10 things to know about medical negligence claims

Reviewed by
Georgia Briscoe, Director of Medical Neglience

As medical negligence compensation specialists, we appreciate that making any claim can be a daunting experience. At Patient Claim Line, we’ll not only answer any burning questions, we will also explain everything clearly. So, you can leave the complicated matters to us.

As the UK’s top-rated medical negligence specialists, we have some of the most talented and dedicated legal professionals in the business. Our select team of solicitors have what it takes to represent your medical negligence claim.

Carry on reading to find out the top ten things you’ll need to know.


1. Medical negligence is not limited to your GP

Medical negligence, or clinical negligence, is substandard care provided by any healthcare professional that directly causes harm to a patient.

From a routine visit to see your doctor, to an emergency surgery; many of our clients receive poor care in vulnerable situations. You can be affected by medical negligence through a visit to your GP, a hospital stay, during surgery, a trip to your dentist, at a pharmacy – or even in a care home. Medical negligence affects patients in many ways and the circumstances vary from straightforward medical mistake to a more complex series of errors. The good news is, if you want to know for sure, we can help.


2. We can quickly determine if you have a claim

As medical negligence specialists, we can assess your experience and investigate the evidence on your behalf, to advise whether or not you have a claim. We completely understand that you will have a long list of questions, and that even querying your claim can be daunting.

Rest assured, we have a dedicated, UK-based team who will be able to answer your questions and put any worries at ease. Every claim will be represented by a dedicated, legal professional. So, you can relax knowing your case will be taken care of.

Want to find out if you have a claim?  Take our 10 second test.


3. There is a three year ruling

For the best chance of your claim being accepted, it is important to act fast. Of course, if you have suffered a medical mistake, then chances are you have a lot to deal with in the immediate aftermath. But you do have some leeway in processing your claim.

Our recommendation is to contact us within three years of any medical negligence taking place, or within three years of first becoming aware of the negligent treatment.

In cases involving a minor, so that’s anyone under the age of 18, the legal case must be pursued within three years from the date of their 18th birthday.

In cases where the injured patient lacks mental capacity, either prior to or as a result of the negligence, there can be no time limit set.

With any claim, it is important to ensure that key dates and appointments can be recalled in detail.

It is also important to note that we will be unable to investigate any claim following the expiry of this three-year window.


4. You can claim for someone else

It is possible to make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a loved one. If a parent or family member has experienced negligence at the hands of a medical professional, you have the right to claim on their behalf.

Parents and legal guardians can make a claim on behalf of an injured child, so long as the child is under the age of 18.

You can also claim on behalf of an adult family member without the mental capacity to bring a claim forward themselves.

Providing we have permission to do so, we are also committed to managing the claim process for a loved one, such as working with them to secure any signatures to process legal documents.


5. There are no up-front fees

Your negligence claim with Patient Claim Line will be processed on a no win no fee basis.

As the UK’s top-rated medical negligence specialists, we hear from thousands of individuals every week.

Everyone’s circumstance are different, but claiming with us means there are no undisclosed fees, or payments to be made upfront. Ultimately, this covers you within a binding, legal agreement to pursue the financial compensation you’re entitled to, no matter what your financial status is.

It also means that if your case is unsuccessful, and you have shown full cooperation throughout the process, you won’t have to pay a single penny for your legal representation.


6. Settlement times vary from case-to-case

Depending on the complexity of your case, the settlement time will vary. As a team of legal professionals, we work extremely hard to settle straightforward claims quickly – on average between 12-18 months. However, more complex cases can take years to settle.

Either way, successful medical negligence claims require:

  • Extensive research
  • The gathering of medical records
  • Personal statements
  • Expert opinions

Here we investigate how long a medical negligence claim takes, exploring in detail the difference between straightforward medical negligence cases, to the more complex and lengthy cases we have successfully represented.


