We all rely on doctors and other medical professionals to take care of us when we need them, but when a mistake is made it can have a devastating effect on your life. Being able to claim compensation can then be essential to allowing you to deal with the consequences of a medical mistake and start rebuilding your life.
Chattertons’ team of medical negligence solicitors have extensive experience supporting people with a wide range of medical negligence claims. We offer caring but practical advice and guidance designed to make the process of pursuing a medical negligence claim as simple and stress-free as possible.
All of our medical negligence specialists are senior solicitors and we have access to trusted medical experts throughout the UK. We can provide a free initial assessment to establish the strength of your claim and advise you how much compensation you may be able to win and how we can help you proceed. We can also discuss how to fund your claim, including the option of a “No Win, No Fee” agreement.
Our medical negligence solicitors have successfully represented clients in a wide variety of claims including:
- Mistakes during surgery or aftercare (both private and NHS treatment)
- GP and Community Health (including misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis)
- Birth and pregnancy-related claims including fatalities
- Avoidable fatalities (including representation at Inquests)
- Accident and emergency treatment
- Cancer misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or treatment
- Cauda equina spinal injuries
- Dental claims
- Eye injuries (including laser surgery)
- Cosmetic surgery
- Hospital infections
- Product liability claims including the side-effects of medicines
Medical or clinical negligence claims are complex and you should always take advice from a specialist clinical negligence solicitor before starting a claim. There are strict time limits for bringing a claim depending on the circumstances, so it is recommended you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible after a medical mistake happens to ensure you have the best chance of making a successful claim.
Clients often ask us……
What counts as medical negligence?
Even where a medical mistake has occurred, it will not necessarily automatically count as medical negligence. Proving that a clinical mistake was due to negligence can be complicated and is key to a successful medical negligence claim.
All members of the medical profession – including doctors, nurses and dentists – have a legal duty to ensure patients are treated with appropriate care and skill. For a successful claim, it must be shown that the medical professionals in your case behaved in a way no other reasonably competent medical professionals would have.
What is the time limit for bringing a clinical negligence claim?
There are strict time limits for medical negligence claims. Generally speaking, court proceedings must be started within 3 years from the date when a medical mistake occurred or when you first realised that a mistake might have been made.
This is not always easy to determine. It could be the date when an operation went badly wrong, or it could be much later when another doctor picks up on a mistake. It is always best to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to bring a claim.
In cases involving children, the 3-year time limit does not come into effect until they turn 18, meaning they will have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim. If the medical negligence left someone without the capacity to bring a claim on their own behalf, e.g. if they were left in a coma, there is no time limit for bringing a claim, unless they later regain capacity. If they regain capacity, the 3-year time limit will be counted from that time.
How does a “No Win, No Fee” medical negligence claim work?
Provided that your claim has reasonable prospects of success, there are two main funding options available:
An existing insurance policy – Many people already have insurance that will cover legal costs, for example this is often included with home insurance policies.
A Conditional Fee Agreement (i.e. "No Win, No Fee") – This means you pay nothing up front and we will only charge you if your claim is successful. Our fee will be based on a percentage of the settlement we win for you, giving us an extra incentive to get the best result possible for you.
We can also arrange specialist insurance to cover your medical experts’ fees and the risk of having to pay your opponent’s legal costs in case your claim is unsuccessful. With this type of insurance, you will not pay a penny if your claim is unsuccessful.
Contact our medical negligence solicitors
For a free initial assessment and to find out whether we can offer a Conditional Fee Agreement in your case, please get in touch with your local Chattertons office or use our contact form to request a call back.