Medical Negligence, Negligence

How to Claim Medical Negligence?

Clinical Negligence

Claim Medical negligence refers to the failure of a healthcare professional to meet the expected standard of care, resulting in harm or injury to a patient. It involves a breach of the duty of care owed by the healthcare provider, and the harm caused must have been reasonably foreseeable. Misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, birth injuries, and failures to obtain informed consent are some examples of medical negligence. A general guide to help you understand the process:

  1. Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant medical records, test results, prescriptions, and any other documentation related to your treatment. These records will be crucial in assessing the viability of your claim and establishing negligence.
  2. Consult to Claim Medical Negligence Solicitor: Seek the advice of a qualified solicitor who specializes in this area of law. They will assess the merits of your case, advise you on the legal aspects, and guide you through the process. Research reputable law firms with experience in these claims and schedule a consultation.
  3. Case Evaluation: During the consultation, the solicitor will evaluate your case based on the evidence you provide. They will consider the standard of care, any breaches, and the resulting harm or injury. If they believe your case has sufficient grounds, they may agree to represent you.
  4. Pre-Action Protocol: Before initiating legal proceedings, your solicitor will follow the Pre-Action Protocol for Clinical Negligence. This protocol encourages early disclosure of information, negotiation, and settlement where appropriate, to resolve the matter without court involvement.
  5. Expert Medical Opinion: To strengthen your case, your solicitor will consult independent medical experts who specialize in the relevant field. They will review your records and provide an expert opinion on whether there was negligence and if it caused your injuries or harm.
  6. Letter of Claim: If the pre-action stage does not lead to a resolution, your solicitor will prepare a formal Letter of Claim. This document outlines the details of your case, including the allegations of negligence, the impact on your health and life, and the compensation sought.
  7. Defendant’s Response: The healthcare provider or their insurers have a specific timeframe to respond to the Letter of Claim. They will either accept liability and negotiate a settlement or deny liability, leading to further legal proceedings.
  8. Litigation (if necessary): If the defendant denies liability or settlement negotiations fail, your solicitor may advise you to commence litigation. This involves initiating court proceedings and presenting your case before a judge and jury. The court will evaluate the evidence, hear witness testimonies, and make a decision.
  9. Settlement or Judgment: If the case reaches this stage, there are two possible outcomes. The court may issue a judgment, either in your favor or in favor of the defendant. Alternatively, the parties may reach a settlement agreement before the judgment is given.

Time Limitations for Claiming in the UK (5 lines):

  1. The standard limitation period for claims in the UK is three years from the date of the incident or the date of knowledge of the negligence.
  2. Minors have until their 21st birthday to make a claim, as the three-year limitation period starts on their 18th birthday.
  3. If the victim lacked mental capacity at the time of the incident, there is no time limit for making a claim.
  4. In cases involving a patient’s death due to negligence, the limitation period is three years from the date of death or the date of knowledge of the negligence, whichever is later.
  5. Exceptional circumstances may allow for an extension of the limitation period, but it is crucial to seek legal advice promptly to ensure compliance with the time limitations.

If you are specifically looking for guidance on starting a claim then you can reach out to Gordon and Thompson Solicitors. Our experienced claim medical negligence solicitors will guide you through the process, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to initiate your claim effectively. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your case in detail. We are based in Plumstead, Gillingham, Maidstone and Coventry. 

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