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Medical Negligence Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claims - UK Law

Medical negligence law in the UK has developed over the last century as a branch of the general law of negligence which also relates to personal injury compensation claims, most frequently as a result of accidents caused by negligence predominantly motor vehicle collisions. Medical negligence law, whilst having its roots in the general law of negligence, is now a distinct topic with much relevant case law, specific legislation and a unique protocol in the UK courts. Medical negligence compensations claims usually arise as a result of failed treatment, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis.

Our medical negligence solicitors offer a no-win no-fee system, and in appropriate cases use legal aid to help you pursue a compensation claim. Our firm's civil litigation solicitors are experts in the field of medical negligence law, and are members of the Solicitors' Regulation Authority Panel of Clinical Negligence Experts. If you believe that you have a potential negligence claim, then we encourage you to get free legal advice from one of our experienced medical negligence solicitors who specialises in the subject. You can do this either via the helpline or you can email our offices. There is no obligation or charge if you do not wish to proceed.

Legal Aid Available

Fortunately, it is still possible to receive legal aid to cover your solicitor's costs, if you want to make a case for compensation for a clinical error, which normally involves taking the case to court. Eligibility is limited to adults over 18 years of age who either have a low annual income, or who are in receipt of certain government benefits. The rules for children under 18 are different, and they are generally accepted for legal aid assistance, unless they have a substantial amount of money in their own name. Parental income is not considered in the assessment of means.

No-Win No-Fee

CFAs (Conditional Fee Agreements), commonly referred to as no win no fee* arrangements, are the norm for a large percentage of civil legal cases which pursue various forms of medical negligence. CFAs are not all the same and vary according to the financial agreement between the solicitor and the client. Some lawyers specialising in medical negligence require upfront funds to cover basic expenditure such as court fees and medical reports however our medical negligence solicitors do not ask for any funds on account to cover their charges for legal work.

Medical Negligence Compensation

Awards are in line with the law on medical negligence, and the compensatory sum is dependent on various factors such as: long-term disability, the degree of the injury, and the recovery time. There are two main categories pertaining to a claim: special damages, and general damages. The former applies to: expenses that have been charged to date, a loss of earnings, and the cost of care. Conversely, the latter comprises remuneration for less tangible things such as suffering and pain.

The purpose of medical negligence compensation is to place the injured person back into the position that they would have been had the negligent act not taken place. Sounds fine, but how do you compensate someone on a purely financial basis for the loss of a loved one or for a serious personal injury such as blindness or limb amputation. The concept of financial compensation has serious limitations however there is not really any other alternative and the courts in Ireland handle the issue as best they can by looking backwards to see how others in a similar position were treated by the courts in the past with an inflationary upgrade to modernise the award.

Claims Procedure

The High Court is the preferred venue for medical negligence litigation as it is authorised to award higher sums in damages than the County Court. A lawyer will determine the estimated value of the potential award of damages and will issue proceedings in the appropriate court with the possibility of transfer up to the higher court or down to a lower court as the claim proceeds and the financial issues become clearer.

Time Limits

Almost all legal action relating to medical negligence compensation claims throughout the world is subject to time limits. There are time limits for settling claims (the limitation period often set out in a statute of limitations) and for almost all other court procedures some of which may in certain circumstances be determined by a judge as the claim proceeds whereas others are determined by law set out in the relevant statute of limitations. It is also possible for a medical negligence lawyer to appeal many decisions and judgements made by a court of law hearing a personal injury compensation claim and these appeals are inevitably governed by time limits. The main reason for imposing time limits in medical negligence compensation claims is to bring the potential for legal action to an end within a certain period to allow all parties to get on with their lives thereafter however there are practical considerations which include the fact that over a period of time memories fade, witness become difficult to trace or die or move out of the jurisdiction and supporting documentation is often mislaid or destroyed over the intervening years.


*legal information