Medical Negligence: Frequently Asked Questions

Niza Yon and Michael Lewis, specialist Paralegals in the Medical Negligence team at GoodLaw Solicitors answer the most frequently asked questions from clients. 

FAQs on Medical Negligence

1. What if the person that has suffered negligence has died?

You can still make a claim if the person who has suffered the negligence has passed away. A claim could be brought on behalf of their Estate. 

The claim must be brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate. A Personal Representative is either the Executor(s) of the person’s Will or the Administrator appointed by the court if the person has passed away without a valid will (this is known as intestate). 

If the person who has died as a result of the negligent treatment has any dependants, someone who relied on the person financially or for care/services then the Dependants could be considered and compensated through the claim. This is known as a Dependency Claim. If the Personal Representative does not wish to bring a claim on behalf of the Estate, then the Dependants might bring a claim in their own right for any losses sustained as a result of the death. 

Niza Yon

2. Can I get legal aid to fund the cost of a clinical negligence claim?

Legal aid is not usually available for clinical negligence claims. However, there are certain exceptions such as birth injury claims. The availability of legal aid in your case would be fully discussed before you agree to the way your case will be funded. 

Niza Yon

3. Will I have to go to court?

It is not always necessary to go to court in order to resolve a personal injury claim. In many cases, it is possible to settle a claim out of court through negotiation or mediation. This can be a faster and less stressful way to resolve a claim, and it can often result in a settlement that is mutually acceptable to both parties.

If it is not possible to reach a settlement out of court, it may be necessary to go to court in order to resolve the claim. This will typically involve a trial, during which a judge or jury will hear evidence and make a decision about the case. Going to court can be a lengthy and costly process, and it is not uncommon for personal injury cases to take several years to resolve.

In general, it is best to try to avoid going to court if possible, as it can be a stressful and uncertain process. However, if it is necessary to go to court in order to obtain the compensation you are entitled to, a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you to prepare your case.

Michael Lewis

4. What is clinical negligence and medical negligence?

Clinical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, refers to a situation in which a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or dentist, fails to provide an acceptable standard of care and this results in harm or injury to a patient. Clinical negligence can take many forms, and it can occur at any stage of the treatment process.

Examples of clinical negligence include:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Surgical errors or mistakes during the procedure
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Failure to properly monitor or care for a patient

If you believe that you have suffered harm or injury as a result of clinical negligence, it is important to seek legal advice to determine whether you may have a claim for compensation.

Michael Lewis

5. How long do I have to make a claim?

The time limit for making a personal injury claim is typically three years from the date of the injury or the date when you first became aware that you had sustained an injury. There are some exceptions to this rule, so it's best to seek legal advice as soon as possible to determine the specific time limits that apply to your case.

There are also time limits for making a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), which is a government body that compensates victims of violent crime in the UK. The time limit for making a claim through the CICA is generally two years from the date of the crime, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Again, it's best to seek legal advice to determine the specific time limits that apply to your case.

Michael Lewis

6. How much can I claim? 

The amount of money that you can claim for a personal injury claim will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the nature and extent of your injuries. In general, you can claim compensation for the following types of losses and damages:

  • Medical expenses: this includes the cost of any medical treatment you have received as a result of your injury.
  • Lost income: if you have had to take time off work as a result of your injury, you may be able to claim compensation for the income you have lost.
  • Future losses: If your injury is expected to have long-term consequences, you may be entitled to claim compensation for future losses, such as the cost of ongoing medical treatment or the loss of future earning capacity.
  • Pain, suffering and loss of amenity: you may be able to claim compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have experienced as a result of your injury.
  • Other expenses: you may be able to claim compensation for other expenses that you have incurred as a result of your injury, such as the cost of hiring someone to help with household tasks or the cost of adapting your home or car.

The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, and it is best to seek legal advice to determine the value of your claim.

Michael Lewis

7. Who can a claim be made against?

A personal injury claim can typically be made against the person or party that caused the injury. This might be an individual, a company, or an organisation. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you could make a claim against the driver of the other vehicle if they were at fault. If you were injured at work, you could make a claim against your employer. If you were injured as a result of a defective product, you could make a claim against the manufacturer.

In some cases, it may be difficult to identify the person or party responsible for your injury, or there may be multiple parties that are partially responsible. In these situations, it's important to seek legal advice to help determine who can be held liable for your injury.

In order to make a successful claim, you will need to prove that the person or party against whom you are making the claim was responsible for your injury. This will typically require evidence such as witness statements, medical records, and other relevant documentation. It's best to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.

Michael Lewis

8. How much will it cost to pursue a clinical negligence claim?

We take on medical negligence and personal injury claims on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. This means that we offer what is known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) under an Insurance Scheme. Under this CFA the client would not have to pay any costs if their claim is unsuccessful, they would just walk away, and any costs would be written off. Any disbursements would be paid for through the insurance policy below.

If the claim is successful the client would be charged for our basic charges, in the form of a success fee, as well as a proportion of the ATE premium. The amount that we will charge is limited to 25% of any general damages that the client receives for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and past losses. Future losses are not included in the calculation. The maximum we can charge for the success fee is 100% of the actual costs incurred or 25% of those damages described, whichever is the lowest figure. The success fee includes VAT and is calculated once any ‘recoverable benefits’ have been deducted from the damages. 

Niza Yon

If you have experienced medical malpractice or believe you can claim personal injury then contact our medical negligence team. At GoodLaw Solicitors our team understands the sensitive nature of medical claims and treats enquiries with empathy and respect. Call us on 01273 956 270 or email [email protected] to arrange a discussion of your claim with our legal experts.

By Published On: January 10th, 2023Categories: Resources

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