The Medical Negligence Claims Process Explained

After becoming ill or injured following a medical mistake it can be difficult to know who to turn to. First and foremost, it is important to find out whether you may have grounds to make a medical negligence claim and you can gain such information by contacting an expert solicitor in the medical negligence field.

Awareness of this area of the law is growing and there is an established NHS complaints process designed to release details of specific cases to solicitors who believe that their clients have received negligent medical treatment. Identifying the medical professional who was responsible for the harm caused is crucial and in many instances, it is the specific NHS Trust which will have to defend the claim.

Your intention to make a medical negligence claim will be made clear to the defendant who will then be afforded twelve weeks to provide a justification for their actions and offered the chance to reach a settlement away from court. A request for your medical notes will also be made at this stage and your solicitor will enlist the help of an independent medical specialist to provide their opinion on whether the defendant failed to perform their duty of care towards you. The report this expert provides could be of great significance during any court proceedings.

In most cases, the High Court is used to deal with medical negligence cases due to the specific expertise on-hand, however it is becoming more and more common for county courts to hear such cases. Your solicitor will have 16 weeks to provide the defendant with the relevant court forms and their legal team may employ delaying tactics at this point, underscoring the need for a specialist solicitor of your own. Using the mediation process prior to any court hearing can help to prevent delays but this can cost thousands of pounds per day.

Should the case reach the court stage, the process will go as follows:

• You will be asked to swear an oath

• You will be examined in chief by your barrister in order to hear your explanation of events

• You will be cross examined by the defence, who will attempt to find gaps in your explanation

• A judgement will be made, after which, there may be an appeals process and a wait for the payment of any compensation awarded

In need of medical negligence claims advice? Get in touch with our expert team today

Medical negligence is a complex area of legal practice which is why it is crucial to instruct a specialist solicitor to handle your case. Our team of experienced medical negligence legal professionals have the expertise required, so:

  • Call 01722 422300 to speak to a member of the team.
  •  Alternatively, you can fill out the contact form below.

Comments or questions are welcome.

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