Hundreds of people visit hospitals or general practitioners every day in the UK seeking medical care. Whilst the vast majority of people have no problems, there are some that encounter issues as a result of negligence. Clinical negligence is when a healthcare professional mentally or physically injure you because of the standard of health care or medical treatment they provide.
When you are treated by a medical professional, you expect to receive the best possible care. Therefore, when this does not happen it can feel as though you have been betrayed.
Medical negligence can be very serious as it can lead to severe and long-term consequences, disabling injuries or illnesses, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after yourself and others.
If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of a medical professional’s negligent treatment, you may be entitled to make a clinical negligence claim for compensation. If you are looking to make a clinical negligence claim, you may have questions about whether you are eligible to make a claim or how to make one. Below is a summary to help you with some of these questions:
Clinical negligence claims: common accidents
In simple terms, claiming for medical negligence compensation is possible when an individual can prove that they suffered due to negligence from a healthcare professional. This is proved using a three-part test which looks at, the doctor which owed a duty of care to the patient, whether the duty of care was breached and whether the patient suffered as direct result of this.
There are a variety different types of medical negligence accidents that you could make a clinical negligence case for, below are just some of the reasons you may be eligible to making a clinical negligence claim:
Surgical negligence – This is when a surgeon has performed a surgery on a patient and made a mistake, causing more harm than was anticipated. This can also include things such as failed operations, errors with anaesthetic or defective implants.
Prescription Error – This is when a medical professional has prescribed the incorrect dosage or medication to an individual, causing them harm from issues such as allergic reactions or accidental overdose.
Birth injury – Birthing injuries can be caused when medical staff have failed to recognise serious conditions with the babies health, or if a Mother and their baby received poor treatment during childbirth which caused a birth injury. Negligence at birth has been linked to the cause of cerebral palsy at a young age.
A medical diagnosis error – A medical diagnosis error can happen when a medical professional fails to identify and diagnose a patient’s symptoms, or gives the incorrect diagnosis regarding the patient’s symptoms leading to a range of complications and incorrect procedures. An example of this is cancer misdiagnosis or late diagnosis.
Hospital negligence – This can be caused by poor management in hospitals or staff which are negligent with their care. Examples of this are dental negligence, delays in treatment or pressure sores.
All of these types of errors can cause a variety of physical issues and complications; however, they can also cause potential psychological issues such as depression from their circumstances or frustration if they are no longer able to do things that they once enjoyed.
If you or have been impacted as a result of any of the reasons listed above, or due to any other type of medical negligence, you should think about making a clinical negligence claim.
Contact us today to speak to one of our medical negligence solicitors who can assist you with making a claim. If your child, or a person within your care has been injured as the result of medical negligence, we can help you to make a claim on their behalf.
You may also be able to make a claim if a family member has died because of negligence. You can claim for bereavement damages or for loss of dependency if you were financially dependent on the person who has died.
Time limits for making a clinical negligence claim
The law on time limits for clinical negligence claims is complicated. However, the general rule is that you have three years from the date of the accident to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings where the injury occurred at work.
The three-year deadline commences from the date that the injury occurred, or from the date on which you realised that your injury or illness was associated with medical negligence. The three-year time limit for claiming compensation does not apply to under 18s; however, it will come into effect after their 18th birthday. There is also no time limit for individuals that lack the mental capacity to make a claim themselves.
Clinical negligence claims: What should I do if I want to make a claim?
If you are thinking about claiming compensation it is important that you are aware of how to prove medical negligence. Clinical negligence cases must be built on evidence, so it is essential that you can prove what happened to you, caused injury as a result of someone else’s actions.
Evidence that could help prove medical negligence are:
Medical records including any ultrasounds or X-rays
Any reports from medical experts that could be used as evidence
Photographs or any injuries or illness related symptoms
Detailed statements from the claimant
Witness statement (these can from family or friends)
It is in your best interest to talk to a solicitor as soon as possible as they can discuss your entitlements with you and advise you on your options going forward.
Clinical negligence Solicitors from law firms can provide clarity on whether you have been wrongly injured due to medical negligence as they are legal experts and specialise in medical negligence compensation claims.
How will my clinical negligence claims compensation be calculated?
There are different types of medical claims that can be made following injuries from clinical negligence that was not your fault. Here are some of the things that your compensation can be calculated with:
The severity of your injury
Loss of benefits
Length of recovery
Loss of projected earnings
Impact on daily life
Loss of earnings
There is no maximum amount that you can be awarded for medical negligence. The amount of financial compensation you receive will be based on the severity of the ongoing disability and losses due to medical negligence. A medical negligence claim is considered on a case-by-case basis as each claim has a unique set of circumstances.
If your family, friends or others have been required to provide you with additional care due to your injuries, then they may also be eligible to receive compensation for their time.
A medical negligence claim is made up of two areas, general damages and special damages.
General damages cover physical injuries, these damages take the severity of your injuries into consideration as the more severe your injuries are, the higher the compensation levels are likely to be. If you have been left disfigured or disabled as a direct result of medical malpractice, this would be covered by general damages.
Special damages cover the financial impact the medical negligence had. This includes loss of earnings which will depend on the severity of your injuries and the type of job that you do. Special damages also cover any care that you may need. For example, if you lost a limb due to medical malpractice, the court would likely reward you with compensation to cover the financial implications of this in the future.
If the Defendant admits liability for your case, you may also be able to receive an interim payment, meaning that you could receive a part-payment of compensation during litigation. These payments are made by the other side before a case is settled in order to aid you fund a number of vital things such as assistance in daily living or urgent medical care.
Clinical negligence claims: how do I make a claim?
To begin the process of making a claim, you will need to request access to your medical records. Your request will need to state which records you want and any other information. After this, you should get in contact with a solicitor. If they believe that you have a good case, they must send a letter to the NHS Litigation Authority. This letter will detail your injuries and further explain your losses caused by the medical negligence.
The healthcare provider will notify your solicitor with a letter within four months. You will not be required to attend Court until 4 months after your solicitor has sent the letter; however, a lot of clinical negligence cases are settled before they go to Court. The healthcare provider, or you and your solicitor, can make an offer to settle; however, if no one makes an offer to settle, or the offer is not accepted, then the case may go to court.
How much do clinical negligence claims cost?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are, if we take on your medical negligence case, we will almost always do so on no win no fee agreements (also known as a conditional agreement).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
How can Wildwood Legal assist?
At Wildwood Legal, we know that the consequences of medical negligence can be devastating. If you have suffered from this, you need to seek legal advice – That’s where we come in.
We see all too often the significant effect that medical negligence can have on people’s lives. We can help on the financial side to get you on the road to recovery and help you to maximise the amount of compensation you receive.
Our core strength is in personal injury claims. We are experienced in helping you with any negligence claims that you may want to make. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.
Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards meaning that we are a trusted law firm. We offer services to individuals located in England and Wales.
Our ultimate aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case and for you to feel able to recommend us to others at the end of your claim.
We value the opinion of our clients and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say.
If you’ve suffered as a result of medical negligence, get in touch with us and we can help you start your claim– we’re only a phone call away. You won’t regret it.
We have registered offices in Harrogate and London.
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