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If you have experienced any form of clinical or medical negligence, one of the most pressing concerns you are likely to have is how you will be compensated for your pain and suffering. Claiming compensation following poor medical care can be an unnerving process, especially if this is the first time you have had to instruct a lawyer or experienced the civil court procedures.

At Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors, our medical negligence lawyers aim to make this process as stress-free as possible. We understand you may be feeling upset, angry and confused after being let down by a medical professional, and you may have concerns about taking legal action. We are here to support you throughout your compensation claim and to use our expert knowledge and skills in this area of law to get you the best possible outcome.

In this guide, we provide answers to the most common questions clients ask us about medical negligence compensation. If you have any other queries or would like to discuss your circumstances with our professional and friendly team, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Am I owed compensation for poor healthcare?

When can I claim compensation for medical negligence?

What evidence can be used to support my medical negligence claim?

How do I claim compensation for medical negligence?

Who do I claim compensation from?

How is medical negligence compensation calculated?

How much compensation can I get for medical negligence?

Who decides how much compensation I will get?

How will I receive my compensation amount if I am successful?

How long does it take to get compensation for medical negligence?

What costs will I have to pay out of my compensation award?

Am I owed compensation for poor healthcare?

First, you may be wondering if what you have experienced is, in fact, medical negligence. For your claim to be successful, you must prove that all three elements of negligence have occurred. These are:

1. The care provided was below the standard reasonably expected of a competent medical professional.

2. You have suffered an injury.

3. Your injury was caused by the medical professional’s substandard care.

Proving negligence can be difficult. However, our solicitors have extensive experience in this area of law. We will always provide an honest assessment of your circumstances and will never take on a case if we do not believe it has a high chance of success. 

When can I claim compensation for medical negligence?

If you think you have suffered clinical negligence, you only have a certain amount of time to claim. In most situations, you have three years to begin legal proceedings, starting from the date you suffered the injury or the date you became aware that you experienced negligent care. This could be some time later, for example, when certain symptoms arose.

Do contact our clinical negligence lawyers as soon as you can, to give your case the best chance of success.

What evidence can be used to support my medical negligence claim?

We will start work on your case by gathering all the relevant evidence, including:

  • Your version of events, which will be presented as a witness statement
  • Your medical records
  • Opinions from independent medical specialists on the standard of care you received and the nature and severity of your injury. We will also ask these experts to provide their views on whether the negligent medical care was the reason for your injury.

To help us build as strong a body of evidence as possible, there are some things we will ask you to do and provide in support of your case, for example:

  • Retain all correspondence between you and the relevant medical professional or hospital.
  • Write down your version of events as soon as you are able so that your recollection is as accurate as possible.
  • Keep a written journal of your experiences following the treatment, including your pain levels, mental health and the impact on your everyday activities.
  • Ask family and friends to write down their memories of what happened, your injuries and the impact on your life.
  • Keep a list of all financial losses and evidence to support them, including receipts, payslips, prescriptions and bills.

How do I claim compensation for medical negligence?

After a thorough review of the evidence and the experts’ opinions, we will discuss with you whether your case is strong enough to proceed. If we believe it is and you wish to go ahead, we will begin what is known as the ‘Pre-Action Protocol’. The Protocol is designed to help both parties settle the dispute as quickly and fairly as possible, without having to go to court.

The Pre-Action Protocol process is as follows:

  1. The other party must send back a Letter of Response within four months, which may indicate that they admit fault, fully or partially, or that they deny any wrongdoing.
  2. We will send a Letter of Claim to the other party (the hospital, GP or another healthcare provider you hold responsible) setting out your version of events and the harm caused to you.
  3. We will advise you on what next steps to take depending on how the other party responds. If you are unhappy with their reply, we may recommend that you consider court proceedings.

Even if your case is not resolved by the end of the Pre-Action Protocol, there is still potential to reach an out-of-court settlement. We will continue to negotiate with the other party to reach an acceptable agreement and help you to avoid litigation where possible.