7. You’ll need to provide some evidence

To support your claim, we will need to see enough proof that the medical negligence took place as possible. This includes evidence of:

  • An injury or illness
  • A condition became worse due to a lack of duty of care

Generally, such evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical records (we retrieve these for you)
  • Photographs of injuries
  • A detailed statement from you about what you experienced. In some cases, family members may also be asked to provide their statements about what took places

As medical negligence claim specialists, we also gather evidence from independent medical experts.

These experts then prepare reports on:

  • Your treatment and the results of that treatment
  • Whether your treatment was below the usual and expected standard of care
  • And assess if that substandard care resulted in your illness or injury

Rest assured, your legal team will arrange for all the above, so you don’t need to worry.


8. You’re unlikely to go to trial

The real positive of making your claim with Patient Claim Line is that your case is unlikely to go to trial. In our experience, if the evidence falls in your favour, we do find that the defence will often come forward with an offer of financial settlement.

Of course, cases do sometimes go to court. However, if this does happen there is no need to worry.

As specialist solicitors, we have both the experience and legal knowledge to successfully represent your case in the court room.


9. A medical witness will help your case

Medical witnesses are a useful ally in your journey towards med neg compensation.

A medical witness will help your case by stating their own and expert opinion. In addition to this, if their opinion backs yours, and supports the medical evidence collected, you stand a greater chance of establishing what led to the medical negligence experienced.

At Patient Claim Line, we’re also happy to take on the role of communicating with any witnesses you feel can help represent your claim.


10. You’re not on your own

Lastly, making your claim for medical negligence with Patient Claim Line means that you’re not on your own.

After experiencing the trauma of a medical mistake, it is understandable to look for answers.

What we can assure you is that we treat all our clients with the care and compassion they deserve. Working with our legal team means developing a genuine support network, with the upmost of respect at all times.

By choosing Patient Claim Line to represent your claim, we strive to offer peace of mind in all areas.

Remember, making your negligence compensation claim costs you nothing and it could mean you’re able to receive the justice you deserve.

Why not find out for sure if you have a claim today, with the UK’s top-rated medical negligence specialists?

Meet the team

Adrian Denson
Chief Legal Officer

Adrian joined us in December 2011 as Head of Serious Injury, leading the department through a period of significant growth, whilst working with customers following catastrophic and life changing events. In spring 2017, Adrian was appointed our Chief Legal Officer and oversees all of our legal teams, ensuring our customers are always at the heart of everything we do. Adrian has been named in the Legal 500 as one of the top 10 leading individuals for personal injury in the North West for the second year running.

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Georgia Briscoe
Director of Medical Negligence

Georgia is the Head of Medical Negligence and has an impressive wealth of knowledge. She has over 15 years of legal experience and is responsible for overseeing the whole medical negligence team. Within her role, Georgia ensures that all of our cases are dealt with the utmost efficiency and professionalism.

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Peter Rigby
Director of Medical Negligence Serious Injury

Peter is dedicated to supporting victims of catastrophic medical negligence injuries and endeavours to provide a clear and coherent approach to claims. He recognises the effects serious injuries can have and therefore ensures his customers’ need for support is met. Peter also has a vast amount of experience working with customers who have been injured abroad and is able to act under international law to provide the best outcomes.

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Christian Beadell
Head of Medical Negligence Fast Track

Christian is Head of Medical Negligence Fast Track at Fletchers and has specialised in clinical negligence claims since qualifying in 1997; having dealt with a wide variety of claims throughout his career. He is also featured in the Legal 500 as a recommended claimant solicitor in the North West.

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Sarah's Story

"Now we have peace of mind"

My husband, Nick, went back and forth to the doctors for a long time and tried everything the doctor recommended. But his illness got worse, to the point that he was in agony.

In the end we got so desperate that we asked for a referral. The doctor was reluctant, so we had to consult a private hospital. That’s when we found out there was a tumour. It took years from the onset of his illness to finally start cancer treatment.

He used to be a man with a lot to live for, but in the end he was in so much pain that he withdrew from the family. He became angry that nobody had helped him sooner, and the legal team were able to give him the validation that he was desperately seeking. The NHS confirmed if they had done more, Nick would still be alive today.