Sadly, medical negligence can take place at any stage whilst receiving medical attention, from an initial GP or Hospital visit, to surgery and aftercare. This can include incorrect treatment, misdiagnosis, lack of appropriate care during surgery, drug administration and prescription errors. If this results in avoidable suffering and consequences for you or your loved ones, then you may be entitled to claim compensation for medical negligence.
At OH Parsons, we have experience of dealing with medical negligence claims including errors made at the time of birth all through stages of life even up to and including death. This can include surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer and other illnesses, brain and spinal injuries, gynaecology claims, cardiac claims, hospital infection claims, nerve injuries and drug and prescription errors. Tragically, sometimes medical negligence can cause death. We have experience of dealing with fatal claims arising from any form of medical negligence and provide assistance to the families of those who have tragically died.
To bring a medical negligence claim you need to prove that there was negligent medical treatment (or lack of treatment) and that the negligent treatment caused the death, or led to an earlier death. Claims can be brought against doctors, hospitals, surgeons, dentists and mental health professionals or any clinician who owes you a duty of care to provide you with medical treatment.
There are strict time limits for making medical negligence claims. Legal action must be taken within 3 years of the negligent treatment, or within 3 years of when you first knew, or should have known, that you had suffered an injury because of the negligence . Where the negligence has caused death, if the 3 year period hasn’t expired before the patient passes away, the three years runs from the date of death. It is important to get specialist advice about this deadline and discuss the circumstances to avoid missing this time limit. The first step will be meeting with one of our specialist solicitors. This meeting can be by telephone, via video call or in person. We will not charge you if you decide not to proceed. If you wish to proceed with a claim, there are usually several funding options. The most common is a “no win, no fee” agreement. If you want to make a claim for medical negligence call our specialist team on 0207 379 7277 to discuss your situation.
If you have suffered a loss because of the negligence by an NHS organisation or healthcare professional, then you may be able to claim compensation.
To be successful in a claim for medical negligence compensation, you must prove that (1) medical professional(s) failed to adequately fulfil their duty to a patient and (2) that this failure caused the patient harm that was avoidable. For example, it caused you injury, illness or made your condition worse. We then need to prove the extent of the damage caused and the financial losses and expenses that arise from this.
Claims can be brought on behalf of the spouses/partners and dependant children to be compensated for not only the bereavement but also the loss of income or the service to the family due to the death of the patient.
We can advise and assist you in dealing with inquests at a Coroner’s Court where it is the Coroner’s duty to investigate certain types of death including when medical treatment has been involved an it needs to be established how an individual died.
No Win No Fee’ is a type of legal agreement that essentially makes it easier to pursue financial compensation for medical negligence and injury, no matter your own personal financial status. With ‘No Win No Fee’, you won’t have to pay legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful.
Once we have assessed that your claim has a good chance of success, we will draw up a No Win No Fee agreement for you to sign. This is known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’ (CFA) which is a contract that you sign with your solicitor. The CFA is accompanied by an after the event legal expenses insurance policy. This covers the disbursements, that means the court fees, medical report fees and other expenses, if the claim is unsuccessful. This means you don’t need to worry about a legal bill if your claim fails.
If you win your case and your claim is successful, either in court or through settlement, you will be awarded damages. These damages include:
In successful medical negligence claims, the defendant (for example the hospital responsible for the negligence) pays the majority of the legal fees in addition to your damages. Even in a successful claim, there may be some legal costs that you are responsible . This could include a premium for the insurance that accompanies the Conditional Fee Agreement, a success fee and any shortfall in the costs the defendant pays. We will advise you how much this is likely to be when we discuss the conditional fee agreement. We guarantee that you will receive at least ¾ of the damages paid to you. We hope to return as much of that remaining ¼ of your damages to you as possible. How much you receive in total will depend on the damages you receive, the insurance premium and how much of the fees the defendant pays. When it comes to settlement of your claim, we will advise you on how much you will receive ‘in your pocket’.
If you are a member of a Union, you only need to pay for the insurance premium out of your damages. We will advise you how much this will be when we discuss the Conditional Fee Agreement.
The first step is for you to contact one of our medical negligence specialist solicitors. We will listen to you tell us what happened and why you think there may have been some medical negligence. We will advise you on the time limits and discuss the next steps to take.
We will need to obtain a complete set of your medical records which we will carefully review.
To be successful with a medical negligence claim it is necessary to prove two tests. Initially we need to show that the treatment, or lack of treatment, provided to you was negligent (breach of duty). We then need to prove that, as a result, harm has been caused (causation). To help establish these two tests independent medical experts will be instructed to prepare reports.
Once we have obtained supportive expert evidence on issues of breach of duty and causation, we can start to look at the value of your claim. To value your claim, it is necessary to consider your pain and suffering (general damages) as well as your out of pocket expenses (special damages).
Once all necessary supportive expert evidence has been obtained, we will be in a position to present a claim to a defendant(s) in a document called a letter of claim. This document summarises our allegations and gives some detail to allow a defendant to value a claim.
Finally, if a settlement cannot be reached (either the parties are a distance apart in their valuations, or the defendant is denying a claim) then it might be necessary to involve the court. Starting a claim at court does not necessarily mean there will be a trial. Indeed, most claims do not get that far. The claims process can be lengthy. However, throughout the process we will advise you of the next steps and the projected time frames to reach that goal.
At OH Parsons we are committed to achieving the best outcome for your compensation claim. As Solicitors we will listen to you to understand the issues you want to be resolved and will assist you in obtaining your desired outcome. We operate as a team with you involved in progressing matters and will give you appropriate advice as to the options open to you. We will involve independent medical experts and Barristers at the appropriate times whether against NHS or private healthcare professionals. Our solicitors take time to get to know the full extent of your injuries and we aim to minimise the impact of the claims process on you and your family. We understand that you may be anxious about bringing a legal claim, so we investigate cases thoroughly, involving the best experts and barristers, to maximise the chances of success and to give you peace of mind. We involve our clients every step of the way and have a track record of securing substantial sums of money for our clients.
Our expert personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing those who are injured through no fault of their own.
If you have been treated unfairly at work, our employment law team can help you. We act for employees only and we never act for employers or insurance companies.
Our team of medical negligence solicitors can help pursue a claim for you if your health has been affected as a result of sub-standard medical care.
If you have a work related illness, we can help. our solicitors have recovered millions of pounds of compensation for those suffering illnesses or diseases.