The Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Claim: Everything you need to know
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence happens when the medical practitioner fails to provide the care which is expected in each case thus resulting in injury or death of the patient. There are a number of ways that medical negligence can happen, such as misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or surgical mistakes.
How Do You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
The first step to making a medical negligence claim is to contact us as soon as possible. We offer an initial consultation. Contacting us early allows us to start work on your case while the details are still fresh in your mind.
To bring a successful negligence claim, we will need to:
Show that you were owed a duty of care by the healthcare professional treating you;
Show that they have breached that duty in that they have acted or failed to act in a manner that is reasonable, compared to another healthcare professional in the same circumstances;
Show that you have suffered loss or injury that could otherwise have been avoided; and
That the injury or loss suffered was as a direct result of the healthcare professional’s breach of duty (causation).
In the UK, a claimant is given 3 years to bring a claim forward so for e.g. 3 years from the date of the negligence or 3 years from the date of knowledge of negligence. This slightly differs in Republic of Ireland where the time limit is 2 years.
There are certain times when claiming for medical negligence carries exceptions, including if the patient is under the age of eighteen, or lacks mental capacity.
Initial steps after instructing a solicitor
We will investigate the claim and request any medical records or notes which are relevant to your medical negligence claim.
A letter of claim will then be sent to the appropriate party, stating out the facts and putting the party on notice that court proceedings may be brought against them. Our medical negligence solicitors are highly proficient and experienced in carrying out this process for our clients.
Once we have collated your medical notes & records, we will instruct a medical expert to produce an expert report on breach of duty and causation. Thereafter, you will be invited for a further discussion of your case.
After evidence has been gathered, we will instruct a barrister who will advise on the evidence and strategy, assess the value of the claim, conduct any face to face negotiations and act as the advocate at important court hearings, including trial.
How long it might take
The duration of the claim depends on the Defendants attitude to liability and causation, the injury sustained, and the complexity of the complaint. Therefore, medical negligence claims work on a case by case basis. While we aim to settle medical negligence claims within a few months, more complicated cases can take a few years to settle.
Why Choose Us?
At P.A.Duffy & Co Solicitors, we have years of experience handling medical negligence cases and specialise in many aspects of medical negligence, ranging from birth injuries, to misdiagnosis. We’ll gather expert advice on your care needs, ensuring that your compensation helps you to access the support you need to enjoy the best quality of life possible whilst ensuring you get the answers you deserve.