putting your faith into the hands of a medical professional, you expect the best quality of care possible. With medical professionals on the job, you simply expect they’ll safeguard your health and well-being.
If you have found yourself in the position of being a victim of bad medical treatment that you may well be within your rights to make a claim and get some well-deserved justice. NHS Resolution, which oversees defence against claimants, certainly appreciate the risks in their profession. Damage payments to claimants (excluding PIDR) rose from £1.08billion to £1.23billion in 2017/18.
To help you out, this handy guide walks you through:
- What you need to know about being eligible;
- How to make a medical negligence claim and;
- The process that goes into it…
Steps to see if you’re eligible to make a Medical Negligence Claim in the UK
The first thing to do is work out if you’re indeed been a victim of medical negligence. This can be a difficult process because no one likes to think that they suffer mistreatment. Moreover, it might be hard to admit that you receive substandard care from the professionals. But there’s an unmet duty of care when your injury or illness leads to further pain and suffering.
Medical negligence can occur when you contact a doctor, nurse, or surgeon
For example, say you receive a misdiagnosis. Subsequently, they give you the wrong treatment (or even no treatment), thus causing your illness to get worse. In short, this would be a case of negligence.
In essence, it’s a matter of information – regarding both the surgery and the aftercare. Because you’re staring at negligence when you:
- don’t have all the relevant information about an upcoming surgery or;
- aren’t receiving the right aftercare.
Essentially, medical negligence is any situation where an avoidable mistake has been made that leads you to avoidable harm.
Identify the problem and seek expert legal advice to make a medical negligence claim in the UK
Once you identify the problem, you need to seek out legal advice from capable legal professionals. Your goal at this point must be to ensure that you proceed in the correct way. Accordingly, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the justice and compensation that you deserve.
ADDENDUM: Seek Expert Solicitors Offering No Win, No Fee Agreements
Yes, we have some bias on the matter, but we also have some bias against adding to your pain.
The law firms we work with provide full legal expertise on a No Win, No Fee basis. If medical care fails you, additional expenses to counter those errors just make matters worse. Accordingly, financial risk and legal costs would only make things more difficult.
What do these conditional fee agreements all mean to you? In essence: if you win your case will you pay us a success fee from your earnings? For a child’s birth injury where you claim on their behalf (such as cerebral palsy), the goal is to win. Because if a healthcare professional lets you down, we’re there to pull you up.
ADDENDUM II: The opponent’s fees
Additionally, a quick note about paying the defendant’s legal fees. The Medical Negligence Experts connect you with leading insurers to set up After The Event (ATE) insurance plans. ATEs help covers any legal fees a losing case might charge to you, such as defendant solicitor costs.
Additionally, check your own life, car or health insurance plans, too. Coverage for such scenarios might already be in your plan.
Remember the three-year time limit
To remain eligible to make a claim, you need to know that the clock is ticking. By law, you have three years to do so, although some exceptions do apply. Say medical negligence happens to someone under the age of eighteen. In which case, they’ll have three years from when they become a legal adult to do this.
How do you know if you are eligible to make a claim?
Medical negligence can come in many varied forms. So the best way to work out if you’re eligible is to:
- Contact a legal professional;
- Talk about everything you went through, and;
- See what they have to say upon the matter.
You could be eligible if the substandard treatment you receive result in personal harm. Such treatment could include:
- receiving the wrong diagnosis;
- surgical mistakes, or;
- an absence of aftercare.
The possibility exists that medical negligence claims in the UK can ensure you get the justice you deserve. With support from capable legal professionals who know medical negligence, the possibility can become a reality.
What kind of evidence will best help me make my case?
First, it’s totally your decision to consent to it. But above all, your medical records will offer substantial insights for the claim. Particularly with how the maltreatment becomes full-on medical negligence claim in the UK.
Again, it’s completely up to you; moreover, the expert solicitor we bring in to work with you never makes a move without your consent.
It’s also prudent to chronicle your experience. Judicious note taking and dating of your medical negligence experience speaks volumes for your case. It’s important because it’s still fresh in your mind. Accordingly, such notes deliver crucial pieces of information for your benefit.
For instance, when illness or injury symptoms start, jot down exactly how:
- You felt during a certain time, and;
- The medical professional made you feel.
How we support your claims
We support our clients by:
- Investigating their situation thoroughly to ascertain whether their claim has a good chance of success. The onus is on the claimant to prove negligent care causes their injury. Moreover, this can be a rather painful process if it happens to fail.
- Collecting and organising evidence to present a solid case to the responsible care provider. The goal, above all, is that the evidence sufficiently supports your claim for compensation. This can also include putting you in contact with the right independent medical experts for their assessment.
- Negotiating an acceptable amount of compensation based on your circumstances. Particularly in terms of comparing claimants with similar injuries to yours have received in the past.
- Representing you and supporting you should your claim go to court. This can happen either due to:
- the responsible party disagreeing with the claim, or;
- refusing to pay fair compensation.
The importance of making a medical negligence claim in the UK
In a worst-case scenario, a claim for medical negligence could lead to you missing work for long periods of time. This can ultimately put a financial burden and stress on your home life, for which compensation money provides some reassurance.
Making a clinical negligence claim has never been easier for those who suffered an injury. With a medical negligence team on hand and experts to build your case, you can seek the compensation you deserve.
It’s also important to make your claim on principle to ensure that:
- We hold all medical professionals to the high standards we expect of them, and;
- We highlight where they went wrong, ensuring these medical practitioners do not make the same mistake again.
The team of solicitors The Medical Negligence Experts work with have extensive experience. Particularly with representing clients seeking compensation for injury caused by clinical negligence.
It is our job, above all, to negotiate and fight on your behalf for the best possible financial outcome. Moreover, we aim to do this by building robust medical negligence cases that win.
Examples of medical negligence may be more common than you think. Hopefully, this guide will have given you a clearer understanding, which could help you ensure a claim is successful.