Medical Negligence Compensation Claims
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence means that unreasonable medical treatment or care has led to injury, pain or and suffering over and above that which you would have had in any event. This includes all kinds of medical treatment across all the areas in which you are treated for your health, from Accident & Emergency (A&E) or Minor Injury Unit (MIU), GP treatment through to surgical procedures and aftercare to give a few examples.
Medical negligence claims are complex and specialised. Often treatment for an injury involves more than one medical specialism, e.g. a broken leg may be initially reviewed at A&E, then seen and treated by an orthopaedic surgeon with follow up from physiotherapists, district nurses and the GP. This does not include any medical specialists to deal with complications, such as a microbiologist for infections and a neurologist for any nerve damage. It may be that the negligence is not centred around one particular specialism, but has been compounded by negligence from various practitioners in different specialisms. You can still pursue a claim for compensation if this is the case.
It is very important that your solicitor is experienced in dealing with medical negligence claims given the complexity of the work and injury, and the need to understand the relationship between the specialisms.
T G Baynes Solicitors can assist you with a range of medical negligence claims including not limited to:
What do I do if I have suffered Medical Negligence?
Your first port of call may be to visit the local Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) at the hospital in question. All hospitals have these PALS stations. There you will be given information about the NHS Complaints Procedure and they will help you in complaining to the hospital. If your care was provided by a GP, you may complain to them directly or to the General Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors.
They will then investigate your complaint and respond. They will do this as quickly as possible, but it usually takes a few months. The purpose of the complaints procedure is to explore why the problems occurred. It is not designed to provide compensation. If this is the desired outcome, a specialist solicitor will be able to help. It is always useful to write to the hospital before contacting solicitors, as bringing a medical negligence claim is a long process and the response from your GP or hospital could give you some answers. The medical professionals have a duty of candour to ensure that they are open and honest about all procedures and investigations.
How do I make a Compensation Claim for Medical Negligence?
You can start the compensation claim process by contacting with us by either email, phone or through our web form and we can establish the initial details of your compensation claim, we will then review your information for free and contact you to talk through the claims merits, chances of success and potential compensation amounts. If appropriate we would talk about the best ways to fund your case.
How long do I have to claim for Medical Negligence?
Under the Limitation Act 1980, you have three years from the date of the negligent act, or from the date of which you could reasonably be seen to have realised that you suffered an injury as a result of negligence, to bring your claim. If the injured party is under 18, then they have three years from their 18th birthday (i.e. up to their 21st birthday) to take these steps. Until they are 21, their claim will usually be run by a Litigation Friend, usually a parent, who will manage the claim on their behalf. If the injured party has no capacity in terms of understanding a claim there may be no Limitation.