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Clinical Negligence Solicitors
Most of us put our health in the hands of medical professionals at various points during our lives, and while the majority of the care we receive is of the highest quality, there is always a risk that something could go wrong. If this happens due to poor treatment or human error, it is imperative you are able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused.
The specialist medical negligence solicitors at JMW are greatly experienced in helping people to successfully make a claim, providing professional, considered guidance throughout the process. We are friendly and approachable, and are happy to have a free, no-obligation conversation to help you better understand your position and the next steps you should take.
How JMW Can Help
The medical negligence solicitors at JMW are among the most respected in the UK thanks to their professional and proactive approach, which gets results for our clients.
In this video, JMW's head of clinical negligence Eddie Jones and some of our clients talk about how we help to rebuild lives following an avoidable injury caused by the negligence of medical professionals.
Our team includes members of the Law Society's specialist panel of clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.
What do I need to prove to win my compensation claim?
To make a successful claim for medical negligence you have to prove 2 things:
- that the standard of care you received fell below that of a reasonably competent health care professional in that specific area of medicine (negligence)
- that you have suffered a physical or mental injury as a direct result of the negligent action (causation)
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether the harm has been caused directly by the clinical negligence or as a consequence of some underlying disease or illness.
For a claim to be successful you have to prove both negligence and causation. You cannot claim compensation just because someone has done something wrong. You have to prove that this has caused you significant injury.
If we think that your case is worth investigating we will first of all obtain your medical records. These will be checked through and put in order before being sent to an independent medical expert who will compile a detailed report for us. A supporting independent medical opinion is necessary for any case to succeed.
If we consider that we have enough evidence to bring a successful claim we will issue legal proceedings or try to negotiate the settlement of your claim. Often clinical negligence cases can be settled without the need to proceed to trial.
What is medical negligence?
Despite the fact that health care in this country is generally of a high standard, occasionally things do go wrong. This is particularly true nowadays when treatments can be highly technical and complex and many different health care professionals are involved in the care of each patient. If the results of treatment are not as good as expected, fall below a reasonable standard or if complications have arisen, it does not automatically mean there has been a mistake or someone is to blame.
However, doctors and other health care workers do sometimes make mistakes that could have been avoided with more care, skill or organisation and this is called clinical (or medical) negligence. An operation may be incompetently performed, a GP may fail to recognise the seriousness of symptoms, or a baby may be damaged because of a mishandled birth.
Can I claim compensation?
If you have been harmed, either physically or mentally, because of the negligence of a health care professional, you may be able to claim compensation. The damage needs to be serious enough to make it worth paying the costs of making a claim. In most cases, it is not worth pursuing legal action if the injury is fairly minor or if a rapid recovery is expected.
In cases such as these, the cost of making a claim could be greater than the compensation. However, if there has been an admission of fault, it may be worth pursuing a low value case. Our expert clinical negligence solicitors can advise you on this.
How much compensation could I get?
There are many variables that can affect the amount of compensation you could hope to receive following a successful medical negligence claim, including the type and severity of the negligence you have suffered, and the physical, financial and emotional impact it has had on your life. The compensation amount will also take into consideration any expenses you’ve incurred and your future care needs. As such, it is not possible to predict exactly how much compensation you will receive.
What is the process for a medical negligence claim?
Your first step in the claims process is simply to get in touch with our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors. From there, you will have a one-to-one discussion with one of our experts who will assess your situation and decide the next best steps to take.
Every clinical negligence claim is different and we thoroughly investigate all of the facts of your case, including reviewing your medical records, so we can provide you with the very best advice tailored to your personal situation. We will be there every step of the way to guide you through the process in a clear, jargon-free way to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Is there a time limit on medical negligence claims?
Legal action must be started within three years of the date you first knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, that something had gone wrong with your medical treatment - this is called the date of knowledge.
This will usually be quite soon after the operation or treatment has taken place, but occasionally it will not become obvious that an intervention has had long-term consequences until months, or sometimes years, after the event.
Examples of time frames include:
- A three-year time limit, if the claimant is under 18, which expires on their 21st birthday
- No limitations for people under a legal disability (i.e. those suffering from a mental disorder)
- A three-year time limit, if someone has died because of negligence, starting from the date of death
The courts strictly enforce time limits and it is only in exceptional circumstances that a judge will exercise discretion to allow a case to be brought "out of time". As it takes time to investigate a claim, it is a good idea to start proceedings with a clinical negligence solicitor well before the end of the limitation period. Also, the sooner the case is investigated, the more likely it is that documents will still be available and that people will be able to remember what happened.
How long do the claims take?
Our medical negligence solicitors try and settle claims as quickly as possible in order to help you move forward with your life with the compensation you deserve. As every clinical negligence case is different, there is no defined timescale as to how long a claim can take.
What Our Clients Say
Talk to Us
If you feel you could benefit from the expertise of our clinical and medical negligence lawyers, call JMW Solicitors free on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online contact form. Our clinical negligence solicitors work for clients nationwide and will deal with your enquiry without any initial cost or obligation.