Do you have a legitimate medical negligence claim but you’re not sure of the process? The first thing to do is ask a personal injury claims company to review your claim, estimate the chances of success and take it from there.
Evidence gathering is very important when it comes to personal injury claims and especially important with medical negligence which can be fairly complicated. However, help is at hand!
The best thing to do with a medical negligence claim is to split the process down into small stages. This ensures that the whole process is not as daunting as it looks at first glance.
We will now take a look at the various steps of the process, what you need to do and the assistance available.
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Traditionally, there is a three-year window of opportunity during which to stake your claim for compensation. It is important to note that this three-year timescale begins at the time of diagnosis as opposed to the date of the treatment.
For example, we saw many miners who received lung damage decades ago but were only diagnosed recently. They were still able to claim compensation as a consequence of their date of diagnosis.
There will be occasions where the claimant is under 18 years of age or mentally incapacitated where the window of opportunity will be extended.
The first thing to remember is that the onus is on the claimant to prove that the defendant was negligent using the appropriate standard of proof. The more common forms of evidence include:-
The vast majority of medical negligence claims will begin with what is known as the Bolam test. This is the basic standard of care test which measures the actual treatment received set against what similar qualified/trained medical practitioners would have done in the same situation.
If the standard of care was below that expected, then this can indicate negligence, and you can pursue compensation.
The personal injury claims industry has changed dramatically in recent years, and help is available to cover every type of compensation can you can think of. Personal injury claim experts can review your evidence; offer guidance, and assist in taking your claim forward where they believe you have a real chance of success.
The vast majority of personal injury claims are carried out on what is known as a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that the claimant has no financial liabilities when pursuing the claim as the claims company will either cover their expenses, if they lose, or claim expenses from the defendant in the event of victory.
When reviewing your claim, an adviser will consider the chances of success, and if they deem this 60% or more, they will likely take your case on.
Once you appoint a claims management company, they will collate your evidence and present it in a form which best demonstrates your case. If further support is required, perhaps evidence from a medical professional, they will arrange this as part of their service.
Some medical negligence claims require a medical examination to clarify the extent of the injury/illness on which to base any compensation claim. The use of third-party professionals to bolster your evidence can be especially important when it comes to the Bolam test.
The Bolam test is unique to the medical profession and compares and contrasts the treatment given against that which you would reasonably expect from a medical professional in the same position with the same experience/level of training. If the treatment received was below this level then, assuming there are no mitigating circumstances, you should be able to pursue a compensation claim.
The Bolam test goes back to a 1957 case brought by a patient who agreed to undergo electroconvulsive therapy but was injured as a consequence of no restraints or muscle relaxants. The patient lost the claim because the use of restraints/muscle relaxants was not common practice at the time.
When presenting your case to the courts, a copy of your evidence and details of the claim will be passed to the defendant. They will have plenty of time to consider the evidence and where applicable, arrange an out-of-court settlement. In the event that the defendant wishes to challenge the compensation claim, then the case will go before the courts.
It is worth noting that there are various legal requirements to fulfil that are second nature to personal injury claim advisors. Those who pursue personal injury claims in their own right may not be so aware of such requirements.
If you are a parent or an appointed representative of a claimant under 18 years of age, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. Alternatively, they can wait until they are 18 before making their own claim at which point the three-year window of opportunity will start.
Claiming on behalf of a minor, or somebody incapacitated, can be a little more complex and it is important to take advice.
Assuming negligence is proven, the level of compensation would depend upon your injury/illness received as a consequence of the treatment. For example, very severe scarring for a claimant in their teens to early 30s traditionally attracts compensation from around £23,740 up to £77,580.
There are also two types of compensation, general damages which is financial compensation for pain and suffering, and special damages, financial recompense for costs and expenses going forward – including loss of earnings.
Medical negligence claims are amongst the most complicated personal injury claims you can pursue. There needs to be clear evidence of negligence, taking into account the Bolam test, and injury/illness as a consequence of the treatment.
Therefore it is advisable to seek the assistance of personal injury claims advisers many of whom will work on a no win no fee basis.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Medical Negligence Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for the negligence they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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