How Long Does the Medical Negligence Claim Process Take?
Legal matters are always viewed as a lengthy process, and that is especially true when it comes to medical negligence cases. These cases can be very complex and will require the specialist knowledge of a solicitor. Be it for private practice or NHS Trusts, turn to someone who has experience in this field. Because the medical negligence claim process is not a stroll through the woods to grandmother’s house.
The potential wait for a resolution can be frustrating, too. However, there are some clear timescales which can act as a general guide when you’re trying to find out just how long you might have to wait before you receive compensation. For starters, there are three general rules of thumb.
18 months to Two Years
This is often a best-case scenario and will be the timescale to anticipate for the more straightforward cases that the medical professional or group does not contest.
Three to Four Years
If your case necessitates going to court, then the process is going to take longer.
Five to Six Years
If you are suing for medical negligence, you may find that the details can become very complicated very quickly. In essence, the more complex that a compensation case becomes, the longer that you might have to wait as a result. Moreover, that time will only get longer if someone contests the claim.
It’s important to remember that you should not let timescales put you off making a claim. Especially if you believe that you suffered from medical negligence. In many cases, the dispute faces no contest, and by the defendant accepting liability early, you will reach a conclusion much faster.
How does the process work?
There are typically six stages to the process of making a medical negligence claim. The time that you have to wait until you receive any compensation will depend on each of these stages.
The First Three Steps of the Medical Negligence Claim Process
One: Your solicitor will contact the relevant health authority or GP surgery. They will request your medical records, and this can take up to 40 days to receive.
Two: Next, your solicitor will then go through your records and look for any evidence that you receive any level of substandard care. This can be a lengthy part of the proceedings. Depending on the complexity of the case and how many specialists take part, can take between three and four months.
Three: Once this happens, a Letter of Claim is sent to the relevant medical facilities. Legally, they have up to four months to respond to this letter, although this can be stretched out in order to allow those defending to build their case.
The Last Three Steps of the Medical Negligence Claim Process
Four: At this point, you’ll need a medical examination. Accordingly, there will be an assessment of your health, and this too can take some time to complete. The more issues that you are having due to medical negligence, the longer it will take. This is because you may need a range of specialists to check you over.
Five: There are two potential outcomes after your examination. The first is that the defendant accepts liability. In these cases, your solicitor will ask for an offer of compensation. There will usually be some back and forth as you revise the overall amount.
It’s worth noting that the majority of medical negligence claims will end at this stage. In fact, in 2017-18, less than 1% of claims even went to court, according to the NHS. However, in some instances, the defendant will not accept liability. In those situations, your case will first go to civil court, and then – barring any resolutions – to trial.
Six: Should you win your case, you will then receive your medical compensation. The court will specify the amount and the time that it will need to be paid by.
TIP: Make yourself vulnerable to your investigators
What you also need to know about claiming compensation are a variety of things beyond whether court proceedings will be involved. In short, you need to actually make yourself vulnerable in order to strengthen your case.
We get it: As if you haven’t been through enough. We respect that this isn’t an easy thing to go through on top of the medical negligence that left you in this state, to begin with. In addition to that, please know that we’re not looking to add to the burden.
But in reality, you do have a role to play here. So here’s a quick rundown on what we’re talking about with vulnerability in your case.
Building your case with The Medical Negligence Experts’ corresponding law firm means everything hinges on medical evidence. To make clinical negligence claims, you need to be at the mercy of the lawyer’s investigations side. Be it for birth injury or any other situation where you suffered an injury through medical negligence, the law firm’s investigation needs to make your case airtight.
Our legal advice stresses no legal costs through a No Win, No Fee agreement. To achieve your long term goals, be sure to go out of your way to help your legal team build your case more efficiently. To that end, you can always:
- Assist your lawyer with finding your medical records;
- let an independent medical professional conduct their medical reports on you, and;
- Be sure to file your case quickly to ensure evidence remains fresh and not subject to the time limit.
Talk to a legal expert about the Medical Negligence Claim Process
It may seem as if this is a long time to wait. Remember that your ongoing costs will all be addressed throughout your claim. Moreover, if you retain the services of a no win no fee medical negligence solicitor, then costs will not usually be an issue throughout the process. In addition, you won’t need to seek out legal aid to pursue justice.
You’ve surely got questions: but the most important question you can answer happens only by calling The Medical Negligence Experts. We are happy to give you a free, no-obligation consultation with a legal advisor. They’ll be able to talk about the claims process and how it may apply to you. Some of the most common types of medical negligence claims include:
- GP negligence
- Surgical errors
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Care home negligence
- Doctor negligence
- Nurse negligence
Medical negligence claims are common, and your life can face many negative effects of poor health care or treatment. As such, it’s vital that you contact legal experts as quickly as possible.