Medical & Clinical Negligence claims are different from Personal Injury claims in that they require you, the Claimant, to prove two separate things: that the healthcare professional failed to carry out their responsibilities (Fault) & that this is what caused you to be in the position you are now in (Avoidable Harm).
Fault: You may hear your Medical Negligence Lawyer talk about a ‘breach of duty’. This simply means that, for the type of treatment you received, your care fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful specialist. In other words, they failed to treat you in the way you could reasonably hope to be treated.
Avoidable Harm: This is also called ‘causation’. It means that you need to show that the negligent care (rather than the underlying condition) caused you harm. This may sound relatively easy, but it can be difficult, particularly when someone was already ill. Your Medical Negligence Lawyer may recommend that you obtain a report from an independent medical expert to help prove these two issues; and we will be able to arrange this for you.
Medical Negligence Time Constraints
You are usually required to start a compensation claim within three years of the date of your injury or of the date when you first discovered that your injury was the result of clinical or medical negligence.
It's crucial to get expert legal advice as soon as possible after the clinical/medical negligence took place. This will mean the proper steps can be taken to investigate your case fully at the earliest opportunity. Some evidence relies on memory, and it's always best to record these details when they are fresh.
No Win, No Fee Medical Negligence Claims
98% of our Clinical & Medical Negligence Claims are funded through a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a No Win, No Fee agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation to help you understand whether or not you have a compensation claim. We also offer home and hospital visits particularly for people who cannot attend our offices.
We pursue claims under Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA) and also with Legal Services Commission (LSC) funding; previously known as Legal Aid. It's important to ask your Medical Negligence Lawyer about these options so you don't have to worry about costs.
In all cases, if your claim is successful, the side paying your compensation will also pay your legal costs. If your claim is run under a CFA and your claim is unsuccessful, your Lawyer waives their fee and you are not liable for any of their costs. With LSC funding, the LSC will review your case regularly and decide whether the chances of the case succeeding merit continuing with it.
Preparing for a Medical Negligence Claim
Your Medical Negligence Lawyer will want to understand fully the impact that the negligence has had on your life, and to make sure that any compensation you receive will cover all your future needs.
Preparing a medical negligence case can involve taking detailed statements, obtaining full copies of your medical records and X-rays, and seeking expert opinion. Ensuring that these are done thoroughly may take time. All this will give your claim the best chance of success, and should not deter you from making a medical negligence claim if you want to. Your Slater and Gordon Medical Negligence Lawyer will arrange all this, so you don't have to worry.
Some people are put off from claim compensation by the thought of having to go to Court. This happens for only a very small minority of cases, in fact the vast majority of our claims are settled without getting as far as Court. Even if you do have to go to Court, your Slater and Gordon Medical Negligence Lawyer will help you every step of the way; and ensure that you have the help and support that you need.
The Medical Negligence Claims Process
In our experience, when someone has been affected by substandard medical treatment it's not always compensation that they want; sometimes it’s simply an apology. On other occasions they want justice to be done, or they want to know that no one else will suffer in the same way. Claiming compensation for clinical or medical negligence will be able to provide you with financial compensation only. However, your Lawyer may also be able to explain what other options are available.
Regardless of whether you start a compensation claim, you are entitled to make a written complaint about treatment received either privately or on the NHS. Your Lawyer will advise you on how to do this. If you do wish to make a formal complaint, you must do so within six months, so it's best not to delay.
Call our Clinical & Medical Negligence Solicitors on freephone 0808 175 8000 or start your compensation claim online and we'll call you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers can provide immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support anywhere in England, Wales & Scotland from our offices in London, Manchester, Watford, Liverpool, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Preston, Wakefield and Wrexham.
Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers are members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel, Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK charity for patient safety and justice, and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).