Have a look at our Medical Negligence Fact Sheet – Claims Process for more information.  

Who do I claim compensation from?

You can claim compensation from all healthcare professionals and hospitals if they have caused you harm by providing negligent care, whether they are private or NHS providers. The party who the claim is made against depends on who you believe is responsible for your injury. If that happens to be a hospital, the Letter of Claim will be sent to the NHS Trust or, if it is a private provider, directly to the hospital. If you think your GP or dentist is at fault, we will communicate with the individual and their solicitor. Whoever you hold responsible, we will ensure your claim is directed to the right person or organisation.

How is medical negligence compensation calculated?

Compensation aims to return you, as far as possible, to the position you were in before the injury occurred. When calculating the appropriate amount, the following elements are assessed:

Your pain and suffering

The amount attributed to your pain, suffering and injury is known as ‘general damages’. Both physical and psychological harm are looked at, as well the outlook for your long-term health. It will also be important to assess how the injury has changed your life, for example, by considering any activities you used to enjoy that you can no longer do. Previous cases with similar facts will be used as a guide when quantifying your pain and suffering.

Your past losses

These are also known as ‘special damages’ and cover all financial losses you have incurred to date as a result of the negligence. This can include:

  • Care costs (incurred to you or a family member who is looking after you)
  • Loss of earnings
  • Costs for necessary aids, equipment or changes to your home
  • Travel expenses (for example to and from medical appointments)

Your future losses

Future losses are all financial losses you will reasonably incur as a result of your injury, and can include:

  • Loss of earnings and pension
  • Cost of ongoing medical treatment and therapy
  • Care expenses
  • Costs for necessary aids and equipment
  • Costs for accommodation needs (for example, moving home)

How much compensation can I get for medical negligence?

Compensation awards are not set in stone; they are decided based on the facts involved. Every case is different, so it is impossible to give a precise figure without assessing all the circumstances involved. However, you may find it useful to have a look at our Medical Negligence – Case Studies section to see how much we have secured for our clients in recent cases.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss what has happened to you and for a reliable estimate on how much compensation you could be entitled to.

Who decides how much compensation I will get?

In most cases, the amount will be negotiated between the parties and will be stated in a formal settlement. However, if you and the other party cannot agree on the compensation figure, a judge will decide at the end of the trial.

How will I receive my compensation amount if I am successful?

Compensation can be paid to you all at once or in annual instalments. In many cases, a combination is agreed on by the parties.

How long does it take to get compensation for medical negligence?

This depends on the circumstances involved, including how complex the evidence is, as well as the views of each party on the facts, who is at fault and the appropriate compensation amount. It can take several months to gather all the evidence at the start of your claim and at least four months for your case to progress through the Pre-Action Protocol. If a court trial is necessary to resolve the matter, this is likely to take an additional 12 months at least. We always aim to settle as swiftly as possible.

What costs will I have to pay out of my compensation award?

If your case is accepted under our No Win No Fee scheme and your claim is successful, you will be liable for your legal fees. We do expect to recover most of the costs from the other party; however, you will need to pay a success fee to us from your compensation and, if you have after the event legal expenses insurance, a contribution to the total cost of the premium.

If your claim is unsuccessful, under the No Win No Fee scheme, you will not be liable for our fees.

Contact our medical negligence lawyers in Liverpool, North West England & London today

At Gregory Abrams Davidson Solicitors we have a specialist and experienced team dedicated solely to clinical and medical negligence cases. We are here to listen to what you have experienced, provide clear and reliable advice and support you through the process, keeping you well-informed throughout. Our clinical negligence solicitors are known for their professionalism, diligence and honesty.

We offer a free initial assessment of your case and No Win No Fee funding is available on accepted cases.

Call us today on 0151 236 5000 or complete our online contact form for more information.

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