How to Claim Against a GP Surgery for Medical Negligence
If you’re claiming compensation for medical negligence by a GP in England or Wales, it must be proved that the standard of care you received fell below what you’d expect from a reasonably competent health professional, and that you were injured as a result.
The medical negligence you experience could either cause an injury or make an existing injury worse.
Our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors have successfully handled many different types of GP negligence claims, involving medical mistakes such as:
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- A delay or failure to act upon test results or refer for further investigation
- A delay or failure to treat symptoms
If we take on your case, we’ll carry out a thorough investigation into what happened to you, obtaining GP and hospital records, and arranging for you to be assessed by at least one independent medical expert.
They can give us their professional opinion on the care you were given and how it’s affected you, and help us identify what further support you may need. With this evidence, we can approach the GP you hold responsible and negotiate a compensation settlement that reflects your needs.
The decision to claim against your often long-standing family GP surgery isn’t always an easy one, and we understand you may be hesitant to take legal action. After all, you could feel loyal to them after many years of good service, or have concerns about whether your ongoing care will be affected.
But despite how much trust and faith we place in our GPs, unfortunately things can and do sometimes go wrong, so it’s only right that you get the support and rehabilitation you need if that happens to you.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can help to make sure your needs are met, and will do everything possible to settle the claim as amicably as possible, so your GP surgery learns lessons from what’s happened. Contact us for a free claims assessment and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation with you.
Do I Need to Complain Directly to My GP Before Claiming?
No, but complaint responses can often be helpful in allowing the GP surgery to investigate the matter and provide some answers to the worries and concerns you may have about the care you’ve received.
One of our Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you with making a complaint if this is deemed necessary before making a claim.
After making a complaint, it may be that the surgery has accepted that one or more medical errors did happen with your treatment, which can be crucial when you’re claiming compensation.
But even if they don’t accept there was anything wrong with the treatment you received, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be unsuccessful in making a medical negligence claim.
One of our Medical Negligence Solicitors can consider the complaint response and determine if you can still bring a legal claim.
What is the Claims Process?
At the start of your GP negligence claim, we’ll obtain all your GP and any hospital records. We’ll then look to instruct an appropriate medical specialist, usually a GP expert, who will review your medical records and your instructions.
They’ll provide a report to confirm whether they think you have received negligent care. It may be that we need further evidence from an expert in a different field to determine the wider medical consequences of the negligence.
Once we’ve obtained all the relevant expert evidence and it supports your claim, we’ll send a formal letter to the GP called a Letter of Claim. This will set out in detail the facts of the claim and your allegations of negligence.
The GP will then have four months to carry out their own investigation and provide a formal response, in which they’ll either admit or deny liability (fault).
While this is going on, we’ll look to gather more evidence, including a further expert report called a Condition and Prognosis report. This will determine the long-term consequences of the negligence and any further treatment you may need. We’ll also look at what financial losses you may have incurred because of the negligence, and include this in our valuation of your claim.
If the GP has accepted responsibility, we can start negotiating for a final compensation settlement. If we can’t conclude the matter at this stage, we may have to issue Court proceedings, to allow a Court to determine the outcome of the claim.
It’s very rare for a medical negligence claim to have to go this far, and the overwhelming majority of the cases we handle settle out of Court.
Why Should I Claim Compensation?
Our aim is to get you back in the position you would’ve been in had the medical negligence not happened, at least as much as possible.
So if your claim is successful, you’ll be compensated for any physical and psychological injury you’ve experienced as a result of the medical negligence.
Your compensation settlement will also cover any financial losses, such as loss of earnings and travel expenses, and the cost of any further medical treatment, care and rehabilitation you may need.
Of course, no amount of compensation can fully make up for the pain and distress you’ve gone through, but it can massively help you rebuild and improve your quality of life.
Taking legal action can also shine a light on wider failings or issues within a GP practice or NHS Trust, and encourage them to make changes to prevent similar mistakes being made in the future.
We pride ourselves on taking a collaborative, rather than confrontational approach to settling medical negligence claims, and find this can help the NHS learn lessons from your experience.
How Long Does a GP Negligence Claim Take?
A typical case might take somewhere between 12 months and 24 months, but every claim for medical negligence is different.
How long it takes to conclude a case depends on several factors, such as how much evidence is needed to prove various aspects of the claim, whether the claim is defended and whether or not it has to go to Court.
If you or a loved one believe you have suffered negligence via your GP surgery, please contact us for a free claims assessment today and we can tell you if we think you have a medical negligence claim.
For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.