Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care and, to the best of their abilities, are expected to exercise this standard of care in the course of their duty. However, medical procedures sometimes go wrong and its consequences can be devastating. If this error was as a result of medical negligence and has caused you injury or illness, understanding what the legal process involves will help you make a claim for compensation.
Generally, it is expected that medical negligence claims are brought within three years from when the incident occurred or when you became aware that your injury was caused by the incident. It is best to seek legal advice and support from expert medical negligence solicitors so you do not leave it late.
Although most medical negligence claims are settled out of court, some can be very complex and drawn-out.
Each medical negligence claim is unique, but will generally involve the following stages:
Contact us for an instant, no obligation advice from our friendly medical negligence solicitors. At Medical Negligence Direct, we employ a No Win No Fee policy to ensure our clients incur no financial risks when they work with us to make their claim.
When you contact us, our medical negligence solicitors will examine the facts of your case and assess your chances of success. To understand how the quality of care you received has affected your life, your solicitor will seek further specialist advice from a medical professional. To be successful, your solicitor must prove that:
Your healthcare provider acted negligently breached his/her care of duty
You have suffered an illness or injury as a result of the substandard treatment.
If your case has strong prospects for success, your solicitor will send a latter of claim to the alleged negligent party (typically the GP practice or hospital trust) describing your claim in details, including the allegations made on your behalf. Your opponent will have around four months to accept or deny liability.
If the alleged negligent party (defendant) admits liability and accepts that there was a breach of duty, both parties involved will work together to evaluate the extend of damage caused, before negotiation a medical negligence claims value.
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will reassess the strength of your case, considering the evidence, to determine if you have reasonable prospects of succeeding if your case is taken to the court. However, it is unlikely that your claim will get to trial, as most medical negligence claims are sorted before court proceedings are initiated.
Pursuing the Claim in Court-
Your solicitor will initiate court proceedings on your behalf if the defendant denies liability. The trial usually deals with the liability and claims value to be awarded. However, in complicated cases where liability is in dispute, the court will likely order a trial to decide whether the defendant is liable before going on with the case. Normally, a compensation award agreement would be reached at this stage without any further trial. In rare cases where you and your opponent fail to reach an agreement, the court will order a second trial at a later date to decide upon the compensation due to you.
The Compensation Award-
It is usually difficult for any compensation amount to fully cover for the pain and suffering you have had to endure as a result of medical negligence. However, it can help to improve your quality of life. You may receive compensation that can help you deal with loss of earnings, future earning prospects, medical treatment costs, and out of pocket expenses. You may also be awarded compensation to cover your rehabilitation as well as any problems you may face in the future due to your injury.
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Calculating Your Compensation Award-
If your medical negligence claim is successful and an agreement for a settlement value is reached, you will be awarded a financial compensation. This compensation award is usually made up of:
1. General Damages
This is compensation for the victim’s pain, suffering and the impact of the injury on the life of the victim of negligence. The Judicial Studies Board Guidelines will help the parties involved (or the courts) determine the compensation award.
2. Special Damages
This includes compensation for any financial losses – past or future – that the victim of medical negligence has incurred. The evidence of your case and supportive expert opinion will help in calculating special damages. Use our medical negligence calculator for calculating the compensation.
Our Solicitors are experts in Medical Negligence Claims. You can contact them today by completing our quick Free Claim Assessment or call us on 0800 644 4240.
If you believe your injury was a direct result of medical negligence, call us on 0800 644 4240 for legal advice and support for your medical negligence claim. Medical Negligence Direct has a strong record when it comes to medical negligence claims; we understand how devastating medical negligence can be, and work with the best medical negligence solicitors to help you secure the compensation you deserve.