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We assist clients who have suffered an injury as a result of a medical mistake. Sometimes the consequences of medical negligence can result in life long complications such as psychiatric and physical injury or even loss of life.
We understand that the majority of the medical professionals are diligent and caring but mistakes do happen and when they do the patient is left lost, confused and without support. The consequences of a mistake can be devastating for both the patient and the family.
As the field of medicine is complex it is important that your claim is handled sensitively by a legal professional who has experience of handling complex medical negligence cases.
At Ridley & Hall we have a team of expert lawyers who will help and guide you through what can be a very difficult time to help you seek recompense for the needless trauma.
What we offer
We will deal with your case with care and sensitivity as we understand how hard it can be for the victim and their family.
We can be tough and persuasive with our opponents to ensure we secure the best outcome for our client.
We will look after you with compassion and understanding as we appreciate how an injury can impact on the victim’s day to day life and their family.
If rehabilitation is required we will help you seek the right kind of support.
We will ensure the right medical experts with the appropriate expertise are instructed to assist with the case.
We have a network of knowledge and supporting organisations to ensure you are supported all the way through.
Types of Medical Negligence Claims
- Brain Injury
- Catastrophic birth injuries
- Cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy
- Negligent care of the elderly
- Surgical error
- Plastic and cosmetic injuries
- Gynaecology and obstetrics
- Negligent dental care
- Spinal injury
- Birth injury
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed diagnosis eg. Fractures/ Deep Vein / Thrombosis/ cancer
- Pressure sores
- GP errors
- Nursing errors
- Orthopaedic errors
- Gastric band surgery
- General surgery
- Accident and emergency
How to prove a medical negligence claim?
In order to succeed in making a claim the law requires the claimant to prove both:
- That the standard of care received was well below that of a reasonably competent health care professional in that field of medicine. This is known as breach of duty of care.
- That as a result the claimant has suffered a physical and or a psychiatric injury as a direct result of the care they received or did not receive. This is known as causation.
So what are the time limits for making such a claim?
There are strict time limits in law for making a claim and it is important that if you think there was negligence you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
The law allows the claimant three years within which to make a claim. This is either three years from the date of the negligent incident or from the date of knowledge from when the claimant became aware of the negligence. If the claimant is not able to confirm the date of knowledge then it is best to assume that the three year period runs from the date of the incident so as to ensure the claim is made within the limitation period otherwise the claim could be out of time.
There are exceptions to this time limit.
- For a child claimant who is under the age of 18 then the 3 year period does not start to run until their 18th birthday so if a settlement is not achieved then any Court proceedings must be issued before their 21st
- Where a claimant does not have mental capacity
- Where a claimant suffers a temporary mental disability then the time does not run until mental capacity returns.
What compensation can the Claimant claim?
The Claimant can potentially claim the following losses and other relevant reasonable losses caused as a direct result of the negligence:-
- General damages this is for pain and suffering and loss of amenity
- Loss of earnings this can be both past and future losses
- Care this can be past and future losses
- Accommodation expenses
- Travelling expenses
- If there is a psychiatric injury then the costs of Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Cost of care aids and specialised equipment
- Prescription charges and medical treatment costs
- Out of pocket expenses
The NHS Complaints procedure
As most of the medical negligence claims are against the NHS we will advise you about this procedure as it may be necessary to submit a written complaint. This is usually made within 12 months of the negligence before pursuing a compensation claim. This is known as a letter of complaint we can assist you with this for a fixed fee and also review the Reply to the letter of complaint. If on reviewing the response we consider you have an arguable claim then we may agree to waive the fixed fee.
There are various ways to fund the claim-
- Legal Aid / Public funding this is available for some birth injury claims such as cerebral palsy and erb’s palsy
- No win no fee agreement, this is commonly known as a Conditional fee agreement with the benefit of an after the event insurance policy to protect the claimant against any adverse costs
- Legal expenses insurance
If you would like to have an informal chat with our Clinical Negligence experts in complete confidence to see if you have a viable claim then please complete our online contact form and we will gladly call you back at a time convenient to you or please call us on 01484 538421 .