10 things to know about medical negligence claims

Reviewed by
Peter Rigby, 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 our medical negligence team

Peter Rigby

Peter Rigby
Director of Medical Negligence

Peter leads the Medical Negligence Serious Injury department, which now boasts some of our most knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking team members.

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

Christian Beadell
Partner, Head of Strategy and Legal Operations

Christian is Head of Medical Negligence at Patient Claim Line and has specialised in clinical negligence claims since qualifying in 1998; 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.

Christian qualified as a solicitor in 1998, specialising in clinical negligence. From 2010 onward he has had a particular interest in gynaecological and urogynaecological claims, having represented several hundred claimants in the George Rowland Litigation against the Liverpool Women’s and Aintree Hospitals. This investigated the treatment given to women in the Merseyside area over several decades, and in particular focused on the introduction and development of mesh into the UK in both the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. The development of this area involved pursuing claims under a unique ADR protocol with the NHS and also looking to develop the current thinking on the valuation of compensation for complex urinary symptoms. He has successfully recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation on behalf of my clients.

Christian was also involved in setting up and chairing a Claimant Support Group for those involved in the Rowland litigation, which provided a discussion forum for the many women who were left isolated and damaged by negligent gynaecological treatment. He now co-ordinates the firm’s mesh claims and has delivered training and commented extensively on the medico-legal implications of urogynaecological / mesh complications. He is a member of APIL, Liverpool Law Society and Legal 500 recommended.

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Francesca Paul

Francesca Paul
Associate Solicitor

Francesca Paul is an Associate, Senior Solicitor and Team Leader within the Clinical Negligence Department.  She is one of the driving Solicitors in the Group Litigation Team dealing with this niche and specialist area of work that Fletchers undertakes.   

Francesca previously worked in Nottingham, dealing with Group Action work.  She now works at Fletchers, bringing with her those years of experience heading up a team of 10 people.  Francesca is involved in the early identification of potential new Group Litigation Work and analyses information from the collective pool of new enquiries into the business, of which there are hundreds per week looking for hot spots or recurrent issues which might suggest a potential pool of Claimants.   

One of the highlights for Francesca and her team is that they have successfully recovered over a million pounds in compensation for clients who have received treatment from a single orthopaedic surgeon who was operating in the Colchester area.  Her role requires a specific set of skills, patience and a forensic approach to detail whilst being able to see the wider picture.   

Francesca has previously acted for a claimant in a case that reached the Supreme Court in the case of NA v Nottinghamshire County Council. 

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Sion Wynne

Sion Wynne
Senior Solicitor

Sion is a team leader and senior solicitor with many years’ experience in dealing with a wide range of medical specialisms and different types of injuries. He is an experienced medical negligence solicitor and manages a team of lawyers within our department.

Sion joined Fletchers in 2018 as a Team Leader in the Medical Negligence Department. Throughout his 24 year legal career, he has specialised in conducting medical negligence claims on behalf of Claimants, previously working for other highly ranked leading firms in the field.

He has undertaken claims covering the full spectrum of medical specialisms, clinical settings, categories of defendant and types of negligent medical care and treatment.
These include high value and complex maximum severity cases, such as those involving limb amputations and permanent neurological injuries.

Sion is experienced at representing bereaved families at inquests and has a particular interest in fatal accident claims.


Notable Cases

JI v Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust: £1.25m recovered for client left paraplegic after spinal anaesthesia.

RS v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: £150,000 recovered for client in respect of a failure to recognise complications after a kidney transplant, where her father was the donor.

JN v MA: £100,000 recovered for a client who suffered 2 years persistent pain and disability after knee replacement surgery undertaken as a private patient.

CS v Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: £400,000 recovered for a child who sustained Erb’s palsy during her delivery.

WO’C (Deceased) v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; £450,000 recovered for the family of the deceased who died as a result of a delay in diagnosing a brain tumour.


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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.