Frequently Asked Questions - Medical Negligence Direct

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I Make An NHS Compensation Claim?

If you have received sub-standard or negligent treatment from the NHS then you may be entitled to make an NHS compensation claim against the medical provider that treated you . The NHS must be held to high standards. If the service falls below these standards and you suffer as a result, then you can make an NHS compensation claim.
It is not only important for victims of medical negligence to claim the compensation they deserve from the NHS, it is equally important that an explanation and apology is received so that similar mistakes are not made in the future and you can have peace of mind.

What is Medical Negligence?

Medical Negligence is the term for when a medical professional falls below acceptable standards when providing medical treatment. Medical Negligence arises when patients suffer harm that could have been avoided. Medical Negligence can happen in many different ways including delays in being treated right through to sub-standard medical care from a professional.

How much will my medical negligence claim cost?

All of our specialist medical negligence lawyers act on a “No Win No Fee” basis. This means that there will be no cost to you for making a medical negligence. You can have peace of mind that you can obtain justice without having to spend money to achieve it.

How much can I claim for medical negligence?

If your case is successful you will be entitled to compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the amount of time you have suffered due to the medical negligence and on other circumstances such as if you have not been able to work due to your injury.
No matter what your circumstances are, our specialist medical negligence Solicitors have the expertise and know how to make sure you achieve the maximum amount of compensation that you can.

How to make a medical negligence claim?

Making a medical negligence claims can be a difficult process. We suggest that you contact one of our specialist medical negligence lawyers who will be able to guide you through the process in a friendly and supportive way.
The law surrounding medical negligence is complex. That is why is it vitally important to contact a specialist medical negligence lawyer as soon as you think you may have been a victim of medical negligence.

Do I have a claim for medical negligence?

It is often difficult to know early on whether the injury you have suffered is due to your healthcare provider’s negligence. The first thing to do is talk to a medical negligence solicitor and they will advise you on whether they think you have a valid claim for medical negligence.

How long does a medical negligence claim take?

This can depend on a number of factors, including the severity of injury, nature of the case and whether the defendant contests it. If the defendant contests the case, reaching a resolution can take several years; this is particularly the case if the victim is a child, since these cases are usually complex. However, if they accept liability, a settlement for medical negligence compensation can be reached within a short period of time.

Other factors such as collecting evidence can take up to 12 months, and even longer. This is because it is important to be adequately prepared before taking on the case.

What is classed as medical negligence?

There are different types of medical negligence for which you can pursue claims. Some of the most common forms include:

  • Surgical negligence: Millions of successful operations are performed in the UK every year. However, mistakes do happen and the effects can be life-changing, even leading to death.
  • Medical Misdiagnosis: When a medical professional fails to correctly diagnose a condition or completely misses the diagnosis, this can cause the patient avoidable suffering.
  • Prescription and medication errors: When a medical professional prescribes the wrong medication or provides incorrect dosage advice, there can be devastating consequences.
  • Pregnancy and Birth injuries: There are hundreds of thousands of births in the UK every year, with the vast majority successful. However, things can go wrong during pregnancy, labour, or even after birth.
  • Negligent Medical Advice: It is the duty of your healthcare provider to advise you on the risks of a medical procedure and let you know of associated risks. Failure to do this, you may be entitled to make a medical negligence compensation claim if something goes wrong.

What are the 4 D’s of medical negligence?

The four D’s of medical negligence refer to the four elements that claimants must establish to be able to pursue medical negligence claims. These include duty, dereliction, direct causation and damages.

  • Duty: A claimant must prove that he/she had a patient-healthcare provider relationship and that the medical professional owed them a duty of care.
  • Dereliction: This means negligence. You are expected to prove that your physician has acted negligently, which includes, but not limited to medication errors and performing unauthorized procedures.
  • Direct causation: You must be able to establish that a healthcare provider’s actions were directly responsible for the harm you suffered.
  • Damage: The patient must also be able to prove that the physician’s negligence caused damages. Damages may include physical, mental, emotional and even financial harm.

What is the difference between clinical and medical negligence?

There is no difference between clinical and medical negligence. Medical or clinical negligence is the below-par care that is provided by a healthcare professional to a patient, which has caused the patient injury or worsened an existing condition. The most common forms of clinical or medical negligence include misdiagnosis, birth injuries, surgical errors, NHS Negligence and incorrect treatment.

What is the average payout for medical negligence UK?

Medical negligence payouts can range anywhere from £1,000 to £200,000, and much more, depending on how complex the case is. As each medical negligence case is unique, it is impossible to determine the exact payout you may receive for your claim, but factors like the severity of your injury/illness, loss of earnings, and cost of aftercare can play a huge role in your compensation award.

How long does a medical negligence claim take in the UK?

The medical negligence claims process can be complex and drawn-out, as there are a number of steps that must be fulfilled to complete the process. In general, medical negligence claims in the UK can take anywhere from 18 months to three years, and sometimes even longer. However, as no two medical negligence cases are the same, your case will be considered by a medical negligence solicitor after which it will be sent to a medical expert to assess. It is only at this time a timescale can be given.

How do you win a medical negligence claim?

For your medical negligence claim to be successful, it must be built on evidence, so you must be able to prove that your doctor was negligent and that you have suffered an injury as a result. Your medical negligence solicitors will work hard to prove that you received substandard care. To achieve this, they will examine three key areas: breach of duty, causation and damages.

