What do I have to prove to claim compensation for clinical negligence?

You have to prove that the care you received was negligent and that you were injured as a result.

What can I claim for?

You can claim compensation for your pain and suffering, and for financial losses such as loss of earnings, travel expenses and the cost of medication or special equipment.

How long do I have to make a claim?

Usually Court proceedings have to be issued within 3 years from the date of the negligence, or from when you first realised that your treatment might have been negligent. There are some exceptions, for example where the injured person is a child, or someone who is unable to make decisions for themselves.

How long will my case take?

Every case is different. If the Defendant accepts that your treatment was negligent your claim may settle relatively quickly, but if they don’t it will take longer, particularly if your solicitor needs to issue Court proceedings on your behalf.

Who will pay my legal fees?

If your case is successful we will expect the Defendant to pay all or most of your legal fees. If it isn’t we will not ask you to pay for the work we have done.

At the beginning of your case we will discuss the issue of costs with you. If we believe that your case has a good chance of success we can enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement (often called a “no win, no fee” agreement) with you. We can also help you check whether you have legal expenses insurance as part of another policy, such as building and contents insurance.

My relative has died due to clinical negligence – can a claim be made?

It may be possible to make a claim on behalf of the estate of the person who has died and/or on behalf of the people who were financially dependent upon them, such as their wife, husband or children.

Cases where someone has died are complicated, but we can discuss with you who might be able to make a claim.

There’s going to be an inquest – what should I do?

Inquests are held by Coroners to establish the cause of an unexpected death. We can help you to prepare for an inquest by gathering evidence and by making sure that all of your questions are raised. We can advise you whether the family should be represented at the inquest, and afterwards whether a negligence claim should be made.

How do I complain about medical care?

If you are unhappy with the medical treatment you have received, you are entitled by law to make a complaint and doctors and hospitals have a statutory obligation to respond.

Firstly, contact the organisation responsible and ask for their complaints procedure and you should be given details about how to proceed. If it is a hospital you can contact the local Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) who will advise you directly.

If you are not sure what to do or if you are not satisfied with the complaint response, contact us on 0113 284 5745 and we will be happy to advise free of charge. It may be appropriate to take legal action.

How do I make sure that the claim is successful?

You must show that the treatment has fell below the standard of a competent practitioner in that relevant field, that you have suffered injury or illness directly as a result of that treatment.