No one wants to experience medical negligence. This is especially horrible for those left behind in the event of a loved one’s passing. If this happens to you or someone you love, knowing the direction to take with your main claims is of the utmost importance.
Usually there are few problems with NHS care, but there are times when individuals are injured or have died due to medical negligence. In these cases, that individual or their next-of-kin acting on their behalf, can pursue legal action for compensation. To do so, the patient (claimant) must lodge a complaint with the court against the medical practitioner (doctor, dentist, cosmetic surgeon, etc), and/or hospital within a three-year period of the alleged medical negligence. This time period is only reconsidered if the claimant lacks mental capacity or is under eighteen.
You might be wondering how main claims are made if the claimant is low on funds. Solicitors’ fees add up, and can be daunting. In rare circumstances Legal Aid is an option, and private funding is a consideration seldom used. Most claimants with financial issues choose a “no, win, no fee” option – Conditional Fee Agreement. This speaks for itself and means your solicitor is only paid if you win your medical negligence claim. As this is the case, make sure you choose a solicitor you can trust to handle your case with the utmost professionalism.
With payment sorted, the other details of your main claims’ filing are not to be ignored. Record-keeping is a must when having any kind of medical procedure performed. These can become your proof of medical negligence. Though your solicitor will request all related documents from the medical practitioner, you shouldn’t leave your fate in someone else’s hands. Don’t get rid of any correspondence – notes, emails, expert opinions, receipts – whatever you can hold on to and keep for future reference, will aid you with your claim.
While it is unlikely that your medical negligence main claims’ complaint will go to trial, if it does you could be looking at a lengthy one. Eighteen months to three years can be the time tally, dependent on how complex the complaint is, the type of injury, and the defendant’s approach to causation and liability. If the defendant does not think they are guilty, and have facts and evidence to support their stance, you could be in for the long-haul. In most cases though, the defendant offers a financial settlement. With this you may be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing you from sharing the details of your deal publicly.
If you have little evidence or just want to bolster your credibility, a medical witness could be a great help. They are usually called to give their professional opinion and can help establish a basis for your overall medical negligence claim. As they are in the field, they can explain and show how the claimant could be affected in the long-term.
Medical negligence main claims don’t have to be against a NHS doctor. Any medical care provider who has caused injury or death due to negligence, is eligible.