Medical Negligence Solicitors

If you have been left with injuries or a worsening existing condition because of poor medical care, then you may have a medical negligence claim. Our medical negligence solicitors are on hand to provide the help you need.

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What is a medical negligence claim?

Medical professionals have a duty of care towards you. This means that they should act in your best interest throughout the course of your examination or treatment. But unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of substandard medical care, you could have a medical negligence claim.

Medical negligence – also known as clinical negligence – is a rare occurrence. But when it happens, the effects can be devastating. Whether the treatment received took place within the NHS or privately, you could be entitled to compensation and support.

If you think you might have a medical claim, give our friendly advisors a call. We offer a free initial consultation where we’ll ask you a few simple questions about your situation and let you know if you have a strong case.

What are some examples of medical negligence?

As the area of health and medicine is so broad, medical negligence can take many forms. Some of the most common examples include:

Cancer care negligence: Diagnosing cancer early is vital for treatment to be effective. If you received an incorrect diagnosis or you were diagnosed too late, you could have a medical negligence claim.  

Care home negligence: Most care homes will provide excellent care for their residents. But if you or your loved one has suffered due to negligence within a care home, we could help you to take legal action.

Childbirth and gynaecology negligence: Negligence before, during and after childbirth can lead to both mothers and babies suffering harm. Examples of childbirth negligence include failing to identify complications such as pre-eclampsia, and causing injuries to the child during the birth.  

Cosmetic surgery negligence: Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years. But when things go wrong, the effects can be devastating. If you’ve been injured or left with scarring, you could have grounds to make a claim. We work with cosmetic surgery negligence specialists who could help you. 

Dental negligence: Medical negligence is not restricted to hospitals. If your dentist has acted negligently, you’ll have just as much right to claim for compensation. Problems resulting from dental negligence can range from damaged teeth to undiagnosed mouth cancers.  

Hospital negligence: Hospitals are busy places, and mistakes can happen. But if a medical professional has acted negligently and you’ve come to harm, it’s only right that they’re held accountable. Whether you were treated within the NHS or privately, we could provide legal support. 

Mental health negligence: People with mental health issues are often vulnerable at the time of treatment. If you or a loved one didn’t receive the care you needed, and suffered harm as a result, you could be entitled to compensation and support. We can put you in touch with law experts in this field. 

Misdiagnosis: If you were given the wrong diagnosis or a clinician failed to diagnose you with any condition at all, you could have a misdiagnosis claim. In the worst cases, misdiagnosis can lead to prescription errors, unnecessary treatment and reduced chances of recovery.

GP negligence: For most people, the first place they’ll go with a medical concern is their local GP. But negligence can occur here, too. Whether you’ve had your symptoms dismissed, or received the wrong set of test results, you may be able to bring a claim.

Surgery negligence: There are risks associated with most surgeries, and you should be notified of these beforehand. But if you’ve been hurt during or after your surgery, you could have a case for compensation.

Who will my medical negligence claim be made against?

If you’re considering making a medical negligence claim, you might be feeling unsure about who case will be brought against.

This will largely depend on where you received your treatment, as well as whether it was provided by the NHS or a private health organisation.

Part of your medical solicitor’s role is to identify who is responsible for the negligence you suffered. So you don’t need to worry if you’re not completely sure. Your solicitor will reach out to the NHS trust, hospital or insurer (in the case of private healthcare) on your behalf with the details of your claim.

If your claim is brought against an NHS trust, the money will not be taken directly from NHS services. It will instead be paid through NHS Resolution, which has funds allocated for exactly this reason. So your claim won’t be affecting anyone who works within the hospital or the care they provide.

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Whether you want to make an accident and injury claim, or need a solicitor for personal or business law matters - our friendly team are here to help, 24/7.

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How to claim for medical negligence

Starting a medical negligence claim can seem daunting initially. That’s why it’s often helpful to break down the process into stages. These are the main steps that will usually be involved in making a medical negligence claim:

  1. Gathering information
    The information you give about your medical negligence case is the most vital part of a claim. When you realise you’ve been a victim of clinical negligence, you should write a record of how you’ve been affected. Try to include times, dates and names of anyone involved. If there are any supporting or relevant documents, like letters or transcripts, collect them and keep them together.
  2. Contacting a solicitor
    As medical negligence claims can be complex, contacting a solicitor who can investigate your case and assist you will make the claims process much easier. They will review the information you’ve gathered and let you know if they think you can make a claim.
  3. Building the case
    Your solicitor will work to build your case, usually with the help of a medical expert who will determine whether the care you received was substandard. They’ll also be able to provide an outline of how you could be affected going forward.
  4. Sending a Letter of Claim
    After gathering evidence from a medical expert, witnesses and any other relevant parties, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the organisation responsible. This letter will outline the details of your claim and how much you should be paid in compensation.
  5. Reaching a settlement
    If liability is accepted, your solicitor will negotiate a final settlement amount with the other side. But if they don’t accept responsibility, your solicitor will review the evidence available and continue negotiating. If communications break down, your case may go to court – but this is very unlikely.

