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Medical negligence compensation claims solicitors
Our medical negligence claims solicitors are ranked amongst the best in the UK for their expertise in this specialised area. We have more Law Society accredited solicitors than any other team in the North West and you can be sure that you will receive the highest quality service due to our vast experience in this complex area.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a medical or health professional then we may be able to help. Our team are on hand to offer you some initial, friendly advice so please get in touch with us on 0161 696 6165 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly. Most of our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis which means that there is no financial risk to you throughout your claim.
Our solicitors will work hard to investigate your claim and get the answers that you deserve. They will ensure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to for your specific injury and they will help you access treatment and rehabilitation along the way, where possible.
How can our medical negligence solicitors help?
What are medical negligence compensation claims?
If you experience any problems, complications, or serious effects upon your day-to-day life as a result of medical negligence, you can make a claim to receive compensation with the help of an experienced solicitor who specialises in this field.
Medical or clinical negligence can have long lasting and life changing effects, often rendering victims unable to work or care for themselves. Our specialist solicitors at Stephensons take time to fully investigate the injuries and ensure that clients receive an appropriate level of compensation.
Medical negligence compensation claims are extremely diverse and complex in nature and every set of circumstances requires a dedicated, bespoke service, which our solicitors are able to provide. If you aren’t sure whether you have grounds for a medical negligence claim, or are unsure as to whether your claim sits within the allowed time limit, one of our expert legal advisors can quickly provide the answer.
A medical negligence compensation claim does more than just pay for pain and suffering, it also helps to pay for any necessary rehabilitation programmes, ongoing treatment and any modifications to your home that you may need. In addition, a clinical negligence compensation claim can help cover the costs of any support programmes for children who have suffered as a result, allowing them the opportunity to live their lives to the full and providing the extra care they need.
Medical negligence solicitors - recently settled cases
Some examples of the types of claims and amounts of compensation we have obtained on behalf of clients who were victims of clinical negligence recently are as follows:
Carla Duprey settled a claim for a capitalised sum of more than £27 million for a client who suffered a brain injury as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating herpes simplex virus. The client suffered from medication resistant epilepsy, autism, severe cognitive difficulties, significant sleep disturbance, motor and behavioural difficulties.
Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £350,000 for a client who suffered a delay in diagnosing throat cancer. His voice box was removed and he has been left with a severely impaired quality of life which will be permanent. The claim settled at a mediation enabling early resolution for the client
We settled a claim for £2.1 million relating to the failure to prescribe antenatal steroids, prior to a premature birth, resulting in a brain injury. The claim was conducted by Claire Stockley and concluded by Carla Duprey
Claire Stockley recently settled a claim for £8 million after negligently performed cardiac surgery left a young girl with a life changing brain injury. Full time care will be required for the rest of her life and she will need adapted accommodation and specialist equipment to ensure a reasonable quality of life
Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £8.4 million for negligently performed weight loss surgery. The client suffered a severe infection which was inappropriately treated, causing damage to her brain and resulting in impaired mobility and the need for life long care for the client
Tom Mooney has settled a brain injury claim for £2.25 million. It related to failures during delivery and, in particular, not allowing labour to progress naturally. As a consequences of the failings the child developed cerebral palsy
Our specialist solicitors can also advise if you feel you have been let down by another clinical negligence solicitor, if you feel you are the victim of professional negligence click the following link for more information: Solicitor negligence - medical claims
Our medical negligence team are recommended by The Legal 500.
"Stephensons Solicitors LLP, based in Wigan, has a strong team overseen by practice head and birth injury expert Judith Thomas-Whittingham. Laura Sheehan works on surgical errors and misdiagnoses, with specialist expertise in rare conditions such as Stiff Person Syndrome. Tom Mooney also offers niche expertise, dealing with professional negligence claims against solicitors acting on clinical negligence matters. Claire Stockley works on brain, spinal and birth injury claims. Carla Duprey is a further name to note."
"Stephensons had the vast experience, knowledge and legal expertise needed to win such a finely balanced and complicated, lengthy medical negligence case. Even when things looked bleak and impossible, they were still willing to test other avenues."
"Their personal touch is incredibly important. More so when things aren’t as positive as you’d hope for."
"A good firm with very good people." - 2024
Clinical Negligence Team of the Year 2022 at the Claims Media Awards
Personal Injury / Clinical Negligence Team of the Year 2022 at the Manchester Legal Awards
more Law Society accredited solicitors than any other team in the North West
What does a medical negligence compensation claim cost?
