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Medical Negligence Compensation FAQs
Whilst not an exhaustive list, below are just some examples of the medical negligence, or instances of clinical negligence cases, that our medical negligence solicitors have won our client's medical negligence compensation for, due to the negligent actions of their health care provider:
didn't obtain your informed consent prior to commencing treatment
didn't warn you about the risks of a particular treatment
used faulty, or the wrong equipment when performing surgery on you
failed to seek assistance, supervision, clarification or guidance
For the majority of the time, the NHS do a wonderful job. They work in a busy environment, and we are lucky to have some of the best health care in the world. But the NHS, from the receptionists, to the doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists, and pharmacists employed by the NHS, have been known to make some glaring errors.
What we have to remember is that the NHS isn’t free. We actually all pay for the NHS treatment we receive as a result of the NHS being largely funded from the taxing of our wages, National Insurance payments, and from fees levied in accordance with recent changes in the Immigration Act 2014. The Department of Health had a £131 billion budget in 2013–14, with most of this being spent on the NHS. Jump forward a few years, and planned spending for the Department of Health and Social Care in England was £201.7 billion in 2020/21, up from £148.8 billion in 2019/20. The majority of this budget is transferred to NHS England and NHS Improvement for spending on health services.
Whilst the NHS do amazing work, if you have suffered an injury, whether it’s life changing or not, then why should you not make a claim for the losses you or your family have suffered? This could be a claim for personal injury, the cost of surgery to repair the negligent treatment, any earnings you have lost for being off work, care costs, travel expenses, and so forth.
There are three elements to any personal injury claim, and medical negligence claims against the NHS, doctors, dentists, or any other medical practitioner, are no different.
In order to pursue a successful claim for medical negligence compensation, you must be able to show:
that the medical practitioner, any employee of the NHS, or medical practice, owed you a duty of care. See a full overview of this duty of care, here.
2. that they have fallen below a required standard when rendering that care to you, through a medical mistake or act of medical negligence.
3. that this medical negligence directly led to your injury or illness.
This may seem like a lot to be able to substantially prove, but our medical negligence solicitors are experts at obtaining admissions of liability in medical negligence claims. If you are thinking of making a claim for compensation, then contact one of our friendly team for a no-nonsense, confidential, no obligation chat.
Yes, you can. A medical negligence claim occurs when a patient brings a claim for personal injury against their medical practitioner or hospital (or both) for compensation due to an act, or acts, of negligence occurring during their medical treatment that have caused physical, or psychological injury. To make matters easier for those injured by medical negligence, the way in which medical negligence claims against GPs are handled changed on the 1st April 2019. Previously GPs would have to arrange their own insurance against medical negligence claims. However now, they are now covered by the NHS’s own insurance for work they conduct through the NHS.
If you have suffered personal injury as a result of medical negligence, then MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors will ensure that you receive the maximum amount of personal injury compensation. In fact, our job is to ensure that you are not out of pocket in any way. Below is a list of some of the damages we will claim for you, if they were a direct result of the negligent treatment you have received:
compensation for pain and suffering;
compensation for psychological injury;
payment for ongoing medical treatment, and any other care that is required;
loss of earnings;
loss of future earnings if you are unable to work or return to the same level of work;
travel expenses, to and from the hospital, or any treatment provider;
the cost of adapting your home, if your injuries require your home to be changed;
compensation for psychological damage.
You can make a medical negligence claim for your next of kin, someone who has died, or a person who doesn't have capacity to make their own claim. Where the patient has died, the family can claim for bereavement and funeral expenses, or for the cost of looking after dependents. In some circumstances a claim can be made for psychiatric injury suffered by a close family member.
If you are injured, or ill, as a result of medical negligence then you have three years from the date of the negligence within which to pursue a claim for personal injury. The three year time limit is subject to the Limitation Act 1980, but as with most things, there are exceptions. If you were under 18 years old at the time you suffered negligent medical treatment, then you have three years from your 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. If the claim is about a patient who can’t manage their own affairs because of a mental disability, the 3-year period doesn’t apply until (and unless) they recover from their disability. In both these cases, a parent or other person close to them can make a claim on their behalf.
If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s medical negligence experts, as soon as possible after the incident - don’t leave getting in touch with our solicitors until the last minute.
Clinical negligence cases can be rather complex to investigate, with our solicitors required to obtain, at times, many years’ worth of medical notes, sometimes amounting to thousands of pages. So although you have three years within which to pursue a medical negligence compensation claim, it is wise to put the wheels in motion sooner, rather than later, to avoid being disappointed.
Most personal injury claims, including medical negligence claims, settle before going to court. MG Legal’s medical negligence experts have a success rate in excess of 99% for the cases we accept on a no win no fee basis. NHS Resolution, the legal team representing the majority, if not all of the NHS Trust’s members, including GPs and NHS dentists, state that of all medical negligence claims brought against their members, fewer than 2% of the cases handled by the NHS Resolution team end up in court. The rest are settled out of court or, in some instances, the injured person has chosen to discontinue with their medical negligence claim.
As it stands, medical negligence claims can be quite an impersonal process, with much written reporting by independent experts and letters exchanged between legal representatives. So, what if there was another approach to medical negligence claims? Getting the doctor who was said to be at fault into the same room as the person bringing the medical negligence claim, to discuss the case is one option that is recommended by Alan Jacobs of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. MG Legal, your local medical negligence solicitors, would welcome anything that assists in this area of law.
So, how does a claim for medical negligence compensation currently work? Currently, it is necessary to obtain medical records, obtain expert’s evidence and write a letter of claim to the practitioner or organisation being held responsible for an act of negligence. Following this, the fault party obtains their own medical evidence and if there is no scope for agreement of some kind of settlement, the only real recourse is for proceedings to be issued in the County Court. Usually, Medical Negligence claims are Allocated to the Multi-Track, the most complex track to be used. This can generally mean a period of between 12-18 months from the start of proceedings until Trial, if the case does not settle beforehand. Even with the shortest possible Pre-Action (pre-Court) investigation period, it can be at least 18 months from start to finish of a fully disputed claim. Whilst Alternative Dispute Resolution must be considered for all cases, particularly Multi-Track cases, it does not generally involve the medical practitioner at the centre of the dispute. This would, if possible, go a long way to breaking down some of the barriers to settlement and narrowing issues between the parties.
Many Medical Negligence Claimants are just as invested in obtaining an explanation and an apology as they are in a financial award for Damages. Generally speaking, an award or offer comes with at least a tacit admission of fault. However, if a sense of Justice was achieved by an apology, or an explanation and a token award which satisfies both parties and minimises costs, plus reducing the time and stress involved in a contested Court case, this would surely be better. If nothing else, it would allow both parties at the heart of the matter, to hear the other’s point of view and to understand what each believes happened. It is far from a guarantee of a settlement at that juncture but it would enlighten both sides as to how the other is thinking.
Often, one of the biggest issues in reaching a settlement is not wanting to be the one to “blink first” and concede that first bit of ground. At MG Legal, your local medical negligence solicitor, we are not afraid to push for settlement, but it ‘takes two to tango’ and so it is necessary that the gesture is reciprocated. But, will it ever happen? Potentially yes, there is an overriding duty on all parties to reduce any impact of a case on the Court’s resources, a Trial being the last resort of any case. The government wish to reduce the impact of claims on the NHS and private health care practitioners wish to improve their profit margins and so, if this is something that benefits all concerned, no client ever truly enjoys going to Trial, it likely will be a strong candidate for inclusion in the process.
In recent weeks, the NHS ombudsman has told the Guardian newspaper that patient safety will be harmed, and victims of medical negligence could be denied justice because of flaws in the government’s Health and Care Bill. Under the new bill, Rob Behrens believes that it will be difficult to get to the bottom of medical mistakes and acts of medical negligence due to the NHS’s Health care Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) keeping their findings private. He thinks that the new bill will allow this organisation to “operate behind a curtain of secrecy”, and keep important findings private, making investigations into patient safety and medical negligence more difficult.
This is a worrying insight, and one which our medical negligence solicitors are closely following for updates. Here at MG Legal, our specialist medical negligence solicitors go above and beyond to ensure that all of the relevant medical evidence and findings are available both for our client’s cases, and larger findings into patient safety in order to guide our work. As part of this, openness and transparency into the NHS operations is one of the most important factors. Our no win no fee solicitors share in the concerns of NHS ombudsman Rob Behrens as to how this secrecy might impact victims of medical negligence.
MG Legal’s team of medical negligence solicitors enlist the help of the best medical practitioners, whatever their field of expertise, to build our client’s medical negligence claims, because your claim for compensation is important to us, and we want to get you the most compensation possible. Our medical negligence solicitors accept all of our medical negligence compensation claims on a no win no fee basis, and have a success rate in excess of 99% for all claims accepted.
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional makes a mistakes, or acts negligently, in a way which breaks their duty of care to you as a patient and causes you injury or illness.
This can cover a huge variety of medical mistakes, ranging from a medical misdiagnosis to serious surgical errors. For a full overview of the duty of care that we are owed by medical professionals, and what can be considered medical negligence, see this here.