It’s important to remember that each case of medical negligence is unique. So these stages should be taken as a guideline. Your solicitor will be able to give you a more detailed idea of what the claims process will involve for you after gathering the details of your case.

Why should I make a medical negligence claim?

It can be extremely upsetting when a medical professional lets you down. You’ll likely have put a level of trust in them to treat your original condition. And when this doesn’t happen, it can have a long-lasting psychological impact.

In addition to this, you may now be dealing with physical injuries that limit the way you’re able to carry out day-to-day tasks. Many people will need to take time off work to recover after suffering medical negligence, which can add a layer of financial stress.

Making a medical negligence claim won’t take away what happened to you. But it could help to relieve some of the money worries you may have.

If the individual or organisation at fault for your injuries or illness admits liability, your medical negligence lawyer could apply for interim payments. These will be paid out before your case is settled, so you can address any immediate costs such as home adaptations or household bills.

Taking legal action could also help to make sure that no one else suffers the same negligence that you did. For many people, this brings a sense of reassurance and closure. To find out more about whether you could have a claim, speak to our knowledgeable claims advisors.

How will I fund my medical negligence claim?

For many people, working out how to fund a medical negligence compensation claim is one of the biggest obstacles to getting compensation.

You may be worried that you will not be able to afford to pay for your solicitor’s services upfront, which could put you off the idea of getting justice for the harm you suffered.

But in most cases, you won’t need to worry. Solicitors in England and Wales now typically offer a No Win No Fee arrangement – otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement – for clinical negligence compensation claims. This means that there will be nothing to pay upfront and no costs to cover if your claim is unsuccessful.

Making a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim will allow you to focus on your recovery, rather than worrying about the financial effects of taking legal action. To find out more, get in touch with our understanding claims advisors.

Only pay a fee if you receive compensation

Our No Win No Fee solicitors will take a success fee from the compensation you are awarded for a successful claim in the form of a percentage of your damages. This could be up to 25% but it won't be more than that, except in cases of road traffic accidents and housing disrepair. Changing laws mean our solicitors will now take a payment of 35% of the final compensation amount plus VAT for all road traffic accident and housing disrepair claims.

First4Lawyers are an award-winning claims management company with a track record of delivering service that our clients love.

How much compensation will I receive?

Each experience of medical negligence is different. This means that any compensation you’re awarded will depend on your specific situation and the extent of your injuries.

But if your claim is successful, your settlement amount will be split into two categories: general damages and special damages.

General damages are designed to compensate you for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced due to a medical professional’s negligence. They will consider both the physical and psychological impact that the negligence has had on your life.

Special damages cover any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of medical negligence. This will include any loss of earnings if you’ve been unable to work, as well as any money you’ve had to spend during your recovery – for example, paying for further treatment or care.

Your compensation should help you to get as close as possible to the position you were in before the medical negligence occurred. For a general idea of how much you could be entitled to, try our free compensation calculator.

