The healthcare system in the UK is one of the best in the world. However, that isn’t to say things don’t sometimes go wrong.
The consequences of something going wrong can prove devastating. If you feel you’ve been a victim of clinical negligence, you have the right to file a claim. However, this can be a daunting process. To help ease your concerns, below you’ll discover the key stages of a medical negligence claim.
Filing a claim
The first step to making a claim is to file one. While you can learn a lot of great tips for filing a claim online, it’s best to use the services of a professional. You will have an increased chance of winning if you use the services of medical negligence solicitors.
You’ll need to make sure there are no errors and that it contains everything required. It is also important to submit the claim within three years of the incident.
The solicitor will need to know what treatment you received and what went wrong. There should be evidence of the claim you are making, otherwise the solicitor may refuse to take on the case.
The investigation phase
Once the claim has been filed, it will move to the investigation phase. This is where the solicitor will collect all information relating to the case. They will look at the likelihood of you winning the claim, and a copy of it will be sent to the opponent. This is usually a GP or hospital trust.
Once the opponent has received a copy of the claim, they will have a set amount of time to respond.
The majority of claims never actually make it to court. Instead, they are often settled by the opponent. They will typically make you an offer and you then decide whether or not you want to take it.
Your solicitor will talk you through the offer and advise you whether it’s worth accepting it. They will explain the advantages and disadvantages of settling and potentially negotiate a better deal on your behalf.
What if it goes to court?
In some cases, a settlement may not be the best option, or one may not be offered. In these cases, it will usually progress to court. Although this occurs in less than 2% of cases, it is still worth being aware of the process.
Court cases can be extremely expensive. Therefore, it’s best to opt for a no win no fee solicitor. That way, if you were to lose the case, you wouldn’t be left with a high legal fee to pay off.
An experienced solicitor is required to handle medical negligence claims that end up in court. So, make sure you have the right legal representation.
Overall, medical negligence claims can be complex and daunting. However, with the right help, you could end up settling outside of the courtroom. Just remember you’ll need evidence to back up your claim if you stand any chance of winning.