Medical Negligence Claims

Helping you to get the compensation, rehabilitation and support you need to rebuild your life after medical negligence.

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Guiding you through all aspects of medical negligence claims

When most people visit their GP, a hospital or a dentist, they are provided with good medical care and treated appropriately.

Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong, a mistake is made, and the consequences of this can be devastating.

If you or a loved one has received negligent treatment and care from a medical professional or medical organisation, our clinical negligence lawyers will help you investigate whether you can make a compensation claim.

We understand that experiencing medical negligence is a traumatic time in someone's life. By bringing a medical negligence claim, we will support you, offer expert advice, and help you obtain compensation to support your recovery and ease the financial burden you may have suffered following an injury.

We offer 'no win, no fee' agreements and Legal Aid for your peace of mind.

Request legal advice on medical negligence

What is medical negligence? 

Medical negligence is also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice in other countries. 

This is when you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to a medical professional or medical organisation's negligence. Medical professionals can include doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and paramedics.

Choosing a medical negligence lawyer

Selecting the right solicitor to represent you in a medical negligence claim is a critical decision that could significantly impact the outcome of your case.

The solicitor you choose will influence how efficiently and compassionately your case is handled, whether you are awarded the compensation you deserve, and whether you feel justice has been served.

Choosing a specialist solicitor or law firm that is responsive to your needs, is experienced in complex medical cases and is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you is vital. Making this decision should be taken seriously, and it is crucial to consider all available options.

For your peace of mind, we are accredited by the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel, Headway, Action Against Medical Accidents, and the Spinal Injuries Association.

Death from medical negligence

In some tragic circumstances, medical negligence may result in a fatal injury, causing death. We recognise this is an extremely difficult time for your family, and you may have many questions. You may be looking for an explanation for their death, an apology or compensation for the impact it has had on your family's life.

In events resulting in a sudden or unexpected death, an inquest is often held to allow a Coroner to investigate how a person died and the circumstances of the death.

If your loved one has died as a result of medical negligence, our team can provide you with support or representation during an inquest.

In fatal medical negligence claims, our team of experts will carefully and respectfully consider your loved one's medical treatment and care provided to establish whether there were any failures. If you are entitled to bring a claim for medical negligence, we will support you in pursuing a claim to receive compensation and gain more insight into the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death.

Making a complaint

We encourage you to formally complain to those who provided medical care. This will not affect the care or treatment you are receiving, and the response to the complaint will be helpful if you decide to pursue a claim for medical negligence.

A complaint against the NHS must be made within 12 months of the incident or 12 months of the matter coming to your attention. By following the NHS formal complaints procedure, your matter will be investigated quickly by the relevant NHS body. It also allows you to discuss your complaint with a complaints manager and have the appropriate action taken following your complaint.

Establishing a claim for medical negligence

The first step is determining if you have been subject to medical negligence. Our team will request your consent to access your or your loved one's medical records to establish whether there was negligence and then prove that the suffering you have or are experiencing is because of that negligence.

To bring a medical negligence claim, you must prove that:

  • the treating medical professional owed you a duty of care;
  • they breached that duty of care and
  • this caused you to suffer an injury or loss. 

In some cases, we will need to instruct an independent medical expert to comment on the standard of care and treatment you received as part of your negligence claim.

We must be able to show that the injury or loss you or your loved one suffered was caused by the breaches of duty identified. For example,' but for the negligence, would you or your loved one have sustained the injury or loss?

If this can be satisfied, we must then evidence the impact the injury has had on you and what losses you have suffered to determine the amount of compensation you are likely to receive.

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"Highly experienced. Can deliver on small to very large cases. Down to earth lawyers who connect with the client easily"

Legal 500

"Jenny Tetlow represented me in a clinical negligence claim on behalf of my late father. Jenny was an absolute pleasure to work with, always there to answer questions, very responsive and always provided regular updates without being asked. A really refreshing experience compared to some other lawyers."

Review Solicitors

Funding a medical negligence claim

There are several ways of funding a medical negligence claim, which include:

  • No win, no fee agreement
  • Legal Aid
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • Trade Union
  • Damages based agreement
  • Pay privately

In most cases, a medical negligence claim is funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement - often known as a 'no win, no fee' arrangement. If this is the case, your lawyer will not charge for their costs if your case is lost. 

