5 things to remember when claiming for medical negligence

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When we visit a healthcare professional, whether it be a dentist, doctor or cosmetic surgeon, we expect to receive the highest standards of care. Sometimes, however, this is not the case, and we could leave in a worse condition than when we first sought medical help. Trying to prove that a healthcare professional fell below the expected standards of service might seem difficult - meaning may people could be put off trying to claim medical negligence. However, if you feel that you have a case, then here are five things to remember before you pursue it.

You will need to provide proof

This can often be tricky. You will need to provide proof that your healthcare professional failed to deliver the standards of care that a patient would expect and that these breaches directly lead to the position you find yourself in now. It's highly recommended that you seek an external review from a medical expert to prove this was the case. In most instances, your lawyer will be able to arrange this. It's also a good idea to make notes of everything you can remember about the way you were treated. Your medical records may also need to be examined to back up your claims.

You will be up against tight deadlines

If you think you have been a victim of medical negligence, then you will usually have to start your claim within three years of picking up your injury or three years after discovering that medical negligence has led to your current situation. However, to give you the best chance of success, it's recommended that you contact experienced lawyers like Ronald Fletcher Baker as soon as possible so that the events of your care are fresh in your mind. This also gives us ample time to gather all the relevant notes and documents needed.

The rules for funding your case has changed

You will not be able to claim legal aid for your negligence case anymore. Many cases are now contested on a no win no fee basis, but this will vary depending on the solicitor you choose. Some may also ask for an up-front payment to help with the initial investigations. It's vital that you discuss your requirements with your solicitor and pick a firm that falls in line with your financial situation.

Large payouts are rare

The compensation you get will depend on how severe the breach of care was and how much care will be required to support you or your family members in the future. This is why you need to talk to us before you pursue your claim. We can value your claim before legal proceedings can start to allow you to decide whether to go ahead.

You may not have to go to court

Did you know that over 90% of medical negligence claims are settled out of court? If medical negligence has been proved, then usually the defence will present you with a financial settlement that you can either accept or reject. Most cases are resolved this way. However, keep in mind that an out-of-court settlement does not count as a win, and may nullify your no win no fee agreement - meaning you may have to pay some fees.