Whilst the standard of healthcare in the UK is generally very high, things can and do go wrong. Injuries or conditions resulting from this poor care can be devastating and life-changing for patients and their families. When the standard of care is so poor it is considered negligent, our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors can help patients to recover the compensation they deserve and desperately need.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence) occurs when a healthcare or medical professional fails to provide the standard accepted level of care a patient needs. By deviating from standard codes of practice, delaying a vital referral process or misdiagnosis of a patient’s condition, long-term and devastating injuries can be inflicted on patients. In some cases this means patients will need life-long rehabilitation and support and in the worst cases, can results in death.

When Does Medical Negligence Occur?

Whether a patient has been treated privately or by the NHS, medical accidents or mistakes made by GPs, nurses, surgeons or dentists can cause injuries to their patients that have a huge impact on their lives.

A late diagnosis, surgical accidents or the failure to refer a patient to a specialist can have devastating consequences. Wide-ranging types of clinical negligence claims, as well as the complexity of the law in this area, mean it is vital to instruct a solicitor with the necessary skills and experience to fight for you and to recover the maximum amount of compensation.

With over 12 years’ experience of clinical and medical negligence claims, our specialist team understand the devastating effects of negligent medical treatment and provide a service that goes much further than obtaining compensation.  We not only work with our clients to access the compensation they deserve but also offer the advice, support and assistance they need to recover.

Our specialist team have experience in dealing with the full range of medical negligence claims, including:

What Happens When You Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

If a healthcare professional has made a mistake, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation. We understand that after this upsetting and traumatic experience, making a claim may seem like the last thing you want to do, however our team of professional, devoted and expert solicitors are highly experienced in fighting for the compensation you deserve.

When you contact us, we will discuss your situation in detail and let you know if you’re able to make a claim for medical negligence. This is completely free and you will never be charged for making an enquiry.

If we think you have a claim, we will operate on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means you’ll have no upfront costs and will have nothing to pay if your claim is not successful.

Your dedicated solicitor will then request your medical records and medical evidence that your treatment was negligible from independent doctors to establish the grounds for your claim.

We will then negotiate your case and not only fight for justice but for the compensation you deserve.

For more detail on what happens when you make a medical negligence claim, tap here.

 How Long Does It Take To Get Medical Negligence Compensation?

As every case we take on is entirely different from the last, it’s impossible to say exactly how long your claim might take. As this area of law is quite complex it can sometimes take a year or so before you win compensation. For more information on the legal aspects of medical negligence cases, click here.

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What Kind Of Medical Negligence Claims Are There?

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is the most common form of medical negligence claim that we deal with, partly because it is such a broad term that covers a variety of medical interactions with healthcare professionals. The consequences of misdiagnosis can sometimes be life-changing and if the medical professional that you trusted to help you was negligent in treating you, you may wish to consider making a medical negligence compensation claim.

Surgical Negligence

Although the standard of healthcare in the UK is second to none, occasionally mistakes can be made. Surgical negligence can be particularly harrowing and traumatic for the patient and are regarded as ‘Never events’ by the Government, as they are deemed so serious that they should never happen.

The types of medical negligence in surgery include:

  • Performing the wrong operation on a patient
  • Leaving foreign objects such as surgical equipment in the body.
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Puncturing an organ
  • Causing scarring or disfigurement.
  • Infection caused by poor hygiene
Medication and Prescription Errors

Receiving the wrong medicine, whether it’s a completely different drug to what you need, or the wrong dosage and have dangerous side effects.

If you have suffered from side effects or complications after taking the wrong medicine, you may be able to make a medical negligence claim.

Both doctors and the pharmacists who dispense medication have a duty of care to you and by giving you the wrong prescription are in breach of their legal and ethical responsibilities to you.

GP Negligence Claims

GPs (General Practitioners) are often our first port of call when we have a malady and we trust their experience and expertise when they advise us. Unfortunately this is not always the case and sometimes GP negligence can have devastating effects. To find out more, visit our GP Negligence page.

Birth Injuries

Birth injury claims can arise if you or your baby is injured.

Injuries to babies include cerebral palsy and brain Injury, where there is a failure to monitor the oxygen level, or negligent interpretation of CTG traces, problems using forceps or vacuum delivery or errors in managing caesarean sections.

Injuries to mothers can include issues with retained swabs, mistakes when suturing tears, extensive perineal tears, injuries to organs from caesarean sections or failing to recognise damage at the time or anaesthetic mistakes.

Why Choose Michael Lewin Solicitors?

If you, or a loved one, have been let down by the medical profession and have suffered an injury as a result you may be entitled to compensation. At Michael Lewin Solicitors, we pride ourselves on the high level of service we provide:

Free Initial Advice – We always offer free, no-obligation initial advice for our clients to establish what the best next steps are for your case.

We Are Specialists – Our dedicated team of specialist solicitors have over 12 years’ experience dealing solely with medical/clinical negligence cases.

Clients Come First – We treat our clients with respect and compassion and are always available if you want to speak to us about your case.

High Success Rate – We are proud to say that we win the majority of cases we take on, thanks to our specialist knowledge of complex medical issues.

What Should You Do Next?

If you’re wondering whether the treatment you received was negligent and would appreciate some free, confidential advice from an expert team of solicitors then please don’t hesitate to call one of our team on 0113 200 9787 or email your enquiry here. You can also use the contact form below to get in touch and tell us what happened.

