Medical Negligence / Clinical Negligence
If you have been injured, either physically or psychologically, because of a health professional’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation.
Who can I claim against?
Medical negligence – also known as clinical negligence – can occur in any setting. Most frequently, we see cases involving negligent hospital and GP care, but we also commonly see cases involving nurses, midwives, paramedics, opticians, physiotherapists and osteopaths.
You may have a claim for compensation for medical negligence if a healthcare professional has not provided you with the correct treatment and you have suffered harm as a result. This can include both physical and psychological injury.
Claims for poor NHS hospital and ambulance care are made against the NHS Trust administering the Hospital. The NHS carries insurance to cover against such claims. Claims for negligent GP, optician and private physiotherapy and osteopathic care are made against the individual treating practitioners, who carry their own insurance.
How will we investigate your claim?
The main evidence you need for a medical negligence claim will come from independent medical experts. These are doctors or other health care experts who can give an expert opinion on your case. They will give their opinion on:
- your medical records;
- your statement about what has happened;
- any other documents supporting your case.
What do I have to prove to claim compensation?
You cannot claim compensation just because someone else has done something wrong; you have to be able to prove that this has caused you an injury . To make a claim for medical negligence compensation, you have to be able to prove two things:
- the health professional acted in a way that no responsible or reasonable practitioner would have done (“negligence”): and
- you have suffered a physical or psychological injury as a direct result of the negligent act or acts (“causation”).
How long have I got to claim?
Medical negligence claims normally have a three-year time limit, but there are exceptions for those aged 18 or under and for clients who suffer from a mental disability. The three-year time limit runs from either the date of injury, or the date on which you first suspected, or became aware of, your injury, whichever is sooner.
There are exceptions to these rules, so it is important that you take advice from a specialist medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. We also recommend that you keep a diary of events, including your subsequent GP and hospital visits and expenses incurred as a result of your injuries (keeping receipts where possible).