What is Medical Negligence ?
Medical Negligence (also known as Clinical Negligence), is when you have suffered an injury as a result of incompetent treatment or advice by a medical professional.
What do I have to prove in a Medical Negligence claim?
There are two stages to a successful Medical Negligence claim.
Stage 1: Breach of duty
You have to prove that there has been a ‘breach of duty’, by demonstrating that the care you received fell below what would be considered to be an acceptable standard by other treatment/care providers and that no other reasonably competent practitioner would have acted in the same manner.
Stage 2: Causation
You then must prove that you have suffered an injury as a direct consequence of your treating practitioner’s treatment, which has in turn caused you loss or damage.
Examples of loss or damage are where you may no longer be able to work or need assistance with tasks you were able to do before your treatment such as shopping, DIY etc or the costs of ongoing treatment.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
You have 3 years from the date of the injury in which to make a claim; this is known as the limitation period. This means that you must issue proceedings before the third anniversary of your injury.
Sometimes, you may only become aware of what has happened later and it is possible that the 3 year period may start later. Our specialists will be able to assist you with this to ensure you stay within the 3 year period.
You should also bear in mind that Medical Negligence cases can take well over a year just to investigate and so if you believe that you are a victim of Medical Negligence you should seek assistance as soon as possible.
There are exceptions to this rule. Firstly if you are under 18 the three years runs from your 18th birthday and not the date of your injury.
If you lack mental capacity then the limitation period does not apply.
What funding options are available to me?
You can pay for your fees privately, per hour, or there are other ways in which you could receive funding. We will work with you to find a funding arrangement suitable to your needs.
Can I make a claim on behalf of a deceased family member?
Yes, it is possible to make a fatal injury compensation claim after the death of a family member.
How much compensation will I receive?
This will depend upon the severity of your injury. An injury which does not in any way affect your day to day activities will generally attract a relatively low award of compensation whereas if you have been left incapacitated or dependent on others the award will be substantially more and tailored to your individual needs. We will appoint and instruct a team of experts to assess your current and future needs in respect of care/support, aids and equipment, therapies, treatment and accommodation.
How long does a medical negligence claim last?
Some cases require less evidence than others. So a case involving a single expert will generally take less time to investigate and conclude than one requiring the input of 10 or more experts. These cases are notoriously lengthy due to their complexity and the necessity for a lot of third party assistance (experts etc) and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. A substantial case (if defended) can typically take up to 5 – 6 years to conclude.
Will I have to go to court?
Court proceedings may be issued in the event of a dispute, however, the vast majority of cases are settled before final court hearings.
What happens if I lose my case?
If your case is unsuccessful then provided you are covered by a ‘No win- no fee’ agreement backed by an insurance policy you will pay nothing.
I am getting nowhere with my current solicitor – can you take over?
We are always happy to meet you to discuss your options.
We are here to help
At Osborne Morris & Morgan, we are a friendly team of award-winning legal professionals, who are nationally recognised experts in our fields.
We offer specialist legal advice in Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Wills, Trusts & Probate, Court of Protection and Conveyancing.
Whatever your needs or circumstances, our solicitors can make a difference.
Speak to our specialist Medical Negligence team today.
Either call us on 01525 378177
or complete the contact form opposite.