You will still be liable to pay third-party costs incurred, and in certain circumstances, you may also be liable for your opponent's legal fees. 

Therefore, we recommend you take out after-the-event (ATE) insurance to cover these. If you lose, you do not pay the ATE insurance premium.

If you win, your lawyer charges a 'success fee' on top of their normal legal charges, which is capped at a maximum of 25% of your damages. Your opponent usually pays most, if not all, of the normal legal charges but none of the success fee. You will also have to pay part of the ATE insurance premium.

Legal expenses insurance is a policy taken out beforehand to cover any future legal problem. You may have this as part of car insurance, household insurance, trade union membership or under a credit card. Cover may be limited and restrict how you can bring a claim.

We also offer Legal Aid. Legal Aid is only available in claims where there is medical negligence during your pregnancy, childbirth or in the post-natal period, which causes your child to suffer severe disability as a result of a neurological injury.

No win, no fee claims

"No win, no fee" agreements are the most used funding arrangement for medical negligence cases because they can provide a solution for those who cannot cover legal expenses upfront.

With "no win, no fee" agreements, your solicitor shares the risk with you by covering the costs of bringing the claim. If the case is successful, the other side usually pays the solicitor's fees. 

If the case is unsuccessful, you are not liable for the solicitor fees, but there may still be certain costs to consider, including expert witness fees and court fees, which you would need to cover.

It is essential to be aware that when using a "no win, no fee" agreement, if the case is successful, your solicitor will take a success fee, a percentage of the compensation awarded. This is capped at 25%.

"Her focus is always on client care, and she is always looking out for the needs of clients and their families following significant injuries. Her focus on the client is inspiring."

Legal 500

"Highly experienced. Can deliver on small to very large cases. Down to earth lawyers who connect with the client easily"

Legal 500

Time limits for making a claim

There is a time limit for bringing a claim for clinical negligence. A claim must be brought within 3-years from either:

  • The date the negligence happened or
  • The date on which you became aware you suffered the significant injury or
  • From the date your loved one passed away as a result of the negligence unless your loved one was aware of their injuries or worsening condition from the treatment before they passed away.

There are some exceptions to the above time limit. 

A claim can be brought on behalf of a child at any point before they turn 18. When your child turns 18 and has their mental capacity, they must then bring a claim before their 21st birthday.

Also, there is no time limit for adults who lack mental capacity, so a claim can be brought on their behalf by their litigation friend at any point.

For us to take on your case, we need to consider that there are reasonable prospects of your medical negligence claim succeeding.

Timeframes to complete a claim

We understand that this is an emotional time in your and your loved one's life, so we aim to complete your claim as quickly as possible whilst getting you the compensation you deserve but, more importantly, are entitled to.

It is challenging to give a timeframe because everyone and every case is different and has a unique set of facts.

In some cases, liability is admitted promptly by the medical professional, so it may be possible to move forward with your case to establish the level of compensation deserved. However, some become more complex and more evidence is needed, which takes time to gather. 

"A well-established firm with long-standing clinical negligence experience. Charlotte Measures is excellent. Knowledgeable, calm and sympathetic with clients"

Legal 500

"Clare Langford is a fantastic solicitor working on really complicated cases"

Chambers and Partners

Compensation for a successful claim

It is difficult to give a precise figure on the amount of compensation you are likely to receive by bringing a clinical negligence claim, as it depends on the intricacies of your particular case. 

Compensation is awarded for the pain and suffering you or your loved one has gone through due to negligence. It also intends to cover the financial losses you have incurred due to the negligence and any future losses you will likely suffer.

Broadly, there are two types of damages for which you can receive compensation: general damages and special damages.

General damages

These are the damages directly caused by the negligence. This includes the physical and emotional pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Special damages

These cover the financial impact of the clinical negligence on you and possibly your family. This can include a loss of earnings. For example, if a member of your family has had to give up work to care for you

Other types of special damages include medication costs, travel expenses, care, equipment and housing adjustments that are required due to the impact and effects of the negligence on you.

We will always consider your best interests and seek the maximum compensation for damages possible.

