Medical Negligence Solicitors in Wakefield
When you need medical negligence solicitors in Wakefield, talk to The Medical Negligence Experts. We are one of the UK’s leading specialists in handling successful claims for medical negligence compensation. Our clients receive the highest standard of service and our absolute commitment to securing maximum compensation.
If you have been treated at any hospital or medical facility in the UK, and you have suffered an injury because the standard of care you received was below an acceptable level then you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Medical negligence claims require specialist knowledge and experience to handle claims successfully. Choosing a solicitor who does not specialise in this area will jeopardise your chances of obtaining the compensation you need to make the best possible recovery. By working with The Medical Negligence Experts, you gain access to an elite group of solicitors with an excellent track record in obtaining compensation on behalf of clients who, just like you, have been hurt by someone they trusted with their health.
Whatever your injury, if medical negligence caused it, then we can help.
Medical Negligence Claims in Wakefield
Every aspect of medical care carries a degree of risk. Even picking up a repeat prescription can be harmful if you have not had regular assessments to check the effectiveness of the medicine you are on and how it is affecting your health.
The Medical Negligence Experts can help regardless of the type of medical negligence you have experienced. Some of the more common types of medical negligence claims we handle include:
- Medical misdiagnosis. If a doctor or specialist matches a patient’s symptoms to what they think is the cause rather than investigating the symptoms to diagnose the reason for them, they could easily misdiagnose a patient and give them the wrong treatment. The effects of misdiagnosis can be devastating, even fatal, for the patient.
- Failing to obtain informed consent. The person providing your care has a duty to ensure you understand the risks and potential outcomes of any treatment. This responsibility could be as simple as explaining the difference between two types of medicine, or as complex as discussing surgery compared with less invasive treatments. Informed consent can also apply if a treatment is not a failure but does not give the results the patient was led to expect. For example, if a cosmetic treatment delivers a slight change but not the dramatic alteration a patient believed they would receive. If a patient can show that, had they been aware of a particular risk, they would never have agreed to the procedure, then they may be able to claim compensation for their injury.
- Nursing home and care home negligence. The decision to move a loved one into a care home where they can receive ongoing medical care is difficult enough for families, often tinged with guilt that they could not do more or concern that the person won’t get the standard of care they deserve. Care home and nursing home claims can be some of the most emotionally difficult for both the victim and their loved ones, but working with a medical negligence expert who understands this can help relieve the stress.
- Hospital acquired infections. Pneumonia, surgical site infections (SSI) and MRSA are just three easy ways a stay in hospital can actually make you sicker. Hospitals have a duty of care to ensure the risk of contracting these types of infections by having robust hygiene and cleaning procedures that are followed by staff.
Proving Medical Negligence
One of the main reasons medical negligence claims are more complicated than standard personal injury claims is because of the need to prove negligence. Not only do you have to demonstrate that your care provider did something wrong, but you also have to show that your injury resulted from this and was not caused by some other, avoidable scenario. You also have to show that other professionals of a similar standing would not have made the same mistake or taken the same action.
For example, a GP neglected to refer a patient with cancer symptoms for further tests. The patient followed up eight weeks later when they had not received an appointment.The error was identified and the referral made. The patient was eventually assessed and diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which required amputation. The patient sought legal advice however when their claim was investigated it was found that, given the nature of the patient’s cancer, the same treatment would have been required even if they had received an immediate referral and earlier diagnosis. Although the GP was negligent, their actions were not responsible for the amputation as it would have been required anyway.
If the other party chooses to defend the accusation of negligence, the standard line of defence is that the professional actions were “widely acceptable”, and that they would not be considered unusual in their area of medicine. The majority of professionals do not have to agree that it was acceptable, just enough to make it non-irrational. It’s a woolly definition which can make it difficult to predict how a judge will rule.
No Win No Fee* Medical Negligence Claims in Wakefield
You have several choices when it comes to funding your compensation claim for medical negligence. The first is paying privately to hire a solicitor. This option means you keep 100% of the compensation you are awarded; however, it also means that you have to pay your legal expenses in advance of any settlement. As solicitors charge an hourly rate, this amount can end up being more than the amount you are awarded, in the case of a simple injury, or prohibitively expensive if your circumstances are complicated and require extensive hours of research and negotiation.
Some clients may have legal expense cover as part of an existing home or motor vehicle insurance policy. There may be a limit to the amount of cover a policy provides, and you will have to choose a solicitor from a narrow list approved by the insurance company.
