If you believe you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, there are legal routes you can take to pursue a claim. Making a medical negligence claim could allow you to secure compensation for the monetary losses you may have suffered and for how the injury has impacted your lifestyle. 

The exact specifics of any individual medical negligence case can be complicated, which is why it's important to get legal advice and support. However, the process of making a claim is easy to understand. There are a number of steps you should follow to get started with your claim and to create the best chance of being successful. This guide will take you through the steps you need to take to claim for medical negligence against the NHS or a private medical provider.

Understanding Medical Negligence Claims

What exactly is medical negligence, and when can or should you make a claim for compensation? Firstly, it's important to recognise that there is a difference between what counts as medical negligence and receiving medical carewith which you are unhappy.. 

If you were not happy with your experience but did not suffer any tangible adverse effects, your best option is likely to be to make a formal complaint to the doctor or hospital trust. However, if a mistake or poor care has resulted in an injury, illness, complication, or financial loss, your next step should be to consult a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim.

Who can make a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence requires twomatters, proof of breach of duty and causation to establish liability, you need proof that the medical practitioner did not provide you with the appropriate standard of care. Showing causation is about linking that lack ofcare to the injury or complication that occurred.

What can I claim for medical negligence?

You can claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured as well as any loss of amenity. This includes both physical and mental pain and takes into account how you have been affected inn your daily life. 

In addition, you will be able to claim for any out of pocket expenses, loss of past or future earnings, the cost of past or future treatment and the cost of any care you have required. 

medical device for medical negligence claims

Gathering Evidence for Your Claim

To prove medical negligence, you need the right evidence. Your evidence needs to establish liability and causation to demonstrate that medical negligence has occurred. When you get in touch with a medical negligence solicitor, they can help you ensure you put together a robust case. However, before you seek legal help, it's a good idea to begin collecting your own evidence. You want to be able to discuss your potential claim with your solicitor so that they can assess whether you should continue with it.

Evidence for a medical negligence claim might include medical records, statements from expert witnesses, and financial records. You might start gathering evidence by getting a copy of your medical records so that you can demonstrate how you have been physically or mentally affected. Another good place to start is by collecting receipts and bank statements that show your expenses related to your injury or illness. Your payslips can also be useful to help demonstrate any loss of income that you might have suffered.

It can take some time for your solicitor to investigate your claim and determine whether there is enough supporting evidence. They will prepare a written statement with the details of your case, which will then be assessed by independent medical experts.


Filing a Claim with the Proper Authorities

A medical negligence claim must be filed properly if you want to take it forward. When you are ready to make a claim, you will need to send a letter of claim to the NHS Trust or doctor responsible for your care. The letter should outline your account of events and why you believe they were at fault. It should also include key details about you, such as your name and date of birth, where you received the treatment, and the names and dates involved.

Your solicitor can send this letter for you, or you could choose to do it yourself. However, it's best to have legal assistance to help you navigate the challenges of a medical negligence claim.

The recipient then has four months to respond to your letter. They can either choose to accept liability or they can deny the claim. They could also accept that negligent treatment occurred but deny responsibility for any injury that occurred. If they accept your claim, the next step is for your solicitor to negotiate a settlement. Reaching a settlement without going to court is often the best choice for everyone, saving time and reaching a satisfactory outcome with less stress and lower costs. If the claim is denied, it might be necessary to go to court to pursue compensation.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Many people consider whether they can pursue a legal case on their own. They wonder if it could help them save money and whether they can carry out the process using their own skills and knowledge. However, it's always important to recognise how legal representation gives you a significant advantage whenever you are dealing with a legal issue. This is even more true when it comes to medical negligence cases, which can be complicated and challenging. Each case relies on very specific details and legal experts provide the best chance of examining these details closely and getting the best results.

Engaging a solicitor to help you with your medical negligence claim is always the smartest choice. Legal experts in medical negligence know the system inside and out. They understand how everything works and can determine whether you have a strong case to take forward. They can use their negotiation skills to get the best results for their clients and ensure they are awarded fair compensation. Your solicitor will support you through your whole journey, providing you with professional advice and keeping you up to date with the progress of your case. They will take care of sending a letter of claim, negotiating, and, if necessary, supporting you in court proceedings too.

