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How to make a medical negligence claim within the time limit

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First4Lawyers, September 17, 2019

Medical negligence is one of the most upsetting experiences you can go through. To have your health damaged by the people who should heal you is unforgivable.

When medical negligence affects you, making a claim in the time limit set out should be a priority. This is why it’s essential to act quickly and decisively.

What is the medical negligence claims time limit?

Medical negligence claims typically have to be made within three years. There are exceptions to this, however. If you only discovered the negligence much later, you have three years from the date you were made aware to go ahead with your claim.

However, this is different for some people. In the case of medical negligence affecting a child, they will have three years after their 18th birthday to make a claim.

Meanwhile, adults without the mental capacity to make their own decisions are exempt from the time limit, allowing loved ones to make a claim at any point on their behalf.

Why start your claim early?

You may be able to access certain types of evidence if you begin the claims process as soon as possible. This can include CCTV, which is often deleted after a certain period of time. Your medical records will also be more easily accessible if you start your claim quickly. This kind of evidence will all help to bolster your case.

In addition to helping ensure you stay within the time limit for a medical negligence claim, starting your claim early can help ensure that the details of what happened are clear in your mind. This will make the administrative, fact-finding side of the claims process more straightforward.

Starting your claim as soon as you can will also mean any witnesses you need to rely on will find it easier to remember and describe what they saw happen. Furthermore, the sooner you bring your claim, the more likely your witnesses will still be willing to help and the easier it will be to contact them. Leave it longer than a few months and you risk them moving or changing phone numbers, leaving you unable to find or contact them.

What to do when you want to claim

Once you decide to proceed with a medical negligence claim, the most important thing is to ensure you are treating your injury or illness correctly. Whether your healthcare provider didn’t realise that you had broken a bone or you had a certain illness misdiagnosed as another, the fact is you sought help for a medical issue. It is now vital that you find the right medical care to treat the original issue and any further injury or illness you suffered as a result of the negligence.

After you have addressed your medical problem, you will need to ensure you keep anything that could be considered evidence. Take photos of your injury, record names and jobs of healthcare professionals you dealt with and ensure you don’t get rid of anything linked to your experience of medical negligence.

You may then choose to complain directly to the hospital or clinic where you were first treated. Although this will likely not result in compensation straight away, documented complaints can help strengthen your case. Keep hold of any responses you receive.

After you’ve done that, you should find a qualified solicitor to help you make a claim for compensation. You may have to rely on this compensation for continued medical treatment or modifications to your home. That’s why it’s essential to choose the right solicitor, who will help you make your medical negligence claim within the time limit.

Acting fast is the key to ensuring you can submit a claim within the time limit. If you need help in establishing when you need to begin the process, just get in touch with First4Lawyers. Our advisers will be happy to help you work out the best course of action for your unique situation.

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