Why Claim Compensation for Medical Negligence?
Whilst most of us will receive excellent care from the NHS, occasionally things can go wrong. You may therefore be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation, which can help you get a sense of closure and justice, as well as financial support to cope with the future.
Making a medical negligence claim could also bring about important changes to the way that care is provided in the future to others, as your claim may prevent the same mistakes occurring again and improve the way that treatment is provided to others.
Taking legal action may also help to answer many of the questions that you have about the care that you have received.
For more information on making a claim, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors for free legal advice. Ask if we can take on your case on a No Win, No Fee basis.
What Can I Claim Compensation For?
Medical negligence can result in injury to you or the worsening of an existing condition. Examples of medical negligence can include:
- A delay or failure to refer you for appropriate investigation or treatment
- Receiving the wrong medical treatment or medication
- Receiving treatment below a reasonable standard
- Failing to provide you with appropriate information so you’re properly informed of the risks and benefits of any treatment
- Loss of life to a loved one
Medical negligence claims can be against hospitals, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Whilst you may consider that the care you received wasn’t good enough, it may be that such care isn’t negligent in the legal sense, but wasn’t effective for you or simply unavoidable.
So in order to succeed with a medical negligence claim, it must be proven that the care fell below the reasonable standard expected and that it caused you to suffer an injury.
Compensation for medical negligence aims to put you back in the same position you were in before the negligence occurred. That means compensation will be provided for your actual injury, as well as the resulting financial impact.
In a successful claim, damages will be calculated to reflect:
- Your pain and suffering, including psychological injury
- The cost of aids and equipment you may now need
- The cost of adaptions required to your home
- Travel expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Treatment costs
Will Claiming Affect the Continuing Medical Treatment I Receive?
Some people worry that making a medical negligence claim will affect the treatment they receive. But regardless of whether you’re making a claim against a current or former treating healthcare professional, you’re entitled to keep receiving treatment from the same person.
Your medical treatment shouldn’t be affected by the fact that you’re making or have made a claim at any point in the past.
Many people may be unsure about making a claim because they’re concerned about the effect it will have on those involved in providing the treatment. But whether there is any disciplinary action or other consequences against those providing the care is a completely separate matter to your medical negligence claim.
We cannot directly determine or influence such action. It will be for the employer and/or governing body to determine the same.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
Most medical negligence cases are resolved without ever going to Court. There’s a dedicated protocol that all parties to a claim should follow before issuing Court proceedings. This gives the parties involved time to investigate and resolve the claim without the need for costly Court proceedings.
However, even if Court proceedings are deemed necessary, there are still a number of steps before the matter reaches an actual Trial, and most claims will resolve at some stage during the Court proceedings and never reach an actual Trial.
Time Limits on Medical Negligence Claims
A claim for medical negligence must be brought within 3 years of the date of the negligent act that caused your injury or the date you became aware of the negligence, if this is later. The exception to this is if the matter involves a child, in which case the claim needs to be brought within 3 years of the child's 18th birthday.
Unless Court proceedings are issued, if a claim is not brought and settled within the relevant time frame, then you will essentially be time-barred from pursuing the claim any further.
If you believe that you have suffered medical negligence, our Medical Negligence Solicitors can help you in making a 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 Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.