Additionally, a medical negligence solicitor can take your case forwards on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that if the case isn't successful, they won't take a fee. It makes it in the solicitor's best interest to only recommend that you continue with your claim if there is a good chance of success, rather than recommending that you make a claim that probably won't get you the result that you want.


Negotiating a Settlement for Your Medical Negligence Claim

Negotiating a Settlement for Your Claim

Cases of medical negligence can often be settled without the need to go to court. This is the preferable option for both parties in many cases because it helps to save time, money, and stress. Your solicitor will negotiate a settlement directly with the other party, subject to medical evidence and evidence of quantifiable financial losses. Going to court can involve high costs for everyone, so most of the time it's best if it can be avoided.

Your solicitor will negotiate for a settlement amount that will put you back in the position you would have been in if the medical negligence hadn't occurred. Of course, nothing can undo what you have experienced. However, the compensation is designed to help address the damages that have been caused by the issues you have experienced. They might help to cover medical expenses or costs resulting from a disability, or they might make up for lost income due to loss of earning potential or missed work. Compensation could pay for rehabilitation or cover living expenses to help improve your day-to-day life.

With the right solicitor on your side, the negotiation process could get you the compensation you deserve. You could come away from the process happy with the compensation you receive and with the case resolved.

Going to Court: What to Expect

When a medical negligence claim is denied or a suitable compensation amount can't be reached through negotiation, the case may be taken to court. Although this might be something that you want to avoid, an experienced solicitor or specialist barrister can help you secure the best outcome in court. Court proceedings can take a long time, but there is no time limit on when they must be completed by. As long as you file your medical negligence claim within the 3-year time limit, your claim is still valid.

Although court proceedings can take a long time, your solicitor will take care of everything required. They will prepare the court papers to outline your claim and file them with the court so that they can be served to the defendant. The Particulars of Claim will outline why the claim is being made and why you believe the defendant is responsible both legally and financially. Along with the Particulars of Claim, your solicitor will include supporting documentation with the claim form.

The defendant has 28 days to respond by filing a defence. Your solicitor will continue trying to negotiate a settlement until the procedural court hearing, in which representatives for both parties will appear before a judge. 

This hearing will involve discussing timelines and costs for the case. Court proceedings will involve providing evidence, including medical evidence and witness evidence, as well as claiming for financial losses. Most cases are settled out of court but if your case does go to court, you often don't need to stand up to give evidence. Your statement can serve as your evidence, although the defence team might want to cross-examine you.

If compensation is awarded, a timetable of payment will be arranged. The defendant will also be required to pay your legal costs.


emotional impact of medical negligence

Dealing with the Emotional Impact of a Medical Negligence Claim

Making a medical negligence claim can be stressful. The process may be drawn out and can sometimes last several years, especially if the case goes to court. Coping with the emotional impact of making a claim may be difficult, especially if you are already dealing with health issues. The process might bring up traumatic memories that you would rather not think about and everything can play on your mind.

It's important to make sure you have support when you are making a medical negligence claim. You might find that you can seek support from friends and family, or perhaps someone like a therapist or a trusted community member. There are times when it might be helpful to take a step back from your case too. Allow your solicitor to work hard on your case, while you focus on other parts of your life.


Tips for a Successful Medical Negligence Claim

If you want to help ensure your medical negligence claim is successful, choosing the right legal representation is a must. When you have an experienced solicitor on your side, you have a better chance of getting the result you want. 

At TBI we have a strong team of medical negligence solicitors who can help fight your case, to get you the maximum compensation possible.

Before even filing a claim, a our solicitors will take time to understand your circumstances and determine whether you have a solid case. We will make a professional recommendation about whether you should pursue your claim and can calculate how much you could be awarded in compensation.

You can also do your part by helping to collect important evidence to support your case. This will include things like medical records and financial records.

The process of claiming for medical negligence can be long and complicated. However, it's easier to navigate with the support of an experienced solicitor. Contact us at Tilly Bailey & Irvine to learn more about filing a claim.