 

If you have some questions on your mind, check out our Medical Negligence FAQ.

CONTACT US TODAY

Simply complete this short form and one of our medical negligence experts will be in touch soon.

Have you suffered from clinical negligence, or
have you become aware that you were the victim of
clinical negligence within the last 3 years? *
 Yes No

Who do you allege has treated your negligently? *
 GP Surgery NHS Hospital Private Hospital Other Medical Professional

Your confidentiality is always assured and we aim to provide excellence in our client care.

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What happens when you make a Medical Negligence claim?

At Michael Lewin Solicitors, our Medical Negligence solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with a range of cases – specialising in Spinal Cord claims, Birth Injury claims, and GP Negligence.

The prospect of making a Medical Negligence claim may seem like a daunting idea. To address this, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to shed light on what the process entails.

1 Making an Enquiry

Michael Lewin Solicitors offer a free telephone consultation where we will discuss your concerns in detail and be able to assess whether or not you have ground to make a claim for medical negligence.

This will depend on whether you can prove that the treatment or care you received fell below an acceptable standard (breach of duty), and subsequently if this care caused, or worsened, your condition (causation).

Following your telephone consultation, we will assess the prospects of success in your case.

2 Conditional Fee Agreement

If we accept your case, we will operate on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means even if the claim is unsuccessful there is no financial risk to you in paying legal costs. In addition to this, we recommend you obtain insurance to protect you against payment for disbursements. These are costs incurred by MLS on behalf of the client, such a medical report.

This information is clearly set out in the Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which serves as a binding legal contract between you and us.

In the post, along with the CFA, you will receive forms authorising the release of your medical records. We will then request your records from your GP and hospital. Healthcare providers have 40 days to provide the records but the process often takes longer.

Once we receive full copies of your medical records, they will be checked, sorted and paginated so that a chronology of treatment can be prepared.

3 Gathering Evidence

 

  1. Witness Statement – At this stage, we will meet with you to draw up a witness statement. This will be an official document which reports your account of events. We will work together to make your statement as detailed as possible and ensure that you are happy with the final draft.
  2. Instruction of Experts and Instruction of Counsel – We will instruct the relevant experts to advise whether the treatment or care you received fell below an acceptable standard (breach of duty) and if so whether this treatment caused or worsened your condition (causation). We may also obtain an opinion from a barrister about prospects of success.

4 Pre-Action Protocol

After we have drawn together evidence and thoroughly investigated you claim, we will draft a Letter of Notification forewarning the defendants a Letter of Claim is to follow.

A Letter of Claim is used to set out detailed allegations to the defendant regarding how care has fallen below the expected standard (breach of duty) and the resulting harm this caused (causation).

The Defendant(s) has 4 months to provide a Letter of Response whereby they will either admit or deny the claim.

In light of the Letter of Response, it is possible for the claim to settle at this stage. If not, a decision will be made whether or not to commence formal Court proceedings.

5 Issue and Service of Proceedings

A claim is commenced in either the High Court or the County Court by issuing a document called a Claim Form. This will be served upon the defendant no later than 4 months from the date of issue, along with the Particulars of Claim which set out detailed allegations of negligence.

The defendant then has 56 days to serve their response whereby they will provide a Defence or admit liability for the claim.

6 Allocation to Track and Case Management Conference

This stage involves the Court determining how the claim will be dealt with; this is called allocation to track. The Court will allocate the case to either fast track, multi-track or small claims.  The track selected will depend on the complexity and value of the case.

A timetable will also be set for the steps leading up to trial; this will include the exchange of documents held by both parties, the date of hearing, and a date for the trial.

7 Exchange of Witness Statements

Your witness statement will now be served on the defendant including your account of events and the impact your injuries have on your day-to-day life. We will also serve statements from any other relevant witnesses such as your family members.

The defendant will serve witness statements from relevant medical and nursing staff.

8 Exchange of Expert Reports and Experts’ Discussion

We will serve on the defendant copies of our final expert reports. The defendant will serve on us copies of their reports which we will then circulate to our experts for comment.

Following the exchange, our expert and the defendant’s expert will try to identify areas of agreement and disagreement. This is an attempt to narrow the issues that may need to be decided at trial. The experts will produce a signed joint statement detailing the outcome.

9 Joint Settlement Meeting

Next, we will meet the defendant’s legal team with you, to try and negotiate a settlement without the need for, and expense of, a trial.

It is possible for your claim to settle at any point from the Letter of Claim onwards. The Court strongly encourages early settlement of cases and most claims that proceed do settle without the need for a trial.

10 Trial

By this stage, the date of trial will have been set for some time. It is usually scheduled to take place within 12-18 months of the Claim Form being issued at Court.

In the unlikely scenario that your case does go to trial, your MLS solicitor will have carried out a wealth of detailed preparation and will ensure you have all the support you need.

What should you do next?

Claims for Medical Negligence involve complex legal and medical issues, and we understand that the prospect of pursuing a case may seem like an intimidating idea.

We hope to have put your mind at ease with this step-by-step guide. As a client, you can rest assured that our team of professional, devoted and expert solicitors are highly experience in fighting for the compensation you deserve.

If you, or a loved one, have been let down by the medical profession and suffered an injury as a result, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Lewin Solicitors for some free, confidential advice to see if you can make a claim for Clinical Negligence.