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How long does a medical negligence claim take?

Reading time: 3 Minutes

Carrie Tennick, November 25, 2019

Medical negligence claims are some of the most complex to make. This means that they can take longer than other, more straightforward cases.

In general, these claims can take anywhere from 18 months to six years – and sometimes even longer.

Your solicitor will be able to give you a clearer idea of how long the process will take and what the various steps will involve.

What is a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence is when you experience substandard treatment from a healthcare professional. This can be either through the NHS or a private provider.

Some of the most common forms of medical negligence include:

If you’ve suffered from any form of medical negligence, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. This is intended to help you get back to the position you were in before your experience of negligence.

Medical negligence claim time limits

In most cases of medical negligence, you’ll have three years in which to make your claim. This is why you should begin the process as soon as possible.

For some, the medical negligence claim time limits differ. This is true for children, who have three years from their 18th birthday to make a claim. And if you’re claiming on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity to claim for themselves, you won’t face a time limit.

If you have not been made aware of the negligence that took place for a long period, you will typically have three years from the date you discovered what happened to make a claim.

How long will a medical negligence claim take?

There are a number of steps in the medical negligence claims process, most of which have deadlines for responses. For example, at the beginning of the process, your solicitor will request your medical records. The healthcare provider has 40 days to provide this information.

Your solicitor will then review your records, with the help of a medical specialist. This can take roughly four months but can be longer if your case is complex.

Following this assessment period, your solicitor will then send a Letter of Claim to the healthcare provider responsible for your injury. Under the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes, they will have four months to respond. However, they may request more time.

The healthcare provider will either accept or deny your claim. If they accept it, your solicitor will then begin negotiating a settlement, which could take a number of months. If they deny liability, your solicitor will likely issue court proceedings.

Trial dates are usually set two to three years from then, which allows your solicitor time to prepare the strongest case possible. In many instances of medical negligence trials, you will not actually have to go to court. Many defendants will settle before the date of the trial, with some only doing so on the day you are set to be in court.

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.

What to do

When it comes to medical negligence, it’s vital to have the best legal help behind you. This is why First4Lawyers only work with the most qualified and experienced solicitors, giving you the best chance of securing the compensation you are entitled to.

To find out more, just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online. Our claims advisors will be happy to talk you through your options and help you make the best decision for you.

Get in touch today - we can help with your claim 08005677866