By far the most popular way our clients fund their medical negligence claims in Wakefield is with a No Win No Fee* agreement.
Also called Conditional Fee Agreements, or CFAs, these contracts remove the financial risk for clients making a compensation claim, placing the risk with their lawyers. If your claim is not successful, then we will waive our legal costs, and you won’t have to pay a penny. If you are awarded damages, then we will request the other party pay your legal costs and all you will have to pay is a success fee, which is agreed at the start of your claim and a percentage of your total compensation.
A No Win No Fee* agreement gives you the peace of mind that your solicitor will be doing their best to get maximum compensation because they have a vested interest in the outcome. If you aren’t paid, then they aren’t paid either. It also gives you the reassurance that your claim has a good chance of success as a solicitor will not agree to represent anyone on a No Win No Fee* basis unless they believe the case is likely to be resolved in their client’s favour.
Claiming Compensation for Medical Negligence in Wakefield
The amount of compensation you receive depends not only on how good your solicitor is but also the impact your injury has had on your life both physically and financially. Compensation is divided into two sections: general damages and special damages.
General damages are a response to the pain and suffering your injury has caused. There are industry guidelines published by the Judicial College which your solicitor will use to calculate what an appropriate amount of compensation is, depending on how your injury has impacted your health and your life.
Special damages compensate for any financial loss incurred due to your injury. Special damages can include payment for:
- Medical expenses and costs associated with receiving treatment for your injury both now and in the future;
- Lost wages if you have been unable to work during your recovery, or if you are unable to work in the same capacity (or at all). Also, the cost of lost pension if you have had to retire earlier than planned or are not able to contribute the same amount to your retirement plan because you are working fewer hours or have changed to a job with a lower salary;
- Any necessary assistance devices like wheelchairs, adapted cars or home modifications;
- The cost of ongoing nursing care or help around the home with daily tasks you are no longer able to do yourself.
Once your solicitor has investigated your claim, they will be able to advise what is a reasonable amount of compensation for you to expect.
Claiming Compensation in the Name of Another Person
There are occasions where a victim of medical negligence is unable to submit an application and needs a trusted person to act on their behalf. This person is called a litigation friend. They are usually a family member or close friend, but can also be a professional like a solicitor or accountant. Becoming a litigation friend is normally a simple process of providing information to a Court to show that you will act in the best interests of the claimant (known as the protected party) and have no issues preventing you from holding the role.
Litigation friends are necessary where the victim is a child or lacks the mental capacity to legally act for themselves, for example, if they have dementia or brain damage.
Time Limits for Starting a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim
There is a statutory three-year limit for victims to submit a request for payment of compensation in the event they are injured through medical negligence. This countdown would start from the date of injury, or the date of knowledge if it was not immediately apparent that your injury resulted from negligent care.
The exceptions to this time limit are only if:
- The victim was a minor on the date of injury or the date of knowledge. The litigation friend can raise a claim at any point until the protected party’s 18th birthday. On this date, they are legally allowed to start the claim themselves and have until their 21st birthday to do so.
- The victim lacks the mental capacity at the time of their injury, either because of negligence or due to an existing condition like dementia. The litigation friend can start a claim at any stage until the protected party legally regains their mental ability to manage their legal and financial affairs, when their three-year countdown begins. If they never regain this ability, then there is no cut-off point by which a claim needs to be raised.
This three-year limit is absolute and one reason that we always recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible, even if you are still in hospital or are not sure whether negligence was involved.
Our experience is that the sooner after injury a claimant starts their application, the faster it will settle. Acting quickly reduces the risk of important memories or documents being lost and means that you won’t be subjected to any potential future reductions in the value of your claim.
The date of knowledge, which is when you injury was formally linked to negligent care, can be difficult to determine in the eyes of the law, which is another reason to talk to The Medical Negligence Experts today.
We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about claiming compensation for medical negligence. If your question is not answered here or you want to know more about your particular circumstances, contact The Medical Negligence Experts and allow us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with a legal expert.
It couldn’t be easier to get in touch. All you need to do is call using our free phone number or fill in our online form and let us know when is convenient for us to call you. Your consultation is free and confidential and will help give you the information you need to make the right choice for you and your family.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: Level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim against them. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert clinical negligence solicitors in Wakefield working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence in Wakefield claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a medical negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.