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When thinking of making a claim, it can be a daunting prospect when you are not aware of how it all works. Here are five steps to successfully make your medical negligence claim.
Beginning Your Claim
The first step of the process is to begin and understand your claim. A medical negligence claim occurs when a patient does not feel happy with the treatment they have been given. Medical negligence can cover a wide spectrum in all different fields, so it is important to distinguish whether a claim is relevant to your experience.
You can claim against healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses, as well as GP’s and dentists. Making a claim does not affect your rights and you are legally entitled to still receive treatment should you require or need it. However, seeking treatment by another provider may be the best option for you. Being able to understand and identify your claim will help you tremendously when seeking out the help you need.
Seeking a Solicitor
There are many medical negligence solicitors who will be able to help you with your medical negligence UK claim. Finding the best medical negligence solicitors could not be easier, especially as we can now look online to read customer reviews and feedback, which helps us weigh up which option is best for us.
Thoroughly investigating a solicitor that is right for you is incredibly important in determining the overall success of your case. You should take advantage of the free resources firms provide, for example, The Medical Negligence Experts have extensive information on their website about medical negligence claims and also allow people to phone in for free initial advice. Once you have found a solicitor, you can then ask them any questions on your medical negligence claims, such as how much the whole process will cost, how long the claim will take, as well as any other enquiries you may have. You solicitor will be able to answer your questions in detail once they have evidence of your claim.
Supporting Your Claim
The only way your claim will be successful is by having a large amount of support behind it in terms of evidence. The evidence you provide will need to be clear and cohesive and give a detailed description of every encounter you have had and why you feel your healthcare provider was not up to the job when delivering the treatment. Make sure you are as precise as possible when supplying your evidence to ensure it remains consistent and reliable.
Your evidence will need to be looked over by your medical negligence solicitor who will be able to take appropriate action and give you feedback on whether they feel your claim is suitable to be carried forward. They will also be able to explain the legal aspects of your case and give you assistance with any queries you may have. If your claim goes to court, your solicitors can advise you on what is likely to happen.
The end goal of your claim will be to receive compensation. The way compensation is calculated will reflect your physical and mental ability after treatment. General damages are given to those who have experienced severe pain from treatment and those who continue to suffer long after the event. Many of those in pain will need more treatment and therapy, which is taken into consideration and reflected in the compensation. You can read more about the differences between special and general damages at All Law.
General damages are also awarded to those who have had their lives severely impacted, resulting in patients not being able to perform daily tasks. When calculating general damages, each case is unique due to the inability to measure the pain and mental well-being of patients correctly. Special damages are more straightforward, as they are awarded for reasons such as loss of earnings and potential future earnings. Ensure you speak to your solicitor who will be able to give you advice beforehand and tell you what sort of level of compensation you are likely to receive.
Take into Consideration
It is also important to take into consideration the amount of time you have when starting your claim. The sooner you begin your claim, the better your chances are. This is because you will be able to collect your evidence more easily, the experience will be fresh in your head, which will enable you to provide more accurate and thorough descriptions of your claim, as well as potentially receiving your compensation much sooner. There is a three-year time limit from when your medical malpractice occurred, so ensure you stay within the timeframe, so your claim remains valid.
You will also need to investigate the financial costs of your claim. Legal aid used to be available until 2013, with solicitors now offering conditional fee agreements (otherwise known as no win, no fee).
There are many more factors to consider when making a medical negligence claim. If you have started your claim and need more guidance or feel you are not getting the best from your solicitor, make sure you investigate other solicitors and lawyers who will be able to help you win your claim.