Compensation for a child

If compensation is awarded to a child where a litigation friend is representing them, the law states that the compensation must be protected for the child.

In cases where the child is likely to have capacity when they become an adult, the court can hold the money and be paid to the child once they reach 18.

In cases where compensation is awarded to a child or adult who will lack mental capacity as an adult, a financial deputy is usually appointed to manage the funds appropriately and ensure the individual's needs are being met. Examples include paying for carers, paying for special education, and buying suitable and adapted accommodation.

Why choose us as your medical negligence lawyers

Our medical negligence team has a strong presence in Birmingham, the Black Country, and the Midlands. 

Our team has an excellent reputation for its work on a broad range of high-value and complex clinical negligence claims. 

Each team member has particular expertise, with a range of specialisms, including severe birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, delayed diagnosis and fatal claims.

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Everyone has the right to access justice, so you are not legally required to use a solicitor to bring a medical negligence claim. However, it is advised to consider several factors before determining whether or not to pursue legal representation, including funding, limitation periods and compensation values.

The success of your clinical negligence claim can depend on your lawyers, so you must have a team you are happy and confident with. 

If you recognise at any point through your claim that you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, you can possibly transfer your case to us.

We will need to contact your current solicitors to establish how the legal fees have been incurred and how they have been dealt with. We will need to send you a 'form of authority' for you to sign. We will then send this document to your current solicitors on your behalf, requesting they release your file to us.

It is possible to sue the NHS for medical negligence if you can show that the NHS breached their duty of care to you, which then caused you to suffer harm or injury.

Specific procedures apply when claiming against the NHS, such as following a pre-action protocol, obtaining independent medical evidence, and sending a letter of claim before considering going to court.  

There are time limits for claiming, so you should always get prompt legal advice if you have suffered medical negligence.

It is possible to sue a private hospital, dentist, or GP for medical negligence if you have suffered harm or injury due to a breach of their duty of care. Medical negligence claims against private healthcare providers follow the same procedure as claims against the NHS.

A private healthcare provider may have insurance to cover the cost of a medical negligence claim against them, so your claim may be directed to an insurance company.

There are time limits for claiming, so if you think you have suffered medical negligence, you should get prompt legal advice.

Proving medical negligence can be a complex and challenging process. 

You must show that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care to you, which then caused you harm or injury.

To prove medical negligence, you have to demonstrate the following:

  • Healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached their duty of care by failing to meet the standard of care that a reasonable healthcare provider would have provided in similar circumstances.
  • Breach of duty caused you harm or injury.

In any medical negligence claim, you must obtain expert medical evidence.

The expert evidence will establish the appropriate standard of care and whether your healthcare provider breached it. You also have to show a link between the breach of duty and your harm or injury; in other words, proving that the harm or injury would not have occurred but for the healthcare provider's breach of duty. Again, expert evidence is needed to establish this.

A medical negligence claim depends on specific facts and circumstances, so it is advisable to get advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with the legal process and assess the strength of your case.

If you are considering making a medical negligence claim, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case, such as:

  • Medical records: Your medical records are crucial. They help to establish what treatment you received, when it was provided, and by whom. They can also show any errors or omissions in your treatment.
  • Witness statements: Statements from witnesses, such as family members who were present during your treatment, can provide supporting evidence.
  • Expert medical opinions: Medical experts provide independent evidence on the standard of care you should have received in your case and whether your healthcare provider breached that standard. Their opinion can be critical in establishing negligence.

The evidence needed to prove medical negligence varies in every case, and you must get prompt advice from a specialist medical negligence lawyer to help gather the proper evidence in your case.

Making a medical negligence claim should not affect your current treatment. 

Healthcare providers are professionally bound to provide care, even if you make a claim. If you are concerned that making a medical negligence claim may affect your current treatment, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider and your lawyer.

Medical negligence compensation has two main categories. The first compensates for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the negligence; the second compensates for any financial losses or expenses caused by the negligence.

Expenses vary case by case and can include:

  • Medical expenses: The cost of medical or rehabilitation treatment to treat the harm or injury caused by the negligence.
  • Care: The cost of any care needed due to the negligence.
  • Loss of earnings: Any past or future lost income caused by your injury.
  • Travel expenses: Travel costs to and from medical appointments.

