When we go into hospital or go to see a GP or dentist, we put our trust into the hands of people who are, in the vast majority of cases, competent and professional.
But sadly, a medical diagnosis, a surgical procedure or a hospital treatment can go wrong due to the lack of judgement or the incompetence of a doctor, surgeon or other healthcare provider.
The effects of medical negligence can be catastrophic and life changing, completely eradicating your trust in the medical profession.
It is important to instruct a specialist solicitor who has experience in dealing with medical negligence claims as the law and procedure can be complex.
We have experience of dealing with the following claim types:
- Missed fractures
- Gynaecological injuries
- Birth defects
- Dental claims
- Misdiagnosis of cancer
- Orthopaedic injuries
- Hospital injuries
- Negligent prescription of medication
In order to start investigating whether you have a valid claim, we are very happy to meet with you, either in our Plymouth office or at a place convenient to you if you are too unwell to travel. Our initial meeting is free and you have no obligation to proceed.
The medical negligence claim process
Once we have taken initial details from you, we will begin our investigations. This often starts by us sending a letter of complaint to the hospital or healthcare professional seeking their initial response to your complaint.
In all medical negligence claims we have to prove that there has been a breach of the duty of care owed to you and that the breach has caused an injury.
Often, we can only assess if the duty of care has been breached and an injury has resulted, by seeking an independent medical expert opinion. In order to obtain a report, we will need to obtain all of your relevant medical records so that the expert can fully assess your case. It is common to require two or more reports in a medical negligence case.
If we are able to obtain supportive expert evidence, and we can prove that the duty owed has been breached and that breach has caused your injury, we will write a formal Letter of Claim. We will then await the response of the healthcare provider. We typically have to allow four months for their response to allow them sufficient time to investigate the circumstances.
Depending on their response, and on the basis that the claim continues to have reasonable prospects of success, we may have to advise you to issue Court proceedings. If your claim is issued, this means that the Court takes over management of the timetable of events which may ultimately lead to a Court hearing.
It is not typical for a medical negligence claim to have to go to a Court hearing, may cases settle out of Court. However, occasionally, we may need to rely on a Judge to assess all or part of the claim.
A medical negligence claim can take a few years to conclude, the length of time the claim will takes very much depends on the complexity of the issues or the injuries involved. We will keep you regularly updated on the progress of your claim. At certain stages, you may feel like not much is happening. This may be because we are waiting for a response from the healthcare provider or we are awaiting evidence from our experts. The claim process can be frustrating, but we will do our best to make it as simple and as stress free for you as possible.
For information on funding your claim and how compensation is assessed, please go to our Your Claim section of the website.
Feel free to contact us to arrange a no obligation free initial meeting where we can discuss your potential claim with you.