Medical Negligence

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 one of your loved ones have 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 both ‘no win, no fee’ agreements and Legal Aid for your peace of mind.

What is clinical negligence? 

Clinical negligence is also known as medical 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.

How our solicitors can help

Our team are experts in their field, highly skilled and experienced in all aspects of guiding people through the process of claiming medical negligence compensation.

Choosing a medical negligence specialist

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 Spiral Injuries Association.

Death from Medical Negligence

In some tragic circumstances, clinical negligence may result in a fatal injury causing death. We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for your family and you may have a number of questions, You may be looking for an explanation for their death, an apology or for 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 may be able 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 in order to establish whether there were any failures. If you are entitled to bring a claim for clinical 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

First, we encourage you to make a formal complaint to those who provided you with the medical care and practice. 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 clinical negligence.

A complaint against the NHS must be made within 12 months of the incident or within 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 and can allow for you to have the chance to discuss your complaint with a complaints manager and have the appropriate action to be taken following your complaint.

The claim process

The first step is determining if you have been subject to medical negligence. To do this, our team will request your consent to access your or your loved one’s medical records to establish whether there was a form of negligence by a medical practitioner and then prove that the suffering you have or are experiencing is because of that negligence.

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

  • the treating medical professional owed a duty to take care of you and not cause injury;
  • they breached the duty of care they owed to you; and
  • this caused you to suffer an injury or loss. 

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

Finally, causation will need to be established. You must 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 that the injury has had on you and what losses you have suffered in order to determine the amount of compensation you are likely to receive.

How do you fund a medical negligence claim?

There are several ways of funding a clinical 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. This is often known as a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. This means that your lawyer will not charge for their costs if your case is lost. 

You will still be liable to pay disbursements incurred, and in certain circumstances, you may also be liable to or 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 to 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 clinical 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 involved in 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

What are the time limits to making a claim?

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

  • The date the negligence happened; or
  • The date of 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 own mental capacity, they must then bring a claim before their 21st birthday.

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

In order for us to take on your case, we would need to consider that there are reasonable prospects of your clinical negligence claim succeeding.

How long does it take 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 difficult to give a timeframe for any case as everyone is different and unique in their 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.

How much compensation do you get 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 circumstance of your particular case. Compensation is awarded for the pain and suffering you or your loved one has gone through due to negligence. is also intended to cover the financial losses you have incurred as a result of the negligence as well as, any future losses you are likely to foreseeably suffer.

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

General damages

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

Special damages

These cover the financial impact that the clinical negligence has had 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 in order to care for you or alternatively, if the negligence You could also claim for pension loss.

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

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

Compensation for a child

If compensation is awarded on behalf of a child who is being represented by a litigation friend, 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 money can be held by the court and be paid to the child once they reach 18.

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

Do I need a solicitor to claim for medical negligence?

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

Why choose us?

Our clinical negligence team has a strong presence in Birmingham, the Black Country and across 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 serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, delayed diagnosis and fatal claims.

Can I change from my current solicitors to you?

The success of your clinical negligence claim can depend on your lawyers, so you must have a team you are happy and confident with. Should you recognise at any point through your claim that you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, you may be able to transfer your case to us.

If we can help, 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 and complete. We will then send this document to your current solicitors on your behalf, requesting they release your file to us.


Can you sue the NHS for negligence?

It may be possible to sue the NHS for medical negligence if you can show that your healthcare provider 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.

Can I sue a private hospital, dentist or GP?

It may be 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 usually 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 you should get prompt legal advice if you think you have suffered medical negligence.

How difficult is it to prove medical negligence?

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 prove the following:

    • Healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
    • Healthcare provider 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 causal 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 turns 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 advise on the strength of your case.

Is there any evidence I need to gather to prove negligence? 

If you are considering making a medical negligence claim, it is important 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 it is important that you get prompt advice from a specialist medical negligence lawyer, to help gather the right evidence in your case.

Will claiming affect my current treatment?

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.

What will my compensation pay for?

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 as a result of 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. 

Do I have to share medical records?

