Our team of medical negligence specialists are experienced in acting for patients and their families in respect of treatment received in the NHS or private healthcare sector.
We understand the devastating effects of having suffered a worsened medical condition, or experienced the loss of a loved one, as a result of problems with medical treatment.
We believe in the principles of the NHS and the need for adequate standards of healthcare. These should be maintained in both the NHS and private medical settings.
When something has gone wrong, we support the patient, or their family, through the process of bringing a claim in order to obtain much needed compensation. Our expertise in medical negligence is recognised by the legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
If you or a family member has suffered an unexpectedly poor outcome following medical treatment, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
Situations in which we often assist
Some of the common ways in which treatment can fall below an acceptable standard include:
- Failure to listen to the patient or do a proper examination
- Delay in diagnosing a serious condition
- Misdiagnosing the patient’s condition
- Failure to do necessary diagnostic tests
- Misreporting test results
- Failure to act appropriately on test results or provide the correct treatment
- Errors during surgery
- Failure to monitor a patient adequately or to act on signs of deterioration
- Failure to obtain informed consent
Your case will be investigated by our specialist lawyers, led by a partner. This usually involves working with experienced medical experts to prove that negligent medical care worsened your condition or caused you injury.
We also calculate the funds required to put in place a package of high quality care and support, to meet your individual needs going forwards. Compensation can also be claimed for losses, such as lost earnings or pension.
For further information about the compensation we have secured for clients in medical negligence claims, see cases we have acted in.
In cases in which someone has died, funds can be claimed to compensate their dependants for the support which they would otherwise have received from the deceased. For information regarding bringing a claim in connection with someone’s death, see our Death and Fatal Accidents page.
HOSPITAL AND GP NEGLIGENCE FAQS
How long do I have to bring the claim?
There are strict time limits for bringing a negligence claim for injury in England and Wales. This is called the limitation period.
For adults, the usual rule is that a claim must be formally started at Court within three years of the date the negligence occurred, or of the date on which the injured person should reasonably have been aware that there might be grounds to bring a claim (if that date is later).
If a child is injured by negligence, they usually have until their 21st birthday to formally start their claim at Court.
Where a claim relates to someone’s death, the claim should be started at Court within three years from the date of death or from the ‘date of knowledge’ (if that is later).
There are circumstances in which the rules differ; for example, where the claim is for someone who does not have mental capacity to bring a legal claim.
It takes time to investigate a claim, so you should contact us as soon as possible.
Can I bring a claim on behalf of a child or a family member who is not able to do it themselves?
If a claim relates to injuries suffered by a child or an adult who does not have ‘mental capacity’; a family member (or other trusted person) can act as a ‘Litigation Friend’ and bring the claim on their behalf.
If you are unsure about whether you can bring a claim on someone else’s behalf, we will be able to advise you.
Can claims be brought in relation to private and NHS medical treatment?
Yes. Where treatment was provided through the NHS, the claim is usually brought against the responsible NHS organisation (such as the Hospital Trust or Primary Care Trust).
Where the treatment was privately funded, the claim is often brought directly against the private hospital, or the private medical practitioner, that provided the treatment. Hospitals and private practitioners are typically insured or indemnified for negligence claims.
What is the process for bringing a claim?
We start by obtaining evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and expert evidence to prove that your condition was worsened by medical negligence.
We also calculate the amount of compensation that can be claimed. Typically this involves instructing experienced experts to advise on the additional needs which you now have because of the negligence, in order to maximise the level of compensation. We then try to reach a financial settlement with the Defendant (the individual or organisation legally responsible for the injury) or their insurer.
In some cases settlement is agreed at an early stage. In other circumstances, it may be necessary to begin Court proceedings.
For further information on this process, read Our Guide to Making a Claim.
Will my case be decided by the Court?
Probably not. The vast majority of medical negligence claims are not decided by the Court.
Successful claims are usually resolved by agreement of a settlement either before or during formal Court proceedings.
Occasionally, the Court will decide a case, if it cannot be resolved any other way.
How is the amount of compensation decided?
We will tailor the compensation claimed to meet your needs.
The first step is to consider how the deterioration in your medical condition has affected your life and whether that will change in the future. We then calculate the amount of funds required to meet your additional needs and compensate you. Depending upon your circumstances, this may include funds for:
- Private care
- Private therapies and medical care
- Specialist equipment and vehicles
- Adapted accommodation
- Support with education and work (if that is possible for you)
- Compensation for loss of earnings and pension
- Compensation for losses in self-employment
We regularly use leading experts and barristers to assist in identifying all aspects of an injured person’s needs.
Where someone has died, the compensation primarily relates to compensating the deceased’s dependents for the financial and/or practical support which they would otherwise have received from the deceased.
I am already struggling with the effects of negligent treatment. Will it take a long time before my case is concluded?
Medical negligence claims typically involve detailed investigation and expert evidence. Therefore, they often take several years to resolve.
Our approach is to seek an admission of liability (i.e. that negligence occurred and caused injury) as early as possible in the process.
When liability is established, the Defendant usually has to pay part of the compensation immediately. This allows your needs to begin to be met while the work to quantify the full amount of compensation continues.
How do I access my medical records?
Medical records are usually the starting point for our investigation of a claim. With your permission; we request these records directly from the treatment provider(s).
Our clients sometimes wish to obtain copies of the records themselves before deciding whether to begin a claim. Please see our Guide to Accessing Medical Records for further information on how to request records.
Other organisations and resources that may help
- AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents)
- GMC (General Medical Council)
- NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council)
- Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
- APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers)
Partner and Head of Department