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  • In these cases brain damage, if any, will be minimal.
  • Where a good recovery has been made but symptoms such as poor concentration and memory problems continue.
  • Where ability to work is reduced and there is a risk of epilepsy.
  • The injured person is very seriously disabled and is dependent on others.
  • Epilepsy has been caused as a consequence of the injury.
  • Affecting the ability to cope with life and/or work or affecting relationships with family and friends.
  • The injured person largely recovers within two years.
  • Injury causes effects that cause significant disability for the foreseeable future, or permanently.
  • In consequence of defective permanent waving etc. where effects are dermatitis or hair loss leading to distress and effects on social life.
  • Where hair has been pulled out leaving bald patches, or stress-induced alopecia with full recovery within two years.
  • Resulting in pain and temporary interference with vision.
  • Permanent impairment of vision in one or both eyes.
  • Total loss of sight in one eye and reduced vision or other problems with the other eye
  • Total loss of sight in one eye only.
  • Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss
  • With noise induced hearing loss, or moderate to severe tinnitus, or noise induced hearing loss alone.
  • With noise induced hearing loss
  • With or without associated problems such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
  • With or without the speech being affected, or tinnitus.
  • Full recovery with no surgery required.
  • Where recovery is complete after surgery
  • Injuries requiring a number of operations and/or resulting in permanent damage.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone, which will fully recover without surgery.
  • Simple fracture of the cheekbone requiring some reconstructive surgery, but with full recovery and little or no cosmetic effects.
  • Serious fractures causing lasting effects such as burning/prickling sensation or an element of disfigurement.
  • Requiring immobilisation but recovery is complete.
  • Serious injury causing permanent damage, such as difficulty eating or opening the mouth.
  • Very serious multiple fractures requiring prolonged treatment. Permanent effects such as severe pain, restricted eating.
  • Assessed per tooth.
  • Single tooth only.
  • Extends over a number of years, including significant deterioration of overall condition of the teeth.
  • Where full recovery takes place between nine months and one year.
  • Fractures or dislocations which cause severe immediate symptoms and chronic conditions, leading to impaired function or limitation of activities.
  • Injuries usually involving serious fractures or disc damage leading to disability, such as substantial loss of movement or loss of function in one or more limbs.
  • Caused by asbestos
  • Varying levels of respiratory disability and reduced lung function (1-10% and in excess of 10%)
  • Severe pain and impairment of the pleura (lung lining) or the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), affecting function and quality of life.
  • Causing respiratory disability attributed to asbestos exposure.
  • Causing permanent damage, impairment of function, physical disability and reduction of life expectancy.
  • Such as soft tissue damage causing considerable pain but recovery almost complete within two years.
  • Such as frozen shoulder causing limitation of movement and discomfort for up to two years.
  • Causing pain in shoulder and neck, aching in elbow, weakness of arm and hand.
  • Involving damage to the brachial plexus and resulting in significant disability.
  • Temporary or permanent disability as a result of a fracture.
  • Such as strains, sprains, disc prolapses and soft tissue injuries.
  • Such as disturbances of ligaments and muscles causing backache, or compression fracture.
  • Injuries causing severe pain and disability, including impaired bladder, bowel and sexual function.
  • Resulting in significant or permanent disability
  • Most elbow injuries such as simple fractures, laceration and tennis elbow, not resulting in permanent damage or impairment.
  • Injuries causing impairment of function but not involving major surgery or significant disabilty
  • Injuries such as deep lacerations, soft tissue wounds or crush injuries, all recovering within six months.
  • Resulting in impairment of grip or reduced mechanical function. Partial amputations resulting in deformity.
  • Injuries such as a thumb being severed and re-attached, leaving it with little use, amputation of the tip or at the joint of the thumb. Nerve damage or fracture resulting in impaired grip or dexterity.
  • Amputation resulting in very little use and weak grip.
  • Amputation due to crush injuries, or loss of a significant part of the hand due to traumatic injury.
  • Serious injury resulting in extensive damage to both hands, effectively leaving them with little use.
  • Caused by repeated vibration, damage to hands including impaired grip, dexterity and frequent pain.
  • Such as an uncomplicated fracture with full or virtual recovery.
  • Injuries resulting in significant permanent disability, but some useful movement remains.
  • Injuries causing some permanent disability, such as persistent pain and stiffness.
  • Resulting in complete loss of function in the wrist, for example when an arthrodesis has been performed.
  • Such as a broken femur, tibia or fibular
  • Serious fracture or injuries to joints or ligaments, scarring, instability and lengthy treatment required.
  • Fractures where a full recovery is not made.
  • Loss of a leg below the knee
  • Loss of a leg above the knee
  • Both legs being lost above the knee, below the knee, or where one leg has been lost above the knee and the other below.
  • Torn cartilage or meniscus, laceration, twisting and bruising. May be full recovery, or continued aches and pains.
  • Injury or damage causing mild disability or continuing pain, discomfort or limited movement that may require future surgery.
  • Fractures, joint or ligament damage causing constant pain, impairing movement and agility. Requiring prolonged treatment, the injured person will be prone to osteoarthritis.
  • Including fractures where there is full recovery within two years.
  • Significant injury but any permanent disability is not major. Injury may require a hip replacement.
  • Such as extensive fractures resulting in substantial disabilities.
  • Simple metatarsal fractures, ruptured ligaments.
  • Displaced metatarsal fractures resulting in permanent deformity.
  • Fractures to feet resulting in restricted mobility and /or considerable continuing pain.
  • Crush or multiple fractures to two or more toes, resulting in permanent disability.
  • Undisplaced fractures, sprains and ligament injuries.
  • For fractures and ligament tears resulting in moderate disability, such as difficulty walking on uneven ground or on stairs.
  • Injuries involving long periods of treatment, long period in plaster and some permanent disability.

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There are other types of compensation you could be awarded through your accident such as loss of earnings or damage to property. The estimates given here are simply for your personal injury claim.

First4Lawyers' solicitors will be able to give you the best idea of the amount you should expect from your individual injury.

It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and the advice and estimates you'll be given, once your case has started, will be tailored specifically for your case.

How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence claims typically have to be made within three years. This could be three years from the date of the negligence or from when you first became aware of it (usually through another medical professional’s diagnosis).

But there are some exceptions to the time limits. For example, if you’re making a claim on behalf of a child or someone who is lacking mental capacity, you will not face the same time restraints. We’ve explained this in further detail in our medical negligence time limits guide.

We would always recommend starting the claims process as early as you can, though. This could make it easier for your solicitor to gather evidence such as medical records and witness statements. And it may also be easier for you to recall the details of what happened.

How long does a medical negligence claim take?

Every instance of medical negligence is unique. That means it can be difficult to say exactly how long it will take to settle your medical negligence claim. Some cases will be concluded in months, while it may take years for more complicated claims to be settled.

There are a number of steps in the medical negligence compensation process, most of which have deadlines for responses:

  1. At the beginning of your claim, your solicitor will request your medical records. And the healthcare provider involved will have 40 days to provide this information.
  2. Your solicitor will then review your records with the help of a medical specialist. This can usually take around four months but could be longer if your case is complex.
  3. Following this assessment period, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the healthcare provider responsible for your injury or condition. Under the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes, they will have four months to respond. But they could request more time.
  4. Next, the healthcare provider will either accept or deny your claim. If they accept it, your solicitor will begin negotiating a settlement, which could take a number of months. If they deny liability, your solicitor may issue court proceedings.
  5. It’s very rare that medical negligence cases do end up in court. But if yours does, it will likely take between three to five days, depending on the complexity of your claim.

Will my negligence claim go to court?

As we’ve mentioned, it is increasingly rare for medical negligence cases to go to court. But we understand that this is a worry many people have when considering legal action.

In the year beginning April 2022, 80% of claims made against the NHS were successfully settled without the need for court proceedings. So you shouldn’t let the fear of having to appear in a courtroom deter you from making a medical compensation claim.

If your claim does end up in court, your solicitor will be at your side throughout and they will make sure you’re fully informed at each stage of the process.

Your solicitor will continue to negotiate with the other side even after court proceedings are issued, so it’s possible that your case could still be settled outside of court.

How should I choose my medical negligence solicitor?

Having the right legal team guiding you through your claim can let you focus on more important things – like dealing with your injury. The right lawyer will also give you the best chance of getting justice for what has happened to you.

Here are a few questions to keep in mind while you’re searching for a medical negligence solicitor:

  • What is their speciality?
    Just like other professionals, solicitors specialise in one area. We’d always recommend making sure that the solicitor you choose is a medical negligence specialist as they will know what is needed for a strong claim.
  • Do they make you feel comfortable?
    Talking to a solicitor or their team can help you work out if they’re a good fit for you. Think about how your first contact left you feeling. If you were left feeling unsure, or with more questions than answers, they may not be the right solicitor for you.
  • What are their funding options?
    Something to consider when finding a medical negligence solicitor is what sort of funding arrangements they offer. The most common way of funding a medical negligence claim in England and Wales is through a No Win No Fee agreement.
  • What do their reviews say?
    Reviews can say a lot about a firm, so we would always recommend looking at these before choosing a solicitor. And you may also be able to find client stories on the firm’s website. These will help you to get an idea of how successful they’ve been with previous claims.
  • Where are they based?
    Nowadays, it’s not essential to choose a solicitor who’s local to you, and we would never recommend picking a solicitor solely because they’re nearby. But if face-to-face contact is a must for you, choosing a reputable and experienced local solicitor may be the best option.

Medical negligence is an emotional issue and can often result in serious – and even life-changing – injuries. As a result, you’ll need a solicitor with the sensitivity to understand how you’re feeling and what you’re going through.

How can First4Lawyers help?

We work with expert medical negligence solicitors, and we can help to find the best match for you based on your individual needs.

Suffering any form of medical negligence can cause a significant amount of stress. Our aim is to take away some of the burden, so you can focus on spending time with your loved ones and getting better.

We’ve already helped thousands of people who have been affected by medical negligence. One of these people was Justin, who received £15,000 in compensation after his broken wrist was misdiagnosed.

To find out how we could help you, get in touch. Our advisors are here to talk you through your case and let you know what your options are. All you have to do is give us a call, request a callback or start your claim online.

We’re here to help you get justice for what you’ve been through.


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