The investigation of a Medical negligence claim requires particular expertise and skill.
No two cases are the same and each case will be dealt with by our experienced solicitors in the most effective way for that particular claim. In general terms however, the process through which your claim will be taken is set out below.
1. Following your initial consultation with one of our specialist solicitors we will consider the circumstances of the claim and decide whether we consider the case has merit and further investigation can be undertaken.
2. Once it has been agreed that we will investigate your claim, we will consider how the case is to be funded. Most claims are dealt with under a no win no fee agreement although there are other funding options available depending upon the particular circumstances.
3. We will take initial instructions from you and anyone else involved and record your recollections of the treatment received.
4. We will request copies of your medical records from the various places you have received treatment.
5. After conducting a detailed review of these medical records we will discuss our findings with you and take a detailed witness statement from you regarding your treatment and the medical records.
6. We will then identify and instruct an independent medical expert to review your medical records and witness statement and prepare a medical report on the treatment you have received to advise whether or not the care that you received was substandard and whether any such substandard treatment has caused you an injury.
Due to the complexities of medical negligence cases it is often necessary to obtain expert opinion from more specialists in more than one area of medicine. Often different experts need to be instructed to consider whether the breach of duty caused or contributed to the injury and / or whether the injury would have occurred in any event. Sometimes the expert will need to conduct an examination in order to complete their report.
7. Once the relevant medical evidence has been obtained, we will prepare and send a Letter of Claim to the Defendants which details the circumstances of your treatment, the allegations of negligence being made against them, and details of the injuries and losses you have suffered as a result.
8. The Defendants will then have 4 months under the Clinical Negligence Pre-Action Protocol to investigate the allegations and provide a Letter of Response which will either admit or deny the allegations that have been made.
If the Defendants admit they are liable for the injuries you have suffered then we will carry out further work to further assess your injuries and losses. If appropriate we will obtain further exert evidence in relation to this. This will almost always involve you being assessed by an expert to assess your injuries and provide an opinion on these and your future prognosis. As well as being vital to the case this also enables clients to be independently assessed by an expert and any future treatment needs identified. Depending on your particular injuries it may also be necessary to gather evidence from occupational therapists, care experts, physiotherapists and psychiatrists amongst others to ensure you are fully compensated for the negligently caused injuries you have suffered. Once all of the necessary additional evidence has been obtained, we will seek to negotiate settlement of the case.
If the Defendants deny that they are liable for the injuries caused or are unwilling to negotiate a suitable settlement of your claim then it may be necessary to start court proceedings so that ultimately if no resolution can be reached, your case will be assessed by a judge.
9. Once Court Proceedings have been commenced there are further stages in the litigation process before a case would get trial. It is actually rare for medical negligence claims to go to trial. Whilst we would take you through the court proceedings process in detail should your case get to that stage, generally our case would be put again to the Defendant who would on this occasion have to respond to the allegations in detail and file a copy of their response with the Court. The steps which follow this are designed to narrow the issues of the claim through exchange of evidence between the parties. During this process both parties are expected to continually review the strength of their case and consider whether settlement can be reached. Only if no agreement can be reached by the end of this process would a trial take place and a judge decide the outcome of the claim.
We have a wealth of experience in dealing with medical negligence claims at all stages. If you believe you may have cause to bring a claim then please call one of our solicitors today on 0191 222 1030 for a free consultation or complete our website enquiry form. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the claims process or anything else during this discussion.