  • Breach of duty: Proving that the medical professional failed to discharge their duty of care to you.
  • Causation: Proving that the injury you suffered was due to the poor treatment you received.
  • Damages: Proving that you have suffered harm as a result.

Do I have a case for medical negligence?

This will completely depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury or illness you sustained. Injuries are not uncommon incidents in hospitals, but not all are necessarily as a result of medical negligence. Your medical negligence solicitors – with the help of medical expert opinion – will be able to advise you on whether you have a valid case and can pursue a medical negligence claim for compensation.

How do I prove medical negligence UK?

To prove medical negligence in the UK, you will need:

Medical records: Medical records are the most useful evidence for medical negligence claims. They are written at the time of treatment, which is prior to when the claim is considered. Thus, medical records are viewed as an honest and reliable account of the treatment provided by a medical professional.

Witness statements: Witness statements can be gotten from the injured person, as well as their family, friends and even medical professionals. This statement recollects the events surrounding the negligent care from each witness involved.

Medical expert reports: If the defendant does not admit liability in your case, you are under obligation to prove it. Obtaining reports from independent experts in the relevant medical field will help you achieve this.

Financial evidence: The aim of a compensation claim is to return your life back to the position you would have been had the negligence not occurred. This, you can make claims for the financial losses you have suffered due to the alleged negligence.

Can I sue the NHS for neglect?

The simple answer is yes. If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of negligence while undertaking treatment at the NHS, you may be well within your rights to sue the NHS for neglect.

How do I sue the NHS?

If you have been negatively affected by medical negligence at the NHS and are considering suing the NHS, you must be able to prove that the negligence caused you harm. You will need to put all relevant medical records together, noting the dates and times you received treatment, as well as names of those involved. You will also need the best legal support you can get; medical negligence solicitors can deliver a letter of complaint to the NHS on your behalf, expressing your unhappiness with the quality of service you received.

How long does it take to sue the NHS?

The length of time it will take for you to sue the NHS will depend on your unique circumstances. An important factor is the severity of the injury or amount of time you have been ill. The more severe the injury or illness, the longer it will take for you to sue the NHS and settle your claim. Your medical negligence solicitor will likely advice you to wait until you have recovered from the illness or a prognosis is established before you sue the NHS.

Another factor is the complexity of your case. If it is pretty straightforward and the defendant accepts liability, the case will be settled in no time. If it is complex, it will take more time for your solicitor to prove negligence and sue the NHS on your behalf.

How much does the NHS payout in compensation?

According to the National Health Service Litigation, the average payout from the NHS is estimated around £50,000. But every medical negligence claim is unique, just as every medical condition manifests differently from person to person.

Medical negligence can be due to medication error, misdiagnosis, or a failed surgical process, and each of these procedures will present different results in terms of injury to the individual. Due to these broad variations, medical negligence payouts can range anywhere from £1,000 to millions of pounds, depending on the severity of the case.

Is it wrong to sue the NHS?

If a person has suffered a life-changing injury due to poor medical treatment at the NHS, it is only right that they seek the support of the state. Most claimants who sue the NHS will be awarded compensation, but truth is, people just want their life restored to normal. They want to, for instance, be able to use their limb again or continue their career. In extreme cases, people want to still have their loved ones around them. Usually, people say they just want assurance that this won’t happen to anyone else.

So, is it wrong to sue the NHS? While there is no easy answer to this question, it only makes sense that someone who suffers a life-changing injury receives compensation from the organization responsible for their suffering.

Can I claim compensation from the NHS?

Yes. If you have suffered an injury as a result of negligence by an NHS institution or a medical professional, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. The aim of the compensation is to try to restore the quality of life you enjoyed before the negligence occurred. It is not awarded so you can benefit financially from what happened to you. By pursuing a claim for compensation, you may also highlight the poor medical treatment you received to ensure it does not happen to someone else.

How long do NHS compensation claims take?

NHS compensation claims, like the medical negligence claims in general, can be complex and take a long time to settle. Usually, this is anywhere from 18 months to four years. The process is usually lengthy because several steps must be completed to properly investigate a medical negligence claim. Third parties involved may also set timescales that are beyond the control of solicitors or claimants.

Can I sue the NHS for misdiagnosis?

Yes. In order to successfully sue the NHS for misdiagnosis, you must be able to prove that the medical care you receive fell below the acceptable standard. The legal test to determine this is usually strict and would require the medical opinion of a reasonable group of experts. In some complex cases, there may be legitimate differences of opinion. This is where the expert advice of medical negligence solicitors can come in handy.

Once your medical negligence solicitor is able to prove that the injury you have suffered was avoidable and due to misdiagnosis by an NHS personnel, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

How much can I claim for misdiagnosis?

It is important to stress that every case is unique. There are different types of misdiagnosis, varying levels of injury and varying circumstances, so claims are handled on an individual basis. Generally, however, the compensation you can receive will depend on how the misdiagnosis has impacted your life, the nature of the illness you have suffered, recovery time, and the pain caused by the missed diagnosis.

You may also claim for loss of earnings due to the misdiagnosis. In terms of income, claimants may receive up to £500,000, although some have secured more than this in the past. You may also be able to pursue claims for changes to your future earning potential; you can claim up to £400,000, although, some have secured more than this in the past.