If you make a medical negligence claim, your medical records will need to be shared with your lawyers, the healthcare providers you are claiming against and their lawyers. This is because the medical records contain key 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. It may be possible to request that certain information is redacted, if you are concerned about the privacy of certain medical information that may not be relevant to your case.

Do you offer no win, no fee claims?

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 you win, but there are other expenses which need to be paid, such as expert fees. In case you lose or fail to beat an offer, we advise you to take out insurance to cover the other expenses and also 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 the issues in more detail.  

What percentage do medical negligence solicitors take?

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 so that it is no more than an agreed 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.

Can you make a claim if someone died because of negligence?

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, as well as 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 make a claim for 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.

Can I make a claim on behalf of a loved one? 

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 for you to act for any number of reasons. However, they can withdraw their consent at any time and start acting for themselves. 

Sometimes, a loved one may lack the legal capacity to make their own 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. When court proceedings are required, the litigation friend must complete a suitability certificate to formalise their appointment.

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.

What treatment and care is provided as part of the claim process?

A medical negligence claim aims to obtain compensation for the harm and losses caused by the medical 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, then these options will not be available.  

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

How do clinical negligence solicitors prove a case?

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 a duty of care to you 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 will need to 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.

To prove a case of clinical negligence, solicitors often work with medical experts who provide detailed opinions on the standard of care that was provided and whether it met the required standards.

Proving a case of clinical negligence can be a complex and challenging process. 

For further information please call 0345 111 5050 or email us.

Higgs LLP has been appointed to assist H M Coroner of Birmingham and Solihull in its preliminary investigations into the actions of breast surgeon Ian Paterson. Read more




Medical Negligence


Claiming Compensation

Suffering poor treatment at the hands of any medical professional can be extremely traumatic for individuals and their loved ones.

Read more


No matter what the cause, injuries can have a devastating impact on the lives of you and your family.

Read more

Negligence Claims

We are only too aware of the distress and emotional trauma that medical negligence can have on individuals and their loved ones.

Read more

Patients' Rights

Most of us will require medical attention at some point during our lives and the majority of the time we are cared for and receive the highest quality of care and medical attention.

Read more

Suing the NHS

The NHS provides an essential and excellent service to millions of people in the UK, but sadly, mistakes do happen. You may be entitled to compensation if you have been harmed by NHS negligence.

Read more

Personal Injury Trusts

A personal injury trust is a trust legally set up by a solicitor with money received as a result of a settlement from a personal injury or clinical negligence claim.

Read more

Find a team member

Find a team member

What our clients say

The service was efficient and personal without being intrusive. We would highly recommend Higgs.

Helen Smith, Client

Higgs' expert handling led us to the result we were looking for.

Dan Heathcote, Edward Samuel Associates

Higgs' Corporate & Commercial team is 'proactive, knowledgeable and solution-focused'.

Legal 500, Legal Directory

I would certainly recommend Higgs to friends and relatives. Thank you.

Mrs Gillian Seymour, Client

We look forward to continue working in partnership with Higgs as our business needs develop.

Neil Clifton, Cube Precision

First Class service. All things taken care of without any problems or fuss.

Mr & Mrs BJ Edwards, Clients

Caring, honest, well informed, up to date with new and relevant adaptions to the law as it affects their client.

Gill Bellingham, Client

Something is only expensive if you don't get what you pay for and that certainly can't be said of Higgs.

Rob Mainwaring, WM Creative

At all times Rhian was patient and constantly working in and for my best interests.

A. Gardener, Client

We knew they were the right partner to support us when it came to such a major development for the organisation.

Rory Daly, SDL Bigwood

Your service was friendly, efficient and professional.

Thomas Butler, Client

My husband's family have been represented and helped by you since the nineteenth century.

Margaret Louise Webb, Client

They're a firm for the rising-affluent and affluent market - a trusted partner.

Chambers and Partners, Legal Directory

The service I've received has been second to none.

Andy Stokes, Stokes Consulting

We have been working with Higgs for many years, relying on their expert advice across several areas of our business.

Daniel Hurcombe, Penso

I have found all my contacts to be professional, with in-depth knowledge, readily available, honest and committed.

