If you have suffered injury because of the actions of a medical professional then you may be able to recover compensation for medical negligence.
You may be aware that medical (clinical negligence) costs are expensive but what is a medical negligence claim and how can you protect yourself from a potentially expensive legal bill?
What is a medical negligence claim?
To summarize a complicated position, medical negligence happened if the medical professional responsible for you, fails to treat you to an acceptable standard, or doesn’t treat you at all when he should have done and you suffer injury as a result. Treating professionals can include a hospital surgeon, a nurse, your gp, your dentist or any other medical person who is treating you for your illness or injury.
Medical negligence itself can stem from a doctor failing to diagnose properly leading to the wrong course of treatment, errors made during surgical procedures, improperly maintained or dirty equipment or a failure to advise about the full consequences of a given course of treatment, to name but a few. It can also extend to birth defects caused by improper or incorrect care given during pregnancy or labour. It is possible to show negligence for incidents years ago if a connection can be shown between that negligent treatment then and the resulting damage. In a recent case for example, it was established that a stroke suffered had been caused by a negligent failure, 14 years earlier, to diagnose rheumatic fever and prescribe a continuing course of penicillin.
Other examples of medical negligence include failure to refer a child to hospital leading to permanent brain damage and a specialist groin surgeon who had in a moment of carelessness, trapped a nerve with a nylon suture with the result that the patient suffered serious pain that would continue into the foreseeable future. Medical negligence comes in many and varied forms.
Why do medical negligence claims cost so much and how can I protect myself against those costs?
This is a very complicated area of law and costly to pursue. Medical evidence is needed from another specialist in the area to advise whether the treatment was negligent and the costs of that, obtaining medical notes, and your own legal costs can mount up very quickly as can your opponents. If you have to meet the costs of the health authority or health professional in addition, you can be looking at many thousands of pounds.
Most cases of medical negligence are brought using what is known as a no win no fee agreement which allows you to pursue a claim for compensation without paying legal costs. Many specialist medical negligence solicitors offer these and alongside the claim take out what is known as an after the event insurance policy to cover you in the event of your claim failing and your being met with a legal bill from your opponent.
What your solicitor will need.
Your solicitor will need to see all of the information which relates to your potential claim and may need to see your medical records to assess the viability of the claim. He may make these initial checks without charging you, but you need to check the position with him. If the solicitor feels that you have reasonable prospects of success in your claim, he will offer you a no win no fee agreement.
First4Lawyers retain an expert panel of specialist medical negligence solicitors who will be prepared to advise you on your potential claim. You should contact First4Lawyers today.
Start Your Claim
First4Lawyers retain a specialist panel of experienced no win no fee solicitors. To find out if you can make a no win no fee claim, call us now on 0800 567 7866 or request a call back for free advice. If you wish to leave more details about your claim, then fill out our Online Claim Form and one of our specialist advisors will telephone you without obligation to discuss your claim further.