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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Medical negligence – What is it?

Medical negligence is when you are injured or left with a worsening health condition after receiving poor or substandard medical care. Medical negligence – also known as clinical negligence – is a rare occurrence. But when it happens to you, the effects can be devastating.

Although most healthcare patients will be treated effectively, a small minority end up suffering from clinical negligence. This is when a medical professional makes an avoidable mistake, causing you harm in the form of an injury or illness or a worsening medical condition.

Medical negligence also refers to times when a medical professional or organisation fails in their duty of care, causing you injury or harm. This can include:

  • Failure to diagnose a condition
  • Failure to warn you of the risks of a procedure or treatment
  • Failure to prevent an infection being acquired while under their care

If you’ve suffered an injury or had an existing health condition made worse after clinical treatment, you may have suffered from medical negligence. That means you may be able to make a claim for compensation with the help of our medical negligence solicitors.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

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.

Free initial case review

Our fully trained legal advisors are happy to offer initial guidance and advice for free

Fixed price consultation

Phone or face-to-face meeting with a legal expert from just £149

No pressure

We offer advice with no obligation.  We never cold-call or apply pressure to our customers

Who can I claim against?

You are entitled to proper care from the medical professionals treating you, no matter what organisation they work for. That is why you can make a claim against both NHS and private healthcare providers.

The NHS broadly does a wonderful job treating patients. But accidents do happen. In 2018/19, the NHS received 10,678 new medical negligence claims. If you have suffered from medical negligence as a result of NHS treatment, you could make a claim for compensation to help get you back on your feet.

You may have been the victim of a never event. These are defined by the NHS as “serious incidents that are entirely preventable because guidance or safety recommendations providing strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level, and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers”.

Meanwhile, errors also take place in private healthcare organisations. If you have been the victim of a private hospital or clinician’s error, you could be entitled to compensation.

Types of medical negligence

Just as there are so many issues you might experience when it comes to your health, there are also many forms of medical negligence you may suffer.

Some of the most commons forms include:

NHS and GP negligence: Whether your injury was caused by the negligence of a GP or NHS specialist, you could be able to make a claim.

Dental negligence: Suffering from preventable pain or injury caused by your dentist could mean you’ve suffered dental negligence.

Cosmetic surgery negligence: You are entitled to proper medical care when undergoing cosmetic surgery. So if you have suffered from any form of negligence, you could have a claim.

Mental health negligence: If you or a loved one has suffered from mental or physical harm as a result of substandard mental health care, you could be the victim of negligence.

Hospital negligence: Hospitals – and those working in them – can make mistakes. If you’ve suffered an injury or illness caused by hospital negligence, you could be entitled to make a claim.

Surgery negligence: If you’ve been the victim of a preventable error or negligence before, during or after an operation, you could have a claim for compensation.

Care home negligence: If you or a loved one has been harmed or injured while under the protection of a care home, you could have a medical negligence claim.

Childbirth and gynaecology negligence: If you or your baby has come to harm during childbirth, you may have suffered from clinical negligence.

Misdiagnosis: If you were given the wrong diagnosis or a clinician failed to diagnose your condition, you could have a misdiagnosis claim.

Cancer care negligence: A missed, delayed or misdiagnosis of cancer can be life-threatening. If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim.

How do I make a medical negligence claim?

It’s understandable that you might find the process of making a medical negligence claim daunting. If it’s something you’ve never done before, you may not know where to begin. But that’s what First4Lawyers and our legal experts are here for.

The first thing to do is to give us a call. Our understanding and compassionate claims advisors will take a few details from you to get a sense of what happened and whether you have a medical negligence claim. They will then talk you through the process and what happens from then.

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

One vital aspect to remember is that you face a deadline when making a medical negligence claim. In most cases, you will have three years from the date the negligence happened to make your claim. This is why you should think about doing so as soon as possible.

But there are exceptions to this rule, which apply to those under the age of 18, those without the mental capacity to claim for themselves and in cases where the effects of the negligence were only discovered later.

To find out more about how long you have to make a claim, just get in touch.

What evidence do I need?

To put together the best possible case, you will need evidence. You can contribute some of this yourself, while your solicitor will obtain the rest.

One of the most important pieces of evidence in a negligence claim is your medical history. Your records will reveal the treatment you had, as well as how your health was affected by the negligence. Your solicitor will get your medical records for you and review them in order to identify where the errors were made.

They will also arrange for you to attend a medical examination. This will be with an expert doctor, who will be able to assess any injuries or illness you have suffered.

You can also provide photographs or video evidence of your injury, as well as a statement on how it has impacted your life.

Witness statements are also a key piece of evidence. Witnesses can include medical professionals or those close to you, who have seen how you have been affected.

How do I fund a medical negligence claim?

For many people, funding a medical negligence claim is one of the biggest concerns they may have. 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 have suffered.

But in many cases, you don’t need to worry. Solicitors now typically offer a No Win No Fee arrangement – otherwise known as conditional fee agreements – for clinical negligence cases. This was introduced to enable patients who had suffered from malpractice to get the help they needed to recover without facing the stress of funding it all at the start.

A No Win No Fee agreement will allow you to focus on your recovery and putting together the strongest case possible, instead of the potential impact it would have on your finances.

Why should I make a clinical negligence claim?

Your health is precious. When someone harms that, you are entitled to take action.

It is not just your physical health that takes a knock when you suffer from medical negligence. You may find that your mental health suffers too. After all, you were harmed by a person or organisation that was there to help treat your initial condition. This breach of trust can have lasting consequences. Getting justice in the form of the compensation you need to help you recover is one way of addressing them.

You may be worried that making a claim will take funding away from the NHS – particularly at a time when it needs it most. But that won’t be the case. The NHS has legal protection in the form of indemnities to cover any potential claims. NHS Resolution is an organisation that focuses on resolving claims in England, meaning that you won’t have to claim directly against the NHS itself.

Another important reason to make a medical negligence claim is that by doing so, you highlight the problem that caused you harm. This allows the hospital or surgery or clinician to address what went wrong and prevent it happening again to someone else.

How long will 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.

If the medical organisation responsible for your injury admits liability, your claim will be settled quicker than if they don’t. If liability is denied, you may end up going to court. And although this is rare, it will extend the claims process.

Your solicitor will be able to advise you on how long you can expect your claim to take. They will keep you informed when there are any updates.

How much can I claim in compensation?

Every medical negligence claim is different. Your circumstances will be unique to you. That means that is difficult to say with certainty what you might entitled to in compensation. For a general idea, try our compensation calculator. It will help you establish what you might be entitled for a specific injury caused by your experience of medical negligence.

The amount that you’ll be awarded will be split into two categories: general damages and special damages.

General damages are awarded to cover the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of your clinician’s negligence. These damages are intended to compensate for any lifestyle changes you have had to make. This includes not being able to take part in your usual hobbies or sports.

Special damages cover any financial impact you’ve suffered because of an instance of medical negligence. This includes any loss of earnings if you’ve been unable to work or any money you’ve had to spend as part of your recovery from the negligent act, such as mobility aids.

Compensation for medical negligence can help you get back in the position you were in before it ever happened. Your health and your future are the most important things. That’s why First4Lawyers wants to help you get what you’re entitled to.

Meet Jacqueline

Head of Claims

Jacqueline is our head of claims.
She is a qualified solicitor and has practised as a specialist in personal injury cases. A recent addition to our team, Jacqueline has moved to a managerial and coaching role with us, where she is keen to continue the team's training and development to ensure every customer continues to get a first class service.

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