Do I have a Medical Negligence or Personal Injury case?

"The ‘confident and efficient’ team is ‘extremely experienced in handling high-value and complex cases’" Legal 500 UK

Answering the following questions can help you to consider whether you, or a loved one, could bring a claim for personal injury or medical negligence.
 

Please note, however, that there may  be reasons why a claim would succeed that are difficult for a non-lawyer to see.  There may also be other legal remedies which could assist you. We would need to investigate the case, in order to know for certain whether it has a good chance of succeeding.

If you wish to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim, please contact us.

Have you or a member of your family been injured in an accident or experienced an unexpectedly poor outcome from medical treatment?

Anyone who has been injured or has suffered deterioration in their health, as a result of negligence, may be able to bring a claim. Some examples include a person who:

  • is injured in an accident that was not their fault
  • suffers a worsening of their medical condition or an injury because of substandard medical treatment
  • is not diagnosed with a medical condition as soon as they should be (or is incorrectly diagnosed)
  • sustains injuries (such as brain damage) during birth
  • experiences failures in antenatal care which meant that  problems with the health of the fetus were not diagnosed (particularly where this would have affected their decision to continue the pregnancy)
  • develops a disease due to someone else’s negligence (such as exposure to harmful substances or diseases in the workplace)

If someone has died as a result of negligence, their Estate and/or dependants may be able to bring a claim in relation to their death.

 

Is the claim for you or someone you know?

You can bring a claim if you have been directly affected by personal injury or medical negligence.

If the claim is for a child (or an adult who lacks ‘mental capacity’) a family member or other trusted person can act as a ‘Litigation Friend’ and bring the claim on their behalf.

If a claim relates to someone’s death, it can be brought by the Executor(s) of the deceased’s Estate.  Alternatively, the claim can be brought by the deceased’s dependant(s), if the Exector(s) has not begun the claim within six months of the death.

 

Is the claim within the time limit?

There are strict time limits for bringing a negligence claim for injury or death in England and Wales. This is called the limitation period. 

  • The usual rule is that a claim must be formally started at Court within three years of the date of the negligence or three years from when the injured person should reasonably have been aware that there might be grounds to bring a claim (if that date is later)
  • If the claim is for a child, they usually have until their 21st birthday for their claim to be formally started at Court
  • If an injured person does not have ‘mental capacity’ to bring the claim themselves, there is usually no time limit.  If they later regain mental capacity, the three year time limit begins to run from that point
  • Claims relating to someone’s death should normally be brought within three years of the date on which they died or within three years of the ‘date of knowledge’ of the person who would benefit from the claim

There may be other types of claim or circumstances in which different time limits apply.  In some rare situations, it may even be possible to argue that a claim should be allowed after the end of the limitation period

It takes time to investigate a claim, so you should contact us as soon as possible.

 

Will the injured person benefit from compensation?

Compensation is intended to put right, as far as possible, the effects of the negligence.  

We understand that no amount of money can undo the impact of a serious injury or illness.  However, compensation which provides an individualised package of care and support can be life enhancing. 

Depending upon the circumstances, compensation may include funds for some or all of the following:

  • Private care
  • Private therapies and medical treatment
  • Specialist equipment and vehicles
  • Adapted accommodation
  • Support with education or work (if that is possible for the injured person)
  • Compensation for loss of earnings and pension
  • Compensation for losses in self-employment

In most cases, if you do not have any on-going effects or significant losses caused by your injury, any compensation you can obtain is likely to be quite limited.

 

Does the claim relate to the death of someone who was supporting family members?

If someone has died as a result of negligence, a claim may be brought to compensate their Estate and any dependant relatives whom they were supporting, either financially or practically. For example, this might include situations in which the deceased had been caring for a child or a disabled relative or where they had been contributing financially to their household.

A limited amount of bereavement damages can also be claimed by the deceased’s spouse, civil partner or long-term co-habiting partner.  If a child dies, these bereavement damages can instead be claimed by the child’s parents. 

A claim may also include damages for funeral expenses and any losses incurred by the deceased between the date of injury and the date of death (if death did not occur immediately).

 

Situations in which we often assist

Our experienced team of solicitors act for clients in a wide range of claims, including cases arising from:

  • Medical negligence (where substandard treatment provided by the NHS or a private healthcare provider has led to a worsening of someone’s medical condition)
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Injuries or diseases caused in the workplace, at school, or in some other place outside the home
  • Accidents on holidays or organised trips (including accidents which occur abroad)
  • Injury claims for members of the Armed Forces
  • Suicide of someone under psychiatric care

When to contact us

Please contact us if you believe that you or a family member may have been affected by personal injury or medical negligence.  We will discuss how we may be able to help.  If you do not want to take things further, there will be no charge.

We support many injured people and families through the process of bringing a claim each year and frequently secure substantial awards of compensation for them. Our specialist expertise is recognised by the legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Find out more about cases we have acted in here.

  “As a family, we are extremely happy with the outcome. [Kingsley Napley] got my sister the best in difficult circumstances.” 

A clinical negligence client

Latest blogs & news

Supporting You In Dealing With Trauma Why Trauma-Informed Lawyering is Crucial

Many people who contact us for advice have experienced life-changing events. Our clients include people who have suffered medical negligence and been involved in cases of sexual abuse. 

