Medical Negligence Claims
When we need to have medical treatment of any kind, we feel justified in expecting the best outcome. In most cases, everything goes well, we are diagnosed and treated correctly and quickly. If things go wrong, we should expect answers as to why that happened.
If we are not treated correctly or within the correct timescales, we can suffer worse symptoms and serious complications. If this is because of negligence or poor care, we have the right to be compensated for that negligence.
There are very strict rules and guidelines that Doctors, hospitals and all healthcare providers MUST follow as to when and how medical treatment should be given. If that does not happen and we suffer unnecessary pain, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis causing additional treatment or, even worse, it becomes too late to give treatment, then we are entitled to be paid compensation for our suffering and loss.
So, what does that mean to you?
Who could I claim against?
You can claim against the the NHS Trust, the hospital who provided the pre and post- operative care and the medical staff. Very often now the NHS outsource certain diagnostic procedures and treatment to the private sector. Sometimes, for example we will be sent to private hospitals for scans and x-rays.
We will take the time to speak with you and discover who is responsible for the negligence and who needs to pay you compensation. In general, all the parties listed above will have insurance covering them for their negligence or have budgeted for the cost of paying compensation when things go wrong because of their negligence. We will advise you fully about who you can claim against when we have spoken with you and have a good understanding of how and what went wrong.
What if I have complained to the GP or Hospital and they say it wasn’t their fault?
Most GP’s and Hospitals have a complaints procedure. Often when our clients have been unhappy, they will have already been through the complaints procedure. Unfortunately, they have usually been told that nothing went wrong or that it did but that it wasn’t serious. Sadly, we have never encountered a situation where complaints procedure has ended with the GP or Hospital accepting full responsibility. Whether you have been through the internal complaints procedure or not you can still speak with us. We will always be happy to take the time to discuss what your concerns are and to advise you whether we feel that you may be able to bring a claim
What can I claim for?
Can I get the treatment I need?
Often the negligence suffered has caused additional problems which require further treatment.
You will have suffered additional pain and risk if you need to have more operations and you can claim financial compensation for this.
We will arrange for your notes to be reviewed and for you to be seen by an independent medical expert. One of the things they will consider is what treatment or surgical intervention you could have to improve your current problems.
What if I have suffered emotionally?
Often the trauma of things going wrong can cause stress and anxiety. It is also possible to be compensated for this within your claim.
What if I have been unable to work or study whilst I am recovering?
If you have been unable to work or continue your studies, you can claim for the lost earnings or additional study costs that you have had. Sometimes these can be significant.
Can you help if I cannot work because of the negligence?
We always make urgent requests for interim payments to help our clients. Often the Insurers or Trusts will try to delay making these even where they accept responsibility for their negligence. We fight hard to get interim payments for our clients as quickly as possible.
What about other expenses I have had?
You may also have additional prescription or other medical costs as well as travelling expenses and the cost of helping with your recovery. These can all be recovered within your claim. Sometimes the cost of care needed following negligence is significant and can be for a long period of time. We will assess your case and discuss this with you.
What will it cost me to make a claim?
Because we understand that our clients may not be able to pay for legal costs up front, we usually give our clients the option of a conditional fee or “no win no fee” agreement. That means that we will do all the necessary work and will only be paid if the case if successful. Sometimes, that means that we will do a lot of work on cases where we do not end up being paid.
If we do win the case but, cannot recover all our fees, we ask clients to pay for some of our fees from their compensation. Some firms call this a success fee. We always agree to limit any charges to our clients to a maximum of 25% of their compensation. Often it is less than this as most of our fees are paid by the negligent parties’ insurance company. It will never, ever be higher than that. Remember, if we are running your case, we run the risk that we will not be paid for that work and we have agreed in advance that we will not charge you if that happens.
The CFA does not cover the cost of medical reports and other expenses, so we always investigate the possibility of the legal expenses part of your household insurance covering these for you. If you do not have any insurance that will help you, we can arrange for a policy which you pay for at the conclusion of your case. If you do not win your case the policy even pays for the cost of the insurance premium so that you are not taking a risk of losing and having to pay any money for legal costs