We will not charge you to discuss your case and one of our medical negligence specialists will contact you by telephone, at your convenience, to assist you. There is no obligation on you to pursue a claim and after discussing it with us, if you have decided not to go ahead then it will have cost you nothing and you will have lost nothing. But if, after having discussed it with us, it appears that you do have a claim which you may wish to pursue then there are a number of ways that it could be funded without you having to pay any money up front.
We will always advise you on the best way to fund your claim. Very often people already have legal expense insurance cover and we will assist you to find out if you have this so that you will not have to pay anything to make your claim. We could also handle your compensation claim on a no win no fee basis.
Why should I choose Stephensons for my medical negligence claim?
As a team or as individual lawyers, our medical negligence claims specialists are active and leading members of, or approved by, key associations to enhance our ability to help you, including:
- Clinical Negligence Accreditation - The Law Society
- Society of Clinical Injury Lawyers (SCIL)
- Limbless Association
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors are held in the highest regard by the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.
How do I start a claim for medical negligence?
The process of starting a claim is simple with the help of an experienced legal team, who can provide you with all the specialist advice and support you need. It is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as medical negligence claims only have a three year window in which to start your claim.
The clock starts ticking from the date of your injury or from when you first discovered that your injury was a result of clinical or medical negligence. At Stephensons, we have helped many of our clients get the compensation they deserve.
There are some some exceptions to the three year time limit, minors can make a claim up until they turn 21 years old.
Please contact one of our expert solicitors today for a no-obligation initial chat.
How much compensation for medical negligence resulting in death?
Sadly some cases do result in the death of a loved one. In such circumstances, you may be able to claim for the following:
- Funeral expenses
- Bereavement damages (limited only to spouse/partners that had been co-habiting for more than 2 years)
- Your loved ones pain and suffering prior to their death
- Any financial losses incurred as a result prior to their death such as; care, travel expenses, treatment costs, earnings/dependency
What can I claim for?
You can claim for your injury (general damages) and your past and future financial loses (special damages). If you have suffered a loss of earnings or you have bought items of equipment, then we would ask that you keep your wage slips and receipts so that we can calculate the loss.
At Stephensons, we will help you put together the evidence you need to pursue a successful claim and we’ll include all your expenses, so that we can claim the maximum amount of compensation possible for your claim.
Can I claim for catching covid or my relative passing from covid?
Unfortunately, we cannot handle these claims. It is very difficult to prove that catching covid is avoidable under any circumstances and our insurers have exclusions for claims surrounding covid therefore we cannot investigate them. If the claim is due to vaccinations from covid we would recommend contacting the vaccination compensation scheme.
How long does it take to make a medial negligence claim?
There are no set time frames for claims in medical negligence cases as the length of a claim is often dependant on a number of different factors such as complexity of injury, reliance of input from third parties and the conduct of the defendant. However our solicitors will explain each part of the process and advise on approximate timescales throughout.
How can I prove medical negligence?
To be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim, you must be able to prove that the health professional acted below a reasonable standard of care and that you suffered harm as a result of that.
We will request copies of your medical records to help us assess your claim and we will probably instruct an independent expert to comment on the standard of care that you received. We may need to instruct multiple experts and you may need to be examined as part of that process. We will also take a statement from you and any other relevant witnesses.
Can I make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a friend or loved one?
You can act on behalf of a minor or a person lacking in mental capacity, as their litigation friend. A person can also bring a claim on behalf of the estate of a deceased person. If you wish to assist someone with capacity and who is an adult, we can obtain authority from the individual for you to be able to deal with the day to day running of the claim.
I have had issues with my medical care and feel that this has been negligent, can you advise what would amount to a claim?
In order to distinguish a case of medical negligence from a complaint with medical treatment we must satisfy the relevant legal test for clinical negligence. Firstly you must show a breach in the duty of care owed to the injured party. This is determined by whether no responsible clinician would have provided treatment/care in the way it was. Secondly we must be able to link the injury to the breach(es) of duty and prove that the injury was caused on the balance of probabilities (proving that it wouldn’t have occurred in any event).
What are examples of medical negligence?
- Negligent treatment or delays during pregnancy or childbirth causing injury to you or your baby.
- Operations that have gone wrong. For example, we secured a substantial sum for a young girl who was left with life-changing complications after her heart operation was found to be performed negligently
- When delays in getting a diagnosis lead to further complications or death. We have many cases involving delays in the diagnosis of cancer leading to death, for example.
- Some claims arise from misdiagnosis/late diagnosis. This could a chronic condition such as diabetes or vascular disease, or medical emergency, like a heart attack. If you have been misdiagnosed, you may require treatment or surgery that would not otherwise have been required.
