Medical & clinical negligence claims are different from personal injury claims in that they require you, the claimant, to prove two separate things:
- That the health-care professional failed to fulfil their responsibilities (fault)
- That this is what caused you to be in the situation you are now in (avoidable harm)
Proving fault: This means that, for the type of treatment you received, it is demonstrated that your care fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful specialist (that is, they failed to treat you in the way you could reasonably expect to be treated).
Proving avoidable harm: This is also called “causation”. It means that you need to show that the negligent care (rather than an underlying condition) caused you harm. This may sound relatively easy, but it can be difficult, particularly when someone was already ill.
It will be necessary to obtain a report from an independent medical expert to help prove these two issues. We will be able to arrange this for you.
You are usually required to start a compensation claim within three years of the date of your injury, or of the date when you first discovered that your injury was the result of clinical or medical negligence.
It’s important to get expert legal advice as soon as possible after the negligence took place. This will ensure that proper steps can be taken to investigate your case fully at the earliest opportunity. Some evidence relies on memory, so it’s always best to record these details when they are fresh.
Your lawyer will want to understand fully the impact that the negligence has had on your life, and to make sure that any compensation you receive will cover all your future needs.
Therefore, preparing your case will involve taking detailed statements, obtaining full copies of your medical records and X-rays, and seeking expert opinion. Ensuring that these steps are carried out thoroughly may take time, but it will give your claim the best chance of success.
Regardless of whether you start a compensation claim, you are entitled to make a written complaint about treatment received, either privately or on the NHS. We can advise you on how to do this. If you do wish to make a formal complaint, you must do so within six months, so it’s best not to delay.
We are able to fund our medical and clinical negligence claims through a conditional fee agreement (No Win, No Fee). This means there is no financial risk to you.