Medical negligence – 10 simple steps to achieving your compensation
Here are the 10 easy steps to help you on your way to a medical negligence claim today.
Step 1 - Obtaining your medical records
We ask you to sign forms of authority so that we can obtain your medical records from your GP and any hospitals that have treated you.
Step 2 - Providing your statement of what happened
As the medical experts we instruct need to know what happened during your treatment, we work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words.
Step 3 - Minimising your loss
You are responsible for minimising the losses you have incurred as a result of the alleged medical negligence, so you need to attend any available treatments that could aid your recovery. You may also need to return to work as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Step 4 - Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
You must prove that the treatment you received fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful medical specialist of the type who treated you and that, as a result, you suffered a loss or injury. To do this, we obtain independent medical evidence from an expert in the appropriate area of medicine.
Step 5 - Establishing the effect of the breach of duty
We have to establish whether the sub-standard treatment you received is likely to have led to your injury or loss. As this can be difficult to establish, you may need to see one or more medical experts who will assess your current condition and what the future holds for you.
Step 6 - Calculating the value of your claim
The value of your claim comprises:
- general damages for the pain, suffering and impact of the negligence on your daily life both now and in the future
- actual financial losses such as loss of earnings, cost of care, medical and travel expenses.
Step 7 - Proving your loss
You need to keep all original financial documents safe as these will be needed when we prepare your case to go to Court. These documents include accounts, payslips, and receipts for expenses and medical treatments.
Step 8 - Preparing your case for Court
Although only a small number of cases proceed to a trial, we prepare every case for this eventuality.
Step 9 - Attending the trial in Court
The trial takes place before a Circuit or High Court judge who will make a decision based on the evidence we have prepared.
Step 10 - Awarding your compensation claim
If you win your case, the amount of compensation will be decided by negotiation with the defendant or, if your case goes to trial, by the judge. The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case. We will also agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation as quickly as possible.
How long does a claim take?
Because the circumstances surrounding every claim and their effects are different, it’s very difficult to give a definitive answer on how long it takes to settle a claim. Often it depends on how quickly our clients provide us with essential information, how quickly we can get medical records and assessments, and whether the insurance companies are willing to provide realistic offers to settle the claims.
Whilst we aim to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also want to ensure we secure the maximum compensation for you. This often means we have to do some hard negotiation with the defendants – which takes extra time. Our aim is to balance progressing the claim as fast as possible with getting you the maximum settlement.
We realise that you’ll be keen to know about the progress of your claim so we will send you regular emails and texts to keep you up to date, and also to remind you if there is any information we’re waiting for from you.