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Posted on 21st March 2017

Medical negligence explained

Medical negligence explained

If you, or a loved one, have been injured because of negligent treatment by a medical professional, either in the NHS or privately, you may be able to claim compensation.

Starting the process

It’s important that you get specialist legal help if you think you’ve suffered from clinical negligence as there are time limits on when you can claim. You can read more about time limits in our article: Time Limits in Medical Negligence

If you make a complaint before or at the same time as your legal action this can sometimes delay things. A judge may rule that the investigation of a complaint may interfere with a legal case and it may take longer to get a resolution.

What is clinical negligence? 

Clinical negligence is when you are injured by a healthcare professional whilst in their care. This can include, but is not restricted to:

  • Failure to diagnose your condition
  • Misdiagnosed your condition
  • Made a mistake during a procedure that has caused you prolonged pain or injury
  • Prescribed, or gave you the wrong drug
  • Didn’t get your informed consent for treatment
  • Didn’t warn you of the risks of the treatment you were having

However, you can only claim for clinical negligence if the care you received fell below acceptable standards and directly caused you injury. There are cases of “medical accidents” or “patient safety incidents” where things go wrong, but these aren’t classed as negligent if you weren’t injured specifically by the mistake.

These are quite difficult tests to prove, but our specialist panel solicitors have access to hundreds of expert medical witnesses who can help you with your case.

Compensation 

A claim for compensation for clinical negligence can be made by you or for a next of kin who died or doesn’t have the capacity to make a claim on their own.

Compensation can be claimed for any injuries or losses caused as a direct result of the poor treatment you received. 

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Compensation for ongoing pain and suffering
  • Compensation to cover the cost of ongoing treatment
  • Compensation for loss of earnings
  • The cost of any extra equipment you need to live a full life
  • The cost of adapting your home
  • You can read more about how compensation is calculated in our article: How medical negligence compensation is calculated

What does no-win-no-fee mean?

Our panel solicitors work on a no-win-no-fee agreement with their clients. The proper name for this arrangement is a condition fee agreement.

This means that you don’t have to pay the solicitors fee if you don’t win the case.

However, if you win the case, your solicitor will take a percentage of your compensation as their success fee. This percentage will be explained to you before you start the process.

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