Medical Negligence Solicitors
Medical negligence involves any malpractice that happens when healthcare professionals deviate from the legal standards of their profession. This can lead to long-lasting illness or injury to patients. If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of clinical negligence, we are here to help you. Talk to us today about making a medical negligence claim for the compensation you need.
What is Medical Negligence?
Healthcare practitioners have a legal duty of care to patients. Medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice) occurs when the treatment provided to you (or the lack of treatment) falls below the reasonable standard of care expected, and, if that causes or materially contributes to an injury or worse outcome for you. Clinical negligence can encompass a range of circumstances, including:
- An incorrect or delayed diagnosis
- Failures during surgery
- Delay in treatment or surgery
- Negligent or improper aftercare
- Avoidable post-operative infection
- Prescription and medication errors
- Pregnancy and birth injuries
- Failure to explain potential medical risks and complications or failures to inform you of reasonable alternative treatment options.
Examples of medical negligence like these are widespread and remain a significant problem across the country. According to NHS Resolution, the organisation responsible for resolving such cases for the NHS in England, there were 12,628 new medical negligence claims and reported incidents recorded in 2020/21 – and this does not include all of the times when something went wrong but, fortunately, no injury occurred. This figure is on an upward trajectory, so it is clear there are a significant number of people affected by medical negligence. There may even be many instances where the negligence goes undetected but, fortunately, patients are becoming more aware of their rights and less likely to accept poor treatment.
The pressure on health professionals to deliver quality service is ever-increasing, with a high standard of care expected. Unfortunately, in some cases, the care that is delivered does not meet these levels, and bringing medical negligence claims can be pivotal in raising standards across all professional medical services and facilities.
We understand that suffering an act of medical negligence can have a long-term impact on the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of an individual and/or their family and may require ongoing care. As trusted medical negligence solicitors, we can help you to bring a successful claim and secure clinical negligence compensation to empower you to overcome this burden.
How do you prove medical negligence?
To win your case and be awarded compensation, our medical negligence lawyers need to prove three elements. It must be demonstrated that you were owed a duty of care, the duty of care was breached, and that as a result of the breach you suffered an injury or worse outcome.
Why make a medical negligence claim?
We understand the impact that clinical negligence can have on your health and wellbeing, so you deserve to receive compensation for your ordeal. A successful claim also helps to reduce the chances of the same thing happening to other patients in the future. You may have lost earnings and you may require future treatment and a claim will result in compensation to fund these things for you or reimburse you for lost income.
“If you or a loved one have suffered medical negligence, we are here to help you and support you in your case. We have over 15 years’ experience in investigating these cases and achieving justice for patients and their families.
It is incredibly important that health professionals are held to account and that these same mistakes do not happen to other people. It is equally important you are compensated when things go wrong and you are left harmed and financially vulnerable.”
How do I make a medical negligence claim?
The first step in pursuing a medical negligence claim is to seek legal advice from a trusted lawyer with expertise in clinical negligence. Our expert team at Been Let Down will discuss your case with you over the phone and gather your version of events. Once the evidence has been reviewed, we will determine if you have a likely claim against the healthcare professional or Hospital Trust.
We will then undertake a more detailed assessment of your medical negligence claim by collecting documentary evidence, all medical records and radiology and taking a detailed witness statement. We’ll also check any time limits on the validity of your claim. If we’re confident that you have reasonable prospects of being successful, then we will take on your case and direct you on what to do next.
What is the difference between NHS and private medical negligence claims?
The processes of making a medical negligence claim against the NHS and against the private sector are different. If you are claiming against private-sector healthcare, it is made against the individual medical practitioner who carried out the treatment, whereas if you claim against the NHS it is against the NHS institution itself. We will review your medical records and investigate your case to ensure we identify the correct Defendant(s).
When can I make a medical negligence claim?
We strongly advise making your medical negligence claim as soon as the clinical negligence has taken place. You will have three years after the incident took place or after you became aware of it to put forward a case for compensation, but it is best to instruct us as soon as possible because memories fade and we need to ensure all documentation is preserved.
Medical negligence claims: FAQs
Here at Been Let Down, we are expert clinical negligence solicitors. We help individuals and families to recover compensation to access support and attempt to put them in the position in which they would have been had the medical negligence not occurred. We appreciate that making a medical negligence claim may seem like a daunting prospect, which is why we have put together a list of frequently asked questions to help to answer any queries you may have.
