At some point in our lives we all will need to access medical treatment of some kind. This may be for an operation, to receive treatment or for medication. We are fortunate to have a reputable and affordable health service in this country, but what happens when things go wrong? What is important to remember is that you are entitled to claim against medical negligence.
Below we share what you will need to be aware of before making a successful medical negligence claim. The process may seem a little daunting, but with the right knowledge and support you can gain the best outcome for your future.
Proof of negligence
To be able to make a successful claim, you will need to be able to prove to the court that you have suffered injury or losses due to negligent treatment by a healthcare professional. Examples include being given wrong medication, a mistake during an operation or you were given an incorrect diagnosis. This means that a breach of the duty of care has occurred leading to harm and damage.
It is vital that you keep all records associated with your treatment. This will include medical records, notes and written reports from medical experts. Without proof there is no case!
The time frame for making a claim
Generally a medical negligence claim has to be made within 3 years of the injury taking place, or from when you realised that you had acquired an injury. The best advice here is to make a claim as soon as possible, as medical negligence claims are complex and can take a considerable amount of time to be investigated.
The purpose of a medical negligence claim is to seek justice but also to get compensation for any personal injury or losses that have occurred as a result of negligent treatment. It is therefore important to note that you can claim for physical pain, emotional and psychological problems, loss of earnings and for any ongoing treatment or therapy. As a misdiagnosis can me psychologically traumatic it is also possible to claim compensation on just these grounds.
You will need a solicitor
The first step with regards to making a medical negligence claim is to find a reputable solicitor. For the most successful outcome it is urged that you find a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims. They should be able to happily discuss the case with you and be open about how strong your case is and if they believe you can win. They should then outline the next steps in the procedure.
Next, your chosen solicitor should contact the healthcare professionals who are associated with your case and request any medical notes, lab tests, diagnostic imaging and any written notes.
There are various funding methods for you to make a legal claim. Each solicitor will have their own arrangement for payment. These costs will include their legal expenses and insurance costs. Some solicitors will also claim for a Success Fee if you are successful, so it is always best to check out the costs involved beforehand.
It is advisable to go with a no win no fee solicitor for these kinds of claims. This method involves the least financial risk to yourself should you lose your case.
How long will the entire process take?
This can be difficult to quantify but most cases take between 18 months and 3 years. There is a wide array of factors that can influence the length of time to complete your case. They can include the healthcare professional's attitude, how complex the case is and the type and severity of negligence sustained.
If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer injury or psychological trauma because of negligent medical treatment, you can start your medical negligence claim at www.winwales.co.uk.