If you’ve had an injury, illness or disease that has caused you to suffer as a direct result of medical negligence, you might be entitled to compensation.
The process is tricky, however. Cases can vary massively from individual to individual.
However, most people have no knowledge about the law surrounding medical negligence and it can seem like a case of not knowing where to start.
You need to talk to expert medical negligence solicitors from Manchester to seek the right advice and understand whether you do in fact have a claim.
They’ll advise on how best to proceed and what decisions you need to make. Here are the key things you need to know if you think you might have a claim.
What is a Medical Negligence Claim?
A medical (or clinical) negligence claim is where a patient believes they are owed compensation as a direct result of their hospital/doctor/nurse failing to provide the correct levels of medical care.
Naturally, the patient needs to demonstrate that the medical treatment fell below minimum acceptable standards of care, directly impacting their future health, ability to work etc.
How Long Does a Case Take to Resolve?
Claims come in many different forms, as the complexity varies massively from case to case.
Claims typically take between six and twelve months, but of course this is just a ballpark figure.
Smaller, simpler cases can be resolved very quickly, especially if the defendant admits responsibility.
On the other hand, a complex case that requires a lot of evidence to be gathered, ongoing assessments of the claimant’s health implications, and court proceedings, can cause a case to take a long time to finalise.
How Long do I Have to Submit a Claim?
A claim has to be made within three years from the time the claimant received negligent care.
Exceptions can occur in rare instances, for example, where the claimant is under 18 or lacks sufficient mental faculties to make informed decisions. Exceptions are rare, however.
Who do I Talk to?
You need to seek advice from trustworthy, reliable, medical negligence solicitor(s).
They’ll discuss the terms of your situation, and find out if you have a definitive claim.
Then, you’ll be advised on what action you have to take to demonstrate you’ve been a victim of medical negligence. Once you have a plan of action, you can submit your claim.
Will I Need to go to Court?
It depends. Most cases are resolved without court proceedings.
If sufficient evidence is gathered that goes beyond any doubt that the claimant suffered as a direct result of negligent care, a case can be resolved quickly.
If the defendant admits fault, this will of course reduce the timescale. If the defendant denies any wrongdoing and can potentially demonstrate innocence, court proceedings may begin.
Who can be Held Responsible?
Any medical professional in a position of responsibility can be liable for not treating you with due care. That includes NHS doctors as well as private practitioners of all kinds, from dentists to cosmetic experts.
How do I Demonstrate Proof?
You’ll need to obtain a full set of your medical records so that your medical negligence lawyer can analyse your case.
Any potential wrongdoing will need to be verified by an independent medical expert who will confirm if you’ve been subjected to negligent care.
You need to be as thorough as possible in gathering all available documentation so an accurate picture can be painted.
Your lawyer will advise you on the steps you need to take to obtain said documentation/evidence.
Here is an article about one of the most common types of medical negligence claims cases called: Clinical negligence in the NHS – taking legal action – read this for more info on the NHS and claims
What Will my Costs be?
Make sure you find solicitors who operate on a “no win no fee” basis. This way, they’ll only proceed with your claim should they be confident in a positive outcome.
Fees depend largely on the complexity and severity of the case.
If you suffer in a way that means you are unable to work, for example, you may be able to receive an interim payment before the case is settled. This will be deducted once the case is finalised.
Pursuing a medical negligence claim can be a time-consuming process.
But, if you’ve been injured or suffered due to negligent care, you should pursue compensation.
Your solicitors are there to lend advice and support in what can be a sensitive and stressful time. If you think you might have a claim, get in touch with your solicitors now.