How Long Does a Medical Negligence Claim Take

How Long Does a Medical Negligence Claim Take

Medical negligence claims vary in complexity and therefore the length of time taken to settle them also varies.  With more serious injury medical negligence cases you may need to wait for medical examinations, before you can reach a final settlement, especially if your chances of a full recovery are unclear.     However, you should not delay bringing a claim if you are undergoing treatment as there are time limits for medical negligence claims.  Furthermore, the sooner you bring the claim, the earlier you will receive your compensation. Indeed, in some cases, compensation is received in instalments, to help ongoing losses and expenses such as loss of earnings.

The following stages set out the process of bringing a claim and how long each stage takes, although cases can settle at any stage along the process.

Initial Contact

If you or a member of your family have suffered from negligent treatment by a hospital, GP or other healthcare provider, our expert medical negligence solicitors may be able to help you.We offer a free initial consultation to allow you to explain your situation.This will be a brief no obligation telephone conversation in which we will provide an immediate assessment of whether we believe you have prospects of making a successful medical negligence claim.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please call 0333 123 9099, email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the enquiry form to request a call back.

First Meeting

If we believe you have a potentially successful claim, we will invite you to a first meeting with one of the solicitors within our team.This will be a more in-depth discussion, either in person or by video call (either using Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype) in order to gain a detailed understanding of your experience, the harm caused and other concerns and, in the case of a fatality, the impact upon your family.This also gives you an opportunity to meet the solicitor working on your claim and ask any questions you may have about the process.

Following the first meeting, we will send a detailed letter of advice, covering everything discussed within our meeting and identifying the relevant next steps we need to take to recover compensation for the harm suffered.

Medical Evidence

We will then apply for your medical records from any relevant authority, such as your GP, hospital or other specialist who may have treated you.Each health authority will have a period of one month in which to comply with this request, although they may ask for more time, if necessary.

Once we have received all of your medical records, a solicitor will consider and advise you upon the content. The solicitor will also advise you on what these records reveal about your treatment and entitlement to compensation. We will then obtain the opinion of an independent medical expert to report upon your treatment and care, to identify whether standards and guidance were followed.If guidance, protocols and standard practices were not followed, the medical expert will identify what action should have been taken to prevent the harm you suffered, from occurring.

Beginning the Claim

Assuming the expert medical report is helpful we will draft a letter to the hospital, GP or other healthcare provider setting out the basis for your claim and why we believe they are responsible.The letter, we write, will set out the treatment you received and why the healthcare provider is responsible, based on the law and the report from the medical expert. This letter is known as a Letter of Claim.To reach this point in the claim may take approximate six months.

The healthcare provider will then have 4 months to investigate the allegations and to decide whether they accept legal responsibility for the injury.The healthcare provider is entitled to request more time to consider your claim but must set out the reasons why they require this.

If the healthcare provider accepts responsibility, we will obtain further medical evidence to understand, from a medical perspective, how the harm has affected your physical and mental well-being. We also obtain a detailed account from you, of your symptoms and progress towards recovery. Your account of symptoms will be at the core of determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to. This will form the basis of negotiations with those responsible for your harm.

In addition to compensation for the physical and mental harm caused, you may also be entitled to compensation for financial losses and expenses such as loss of earnings, private medical treatment, the cost of aids and equipment.In the most serious cases, the cost of a new home can also be claimed. There may be ancillary claims for additional IT equipment, therapies and care provided by members of your family or by specialist care providers.

Although the majority of claims are settled in one payment (at the end of the case) it is possible to obtain instalments of compensation while you continue with your recovery, where the hospital or other healthcare provider accepts they are legally responsible.

Legal Proceedings

If the healthcare provider does not accept responsibility, we will recommend that legal action be started, where we consider you have reasonable prospects of winning. Although we may recommend legal action, this does not mean that you are required, personally, to attend at court. This will only be necessary if there is a trial. Trials for medical negligence compensation are rare, as well over 90% of our cases settle without going to court.

If we begin court proceedings, a trial date will be set.This is usually set for 12 – 18 months’ time to allow everyone to gather any evidence they may require and prepare for the trial.Even if court proceedings have begun, your claim may still settle at any time through offers and negotiations, meaning that very few cases actually proceed to a trial.

Call now for advice on how to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

IBB Claims expert medical negligence lawyers have a record of success, helping individuals to recover financial compensation arising from medical negligence, mistakes and errors of judgement.  If you would like more information on how long a medical negligence can take and how we can help you, please call 0333 123 9099, email enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or use the enquiry form to request a call back.