What is a medical negligence claim?
A medical negligence claim is made when a patient makes a legal claim for financial compensation due to an act or acts of negligence incurred during any form of medical care they have received. When a medical professional makes a mistake, or acts negligently, in a way which breaks their duty of care to you as a patient and causes you injury or illness, this is classed as medical negligence. This can cover a huge variety of medical mistakes, ranging from a medical misdiagnosis to serious surgical errors. For a full overview of the duty of care that we are owed by medical professionals, and what can be considered medical negligence, see this here.
If you have suffered from medical negligence of any kind, leading to injury or making an existing condition worse, then our no win no fee medical negligence solicitors are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve. When you work with MG Legal, our experienced no win no fee medical negligence solicitors will take the time to understand what you’re going through, and help you get the answers and compensation you deserve at no financial risk whatsoever. To speak to a no win no fee medical negligence solicitor today, on a free no obligation basis, simply contact us online here and speak to a solicitor within one working hour.
How do you make a medical negligence claim?
When looking to make a claim, the most important step is to get in touch with a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible in order to begin working on your claim. No two medical negligence claims are the same, and it is important that your designated medical negligence solicitor can get to work on building your claim to be as strong as possible. MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors go above and beyond for our clients, working with specialist medical experts on all of our medical negligence claims to create full medical reports detailing our clients’ injuries.
We then use our 30 years' of legal expertise to combine this with all of the legal evidence available, so that our clients’ medical negligence claims win financial compensation over 99% of the time.
How much can I claim for my medical negligence injuries?
How much is my medical negligence claim worth?
Brain Damage- very Severe Brain Damage- in such cases of brain damage there will be very little, if any, meaningful response to environment and surroundings, with little or no language function, and the injured person will probably suffer from double-incontinence with care required around the clock. For the injury aspect alone, not including lost earnings and what could be a large sum of future loss of earnings, awards would be between £264,650 and £379,100. This is subject to the 15th Edition of the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines, with a 10% uplift.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage- where the injured person is seriously disabled, dependent on others, needs constant professional care, has limb paralysis, and impaired brain function, with marked impairment of personality and intellect, awards for personal injury are valued between £205,580 and £264,650.
Impairment of Taste and Smell- Total loss of Taste and Smell- injuries where a loss of taste and smell are suffered are usually associated with trauma to the brain, or infection, and awards are in the region of £36,770. Loss of Smell alone– is valued from £23,460 to £30,870. Loss of Taste alone– is valued between £18,020 and £23,460.
Loss of the Reproductive System (Male)- Sterility- cases involving male sterility usually fall into one of two categories; surgical, chemical, or disease cases. Whilst we are concentrating here on medical negligence, and sterility caused by surgical procedure, or poor medical treatment or advice, the awards are the same, with the most serious cases being awarded up to £132,040, for the injury alone.
What should I do about my medical negligence claim?
The choice is yours, and whilst there are a few occasions where you might want to wait, the Limitation deadline with always remain the same. MG Legal’s specialist medical negligence solicitors have a success rate of over 99% and very few of these cases ever reach a Trial (where you will stand in front of a Judge). Medical negligence cases can usually be settled within a number of months and Limitation is rarely an issue. However, the later you start your claim, the more of an issue it will potentially be, and whilst the actions required to protect your claim from Limitation are fairly simple, it is an issue that can distract both sides from the important business of actually settling your claim.
MG Legal recommends that you look to discuss your claim with one of our medical negligence experts as soon as possible. In the vast majority of cases we can assess the likely prospects of success following a brief discussion with you and this is often clarified and confirmed once we have you medical records. If, at that point, there is a specific outcome of an operation, test or procedure that will dictate the next steps, we can be ready to commence the next stage immediately it is done, rather than starting from scratch and being a month behind whilst waiting for your records.
You do not have to start your claim immediately, although our advice is always to start the claim as soon as you are ready. The clock does not stop and neither will MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors, our aim being to conclude your medical negligence claim successfully and as swiftly as possible, whilst always ensuring that every loss and injury is fully assessed and you receive the maximum possible award for your injuries.
Make a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim with MG Legal today:
Suffering any form of injury as a result of medical treatment can be both traumatic and life changing. MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors are driven by our goal to help you and your family have the best possible future, and with enough compensation to be able to put the whole experience behind you.
Our team have over 30 years experience settling all types of medical negligence claims. You have done nothing wrong, and our solicitors understand that. Read our reviews. If we can help you, then you will not find a personal injury team who will put more work into helping you pursue compensation for medical negligence.