If you are looking for medical negligence solicitors in the UK to help you or someone you know with a compensation claim following recent treatment, this page offers a guide to the requirements for making claims, and the process for engaging a suitable lawyer.
Medical negligence is also often referred to as clinical negligence, and is when someone takes a medical professional to court in a civil case to claim compensation.
It can relate to professionals such as doctors, GPs and hospital staff in cases where it is perceived they have, for example:
• Made an incorrect diagnosis
• Treated someone incorrectly
• Ignored important symptoms
• Given a diagnosis or treatment very late
• A medical device has been faulty
Making Medical Negligence Claims
In order to make medical negligence claims, affected patients, or potentially their representatives, can engage a medical negligence solicitor to make a compensation claim for them. In order for a claim to be successful, it must be proved that the medical professional owed a duty of care, and that they were negligent in this respect which resulted in suffering or injury to the patient.
There are two specific things which will be focused on:
Liability – It must be proved that the medical professional acted in a way that it can be assumed no other medical professional would have done.
Causation – It must also be shown that the medical professional’s action caused the patient’s injury or suffering, and that it’s unlikely this would have happened had it not been for the negligent actions.
Once this has been established, the claim itself is assessed in terms of various factors such as:
• Loss of earnings – currently and in the future
• Quality of life and how much it has been negatively affected
• Anguish – and how much has been caused by the negligence
Using a medical negligence solicitor – procedure
When engaging a medical negligence solicitor, the procedure usually goes like this.
1. A letter of claim is sent by the solicitor to the medical professional in question or their representative. The parties then have a certain time period in which to respond to the letter and pull their defence together
2. To progress the claim, the claimant’s team then need to submit the specifics of the claim – known as the particulars of the claim and the particulars of negligence.
3. The defence issues their formal defence case and supporting statements
4. Experts review the prepared reports from both sides to try to come to agreement. If this doesn’t happen the case goes to court for a judge to decide on compensation.
It should be noted that in most cases, medical negligence claimants only have three years to file a medical negligence claim, although there are some exceptions to this.