Pursuing a medical negligence claim might initially seem daunting – especially as the vast majority of people are unlikely to have gone through the process before. The aim of this blog is therefore to provide a brief summary of the process, from...
How can we help?
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 and speciality 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 0203 817 9430 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.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks for all the hard work, dedication and support shown by Louise and all her team through this tough and emotional time.” Read more comments by medical negligence claim clients
Medical negligence compensation claims
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. After providing free advice initially, if we feel that you have a viable case for compensation, with your permission our experienced medical negligence solicitors will build a case for you and fight to earn the right degree of compensation for your needs and that of your family where appropriate.
As one of the largest firms of its kind in the UK, we have helped clients nationwide to settle claims which enables them to fund any care or treatment needed and also compensate them for any loss of earnings both in the past and in the future.
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 take time to fully investigate the injuries and ensure that clients receive an appropriate level of compensation.
A medial 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.
It all starts with a simple conversation and some free initial no obligation legal advice. If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence and believe you might have grounds for a claim, call us on 0203 817 9430.
Our expert medical negligence claims solicitors have helped many clients from all walks of life claim compensation for their injuries, recovering millions of pounds for victims along the way.
The team’s work was commended in The Times Best Law Firms 2019 which is testimony to their expertise.
Medical negligence claim - areas of specialism
Medical negligence can affect anyone and happen at any time as medical staff can make mistakes. Even if you are unsure as to whether you are a victim of clinical negligence or feel it may not be worth claiming compensation, you may be missing out on what is rightfully owed to you.
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 in the sum of £65,000 for a client that was prescribed steroids for a prolonged period of time without any bone protection medication. The client suffered osteoporotic fractures to her spine
Carla Duprey settled a claim in the sum of £85,000 for a client who suffered a bowel perforation whilst under the care of a hospital
Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £5,000 for a delay in diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately the cancer was not amenable to surgery but the delay caused an avoidable period of suffering for the deceased
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
Claire Stockley settled a complex brain injury case for £2.9 million plus annual care and case management costs for the rest of the claimant’s life
Jamie Cruickshanks acted for a client in relation to delay of surgical procedure to treat a brain tumour and post – operative infection which settled for £400,000
Jamie Cruickshanks settled a claim for £2 million after failure to diagnose an abscess led to brain injury and the loss of ability to work
Jamie Cruickshanks settled a claim for over £600,000 for a child who suffered spinal problems due to a failure to detect the diagnosis
Tom Mooney recently settled a claim for £75,000 for a client who's husband died as a consequence of a delay in diagnosing and treating cancer
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
Laura Sheehan settled a claim for £940,000 due to a delay in diagnosing and treating a TIA (mini-stroke). The client went on to suffer a stroke and chronic fatigue syndrome which severely impacted her everyday life
Kelly Withers, solicitor acted on a claim arising from a GP’s failure to recognise the signs and symptoms of advancing cauda equina syndrome, the settlement was £285,000
Claire Stockley recently secured £285,000 in compensation following the brain injury and avoidable death of a 60 year old female
Carla Duprey, settled a claim for over £350,000 for a client relating to the treatment received following diagnosis with lumbar discitis
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to clinical negligence, contact our expert team of solicitors today and get the compensation you deserve. All cases are handled on a no win, no fee basis, which means there is no financial risk to you in the unlikely event that your claim is unsuccessful.
As there is a three year time limit on many clinical negligence claims, it is vital you contact a member of our team as soon as possible to ensure a positive outcome. All initial advice is completely free and there is no obligation to proceed whatsoever.
For expert advice call us on 0203 817 9430 and speak to a member of our clinical negligence team to discuss your compensation claim today. Alternatively you can send our clinical negligence team an email via our contact form.
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
What does a medical negligence compensation claim cost?
If you have had medical treatment which you feel was not satisfactory and you would like to know whether you have a medical negligence claim which might entitle you to compensation then please call us on 0203 817 9430 or complete our enquiry form.
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.
As we provide a nationwide service there is no need for you to come to our offices. However, if you would prefer face to face meetings these can be arranged.
In addition to helping you pursue your medical negligence claim we can also provide you with advice on other very important issues at this time. For example if you are unable to work because of your injuries we can assist you to ensure that your are getting the full amount of state benefits to which you may be entitled to and that any housing or care needs arising from your injuries can be met while the claim is being made.