- Being prescribed the wrong medication or an incorrect dose is also classed as medical negligence if it leads to harm or injuries
Other areas where you may have a medical negligence claim are:
- Fertility, pregnancy and birth negligence
- Delayed/incorrect diagnosis of fractures
What if I want to make a claim but I am not sure that I am ready to at the moment?
We understand that taking steps to bring a claim can be difficult. The law sets a three year period of time for claims of clinical negligence to be concluded or issued at court in order to prevent them being time barred from being brought (this is known as limitation). The three years runs from the date the injury occurred. However in some cases of medical negligence, a person can rely on their date of knowledge of the negligence (if for example they didn’t know the injury had occurred at the time). We have a policy here at Stephensons that we require at least six months remaining of the limitation period in order to enable us to take a claim on. This is due to the length of time it takes to carry out the initial investigations.
Can I claim for a medical practitioner refusing me treatment?
The refusal of treatment is complicated and can fall into alternative areas of law. If you feel that you are being refused treatment due to a protected characteristic and are being discriminated against please contact our discrimination law team. If you feel they are knowingly refusing to treat you this may fall under a human rights claim. The important thing to do is to speak to a solicitor and get advice.
What is classed as medical negligence?
Medical negligence is classed as when a health professional has failed in their legal duty of care and, as a result of that failure, have caused harm to the patient. This can include anything from poor treatment, after-care, or misdiagnosis.
A health professional may be a GP, hospital, physiotherapist, dentist or nurse. You can also bring a claim against a private surgeon too.
What is medical negligence?
If you, a family member or friend, have received medical treatment and that treatment has gone wrong then you may be able to make a claim in negligence against the medical provider for the additional harm which you have suffered and consequential financial losses.
Medical negligence does not only include treatment which you have received but may also include a failure to provide treatment at all or a delay in diagnosis and treatment.
A claim can be brought against any medical provider including general practitioners, NHS hospitals, private hospitals, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, opticians, pharmacists etc.
What are the time limits for making a medical negligence claim?
In a medical negligence claim, the general rule is that any court proceedings must be started within 3 years of the date on which the negligence is said to have happened (i.e. the date of treatment that you are concerned about), or the date on which you knew or should have known that you had a significant injury from the treatment.
This second date is referred to as your Date of Knowledge. If the claim is being brought on behalf of the estate of someone who has passed away then court proceedings must be started within 3 years of the date of death.
Different rules apply to children and those who lack capacity, so it may be important for you to seek out the help of a legal professional to decide what legislation you are held accountable to..
Proceedings brought by or on behalf of a child must be started at court three years from their 18th birthday (i.e. 3 years from the date on which the child legally becomes an adult). If a child or adult has suffered a brain injury such that they are considered to lack capacity under the mental health regulations then there may not be such a time limit. This will need to be carefully assessed by a specialist Solicitor together with advice from a Medical Health Professional.
In all potential cases it is important to contact a specialist solicitor as soon as you think you may have a medical negligence claim so that investigations can be started as soon as possible.
How long do medical negligence claims take?
A medical negligence claim can be a lengthy process and there are a number of complex steps involved as we have to be sure that we have investigated a claim properly and have the evidence we need to ensure your claim is as strong as it can be. If a case does not settle, the ultimate way in which it is finalised is in front of a judge in a court. We therefore have to build each case as if it could be presented to a judge (even though this is very unlikely).
The average lifespan of a claim is less than 4 years, however, it can take less time or longer depending on a number of factors. One of the ways in which we try to speed up the process is, when appropriate, we invite potential defendants to admit liability at a very early stage by sending them a notification letter. This is a document which outlines our allegations but confirms that our investigations are not yet finalised. Occasionally, a defendant will admit liability very early in a case, meaning our investigation is limited to considerations as to how much your claim is worth.
Other factors can lengthen the lifespan of a claim. For example, you may be undergoing treatment and we may need to wait until this is complete, or, for a child’s claim, we may need to wait until they have reached a certain age or milestone until we know the extent of the injury.
We will, of course, keep you updated at each stage and provide you with timescales as the claim is progressing and we do all we can to try and encourage a timely resolution to your case including promoting mediations, making early offers and requesting interim payments.
Why should I make a medical negligence claim?
The main reason for making a claim (and the only remedy that is available in accordance with the law) is to obtain compensation.
If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, then you will be able to claim compensation for your injuries themselves (your pain and suffering), any financial losses that you have already incurred and for the costs of any care, aids and equipment, treatment etc. that you may need in the future as a result of the negligent treatment.
