Medical Negligence FAQs
Please click the 'Read our FAQs' button to browse through our full list of frequently asked questions around Medical Negligence.
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What is the difference between medical negligence and clinical negligence?There is no difference between medical negligence and clinical negligence. Both relate to the observation, examination and treatment of patients, as opposed to theoretical work.
What is the difference between a personal injury claim any medical negligence claim?A medical negligence claim is a claim that is brought against health professionals, where they have failed in their duty of care to a patient and, as a consequence of that failure, the patient has suffered some harm or injury.
A personal injury claim is one that (with limited exceptions) does not rise out of some failure by a health professional.
Against who can a medical negligence claim be brought?A medical negligence claim may be made against hospitals, GPs, dentists and other health providers, whether working in the NHS or in a private hospital or other setting.
My treatment was not provided by the NHS. Can I still bring a claim for medical negligence?Yes. A medical negligence claim can be brought against any health professional, or the organisation they work for, irrespective of whether your treatment was provided by the NHS or by a private healthcare provider.
If I am concerned about my treatment should I bring a claim for compensation?Whether you bring a claim for compensation arising out of the treatment you have received, is a personal decision. However, it may be that your concerns can be resolved by speaking to those you are receiving treatment from, or one of their colleagues.
You have the right to make a complaint about your care, treatment or service and the NHS, particularly, encourages feedback, to improve their own standards. A benefit of raising concerns with the health professional promplty may result in the issue being resolved quickly.
It may be that you would like some help in bringing your concerns to the attention of the health professional. In the NHS you will find a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in many hospitals. You can speak to someone in PALS and they will endeavour to help you resolve the problem.
If speaking to someone doesn't resolve your concern, or that you'd prefer not to speak to someone, you can complain about your treatment. If you prefer to write about your complaint your letter should be addressed to the Chief Executive of the hospital, or senior manager in other medical environments. Your written complaint will be acknowledged within three working days in the NHS, following which an investigation into your complaint will be carried out.
There is not a specific period within which complaints should be resolved, because the nature and complexity of the issue will vary. However, you should be given a timescale and kept informed of developments, by those investigating your complaint.
Depending upon the nature of the complaint you may be invited for a meeting, to discuss the outcome of investigation, with the discussion followed up in writing. Alternatively, you will receive a written response to your complaint.
Do I have to make a complaint before making a claim for medical negligence compensation?No. You do not have to make a complaint before making a claim for medical negligence compensation. If you want to make a claim for medical negligence compensation it is important to speak to an experienced medical negligence solicitor. They will be able to advise you on whether there is a benefit to making a formal, written, complaint before making your claim for compensation, or proceeding directly with a claim for compensation.
Is there a time limit for making a complaint?No, but the sooner you make a complaint, or begin the process for making a claim for medical negligence compensation, the better. If you're concerned about your treatment then you should make a complaint promptly, as your recollection of events will be fresh in your mind. The longer you leave the complaint, the likelihood is that your recollection of events will fade. Additionally, if a complaint is made long after the treatment or care was provided, the investigation by the health care organisation may take longer because individuals may no longer work where you received your treatment or care.
Is there a time limit for making a claim for compensation?There is a 3 year time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim. This time period begins to run from either the date of the negligent treatment or care, or the date that you first knew or could realistically have been expected to know that your injuries have been caused due to the treatment you received.
In the case of children, the 3 year time limit does not run until the child reaches age 18. Therefore, children can bring a claim, in their own right, up to the 21st birthday. However, whether an adult or child (through the parent) brings a claim for compensation, it is sensible to seek legal advice and bring a claim as soon as possible. Aside from the fact that the sooner the claim is made the sooner compensation can be obtained, there is the practical benefit of ensuring that full details about the failings of the healthcare provider can be given to the solicitor before evidence is lost.
The longer the delay, the greater the risk of memories fading an important detail being forgotten. There is also the risk of witnesses moving on and cannot be traced.
What information will the solicitor want?The solicitor will want a full account of your treatment and what you say went wrong. If you have any letters from your healthcare provider that relate to your care, this solicitor will want to see these. Importantly, if you have already made a complaint, the medical negligence solicitor will want to see your letter of complaint to the healthcare provider and the response to the complaint. If you have any documents about treatment they too will be useful.
What kind of medical negligence compensation claims IBB Claims help with?
IBB Claims are experienced in dealing with a range of medical negligence scenarios and listed below are the range of cases that we are experienced in dealing with.
- Delayed Treatment
- Reproductive organs
If my claim is successful, what will the compensation be for?Clinical negligence compensation is made up of financial and non-financial losses and expenses. One element of compensation will cover the pain, suffering and inability to do the things in life you would be able to do but for the injury.
Financial losses may include lost wages and salary arising out of the inability to work, because of treatment not going as planned. In more serious cases, there may be a claim for private medical treatment.
How much compensation when I get?There is no set amount as each case is determined on its own facts. It always depends upon the nature, extent and severity of the injury sustained, as well as the consequences for the person injured. Therefore, depending upon the nature of the harm suffered the compensation can vary from a few £1000 to millions of pounds. Compensation in excess of £1 million will be made where the clinical negligence has a lifelong impact upon the patient.
I cannot afford legal fees. Can I still bring a claim?Legal aid is available for children, in limited circumstances, and therefore the vast majority of claims are brought under what is known as a "no-win, no fee" agreement. This means the medical negligence solicitor takes the risk, as the solicitor will only get paid if they succeed on your behalf.
If they do not win, for you, they do not get paid. The medical negligence solicitor can also ensure that you do not have to worry about paying the other side's legal fees if you lose. Therefore, you can bring a claim with peace of mind, knowing that if it is unsuccessful you will not have to pay any legal fees, either to your own solicitor, or to your opponent.
How long will my case take?Each claim is different. Therefore, there is not a specific timescale to settling a claim for compensation. It is frequently the case that the more serious the injury the longer the claim will take. This is not because of the legal process, but because it is important to understand the full effects of the injury and often this can only be determined after treatment and rehabilitation, perhaps around two years following the negligence by the healthcare provider.
I am not sure if I want to bring a claim. Can I have a free conversation?Yes. Email or telephone us on 03331239099 and we will be pleased to listen and learn about your healthcare experience. We will then be able to tell you your chances of bringing a successful claim for medical negligence compensation.