Making a medical negligence claim can be a long and complex process but we are here to help and support you through this process to make sure you achieve the maximum compensation with minimal stress.
To succeed in bringing a medical negligence claim you have to prove two things:-
- The standard of care you received from your doctor fell below that of a reasonably competent doctor.
- That you suffered an injury as a result of this negligence.
In legal terms this is known as establishing LIABILITY AND CAUSATION. You need to establish BOTH in order to succeed in recovering compensation.
Once we have sorted out how your claim will be funded, we will take detailed instructions from you and apply for copies of your medical records. These records will then be sorted, indexed and paginated by our in-house nursing team and a detailed Chronology prepared of the events leading to you making a claim. On some occasions we may ask you to obtain your medical records in order for us to make a decision on whether your claim has prospects of success.
We identify and instruct independent medical experts to comment on the standard of care that you have received and what injury you have suffered due to substandard care. We may instruct a number of experts from different fields of expertise to advise on these questions. If their medical evidence supports your case, we will arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical expert or experts to give an opinion on your current condition and prognosis. If we are unable to obtain supportive independent medical evidence to establish liability and/or causation, then we will not be able to pursue your claim further and would advise you against proceeding with your case.
If, however, the reports we obtain are supportive, depending on the complexity of your case, we may arrange to hold a conference with a barrister who specialises in clinical negligence claims to discuss with the experts and yourself the merits of your case and how to proceed further with your claim.
If your claim was felt to have reasonable prospects of success then we would follow the Clinical Negligence PreAction Protocol by serving the Defendants with a detailed Letter of Claim setting out a brief summary of your case, the allegations that you are making and a summary of the injuries you have been caused as a result of the negligence together with your current condition and prognosis.
Once served with the Letter of Claim the Defendants would have a period of 4 months to respond by providing a detailed Letter of Response.
When we receive the Letter of Response, depending on whether this makes any admissions regarding liability and causation, we would then enter into negotiations with the Defendants to try to achieve an out of Court settlement for you. However, if the Defendants deny liability or causation in their Letter of Response, then a barrister would be instructed to review your case and, if appropriate, arrange to prepare a document known as “Particulars of Claim” ready to issue Court proceedings.
Once Court proceedings are issued and served upon the Defendants usually you have a period of 28 days
(sometimes this can be extended by a further 28 days) for the Defence to be served. Depending on whether the Defendants continue to deny liability and causation, the parties then agree a Court timetable to include steps such as the exchange of Witness Statements, exchange of medical evidence and meeting of medical experts before applying to the Court for a trial date. Both parties are always encouraged to consider alternative dispute resolution as a means of trying to resolve the case without proceeding to trial. Very rarely do cases proceed all the way to trial.