Gill Bellingham, Client

The invaluable advice and expertise we received were crucial factors in securing our future.

Rachael Gardener, We Love Carers

Higgs' complete and comprehensive services work so well.

Angela Morris, Woolcool

Higgs' advisers worked extremely hard to drive through this application and lay the foundations for future growth.

Richard Carroll, Tatton Hall Homes

Higgs made the procedure of selling my late father's home very easy.

Yvonne Fitzgerald, Client

The service you provided filled us with confidence and should the occasion arise we would not hesitate to use you again.

Rosalin and Lawrence Henson, Clients

Nyree Applegarth "really does know property litigation inside out."

Chambers and Partners, Legal Directory

We were keen to work with a trusted partner who could advise us on the specialist aspects of the contracts.

Richard Newton, Tipton & Coseley Building Society

Professional. Prompt. Courteous.

John Eifon Hughes, Client

I've dealt with Higgs for more than 50 years - that should tell you everything.

Kevin Birch, Client

I think the expertise and warm welcoming from staff put me at ease. It was gratefully appreciated.

Melissa Amphlett, Client

The service you provided filled us with confidence. We would not hesitate to use you again.

Rosalind & Lawrence Heson, Clients

Cherry has been one of the most efficient solicitors I have worked with in the development industry in nearly 38 years.

Kevin Dixon, Kier Property

Friendly, professional,effective, efficient, personal, helpful, direct, proactive

John Freeman, Client

The Corporate tax team provides a 'first-class service' under the leadership of Susheel Gupta.

Legal 500, Legal Directory

Excellent service very efficient and polite.

Lucy Ostrer, Client

Clear, good advice and also sensible with all aspects of the purchase.

Mr & Mrs MW Oldman, Clients

We have always been pleased with the level of service we receive from Higgs, no matter which department we call on.

David Springthorpe, Angle Ring

Always available and helpful. Clear explanation to questions. Nothing was too much trouble.

Maryanne Morris, Client

Cherry Elliott and her team at Higgs delivered in every aspect

Mike Phillips, Allen Ford UK Limited

My wife and myself were extremely satisfied with the service provided by Mrs Boddey.

Anthony Winwood, Client

Fast, efficient, informative, courteous, and willing to offer help and advice. Excellent service.

Lynn Davis, Client

I feel I can trust and rely on Higgs to do the best possible job for me.

Elaine Williams, Client

A good efficient and friendly service.

Mel Houghton, Client

Dealing with Jyoti was done only via email and were replied to within the day and clear. A personal thank you to Jyoti...

Paul Carr, Client

Very professional. Pro-active approach. Always kept informed.

Tracey Hull, Client

Problems are sorted quickly and sensible advice is always offered.

Joanne Taylor, Client

Andy Shaw has a huge amount of experience and is an extremely conscientious and diligent lawyer.

Chambers and Partners, Legal Directory

Reassuring and efficient in dealing with problems faced throughout completion.

Lindsey Oakes, Client

Efficient and friendly service.

Julian Sampson, Private Client

You score 10 out of 10 from me on every count so I can't say much more than that, thanks very much.

Gareth Martin, Client

Committed, street-wise, intelligent, fleet of foot, tough, resourceful, well-informed, there to win for the client.

Tim Woodbridge, Web Dynamics

If I had to sum up your service in one word it would be 'Trust'.

Sir Graham Meldrum, Private Client

High quality professional and friendly service. Many thanks.

Stephen Pearson, Private Client

We have used your company before and have always found you very helpful and prompt.

M. Sheridan, Private Client

Clare Langford is "outstanding".

Chambers and Partners, Legal Directory

We dealt with many professionals and teams who all seemed to work exceptionally hard to make the deal.

Bill Dawson, Wavenet

The claim was passed to Steven Santy who was amazing, fast and respectful. I really appreciate how I have been dealt...

Shahista Sultana, Client

I found Cherry offered pragmatic, no-nonsense advice. I would certainly recommend her.

Mark James, Hall & Woodhouse Limited

What our clients day

Contact us

3 Waterfront Business Park
Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Call Us: 0345 111 5050


Keep up to date with all the latest here.

Higgs LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 819589.