Medical Negligence FAQs
Medical negligence claims are often complex. These FAQs supplement the other information pages about the types of injuries, time limits, and pursuing/funding claims.
1. Who Will I Speak To If I Make An Enquiry About My Treatment?
2. What Happens After The Initial Telephone Enquiry?
3. Who Will Handle My Case?
4. Are There Time Limits To Pursue A Medical Negligence Claim?
5. How Long Do Medical Negligence Cases Take?
6. How Regularly Will I Be Updated About My Claim?
7. How Do You “Win” A Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
8. How Do You Prove Sub-Standard Medical Care Was Provided?
9. What Is The NHS Complaints Procedure?
10. What is the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Clinical Disputes?
11. Will Your Medical Negligence Claim Go To Trial At Court?
12. How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
13. When Will I Receive Compensation?
14. Will I Receive All Of My Compensation?
15. What Are Legal Costs?
16. What Are No Win No Fee Agreements?
17. What Is A Success Fee?
18. How Is The Success Fee Calculated?
19. Why Do I Need Insurance?
20. Who Pays For The Insurance?
21. Who Obtains The Insurance?
22. Where Can I Find Out More Information About Funding My Case?
23. Can You Help Obtain Specialist Rehabilitation And Care Treatment?
24. Can You Provide Advice On How Compensation Might Affect Benefits?
Our expert clinical negligence lawyers will speak with you directly by telephone.
We do not employ paralegals to field new client enquiries like other medical negligence solicitors firms because we believe you deserve to speak to a solicitor straight away to get an honest and straight-forward opinion as to whether there is a case for compensation.Our clients like the consistency that this provides because the lawyer taking the first call will often handle the case to settlement.
We will speak with you by telephone first and if we think we can help you we will either invite you to our Leeds office to meet us or visit you at your home.
One important aspect of setting up a new medical negligence investigation is funding and we will discuss this with you at this first meeting.There are different ways that these cases can be funded; click for more information.
Our qualified medical negligence solicitors will investigate your case.
We believe that sensitive medical negligence claims require a qualified and experienced solicitor from start to finish.Your case will not be handled by paralegals or unqualified junior staff.From the first enquiry to the conclusion of your case you will have a solicitor to support and fully advise you.
Our lawyers are “top-ranked” for clinical negligence work, according to Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, and have AvMa and Law Society accreditations for specialist medical negligence work. Click to read about the full team.
Yes, there are set time limits in which to pursue a clinical negligence case. Click for our dedicated page on Time Limits and Statutory limitation periods.
The length of a medical negligence claim depends on the type of injury sustained.
Cases involving children, for example, may take considerable time, in the region of years, particularly if we need to assess how they develop, as they get older. We have dedicated information pages on NHS compensation claims for children found by clicking on “Our Services” on our Homepage.
Cases involving injuries to adults can often settle more quickly than child claims but this is again dependent on the type of injury sustained.Generally, the more complex the injury, the longer the time required to conclude the case.
Our clients are very important to us. We take time to meet with them and discuss what they want to achieve from investigating medical negligence at the outset and, as part of this, agree the level of contact and involvement they want.
Some clients are keen to be actively involved with their case whereas others ask us to liaise with their family members because it is too upsetting for them.Each case is different so we will agree a contact plan with you at the start.
To succeed with a medical negligence claim you will need to prove that the care you received fell below a reasonable standard and this poor or lack of care led to you suffering an avoidable injury that has caused you to suffer losses. Click for more information about the legal tests to overcome to “win” your case.
We instruct leading independent medical experts to report on the care provided.
Independent experts assess the standard of medical care provided and if this has fallen below a reasonable standard, whether this has led to an avoidable injury.
If you feel you have received substandard medical care you can lodge a formal complaint with the Hospital and ask them to investigate what has happened.An NHS Complaint Response is often very helpful for our team to assess your case.
The Courts in England and Wales encourage parties to try and resolve medical negligence disputes without the need for Court involvement.The Pre-Action Protocol sets out a series of steps that the parties should take to help with this.
First, the Defendant should provide copies of a patient’s medical records in a timely manner so that the Claimant (you) can investigate what has happened.It is likely that we will then instruct independent medical experts to report on the standard of care you have received and, if they are critical about this, we will proceed to serve the Defendant with a formal Letter of Claim.The Defendant has 4 months, under the Pre-Action Protocol, to investigate allegations of poor care within the Letter of Claim and send a formal reply called the Letter of Response.
