Medical & Clinical Negligence Claims

Bringing a Medical/Clinical Negligence Claim

This does not just apply to doctors, surgeons and nurses, etc, but also to other forms of medical treatment including dentistry, opticians, psychiatrists, midwives and physiotherapists.

The medical profession, like everyone else, owe their patients a "duty of care" - a duty to ensure that they receive proper treatment, in the proper manner. If they breach this duty (i.e. medical/clinical negligence) and the person they are treating suffers in any way as a result, then the victim has a potential claim for medical/clinical negligence. It all comes down to trying to establish whether the action taken, or not taken, was reasonable in all the circumstances. Some medical/clinical negligence cases will be more straightforward then others - administering the wrong medication, or giving too much or too little medication, are fairly straightforward cases in which medical/clinical negligence is likely to be easily established. More difficult cases include, for example, possible claims for MRSA infection.

Whilst most would accept that the medical profession have a difficult and evermore demanding job, it is perfectly legitimate to make a medical/clinical negligence claim where things have gone wrong through carelessness, neglect or incompetence.

The initial investigation

Medical/Clinical Negligence is sometimes easy to identify but often it is not. In those cases, your solicitor will need to undertake an initial investigation into the medical/clinical negligence claim before they can advise you whether or not you have a good case.

1. Your Statement
Your solicitor will initially need to speak to you in order to obtain your instructions on what has happened. He or she will then prepare a statement (a written version) setting out your recollections and thoughts on what has happened to you. In many medical/clinical negligence claims this can be a lengthy document .

2. Medical Records
Your solicitor will then need to obtain copies of your medical records. Often your GP’s records are required. Where you have had treatment at a hospital these will also need to be obtained.

3. Medical Report
Your solicitor will need to obtain a report from a specialist medical practitioner on the standard of care given and whether or not that standard of care fell short of that which is considered to be reasonable in this country. Secondly your solicitor will need to obtain evidence as to whether or not that medical/clinical negligence caused or contributed to your injury or loss.

Sometimes it may be necessary for reports to be obtained from more than one expert.

Although it is difficult to be exact about how long the investigation will take, it is likely to be in the region of six/twelve months. The reason for this is that most medical experts have long waiting lists and are not therefore able to produce their reports until some months after receiving instructions in a case.

Once the initial investigations into your claim have been concluded, your solicitor can then advise you as to the strengths and weaknesses of your medical/clinical negligence case. They will also then advise you as to what needs to happen next in order to take your case forward.

Usually this will involve contacting the doctor or hospital to advise them of the claim and to see whether or not liability is accepted and settlement likely. In the event that liability is not accepted, your solicitor will advise you as to your further options such as issuing court proceedings.

In medical/clinical negligence claims, you have a period of three years from the date of the negligent treatment or your knowledge of the negligent treatment, if later, to bring your medical/clinical negligence case to the attention of a court by commencing court proceedings, failing which you lose the right to bring your claim. Sometimes the court has a discretion to extend this period but those occasions are limited.

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How To Contact Us

To contact The Accident Solicitors about a personal injury claim, please either telephone us on 0333 3010 700 or complete the short questionnaire above. Simply click the 'Send Now' button to submit the questionnaire once you have completed it. Upon receipt, it will be assessed by a solicitor who will then contact you to discuss the matter. The solicitor appointed to contact you, will be a specialist in your type of accident. The Accident Solicitors handle cases on behalf of clients throughout the country. Our head office is based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and we also have offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Chester, Stoke-on-Trent, Leeds, Sheffield, Preston, Nottingham, London, Exeter, Bristol, and Birmingham.

This initial consultation is completely free of charge.