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How to make a medical negligence claim

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First4Lawyers, July 09, 2018

Medical negligence – also known as clinical negligence – happens when care is below normal standard and leads to physical, emotional, or mental harm. This can be things like misdiagnosis, wrongly prescribed medication, surgical errors, and neglect.

No one deserves to suffer from medical negligence, and the results can be life-changing. Whether the practitioner is part of the NHS or a private healthcare provider, you can make a medical negligence claim for yourself, or your next of kin if they are under 18, incapacitated, or deceased.

Claiming for medical negligence can be complex, and we cover each step in detail below, but the basics are:

  1. Gather all information
  2. Contact a solicitor
  3. Build a medical and legal case
  4. Send a Letter of Claim
  5. Reach a settlement

First4Lawyers are experts in medical negligence law, with experienced solicitors available who understand the trauma you and loved ones might be going through.

It’s always recommended you speak to an expert before taking a claim to court, as they can explain your options and act on your behalf when necessary.

You can request a callback at the top of the screen and we’ll look at whether you can file a medical negligence claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Or you can fill out our claim form.

About No Win No Fee

Only pay a fee if you receive compensation

Where we offer No Win No Fee services typically customers pay 25% of the amount recovered by our solicitors, although this will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may be less than this but it will never be more. Success fees are common practice and they were introduced when the law changed in April 2013.

1. Gather all important information

The information you give about the 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.

Include times, dates and names of anyone involved. Try to remain impartial and stick to the facts. If there are any supporting or relevant documents, like letters or transcripts, collect them and keep them together.

2. Contact a solicitor

Because it’s a complex legal process, it’s unlikely you would want to make a medical negligence case on your own. Contacting a solicitor who can investigate your case and assist you through the process, will make the process much easier for you.

They will review the information and explain whether they think you can make for a medical negligence claim. They may also access your medical records for a full overview of the issue you’re facing.

At First4Lawyers, our solicitors operate medical negligence cases on a No Win No Fee basis. This means if you lose the claim, you won’t have to pay a penny. We’ll also tell you honestly if we don’t believe you have a viable case.

3. Medical and legal case building

Once you’ve started a claim, your solicitor will build your case with help from a medical expert who can impartially review your situation.

They’ll look at the treatment you were given before and after the incident, and whether the medical negligence directly caused any illness or injury. They can explore what recovery is needed, including ongoing treatment, support and equipment you may require.

The legal team may gather witness statements from relevant parties, including members of your family.

4. Letter of claim

Once the medical expert and your solicitor have enough information, your solicitor will write a Letter of Claim.

This letter is designed to outline the claim, and will include details about the allegations that form the basis of the claim.  It will indicate how much value the claim should cover. It will be sent to the defendant who will then have two options:

  • Accept liability
  • Reject liability

Your solicitor will then advise you of your next steps.

5. Reaching a settlement

If liability is accepted – the defendant will negotiate the outcome with your solicitor.

If liability is rejected – your solicitor will review the evidence and discuss your options with you.

Is there a time limit on making medical negligence claims?

There are legal time limits for claiming for medical negligence. In most cases, claims must be filed within three years of the incident taking place, or when you realised there was an issue. There are some exceptions:

  • Children – People under the age of 18 aren’t subject to the time limit until they reach their 18th birthday.
  • Incapacitated person – If the person who you’re claiming for is mentally disabled, the time limit doesn’t apply unless they recover from the disability.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence, First4Lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice to assess your claim on a No Win No Fee basis in many cases. Contact us today or request a free call back to discuss your case with a professional.

More legal services for medical negligence

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances and not rely on First4Lawyers’ online information alone.

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