If the Defendant disputes liability and we disagree with their reasons, the Claimant can then Issue the Claim at Court because they have fully explored the possibility of early resolution of the dispute through the Pre-Action Protocol.
Every clinical negligence claim has the potential to go to Court and specifically to a trial but the majority of cases we deal with settle before or “Out of Court”.
If your case does go to trial we have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process and will be with you each step of the way.
The amount of compensation is determined by the severity of any avoidable injury caused by sub-standard medical care and how this impacts on your life.
If the Defendant health care provider admits substandard medical care caused or led to an injury and loss, or a Court itself finds fault at trial, the case will then focus on how much compensation should be paid.Once this is agreed, compensation is usually paid out to you.
If, however, the negligence case involves a child or there is a pressing need for financial support (to pay for care or treatment needs, for example) an interim payment of damages can be requested from the Defendant at an earlier stage in the litigation following a full admission of liability for sub-standard medical care.
If your claim is pursued through a No Win No Fee Agreement you will receive the majority of your compensation but you pay a success fee (point 17 below).
Claimants funding their cases through Before the Event Insurance, Private Funding, Trade Union membership or Legal Aid should receive the bulk of their compensation and do not pay any success fee. Click for more information.
The time we spend investigating and pursuing your case.
If a client has no insurance or no other way to fund a medical negligence investigation we can offer a No Win No Fee Agreement.This type of Agreement means that we will only be paid our legal costs if the claim succeeds; if the case is unsuccessful, we will not be paid anything.To reflect the risk that we might not get paid for the legal work we do, we charge a Success Fee if the case succeeds.
If your case succeeds, you pay the success fee and the Defendant pays your legal costs.If your claim is unsuccessful, you pay nothing.
In 2013 the Government introduced a new rule that if a Claimant wins their case under a No Win No Fee Agreement they pay their solicitor a small proportion of their compensation to reflect the risk that if the case is not successful the solicitor is paid nothing.Before April 2013, the Defendant paid this success fee.
Compensation (or damages) is split into different categories.The success fee is capped at 25% of General Damages and Past Losses.It excludes Future Losses.
Here is an example with the two key success fee rules:
- Mr A receives £100,000 in compensation as a result of sub-standard care during a surgical procedure leaving him unable to return to work.
He receives the following damages:
- General Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £20,000
- Past Losses for loss of earnings, expenses and family care: £10,000
- Future Losses for predicted loss of earnings and care needs: £70,000
The total success fee here is 25% of £30,000 amounting to £7,500
- The success can never be more than 100% of legal costs.
- General Damages for Mr B’s pain, suffering and loss of amenity: £45,000
- Past Losses for his loss of earnings, expenses and family care: £35,000
- Future losses for loss of dependency on Mr B: £15,000
The success fee is 25% of £80,000 amounting to £20,000; however, legal costs are £17,500 so the success fee is reduced to £17,500 (incl VAT)
We recommend that clients pursuing medical negligence claims with a No Win No Fee Agreement have an After the Event insurance policy in place.This insurance protects you in the event that the claim is unsuccessful and covers disbursements and, if the claim proceeds to Court, the Defendant’s legal costs.
Disbursements include, for example, the cost of obtaining your medical records, independent expert medical reports and Court fees.We usually fund these for you during your litigation although sometimes clients will pay for some of these.
In UK litigation, the unsuccessful party pays the winning parties costs.If cases proceed beyond the Pre-Action Protocol, it is essential that Claimants have insurance protection against this risk.
You will not pay anything for the After the Event insurance unless your claim is successful, in which case, you will pay the insurance premium cost at the end of the claim. This insurance is usually only needed with No Win No Fee funding.
We can obtain competitive insurance on your behalf from a reputable insurer and do not receive any fee for doing so.
Funding a medical negligence investigation is set up at the start of any case.Our team will carefully assess the different funding options available for you (for example, young children may be entitled to legal aid agency public funding) and discuss these in straight-forward language so that they are fully understood.
We have a dedicated page on pursuing and funding claims found here, otherwise, speak direct to our leading solicitors today for more information.
Yes, this is often investigated in relation to medical negligence claims and we have long-established relationships with the leading experts in these areas.
Yes, speak to our solicitors about this.