“Really friendly and helpful. There was communication all the time and they had good support in the team. I was always informed and couldn’t have wished for better.”
Chambers UK 2017
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence is often referred to as clinical negligence since it covers not only core medical professionals (doctors and nurses) but also dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists etc. Negligence is when the treating clinician provides treatment which falls below a standard considered as reasonable for the clinician’s experience and specialism. This may be by doing something which they should not have done or failing to do something which they should have done. Where a patient suffers injury as a result of medical mistake, they have a right to claim compensation for their injury from the clinician.
It is important to remember that not all mistakes are negligent and not all negative outcomes are due to negligence.
Types of medical negligence claims
We are able to represent all claimants who have suffered medical accidents and have particular specialism in handling cases involving suffered severe, life-changing injuries such as spinal injuries, brain damage and neurological injury and fatal injuries. The types of medical claims we deal with include:
- Accident and Emergency claims
- Cancer misdiagnosis and late cancer diagnosis claims
- Cerebral palsy and erbs palsy claims
- Death caused by medical negligence
- Dental negligence claims
- Eye surgery claims
- GP negligence claims
- Gynaecological medical negligence claims
- Meningitis medical negligence claims
- Missed fracture compensation claims
- Orthopaedic and bone injury claims
- Paediatric medical negligence claims
- Pregnancy and birth injury claims
- Sperm destruction claims
- Surgical negligence claims
Specialist medical negligence solicitors
Pursuing a medical negligence compensation claim is not straightforward and is quite different to pursuing other types of personal injury claim. So it’s important to find a solicitor who has expertise and experience of medical claims which encompasses both medical and legal knowledge.
Clarke Willmott has a specialist team of dedicated medical negligence solicitors who are experts in pursuing medical claims. We only ever act for Claimants (injured patients) and we have specialists who are accredited by the Law Society and AvMA Medical Negligence Panels. We also have a number of offices across the UK (Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Southampton, Taunton and London) which means we should always be able to come to you, if you cannot come to us.
What proof do I need to establish a medical negligence claim?
You must prove both breach of duty and causation in order to establish a compensation claim.
- Breach of duty – you must prove that the treating clinician did something or failed to do something which no other reasonably competent practitioner would have done or failed to do. This is also referred to as liability.
- Causation – you must prove that the breach of duty on behalf of your treating clinician caused you to suffer an injury which you would not otherwise have suffered. In other words, you would not have suffered your injury if the clinician had provided the correct standard of care.
The duty will be on you to prove your claim and you will require evidence to prove your claim. Your solicitor will recommend obtaining expert reports from independent medical experts who have both a specialist knowledge of the area of medicine relevant to your treatment and injury and experience of the litigation process. Without supportive expert evidence, you will be unable to pursue your claim.
To learn more about proving breach of duty and causation, download our medical negligence fact sheet.
How much compensation could I get?
Every case is different, but here are some examples of the compensation that has been awarded to our clients:
- An award of £8.6 million for a child with cerebral palsy.
- An award of £1.5 million for a man who suffered a stroke due to negligence following a heart bypass procedure.
- An award of £500,000 for a child who suffered brain damage after a GP negligently failed to refer her to hospital with symptoms of dehydration.
- An award of £750,000 for a man who suffered a stroke following negligence of his GP in failing to treat high blood pressure.
- An award of £220,000 for a delay in diagnosing and treating malignant melanoma of our client’s knee.
- An award of £425,000 damages for the widow of a man whose GP failed to refer him to hospital with an abnormal ECG, which led to him suffering a heart attack and premature death.
How can I pay for my compensation claim?
Before you embark on your claim, it is important to think about how you will pay for your legal costs and expenses (such as the cost of expert reports).
The cost of investigating and pursuing a medical negligence claim can be very high. However, there are different options available to limit or entirely remove the cost from you.
You may have an existing insurance policy which covers the costs of investigating and pursuing a medical negligence claim or we may be able to act under a no win, no fee agreement.
Depending on the nature of your case, you might be financially eligible for Legal Aid. However, very few cases now qualify for Legal Aid as this has been limited to birth injury cases.
We will discuss all of your funding options with you at the outset to make sure that you get the best form of funding available for your circumstances. For more information on funding options please see our funding page.
- Serious injury claims – compensation for life changing injuries
- Personal injury claims – compensation for injuries caused by an accident
- Can I change my injury or medical negligence solicitor?
- FAQs about making a medical negligence claim
- The medical negligence claims process explained
- Funding (no win, no fee, etc)
- Claims glossary
- Personal injury and medical negligence blog
- Download our medical negligence fact sheet
- Download our NHS complaints fact sheet
What our clients say about Clarke Willmott’s medical negligence team
“Being very unwell this was initially a very daunting prospect. It was made considerably easier by the skill and support from all staff. There was always someone at the end of the phone to answer any queries.”
“The service I received was excellent in what has been a very sensitive and upsetting issue. I will definitely recommend you.”
You can read more of our client testimonials here.
Contact a medical negligence solicitor
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