If you feel that you did not receive appropriate care you deserved from your medical professionals, you might be interested in making a claim for medical negligence. This could be in relation to treatment from your GP, the NHS, or a private medical provider. However, it's important to remember that there are time limits with when you can make such a claim. If you leave it too long, it could be too late to file a claim or argue your case successfully.

How long after medical negligence can you claim in the UK? Can you claim for medical negligence after 10 years, or even 20? There are certain time limits to be aware of and different circumstances that may affect these time limits. This guide will explore the rules and what your next steps should be if you want to make a claim for medical negligence.


Time Limits for Medical Negligence Claims

Litigation generally gives people 3 years to start a claim for medical negligence. This period starts when you become aware that you have suffered an injury that you believe to be caused by medical negligence. This means that it will not always necessarily be 3 years from the incident that caused the injury. It could theoretically be a number of years later if that's when you became aware of your circumstances.

Can you claim for medical negligence after 3 years? Depending on the specifics, it It is often possible to claim more than 3 years after the medical negligence occurred. Every case is different and medical negligence claims can be complicated. That's why it's always important to get legal advice from a specialist who understands the law and how it's applied.

There are also  some exceptions to the 3-year time limit. For children, the three year limit does notstart until they  are 18. If someone lacks mental capacity to make a claim, the time limit only starts when they regain capacity. Another exception is if the victim of medical malpractice dies during the initial time limit.  In this case, the time limit will renew from the date of death.

Establishing medical negligence after a long time period

Establishing Medical Negligence After a Long Time

Establishing medical negligence after a period in excess of 3 years,  isn't easy. It's recommended that you start medical negligence claims as early as possible for this reason.

To establish a claim for medical negligence, you need to be able to show  that there has been a breach of duty and the breach has caused the injury from which you suffered.

There are several types of evidence that can be presented to help prove medical negligence. Some of the things that might be included in your evidence are:

•    Medical records
•    Expert opinions
•    Witness statements
•    Records of expenses

Expert Witnesses: Their Role in Determining Negligence After 10 Years

One of the most important types of evidence when making a medical negligence claim after 10 years is statements from expert witnesses. Medical experts can support your case by giving their opinion on the medical treatment you received and how medical negligence has impacted your health and lifestyle.

Your solicitor will be able to identify the appropriate expert to advise on whether or not there is a viable claim. The medical experts will carry out an impartial assessment of the medical treatment with which you were provided and will give their informed opinion on whether it was acceptable or negligent. 

Steps to Take When Pursuing a Late Claim

Pursuing a late claim for medical negligence can complicate an already quite complicated process. However, if you take the right steps when preparing to fight your case, you can set yourself up for the best chance at success.

The first step should always be to get in touch with an experienced legal expert. Medical malpractice claims, especially against the NHS, are highly specialised and can be complicated. It's important to receive the right advice before you go any further. Many solicitors offer a free consultation and work on a no-win, no-fee basis, so it doesn't cost you anything to find out more about whether you have a valid claim.

You will then want to collect evidence that will support your claim so that you can present it to your solicitor. You can start with medical records, perhaps an assessment of your injury, and records that show how your injury has affected you financially.

Your solicitor will then work with you to build a strong case if they determine that it's worth taking your claim forward. They will work with you and other experts to collect the necessary evidence that can be presented to support your claim, before supporting you through your case as it progresses.

alternatives to claiming for medical negligence

Settlement Options: Exploring Alternatives to Lengthy Court Battles

One of the reasons some people might be hesitant to make a medical negligence claim is that they don't want to go through the stress of a lengthy court battle. Fortunately, there is another option. Settling out of court can be an easier and less stressful process, which also helps to speed things up. It can help to produce an outcome that everyone is happy with, without the need to go to court.

The amount of the settlement that may be reached depends on a range of factors. Solicitors and courts use the Judicial College Guidelines to value medical negligence cases. For example, if there is a serious risk of a kidney losing its natural function or of a future urinary tract infection, this could result in a settlement of up to £63,980.

Legal Representation: Why You Need an Experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor

If you intend to pursue a claim for medical negligence, it's crucial to have professional legal representation. Professional help and advice is always useful when dealing with a legal issue, but it's especially important when it comes to medical negligence. There are many different factors to consider and matters can become very complicated very quickly.

Medical negligence solicitors, like the experts we have at TBI, know the ins and outs of the law and how it applies to medical negligence cases. With help from our experts, you can avoid the confusion and stress that's sure to come from tackling your claim alone. Our solicitors will advise you on whether your claim is worth pursuing and  can make sure you don't waste time pursuing a claim that's unlikely to be successful. If they think you do have a valid claim, they can then help you pursue it with a greater chance of success compared to trying to do it alone.

Can I Claim for Medical Negligence After 20 Years?

Making a claim for medical negligence after a long time can be tricky. The time limit for making a claim is just 3 years. However, it's important to remember that this starts from when the person became aware of the possible negligence, not from when it occurred. Additionally, there are exceptions for children, those lacking mental capacity, and in the event of a death.

It could be possible to claim for medical negligence after 20 years, depending on the circumstances. For example, medical negligence could result in a person obtaining a blood-borne disease but the disease isn't diagnosed until many years later. This could be a case where someone could make a claim long after the medical negligence occurred.

How Can Tilly Bailey & Irvine Help?

If you think that you have a claim for medical negligence, the experts at Tilly Bailey & Irvine can help. Our experienced team can advise you on your case and guide you through the process of making a claim. Start with a free interview to discuss your case and whether it's advisable to pursue it on a no-win, no-fee basis.