Are you a victim of medical negligence? Are you considering pursuing a compensation claim? Where do you start? Medical negligence solicitors often have personal injury claim departments or contacts in the industry. Even though medical negligence is one of the more complex types of personal injury claim, you should not be put you off pursuing a valid compensation claim.
There are a lot of misunderstandings with regards to compensation claims for medical negligence.
We will now cover a number of the more frequently asked questions as a means of giving you straight answers to straight questions.
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Many people will be relieved to know that the vast majority of personal injury claims experts will offer a “no win no fee” option. This effectively removes the cost of pursuing a claim even if ultimately, you are unsuccessful.
In the majority of successful claims, your medical negligence solicitor/personal injury claims experts will be able to reclaim expenses from the defendant.
As part of a “no win no fee” arrangement, your adviser will negotiate a success fee as they will be taking on the risk of defeat. Initially, this tends to be around 25% of any compensation awarded, although in more complex cases, it could be higher.
For many victims unwilling or unable to pursue compensation in their own right, this “no win no fee” option even with a success fee can be very attractive.
Traditionally there is a three-year window of opportunity in which you can pursue compensation as a consequence of negligence. The three-year time limit starts on the day that your injury/illness is diagnosed, which is normally the date of your negligent medical treatment but not always.
For example, a misdiagnosis of cancer may not be confirmed until many weeks, months or even years down the line. As a consequence, it would be unfair to start the three-year window of opportunity on the date of your misdiagnosis.
As a parent or legal guardian, you will have the option to claim compensation on behalf of your child in the event they were a victim of medical negligence leading to injury/illness. There may also be the option for the individual to pursue their own claim when they reach 18 years of age. If they choose the latter option, then the three-year window of opportunity will begin on their 18th birthday.
As a parent or legal guardian, you will also be able to pursue compensation for medical negligence for somebody who is mentally incapacitated. It matters not whether this condition relates to the alleged negligent treatment or not. In the event that they are deemed unable to manage their own claim, then a parent/legal guardian can pursue it on their behalf.
Unfortunately, some instances of medical negligence can ultimately lead to death. While many people assume that any claim for compensation dies with the individual, this is not the case.
As a parent, legal guardian, partner or child of the individual, you can still apply for compensation after their death. In cases where there is a will, the executors of the deceased’s estate may choose to pursue compensation on behalf of the victim.
Aside from pursuing compensation, where negligence is proven and accepted, on behalf of a deceased victim, you may be able to claim compensation on behalf of their family. There will be occasions where the deceased’s partner and children were financially dependent on the victim. As a consequence, you may well be able to claim compensation for the impact on your life and that of your family.
There is a general misconception that when pursuing personal injury compensation, you will ultimately end up giving evidence in court. The vast majority of valid personal injury claims are settled out of court, and those with little chance of success are often dropped.
On occasion, where the defendant disputes claims of negligence, the case may be heard by a judge. Even if you are asked to give evidence, your personal injury claims adviser will be there to help and assist. You will simply be asked to state the truth, what happened, when it happened and how it happened. You are not on trial!
As we touched on above, medical negligence is one of the more complicated types of a personal injury claim. It will often hinge on the Bolam test, which involves the input of other medical professionals.
This test will compare and contrast the treatment received by the claimant against that which could reasonably have been expected of others in a similar situation with similar experience/training. Basically, it is a peer test.
It is difficult to say with any real certainty because each case is different, but on average, we may be talking between 12 months and 18 months. There will be occasions where negligence is obvious, and compensation is paid relatively quickly, as a consequence of an out-of-court settlement, and others will go to court. Your personal injury claims adviser is there to answer any questions you may have, and it is important to make use of that.
The level of compensation will depend upon the type of illness/injuries received. For example, if you experience very severe brain damage, the level of compensation would be between £224,800 and £322,060.
A minor neck injury where recovery is expected within three months would attract compensation up to £1950. So, it really will depend upon the illness/injuries received and the financial cost of treatment, loss of earnings, etc. going forward.
Medical negligence solicitors will have personal injury claims experts within their company who can advise you on all aspects of your claim. Medical negligence/compensation claims are amongst the most complex of personal injury claims. Therefore it is important to take professional advice to ensure your case is as strong as possible.
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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