The compensation amount depends on the circumstances of your case. 

If you make a medical negligence claim, your medical records must be shared with your lawyers, the healthcare providers you claim against, and their lawyers. The records contain essential information about your treatment and whether it was negligent.  

If you are concerned about sharing your medical records, you can discuss this with your lawyer or the healthcare records keeper. They can help explain why the records are required and how they will be used. If you are concerned about the privacy of certain medical information that may not be relevant to your case, it may be possible to request that certain information be redacted.

We offer 'no win, no fee' funding for cases we assess have reasonable prospects of success. We will usually need to review your medical records before agreeing to act on a 'no win, no fee' basis.

A 'no win, no fee' agreement sets out how we are paid if we win, but other expenses need to be paid, such as expert fees, regardless of the outcome. We advise you to take out insurance to cover the other expenses and the risk of paying an opponent's costs. 

If you are interested in making a medical negligence claim on a 'no win, no fee' funding basis, one of our medical negligence lawyers will be able to explain in more detail. 

When you have a 'no win, no fee' agreement with a medical negligence solicitor, it will set a success fee that is paid if the case succeeds. The success fee reflects the risk the lawyer is taking because if the case is lost, they are not paid for their work. The percentage is agreed at the start and is set out in the terms of the 'no win, no fee' agreement.

The 'no win, no fee' agreement often caps the success fee at an agreed-upon percentage of the compensation, usually 25%. This provides certainty to a client at the outset, and in many cases, the success fee is less than the cap.

It is possible to claim compensation if someone dies from medical negligence. This type of claim is often known as a fatal accident claim. Statute law sets out what compensation and losses can be claimed by the deceased's estate, who can claim a bereavement award (currently £15,120), and who is entitled to claim for a loss of dependency.

The law is not straightforward, particularly regarding who can claim bereavement damages and loss of dependency. Claiming compensation after the death of a loved one can be a complex and emotional process. It is best to speak with a qualified lawyer who specialises in fatal accident claims and can provide you with guidance and support throughout the claim.

It is possible to make a medical negligence claim for a loved one if they give their consent. Whilst your loved one can act for themselves, they may prefer you to act for various reasons. However, they can withdraw their consent and start acting for themselves. 

Sometimes, a loved one may lack the legal capacity to make decisions. This could be because they are a child or an adult lacking mental capacity. In either situation, a litigation friend is needed to make decisions in the claim for their loved one, always acting in their best interests. The litigation friend must complete a suitability certificate to formalise their appointment when court proceedings are required.

If you are considering making a medical negligence claim for a loved one, it is best to seek the help of a qualified lawyer specialising in medical negligence, who can guide you through the necessary steps to act as a litigation friend.

A medical negligence claim aims to obtain compensation for the harm and losses caused by the negligence. 

However, in some cases, arranging support with treatment and care may also be possible before the claim is completed. 

When an opponent accepts liability, it is possible to request interim payments from your opponent to cover the cost of your medical treatment and care while the claim is still ongoing. 

Your opponent may also agree to fund an independent case manager's appointment to coordinate your medical treatment and care needs. This can help ensure you receive the necessary treatment and care while making a claim. However, if your opponent disputes liability for your claim, these options will not be available.  

The exact treatment and care provided during the claim process will depend on the individual circumstances of the case and your specific needs. 

Proving clinical negligence requires a thorough review of your medical records, witness statements, and expert medical opinions. To prove your case, clinical negligence solicitors will:

  • Gather evidence: Clinical negligence solicitors will obtain medical records, witness statements, and independent medical reports in the relevant medical field to support the case.
  • Establishing a duty of care: The solicitor will need to prove that the medical professional owed you a duty of care and that this duty was breached.
  • Proving negligence: The solicitor will need to show that the medical professional breached their duty of care, which then caused you harm.
  • Establishing causation: The solicitor must prove that the medical professional's breach of duty caused your injuries and that the injuries would not have occurred otherwise.
  • Calculating damages: The solicitor will need to assess the amount of compensation you are entitled to based on the harm caused.

Solicitors often work with medical experts to prove a case of medical negligence. These experts provide detailed opinions on the standard of care and whether it met the required standards

Meet the medical negligence team