July 17, 2024

Obligate Law

Professional Law Makers

The Step By Step of Making A Health-Related Negligence Claim Revealed

2 min read
The Step By Step of Making A Health-Related Negligence Claim Revealed

In comparison with other types of accident claim, the process of making a medical negligence claim is not that clear. This is because other types, such as road accident claims are simpler and more quickly resolved.

There are many errors which can constitute medical negligence such as delayed or incorrect diagnosis, inadequate carrying out of a treatment or prescribing the wrong medication. Remember though that medical negligence claims are not the best route for everyone because they are renowned for their complexity and can be stressful for victims of injury.

For many victims of injury due to clinical negligence, the most important thing is to obtain an apology and an explanation as well as a promise that the same errors won’t befall other patients in the future. Therefore, there first step can often be simple making an informal complaint to the healthcare professional involved. If doing so does not resolve your issues then move on and make a formal complaint using the NHS complaints procedure. Formal complaints are investigated by the hospital and you should receive a response within 25 working days. However, you must make a complaint within six months of the error about which you are complaining, or within six months of you becoming aware of it if it was not immediately obvious.

Should a formal complaint fail to give you the answers you need then you can approach the Healthcare Commission followed by the Healthcare Ombudsman.

After all of these options, if you are still dissatisfied then you should approach a solicitor. This area of law is complicated so be sure to choose an experienced solicitor. Your solicitor will need a copy of your medical records. Although you may have to pay a small amount for the records, you are entitled to a copy by law.

The solicitor will enlist an independent medical expert to review the records and report back on whether there are grounds to make a claim. If there are grounds for a claim then the solicitor will begin by writing a letter of claim to the doctor or hospital concerned. The doctor or hospital then has three months to write back, accepting or denying liability, with reasons.

Your solicitor will start legal action on your behalf if liability is denied. This can seem very daunting and traumatic but only a small percentage of cases ever go to trial. Most are settled out of court. Nevertheless, it is not unlikely that your claim will take years to be settled.

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