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.
“You can be confident that you will get a very good service."
"This firm offers a full service on clinical negligence, encompassing both small and large claims... The team is described as ‘very client-focused."
"At Stephensons Solicitors LLP the ‘whole team is excellent and all the lawyers there are uniformly professional’. Head of the ‘first-class department’ is the ‘dynamic’ Judith Thomas-Whittingham who is praised for her ‘drive, commitment and refreshingly down to earth approach’. Tom Mooney is commended for his ‘courage and for his sound judgement when fighting difficult cases which others might not pursue’. The ‘compassionate’ Claire Stockley ‘applies enormous dedication to her clients’ cases coupled with an extremely thorough approach to evidence and preparation. No detail is left unaddressed and she has an instinctive tactical understanding of the case and good judgement’. The senior associates also garner praise - Laura Sheehan is lauded for her ‘ability to master complex cases and to concentrate on the key issues’. Jamie Cruickshanks is ‘tenacious in securing the right results for his clients’ and Carla Duprey is ‘on the ball and very efficient’. The team acts for clients nationwide and is known for its specialist skills in birth and brain injury as well as medical misdiagnosis and amputation cases. In addition the team has continued to secure the clinical negligence civil contract from the Legal Aid Agency. It has a ‘well-organised and very efficient team of enthusiastic and hardworking practitioners who are attracting some very good work’."
It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, and you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf.
Medical negligence claim FAQs
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.
Some examples of medical negligence are as follows:
- Failure by a GP to refer you to a specialist for investigations
- A mistake during surgery requiring you to undergo a different procedure and a protracted recovery
- Giving you the incorrect medication
- Failure to obtain your informed consent to agree to a procedure/treatment
To assess whether you have suffered an avoidable injury and are entitled to compensation as a result, contact a specialist clinical negligence solicitor for advice.
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. 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?
After we have taken some information from you, we will ask the treatment providers (usually your GP and hospitals) to provide us with copies of your medical records. Once received, our specialist nurses will review your medical records and they will look for evidence of care that might have been negligent, and whether any incidences of negligence have caused the symptoms and injuries that you have brought the claim about.
If the nurse is of the opinion that there may have been some negligent treatment then we usually will instruct 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.
If the expert evidence is supportive of a claim for medical negligence, we will then prepare a letter of claim for you to approve before sending this to the defendant. The letter of claim sets out in detail why we are of the opinion there has been negligent treatment and what harm this has caused. We should also be able to include within the letter, an offer to settle your claim. We will also investigate details of 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.
If the defendant admits that the treatment you have received is negligent and this has caused you harm, we will make attempts to negotiate settlement of your case. If the defendant denies any wrongdoing or that there has been no additional harm caused then we will ask your independent expert(s) for their comments and provided they remain supportive of your claim, we will then start court proceedings and ask the court to make a decision as to whether the defendant was responsible and if so, to what extent and what compensation should be awarded to 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 are required to undergo a medical examination then this will be carried out by an independent medical expert. In most cases the examination will take place in person but in some cases the medical expert would be able to complete a medical report following a conversation with you on the telephone.
If it became necessary for you to undergo an examination in person then this is usually carried out at your convenience. A mutually convenient appointment would be arranged and you would usually attend an appointment at the medical expert’s consulting rooms. Where it is not possible to travel to the expert’s consulting rooms, or where the expert needs to examine you in your home environment, then the appointment would take place at your home address or at an address more convenient to you.
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.
Every medical practitioner owes a duty of care to their patient so when standards fall and injuries are caused, it is possible to make a claim for compensation. The standards expected of private practitioners such as private doctors and nurses are exactly the same as would be expected of those working within the NHS. Unfortunately, the fact that the treatment has been paid for does not necessarily mean that you will receive a higher standard of care. 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.
The national law firm, Stephensons, is to move into new premises in St Helens. The firm will close its current office on Corporation Street in the town on Friday January 17th 2020 and move to a new purpose built office space in Century House on Hardshaw...
Clin neg staff reorder
- Louise Griffiths
- Judith Thomas-Whittingham
- Tom Mooney
- Laura Sheehan
- Claire Stockley
- Jamie Cruickshanks
- Carla Duprey
- Gemma Crompton
- Alexandra Cullen
- Laura Owen
- Kelly Withers
- Christopher Marsden
- Pam Thompson
- Justine Wright