North Bristol NHS Trust -v- White: Contempt of Court in a medical negligence claim

In my blog on 21 April 2022, I summarised the decision of the Court in the case of Natasha Colley, a contempt of Court committed by the Claimant’s mother and Litigation Friend. This blog focuses on a further judgment for contempt: North Bristol NHS Trust -v- White. The case concerns a claim for clinical negligence for Cauda Equina Syndrome where the Claimant exaggerated the extent of her injuries.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust -v- Natasha Colley: Contempt of Court

This blog summarises the position when a Defendant submits an application to commit a Claimant’s Litigation Friend for contempt of Court for false statements made in a document verified by a statement of truth.

Cojanu -v- Essex Partnership University NHS Trust: Update on Fundamental Dishonesty

On 2 February 2022 Mr Justice Richie gave Judgment on Cojanu, a clinical negligence claim where the Defendant advanced a defence of fundamental dishonesty.

Requesting Medical Records after a death

Losing a loved one when you think it may be because they received poor medical care is incredibly stressful at a time when family and friends are grieving their loss.  Often, people want to see a written record of the final days of their loved one and what happened to them, or they might want to go through years of records to ascertain whether there was diagnosis that may have been missed, such as cancer.

Ockenden Report: inadequate investigations into deaths of mothers and babies and a culture of silence

Last week the Ockenden report was finally published. A team of Midwives and Doctors, headed by Midwife, Donna Ockenden reviewed the maternity care given to 1,148 families between 2000 – 2019. The report made for shocking reading.

Breast Cancer: The Most Common Cancer in the UK

Breast cancer accounts for almost 15% of all new cancer cases and affects both men and women.  There are an estimated 150 new cases every day.  Sarah Harding’s death earlier this year was a tragic reminder that breast cancer also affects young and premenopausal women.

Brownlie v Four Seasons Group

Today the Supreme Court has handed down its Judgment in this long-running case, and in plain terms, Lady Brownlie has won the Appeal.

Maternity Services in England

On 6 July 2021, the Health and Social Care Committee published its report into maternity care in England. The report looks at maternity care across the country and analyses the progress of the Government so far in its commitments to improving maternity care.

Proposed changes to the Highway Code: will they improve safety for cyclists and other vulnerable road users?

Over the summer, the government suggested changes to the Highway Code to improve road safety for vulnerable road users. If the proposals are approved, they will change how pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are expected to behave on Britain’s roads.

Breaking the Stigma: September is Urology Awareness Month

According to the Urology Foundation, one in two of us will be affected by a urological condition in our lifetime.

World Suicide Prevention Day – how can you get involved?

10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. Each year, on the same date, communities and organisations campaign on a global scale to raise awareness of the tragedy of suicide and explore ways in which we can all help to prevent it.

Who can bring a claim when someone dies?

When a loved one dies, grief is difficult and there can be a lot to deal with.  If someone dies as a result of medical negligence or personal injury, then it’s important to consider who can bring a claim. 

Clarity on costs for consumers of legal services: the guideline hourly rates

Whether the claimant or defendant, successful parties to civil litigation can be disappointed to hear that they are highly unlikely to recover all of their legal spend.  The losing party is only required to pay what is considered reasonable and proportionate.  A key feature in what is recovered is the reasonableness of the hourly rates charged by the successful litigant’s solicitors.

What happens when medics miss a serious heart complaint?

An aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition, requiring early diagnosis and treatment. Sadly, classic symptoms are often misdiagnosed or dismissed, which quickly lead to the patient’s death. We have experience of successfully investigating claims of this nature.

Swift v Carpenter: and another thing…

Much has been said about the 2020 Court of Appeal judgment in Swift dealing with the disputed method by which claims for the cost of special accommodation following severe injuries are calculated, and rightly so; it was a privilege for one of the authors of this article to work on a case of such wide application and with such benefit for so many Claimants. 

Case note: Malik -v- St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The recent decision in the case of Malik -v- St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a further example of this approach.  Mr Malik required emergency spinal surgery in the form of a laminectomy and discectomy at T10/11.  No criticism was made of the performance of the surgery.  Post-operatively Mr Malik experienced ongoing numbness and weakness in his left leg.  His surgeon recommended further revision decompression surgery which unfortunately left Mr Malik with an incomplete paraparesis.  He was classified as a T7 ASIA D paraplegic.

The National Disability Strategy: the most comprehensive, concerted, cross-government plan ever. Is it really?

On the 28 July 2021, the Government unveiled the highly anticipated National Disability Strategy (‘the strategy’). Pledged in the Government’s 2019 manifesto, the aim is to “improve the everyday lives of disabled people”. The Prime Minister described the strategy as the most comprehensive, concerted, cross-government plan relating to disability ever. A bold claim, but is it justified?

When is the right time to question a medical decision?

Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie, celebrated author and feminist talks in Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail Podcast about the death of her father, and then her mother, 9 months later. Adichie speaks very eloquently about the many emotions that grief provokes.

Group B Streptococcus Awareness Month 2021

July is International Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Awareness Month. As medical negligence specialists at Kingsley Napley, we have acted for many families who have been affected due to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of a GBS infection.

 

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility