Medical Negligence Claims – What to expect

If you have suffered injuries as a result of Medical Negligence, you may be thinking about making a claim or getting some answers; and indeed you should, especially if this has had a big impact on your life. Sometimes our clients’ biggest concern is that this treatment shouldn’t happen to anyone else and lessons are learned.

Though successful claims can make a world of difference, it’s important to consider what the legal journey may be like.

Medical Negligence proceedings can be expensive, time consuming and emotionally distressing, so it’s helpful to have a realistic understanding of the procedure before seeking legal advice.

The first factor to consider is the timescale. Historical matters are much more difficult to pursue. In fact, unless in exceptional circumstances, the time limit within which you can make a claim is three years from the date of negligent incident, or from the date you knew or ought to have known that you suffered negligence.

If the negligence relates to a person under the age of 18, the time limit applies from their eighteenth birthday.

 

It’s best to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Another factor to be aware of is how long the process can take. We understand your matter is pressing to you, so we strive to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as we can. These claims, however, require liaising with third parties (to obtain medical reports, for example), so the process can be lengthy. We act as swiftly as we can and are experienced in avoiding delays wherever possible.  We will communicate with you about the status of your claim and the next steps.

 

Resolution of your claim

When making a claim, think about what it is that you ideally want from the situation, and make this clear to your Solicitor. A claim through court can pursue compensation which can enable you to obtain treatments to improve your condition, such as physiotherapy or psychotherapy.  Sometimes we can also obtain an apology for our clients and many of them tell us that this is the most important outcome we achieve.

 

The legal tests for negligence are a high bar

Negligence is not the same as a mistake. To have a successful claim, we must be able to show that the error in treatment was due to a breach in the duty of care by a medical professional or clinician.  They must have acted in such a way that would no reasonable, competent health care professional would act.

You must also be able to show that the injuries you have sustained as a result of this negligence could have been avoided had the medical professional acted properly. This is especially difficult to prove with an ongoing condition, when it is hard to say that your illness would not have worsened to the same extent had the professional not acted the way they did.

 

We can advise you on what you may claim for.

For example, if you’ve had to have time off work, you may be compensated for lost wages or pension loss. With more long term injuries, you could be compensated for the cost of adjusting your home to your needs. You may benefit from physiotherapy or psychotherapy.  There may be aids or equipment that would make your daily life easier, or less painful.

 

Don’t let the fear of the cost or the value of your claim deter you from making an enquiry – we will discuss and consider any medical claim you bring to us, all with equal attention and care.

But how much might a claim cost? We know this is most likely at the forefront of our clients’ minds when considering making a medical negligence compensation claim. There are a few options for funding a clinical negligence claim and we would have a conversation about which is the best option for your claim.  Otherwise, we will always be transparent about the likely fees involved with your matter.

If you think that all of the above applies to you and would like to enquire with us, you can call our friendly New Enquiry Team on 0114 404 0606, and they will be ready to listen, alternatively you can email us at [email protected] or visit our website Howellsllp.com to find out more.

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