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Making a clinical negligence claim

It’s a fact of life that at some time most of us will need medical treatment of some kind. In the vast majority of cases that treatment is given without any problem, and the patient gets on with life. However, occasionally, treatment can fall below the usual high standards we expect and, if the consequences are serious, that may lead to a claim for compensation.

Our specialist clinical negligence team have gained a great deal of valuable experience over the years. Our solicitors deal exclusively with clinical negligence work and have developed excellent legal expertise and medical knowledge, to ensure that you will receive expert specialist advice and an appropriate outcome.

We work to the highest standards, as confirmed by the fact that we are one of the first firms in the country to be awarded a Legal Services Commission Franchise in Clinical Negligence. Several of our solicitors are also members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority's Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme.

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Definition of clinical negligence

To be successful with a clinical negligence claim it is necessary to prove two distinct tests:

1. The Duty of Care

In all areas of life, we expect things to be done properly, and medicine is no different. We expect doctors and medical staff to treat us with a reasonable standard of care according to their professional skills. This is called the duty of care. Where your care falls below this standard, there may be a breach of this duty.

2. Damage

It’s not enough just to show that the treatment wasn’t up to standard. We must go on to prove that, as a result, injury has been caused which would not otherwise have been. There has to be a link – what lawyers call causation.

An independent medical expert will probably be appointed to provide a medical report to help prove these two issues. 

Clinical negligence claim time limits

It is important to know the date of the treatment you are concerned about, because any court case has to be started within 3 years of that treatment, or the date on which you knew or should have known, that you had a significant injury from the treatment. (Different rules apply to the under 18s and those unable to act for themselves).

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