Go to Top

Medical Negligence

The Overview

Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, is generally considered to be the most complex area of personal injury law. The legal duties on professionals such as Surgeons, Consultants, GP’s and dentists are different; the circumstances surrounding a possible claim for medical negligence are often very technical and many claims arise from a starting point of a client considering they have not been given full or correct explanations.

With these claims, the investigative and evidence gathering exercise is highly intensive at the outset and it can take longer and be a more difficult process to evaluate the prospects of success and advise clients accordingly than with other forms of personal injury claim.

All of this means that it is vital to get the right advice as early as possible; let the professionals at Lloyd Green Solicitors help you.

Quick Facts about Medical Accidents and Negligence

  • According to Department of Health data there are some 850,000 medical accidents in UK hospitals each year. On the Department’s own figures some 50% of these may be avoidable.
  • Many medical negligence claims centre around misdiagnosis or failure to act quickly or at all. Not all personal injury claims arise from a negligent act of doing something (known as commission), a failure to act (omission) can equally be negligence.

Some of the most common reasons for clinical negligence claims include:-

  • Errors during operations
  • Mistakes made during child birth
  • Failure to properly investigate symptoms
  • Failure to refer to a specialist
  • Inappropriate prescriptions of drugs
  • Mistakes made in the Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital
  • Lack of appropriate care for elderly patients
  • Where cosmetic or plastic surgery goes wrong

Medical Negligence Compensation Claims – what has to be proven?

To succeed with a medical negligence compensation claim it is necessary to show that:-

  • The standard of care was below that expected from a reasonably competent medical practitioner in the relevant area of medicine, and
  • as a consequence of the negligence you have sustained a physical or mental injury

As is clear from the above, many, if not most medical negligence claims, rely heavily on expert evidence from other doctors in the same field as the defendant. It is vital that this evidence is strong and from a recognized professional and expert. As experienced medical negligence claim solicitors, we have access to, and excellent connections with, the right expert witnesses to maximize the prospects of a successful claim.

First Steps

Before starting a medical negligence compensation claim it may well be necessary to follow the NHS Complaints procedure and other procedures under the Civil Procedure Rules known as protocols. Failure to do so may prejudice your claim and prospects of succeeding so it is important that you instruct Lloyd Green Solicitors early.

Time Limits for Medical Claims

Strict time limits apply when starting claims; the basic rule under the Limitation Act 1980, is that you have three years to start a claim either from the date of the incident or from the date of knowledge you had about the facts giving rise to the claim.

The limitation period can be extended by the court and in circumstances such as a temporary mental disability and time does not start to run until mental capacity has returned.

For children under 18 years of age, the three year period does not start until the child’s 18th birthday.

Medical Negligence Compensation Claims – Damages

Damages for pain and suffering are known as general damages. All other claims for losses and predicted future losses are known as special damages. With personal injury claims, and especially serious injuries with long-term or permanent consequences, special damages can make up the bigger part of the claim, sometimes the vast majority of it, since general damages under English law are relatively low.

Categories of claims are likely to include:-

  • General damages for pain and suffering
  • Loss of past and future earnings
  • Cost of care and assistance such as home visits or specialist treatment
  • Prescription charges and medical fees
  • Costs of adapting a home and also for adapting means of transportation

Simply complete the 30 second claim form to the right of this page to start the process and one of our friendly and compassionate staff will assess your claim quickly for you. Remember, if we take your claim on, then Lloyd Green Solicitors will meet all expenses associated with the claim for you.

Call us for free: 0800 015 5500