With the high volume of patients receiving treatment, diagnoses and procedures, thousands of medical negligence cases unfortunately occur each year. Here are just a few of the circumstances that can result in a claim against medical staff:
- Medical misdiagnosis or unduly delayed diagnosis and resulting in a worsening of the condition
- Treatment not being adequate or suitable resulting in an injury
- Symptoms ignored, allowing the condition to worsen
- A medical device or item not functioning as it should which results in an injury
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
- Accident & Emergency malpractice
- GP negligence
- Orthopaedic injuries
- Negligent NHS treatment
Of course, many other mistakes constitute clinical negligence. If your case is not listed above, you may still have grounds to make a medical negligence claim.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered medical negligence, you can make a claim for yourself or on behalf of someone else. In most medical negligence cases, you will need to prove the following:
- The medical professional treated you in a way that no competent person in the same profession would have done.
- The harm suffered was caused or contributed to by the identified negligence.
Medical negligence claims are proved utilising independent medical expert evidence, which we obtain for you.
A medical negligence lawyer will assess your claim diligently and put forward the best possible case so that you will have the best chance of receiving the maximum amount of compensation.
Yes, you can be a ‘litigation friend’ and make a clinical negligence claim on someone else’s behalf. If the claimant is under the age of 18 or an adult, lacks capacity to litigate, you can contact a solicitor for them and work with them to protect their best interests. Litigation friends are typically parents, family members, trusted friends or guardians. Our solicitors will discuss the process and necessary steps if you find yourself making a medical negligence claim on someone else’s behalf.
Medical negligence is different from personal injury – the cases require a specific set of skills and, as such, any solicitor you engage should have knowledge in this complex area of the law.
When seeking a medical negligence lawyer, you should ask a lot of questions to try to get an understanding of what experience they have in this area of the law.
Make sure that the lawyer makes you feel comfortable and can explain everything fully. This person will be your advocate throughout the process so you need to be confident they are working in your best interest to resolve the case easily, without putting you through any more distress.
A medical negligence claim is rarely easy but going into it with a thorough understanding of the process and a trustworthy, experienced medical negligence lawyer will provide you with the best chance of success.
With the right clinical negligence solicitors fighting your corner, you should come out the other side with the compensation you deserve. Armed with a fair payout, you will be better placed to move on with your life.
The process starts with a no-obligation meeting where we will discuss the details of your medical negligence case. Following this, we will help you collate any evidence and assess the chances of building a successful medical claim. We will be honest from the outset, allowing you to understand exactly where you stand legally.
We are aware that anyone who has suffered from medical negligence will already have gone through more than enough distress, so we will always go above and beyond to minimise any legal confusion or worry you could face. Our job is to take the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on your day-to-day needs and those of your family.
Some of our lawyers are accredited and recommended by The Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel, The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as specialists in this complex area of the law. These are very select panels and our accreditation shows that our team have the specialist knowledge and skills to help you.
Whatever form of malpractice you have suffered, finding a trusted clinical negligence solicitor is a vital part of securing the full recognition and compensation to which you are entitled.
Every medical negligence case is different, so it is difficult to say exactly how much compensation you could claim. The amount of clinical negligence compensation you may receive will depend on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injury
- How seriously it has affected your life
- The impact it has had on your finances
- Whether you require future treatment, care and assistance or aids and adaptations
We take many medical negligence cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, meaning that you will have nothing to pay if your claim proves unsuccessful, save for in exceptional circumstances. If we do secure you clinical negligence compensation, we will be paid a success fee as a proportion of that figure. However, this proportion will always be made clear to you at the outset.
Yes, medical negligence claims have a time limit. It is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after the medical mistake occurs – however, adults with full capacity have three years to do so. There are exceptions to the time limit on clinical negligence, including children under the age of 18, people who lack the mental capacity to litigate, and cases in which the medical negligence resulted in death. Please see our dedicated page that has more information about time limits.
Data from NHS Resolution shows that almost 77% of medical negligence claims in 2021/22 were resolved without formal proceedings, so the chances are that your medical negligence case will not require you to appear in court.
If your case does go to court, though, don’t worry; our expert medical negligence solicitors will be with you at every step of the way and guide you calmly through the process. You can be confident that you are in safe hands with us. Our team has experience of taking cases to Trial and winning.
Every clinical negligence claim is different so the time it takes to receive compensation may vary on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the complexity of your claim, it can take between 2 to 3 years to resolve. The timeline is very much dependent on how soon you recover from your injuries, how many defendants there are involved and whether the defendant admits or denies the allegations.
We are here to help with your medical negligence claim
Do you think you have a potential claim for clinical negligence? If so, get in touch with our medical negligence lawyers as soon as possible. You can make an enquiry online, phone us or request a call back at a convenient time.
One of our friendly and knowledgeable legal team will be able to discuss the specifics of your case and then arrange an initial consultation meeting to assess a possible medical negligence claim. We provide support and guidance throughout the claim process, ensuring that your medical negligence claim has the best possible chance of proving successful.
Get in touch today and find out how we can help with your case for clinical negligence compensation.
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