What is medical negligence?

Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to provide the best treatment available for their patients. However, even with the best of intentions mistakes are made. Thankfully these are rare, but for the individual concerned and their families, the consequences can be life changing.

Medical negligence, also termed clinical negligence, can take many forms from an initial misdiagnosis to a failure to warn you of the risks of your proposed treatment right through to mistakes made during surgical procedures.

If a medical professional makes an avoidable mistake that injures you or leaves you with worsening health as a direct result of their actions then you may have a claim for medical negligence.

How do I make a medical negligence claim?

At Poole Townsend, our medical negligence solicitors offer a free ‘reality check’ in the first appointment to determine whether you have a claim for incorrect treatment. We’re honest about what we can achieve and what that involves so you can make the best informed decision. Once you’re happy to proceed we will submit your claim on your behalf.

How do you prove medical negligence?

To make an initial formal complaint to the health provider, and this includes treatment from private centres alongside the NHS, we need to collate evidence of the pain and suffering you have endured.

From the moment you believe you might have experienced medical negligence, you can support your claim by collating your own records of appointments, treatment given and advice received. Photographs to document your initial injury can also be useful.

We will also request access to your medical records and take a detailed statement from you as to what happened and when so we can construct a timeline of events. To support your claim we may also speak to your close family members who can bear witness to the extent of the alleged negligent treatment.

Other evidence may be supplied by independent medical professionals who we instruct who can determine whether the injuries sustained were a direct result of the treatment received.

Will I have to go to court?

The vast majority of medical negligence claims do not go to court. Specialist solicitors from each side will generally reach an agreement, with only the most complex of cases requiring court proceedings.

Is there a time limit for medical negligence claims?

Generally, claims need to be made within three years from the date the injury occurred or the date you became aware that the treatment you received was negligent. There are exemptions for children and adults without the mental capacity to make their own decisions. There is no time limit applied for cases to be concluded.

How much compensation can I expect?

By their nature, medical negligence claims are unique to the individual involved. The amount awarded is split into two categories - general and special damages. General damages are based on the pain and suffering you’ve endured and the lifestyle changes you’ve had to make as a direct result. Special damages cover the financial impact, which includes loss of earnings if you’re now unable to work and any expenses you’ve incurred as part of your recovery.

How do I pay for my medical negligence lawyer?

At Poole Townsend we can work on a No Win, No Fee basis, and enter a claim on your behalf following a medical accident. If successful we would take our payment from your awarded compensation.

Why choose Poole Townsend?

Our Litigation team is headed by Joanne Copeland. She specialises in all aspects of injury work and represents Poole Townsend as a Company Director as well as a Member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

Joanne and her team offer a friendly and professional approach to ensure each client is instantly placed at ease when discussing personal and distressing events. Being based in the local area allows us to offer an exceptional continuity of your case with meetings taking place in our offices, at your home or virtually, whichever makes you more comfortable. Our experts also have the support of the wider Poole Townsend team where required.

To discuss your own personal circumstances and whether you have a valid claim or please contact the team.

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