If your knowledge of the legal system is basic at best, filing a medical negligence claim can feel like a complex and challenging process. But equipped with the right information and support, you can make the best decisions for yourself and your loved one. If you believe you did not receive adequate medical care or the care you received has caused further injury or illness, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim for compensation.
Here are some of the most important things you need to know before you file a medical negligence suit against your care provider:
The Legal Definition of Medical Negligence
Before you filea medical negligence claim, it is important to understand how the process works. Medical negligence is when a medical practitioner or hospital breaches their duty of care, failing to meet the medically acceptable duty of care they have to you. In this case, you would need to take the hospital or medical practitioner to court to claim compensation. But first, you must be able to prove that there was a breach of medical duty, and show that the injury or harm you have suffered was caused by that negligence.
Understanding Time Limits for Medical Negligence
Taking action within the legally stipulated time limits for your medical negligence case is key to a successful claim. A medical negligence claim should be filed within three years from the time the patient becomes aware of the negligent action. However, other factors can affect this time limit. If a minor has suffered medical negligence, and no adult filed a claim on their behalf, the minor would have three years from when he/she turns 18 to make a claim. Mental illness may also influence the time limit. So, if you are not sure about the fine details and exceptions that apply to your case, you should consult a medical negligence solicitor for advice.
Finding the Right Solicitor
Once you have established that there is a medical negligence case, finding the right medical negligence solicitor is the next step. The online space is the easiest place to find a solicitor, especially if none of your friends or family have experienced something like this before. It is important that you work with highly experienced solicitors in a medical negligence claim as they will be more familiar with you type of negligent action and advice you on the best steps you should take. When you search online, look at different solicitors and ask as many questions as possible so you can determine the best option for your case.
You Can Hold Any Medical Practitioner Accountable
Some persons believe only NHS medical professionals can be taken to court, but this is not the case. In fact, you may even be entitled to more compensation if you were treated by a private doctor who acted negligently. So long as you have proof of negligent care, any medical professional can be held accountable.
Providing Proof for Your Claim
Just having a feeling of negligent care by your healthcare provider is not enough to make a medical negligence claim. You will need to provide proof that the professional acted negligently – records of everything related to the case. In some cases, you can increase your chances of success if you kept a video journal or personal diary of your life after the negligent action, since this can show how the quality of your life has been impacted by the doctor’s failure to provide acceptable medical care.
You Won’t Always Go to Trial
The idea of filing a medical negligence claim against your healthcare provider can seem like a huge challenge, but the good news is that most claims are actually settled outside the courtroom. The defendant, in most cases, will offer financial settlement, especially when the evidence of medical negligence cannot be contested. Still, it is important that you prepare yourself for a court case, as this could happen, depending on the fine details of your case.
Funding Your Claim
Most solicitor websites operate on a contingency basis, an agreement also known as ‘no win, no fee’. Under this arrangement, you will only be required to pay any fee to your solicitor until the claim is successful. This means anyone can file a medical negligence claim, as a claimant wouldn’t have to pay any legal fees if the claim isn’t successful since there would be no compensation.
Duration of Your Claim
The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on a range of factors, including the type of illness of injury, the nature of the complaint, and the defendant’s attitude towards the case. The trial could take between eighteen months to three years before a conclusion is reached.
Pursuing a medical negligence claim can be challenging, so it is ideal that you are well prepared for what is ahead, so you improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

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