Medical Negligence

 

Medical Negligence

We trust doctors and other medical professionals with our wellbeing, so when they make mistakes that result in damage to our health, it is normal to be upset, confused and angry.

Medical mistakes can have a huge impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as affecting your ability to work and live life to the fullest. Claiming compensation is often the only way to help you get things back on track and minimise the long-term negative effects on you and your loved ones.

At Andrew & Co Solicitors, we have many years of experience helping all sorts of people to claim compensation for different types of medical negligence. Our clinical negligence solicitors are passionate about getting the right outcome for victims of medical errors. We have an exceptional track record of success, having recovered substantial damages for clients under even the most challenging circumstances.

It is entirely normal to be wary of putting your trust in another professional after you have already been let down so badly and many people wonder whether the stress and uncertainty of pursuing a claim is really worth it. Our goal is to provide clear, honest and practical legal advice, combined with caring support, giving you confidence that your case is being handled efficiently and with respect for you and your needs at all times.

Our team will offer straightforward guidance about the potential outcome of your claim, as well as helping to demystify the claims process, making every stage of proceedings as clear, simple and stress-free as possible for you. We will be here to give updates and answer your questions whenever you need us, providing all of the support you need.

We can also assist you with accessing treatment, care support and other types of help you need for your recovery and to ensure your needs are met. Once compensation has been secured, we can also assist with effectively managing the funds, ensuring you receive the maximum benefit and that your long-term needs continue to be provided for.

If you believe you have grounds for a medical negligence claim, please get in touch to arrange an initial consultation with our specialist team. There are strict time limits for bringing a claim, so it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity to secure the compensation you deserve.

To book an initial consultation with our medical negligence lawyers, please contact your local Andrew & Co office in Lincoln or Newark.

Alternatively, feel free to email us at info@andrew-solicitors.co.uk or fill in our enquiry form for a quick response.

Our medical negligence claims expertise

We offer many years of experience and exceptional legal knowledge in the area of clinical negligence claims. Our team includes personal injury and medical negligence claims specialist Laura Simpson, who has a strong track record of success in pursuing a wide range of claims and is accredited as a Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Our medical negligence lawyers have secured substantial compensation for clients in relation to matters including:

  • Surgical errors
  • Delayed diagnosis e.g. for cancer from either GP or specialist
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Assault in clinical environments e.g. in a hospital or psychiatric care facility
  • Replacement surgery
  • Enhancement e.g. cosmetic surgery
  • Wrongful prescribing
  • Lack of patient consent
  • Lack of treatment

Andrew & Co is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

How to make a medical negligence compensation claim

Finding out if you have grounds for a claim

The first step to making a claim is establishing whether your injuries were caused by medical negligence. During your initial consultation with our team, we will talk through the care you received and help to identify any potential issues of negligence. We will then advise you as to whether we believe your claim justifies further investigation.

Proving that the care you received was negligent will usually take some time and will typically rely on various types of evidence, including medical records, witness testimony and examination by independent medical experts. Our team have the expertise to efficiently gather the necessary evidence and build this into a strong case, giving you the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.

In most cases, you will only have three years to make a claim from the date of your injury (or the date you became aware of it). It is therefore essential not to delay finding out if you may have grounds for a claim, especially as there is normally a lot of preparatory work that must take place before a claim can be brought.

Funding your medical negligence claim

Most medical negligence claims we handle are funded using Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), which are commonly called ‘no win, no fee’ agreements.

With a CFA, there is no cost to start a claim and you do not pay anything towards our legal fees unless we win compensation for you. This means you do not have to worry about whether you can afford to make a claim as your legal costs can be covered from the compensation you receive.

We will be happy to discuss more about how Conditional Fee Agreements work and other potential alternative funding options during your initial consultation with our team.

Securing compensation for medical negligence

We know that most people simply want to get the compensation they need as quickly as possible, with the minimum stress and disruption to their lives possible. To help achieve this for you, our medical negligence solicitors prioritise securing an out-of-court settlement wherever we can.

In most cases, it is possible to reach a voluntary settlement with the NHS Trust or other healthcare provider responsible for your injuries using our skills in negotiation and other non-confrontational methods. This can allow you to avoid the need for court proceedings, so you get compensation faster, with lower legal fees and less stress for you.

However, in some rare cases, court proceedings may be necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. In such instances, we will ensure you have the very best legal representation for hearing and our team will give you the sympathetic personal support you need to make every stage of the process as easy to deal with as possible.

Medical negligence FAQs

What counts as medical negligence?

Medical negligence (also known as ‘clinical negligence’) refers to when the care offered by a healthcare provider falls below minimum acceptable standards, putting a patient’s health at risk.

To be able to make a claim for medical negligence compensation, we will need to be able to show that:

  1. The care you received fell below acceptable clinical standards i.e. under the same circumstances, a competent clinical professional would not have made the same errors.
  2. This failure of care resulted in a worse outcome for your health than would likely have been achieved with competent care.

Will my claim affect my access to treatment?

This is a common worry, but you can be assured that making a claim will never affect your access to medical treatment.

The fact you are making a claim will not be included in your medical records or anywhere else the frontline staff should have access to. This means that nobody providing care to you or your family should be aware that you are pursuing a claim.

It should also be noted that it would be against the law for a hospital, GP surgery or other healthcare provider to refuse to treat your or your family or to provide a substandard service on the basis that you had made a medical negligence claim.

What can I claim medical negligence compensation for?

The aim of claiming compensation is to make sure you have all the support you need to minimise the impact of your injuries on your life. To that end, there are two broad types of damages you may be entitled to as a victim of medical negligence:

Special damages – For financial losses due to your injuries e.g. lost income, treatment costs, buying specialist equipment, paying for care support etc.

General damages – For non-financial losses e.g. pain and suffering, lifestyle changes etc.

Exactly what damages you will be entitled to will depend on your circumstances and assessing this will be a key part of the claims process.

Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?

Yes, you will usually have three years from the date you first knew you suffered an injury due to medical negligence (or from the date when you should reasonably have known).

There are exceptions to this rule, however, in some circumstances. If the injured party was a child when the negligence occurred, the three-year time limit only comes into effect once they turn 18. This gives a final deadline of their 21st birthday.

If the injured party does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim (e.g. due to learning difficulties or the effects of a serious brain injury) then there is no time limit for someone else to bring a claim on their behalf.

Does medical negligence compensation affect benefits?

Compensation for medical negligence can often be very substantial, so it can potentially mean you will no longer be eligible to certain means-tested benefits if you do not get the right legal measures in place to avoid this.

To make sure your compensation does not affect your right to means-tested benefits, we can assist you with setting up a personal injury trust. Placing your compensation into such a trust allows you to use the funds to meet your needs while making those funds exempt from means-testing.

Can I claim compensation for someone who died due to clinical errors?

Where a loved one has sadly died due to medical negligence, the representatives of their estate can often pursue compensation. You will normally have three years from the date of death to bring a fatal medical negligence claim and the compensation available can include:

  • A statutory bereavement award (currently set at £12,980)
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of dependency e.g. replacing the deceased’s income
  • Loss of care and services provided by the deceased
  • Compensation for pain and suffering

Arrange an initial consultation with our medical negligence solicitors in Lincoln and Newark

To arrange an initial consultation with our medical negligence lawyers, please contact your local Andrew & Co office in Lincoln or Newark.

Alternatively email  laura.simpson@andrew-solicitors.co.uk or fill in our enquiry form for a quick response.