If the claim is relating to the death of a loved one, we can also include a claim for statutory bereavement damages, funeral expenses and a claim for dependency if you were financially dependent upon the deceased.
The aim of the compensation is to try and put you back in the position that you would have been in, had the negligence not occurred. The compensation obviously cannot take away any injuries that you have suffered, but it can make sure that you are not out of pocket for your past expenses and it can ensure that you have money available for anything that you may need in the future.
There are a few other potential benefits of bringing a claim and these are:
- During the process of a claim, the circumstances of your treatment will be investigated. After these investigations have taken place, even if a claim cannot be established, it should give you answers about what happened and why.
- If you are able to establish a claim, then you will receive compensation and, in some circumstances, you may be offered a ‘letter of apology’ and/or there may be a change in procedures as a result of your claim to ensure what has happened to you will not repeat itself.
- From our experience of dealing with these types of claims, we are also able to signpost you to other organisations, charities or provide advice that can assist you to deal with the problems that can be encountered following medical treatment.
What will happen when I make a medical negligence claim?
If you decide to make a claim for medical negligence, we will get access to copies of your medical records and have them reviewed by specialists who will look for evidence of care, symptoms, and injuries that might have been as a result of negligent treatment.
We can then bring in an independent medical expert to consider your medical records and prepare a specialist report. Depending on the type of case, we may need to instruct several medical experts to comment on different aspects of your treatment. Once all this has been confirmed, we can put together a letter of claim which will outline why we believe the medical care you received was negligent. We should also be able to include within the letter, an offer to settle your claim, whilst also investigating any financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the negligent treatment.
The defendant then has four months to investigate your claim and provide us with a formal response.
You may need to undergo a medical examination with an independent expert, depending on the circumstances of your case, and we will make all the necessary arrangements for you.
Is 'no win no fee' funding available for medical negligence claims?
Most of our medical negligence claims are funded by way of a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement (also known as a conditional fee agreement or a CFA) and we would be happy to provide a free assessment to determine whether your case is eligible.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors are very aware of the importance of our clients being fully informed and advised throughout the legal process, and especially in relation to funding. As such, you will have access to an appointment with a Solicitor to discuss a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement before you are required to sign.
Ultimately, we do not require any payments upfront and the general rule is that you do not pay anything if you lose.
We are only paid if you win. To recognise this risk, we will take a ‘success fee’ from any fee awarded, capped at a maximum of 25% of your compensation (and excluding any compensation you are awarded to assist you in the future). However, please be rest assured that a settlement will not be reached, or proposed, unless you are fully aware of the amount of money that you will ultimately receive in your hand.
Will I need to have a medical examination when I make a medical negligence claim?
This will depend on the nature of the medical negligence claim that is being made. In some cases, a medical negligence claim can be conducted by reference to your medical notes and records, without the need for a medical examination.
It is unlikely that during the initial investigations into your claim that you will require a medical examination. If the expert is supportive of a case for clinical negligence then he or she may need to examine you to consider your current medical condition and/or your future prognosis. This will enable us to accurately value your claim for compensation and assess what additional care needs or other assistance you may require.
If you have any concerns regarding a medical examination then these would be discussed with ourselves and the medical expert in advance. It is usually the case that arrangements can be made which suit all parties involved.
Can I make a claim against the NHS and private hospitals?
Hospitals should be a safe place to go when you are injured or need treatment. However sometimes the care provided isn’t to the standard we expect and it can even be the case that additional injuries are caused. Serious errors can occur causing brain injuries, misdiagnosis and delays in diagnosis, injuries during childbirth and more.
You can therefore bring a claim for compensation for injuries sustained regardless of whether the treatment was paid for privately or carried out under the NHS. The process is similar for both and the main key difference in pursuing a claim for compensation against a private hospital is that you may have additional grounds to make a claim on the basis you may have entered into a contract that provides for an expected outcome.
Our specialist solicitors will be able to advise you on whether you have a claim for compensation and against whom the claim can be made. It can often be the case that multiple parties are pursued and compensation is paid by more than one hospital or practitioner.
Some readers may be familiar with the National Bobath Cerebral Palsy Centre and may have attended for treatment themselves or attended with a family member receiving treatment. I know that some of my clients and their families have attended the centre in...
Clin neg staff reorder
- Louise Griffiths
- Judith Thomas-Whittingham
- Tom Mooney
- Laura Sheehan
- Claire Stockley
- Jamie Cruickshanks
- Carla Duprey
- Sarah Masters
- Laura Owen
- Matthew Wan
- Pam Thompson
- Justine Wright