What is a clinical / medical negligence claim?

Where a healthcare professional (which could be a doctor, nurse, midwife, dentist , surgeon etc) provides treatment that falls below a standard considered as reasonable for that clinician’s specialism, and which causes you injury, then you have a right to claim compensation from that clinician and/or their employers.

Is there a time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim?

Yes! If you think you have suffered an injury following negligent medical treatment, you should seek legal advice as soon as is possible.

Generally medical negligence claims should be brought within 3 years from the date that you became aware that the treatment you received may have been negligent, and that it caused you injury. If you do not issue court proceedings within that time, there is a real danger that a court will not allow you to proceed with your claim.

There are exceptions to this rule. Children have until they are 21 in which to bring a claim, and those who are unable to manage their own affairs (in other words they lack capacity) are exempted from this time limit.

How do I make a complaint against the NHS?

The NHS has a formal complaints process. Firstly, you should make your complaint as soon as is possible to the organisation that provided your healthcare. Your complaint must be made within 12 months from the date the event happened or 12 months from the date you first became aware of it. If you do not, then the NHS will not consider your complaint.

You can get help from the Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) whose officers are in most hospitals.

If you are unhappy with the response you get, you can complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

If in any doubt, please contact us.

How do I prove my medical negligence claim?

In order for your claim to succeed, you will have to show that the standard of care you received fell below that of a reasonably competent doctor/health care professional, AND that you have suffered an injury as a result of that negligent action.

Just because a doctor has done something wrong, does not mean you have a claim.

We will assess your case once we have spoken to you. With your permission we will then obtain all of your medical records, and subject to a review of those records, we will instruct an independent medical expert to complete a detailed report on your case. Subject to that report we will then negotiate settlement of your claim. If that is not possible we will issue court proceedings on your behalf.

Over 95% of our cases settle without going to a trial.

Will I have to go to court?

In all likelihood no.

95% of our cases are settled without the need to go to court.
Most are negotiated and settle many months before any trial date.

If you do need to go to court, you should rest assured that our legal team will ensure that you are looked after, and that your case is presented to the very highest professional standard.

What does the claims process involve and how long will it take?

The burden of proof will rest with you.

We are here to help you deal with that burden. Initially we will take detailed instructions from you. We will then, with your permission, obtain your medical records. We will have those professionally sorted and paginated for you. We will then instruct one or more medical experts to assess whether the treatment you received was substandard, and whether that treatment caused you any injury.

These investigations can take many months. Once they are successfully concluded we will send a letter of claim to the proposed defendant. They in turn will provide a letter of response. It may be possible, at that stage, to negotiate settlement of your claim. More often than not it will be necessary to issue court proceedings. The court will put in place a timetable for your claim.

Claims may settle at any time. The average length of a medical negligence claim is between 3 to 4 years, but every case is different. We will try our very best to provide you with realistic estimates as to how long your claim will take.

Who will pay my legal costs?

The vast majority of our clients enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) with us (otherwise known as ‘no win, no fee‘). You may also have an existing insurance policy which covers the cost of investigating and pursuing a medical negligence claim.

We will discuss all the funding options with you. Further, we can offer you an ‘after the event’ insurance policy (ATE) which protects you from losing your case. In other words, the policy will pay for your legal costs including the costs of your medical experts, court fees, and in some instances costs incurred by the defendants.

Are you specialists in medical negligence?

Yes, we are medical negligence specialists. Our Clinical & Medical Negligence Team ONLY does medical negligence work and nothing else.

We act for those bringing claims against doctors. Two of our Partners are recognised by the Law Society as being specialists in their field, and both are on the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel.

We are passionate about what we do, and we are committed to ensure that we help in the maintenance of a safe and caring healthcare system