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Medical Negligence Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claim Lawyers

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Thousands of medical negligence compensation claims are initiated every year in the United Kingdom by personal injury solicitors on behalf of people from all walks of life. A multitude of operations and procedures are executed successfully however a small percentage do go wrong, laying the grounds for medical negligence solicitors to take legal action in order to claim compensation for personal injury. Both legal aid and the no win no fee scheme are available to pursue clinical compensation claims. Our solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable to the medical negligence solicitor unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Healthcare practitioners, which include consultants, doctors, dentists, nurses and technicians are not judged by absolute standards but are compared to others in the same area of practice. A doctor will not be held to be negligent simply because treatment failed if a substantial body of other doctors would have acted in the same manner provided that the treatment offered was logical. Medical negligence solicitors acting on behalf of a claimant will attempt to prove that the treatment fell short of that offered by other qualified healthcare professionals working in the same area of medicine.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Personal Injury Compensation Claim

Surgery has the highest incidence of clinical negligence whilst gynaecology and obstetrics account for almost half of all medical negligence compensation claims. Damages awarded to a claimant for negligence includes pain and suffering, loss of income and the cost of personal care together with all manner of other reasonably incurred expenses. The value of pain and suffering is assessed by a judge with reference to the extent of the medical injury, the recovery time and whether or not there are any long term symptoms. In reaching a decision on the amount of compensation to award in a personal injury compensation claim, a judge will consider representations put forward by medical negligence solicitors acting on behalf of both the claimant and the defendant, based on awards in previously decided cases, tempered by government guidelines and personal previous experience as a practising solicitor or barrister.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Negligence Compensation Awards

Compensation for negligence is awarded in several categories which for the sake of convenience are divided into three main groups by medical negligence solicitors :-

    General Damages represents compensation for items that medical negligence solicitors can calculate with a degree of mathematical certainty by applying known figures and accurate projections for the future that do not rely in the main on assessment. These items are usually proven by production of invoices, estimates, books and records and include the following items :-

    • loss of past wages plus salary estimated in the future
    • loss and damage to personal property including vehicles
    • the cost of future care
    • medical expenses including mechanical equipment and property alterations
    • expenses incurred in running the claim

    Special Damages is compensation for items that cannot be calculated with accuracy. This means that these items must be assessed by a judge following representations put forward by medical negligence solicitors for both parties. The judge must make an estimation which is based on case law, personal experience in the courts and guidelines published by the 'Judicial Studies Board'. Items which may need assessment include :-

    • pain and suffering
    • loss of amenity and lifestyle
    • loss of opportunity on the job market

    Interest is calculated separately and differently for general damages and special damages. The figure calculated for interest is added on to the overall award.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Limitation Period - Time Limits

There are time limits for court action applicable in all personal injury negligence cases and in medical negligence solicitors compensation claims the basic limitation period for negligence is three years. This means that legal action for a financial award to compensate for personal injury and loss in a medical claim must be settled or proceedings must have been issued, in a court of law within three years of the negligent act that caused the injury or within three years of the injury being discovered provided that the injured person acted with reasonable diligence when the first symptoms arose. This can mean that action may, on occasions be started many years after the medical incident, as time does not usually start running until there has been a positive diagnosis by a medical expert. There are exceptions to this general rule for those under the age of 18 years and for the mentally incapacitated. In addition judges have unfettered discretion which they rarely exercise. If you are uncertain about time limits you should take urgent advice from a qualified medical negligence solicitor. Failure to comply with the time limits may mean that the opportunity to claim compensation may be lost forever.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Bolam v Friern 1957

This is the leading case in medical negligence law that sets out the rules for establishing and defining what is a ‘reasonable standard of care’ and is known as the 'Bolam test'. In a nutshell there will be no medical negligence if a doctor or other healthcare professional reaches the standard of a responsible body of medical opinion. To show negligence there are in fact four stages, all of which must be satisfied and the Bolam test is just one of them. It is necessary to show that there was a duty of care owed by the healthcare professional to the patient which is always the case in a doctor/patient relationship, that the duty of care has been breached by the standard of care falling below that which is acceptable (determined by the Bolam test), that the medical negligence caused the injury and that the injury was not to remote, in other words that it could be predicted. The practical effect of this case is that a doctor will not be found to be negligent if a substantial body of medical practitioners support the treatment given, even though it may have failed whereas other alternative treatment may have succeeded. This principle has been further modified following the case of ‘Bolitho’ which entitles a judge to reject a defence to a claim for negligence on the basis that the treatment was ‘logically indefensible’ notwithstanding that a body of medical practitioners may have supported it. Therefore in order to provide a defence for alleged negligence the treatment must not only be supported by a body of the healthcare professional peers but must also be logical.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Legal Aid

In addition to dealing with cases using the no win no fee scheme our solicitors are also authorised for public funding using legal Aid which is available for a solicitor to pursue a medical negligence compensation claim. Public funding is means tested however only the applicants own assets and income are considered which means that in addition to eligible adults, almost all children will qualify. Only lawyers who are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority specialist clinical negligence panel are allowed to represent clients using public funding which represents less than 1% of solicitors in practice in the UK. Most UK lawyers will also consider use of the no win no fee scheme to pursue legal action however most medical negligence solicitors will expect the client to pay for disbursements and expenses as the claim proceeds whilst themselves covering the cost of the legal work necessarily expended. This means that no win no fee compensation claims for clinical negligence are often not risk free.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095

Solicitors Legal Advice

Most specialist medical negligence solicitors will give very substantive free advice to establish whether or not you may have a claim that is worth pursuing. If a clinical negligence solicitor won't give free advice or limits it to a half hour then just move on to a solicitor who will. The fact is that a successful medical claim can be worth tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees to a lawyer, paid by the losing side or their insurers and there are many times when a clinical negligence solicitor just has to make those initial enquiries on a free, pro bono basis if he wants to find the viable claims. Don't rely on what you read here or on other websites when you can get free qualified advice for the cost of a phone call.

HELPLINE 0844 332 0095