Many people are put off making a medical negligence claim as they feel daunted by the idea of having to appear in court. However, very few clinical negligence claims go to trial. In fact, most claims are settled before trial during a process of negotiation even if court proceedings are required. In the unlikely case that your medical negligence case does go to trial, an experienced medical negligence solicitor, such as the team of medical negligence experts at Graysons, will be able to represent you.
If you have received a poor level of medical care in a private or NHS setting which has resulted in injury or an existing condition getting worse, then you may have a claim for clinical negligence. Do not feel put off making a claim by the thought of having to attend court – you are unlikely to have to go to a trial.
What type of clinical negligence cases tend to go to court?
Claims that cannot be settled between the claimant and the defendant may end up in court proceedings and ultimately a trial. These medical negligence claims tend to be complex, multi-faceted claims, including claims where it is not easy to prove negligence. Alternatively, if your medical negligence lawyer believes you have not been offered enough compensation, they may advise your to start court proceedings. Remember, at every stage of the process your medical negligence solicitor will keep you informed and let you know your options. And, in the unlikely scenario that your clinical negligence claim does go to trial, your medical lawyer will be able to represent you, helping to ease any stress you may have about attending court yourself.
What is the medical negligence claims process?
The first step in a medical negligence claim is to contact an experienced medical lawyer, such as the team of medical negligence experts at Graysons. They will assess your claim and advise as to whether it is likely to be successful or not. They will then gather the evidence required, such as medical records and reports, witness statements, and any proof of expenses and financial losses.
Once your medical solicitor has gathered all the required documents and carried out the necessary investigations, they will submit a “letter of claim” to the medical professional or healthcare provider, known as the defendant. They will then have a set period to respond. The defendant will either then admit or deny clinical negligence. If negligence is admitted then the two parties will aim to reach an agreed settlement. However, if medical negligence is denied then your medical lawyer will, subject to supporting evidence, issue court proceedings. Remember, even if court proceedings are issued, a medical malpractice claim may still be settled before it reaches the court as your medical solicitor will continue to try and settle your medical negligence claim right up to the trial date. If the defendant is unwilling to settle, then your medical negligence claim will be resolved in a trial before a judge who will decide if the healthcare was indeed negligent, and if it was, what level of medical negligence compensation you should be awarded.
What happens when a clinical negligence claim goes to court?
A medical negligence claim is likely to go through several case management hearings, depending on the nature of the claim and the value of the claim. These include:
An initial case management conference – this is a hearing which both parties representatives attend. At this hearing, the judge will give directions in relation to evidence and procedure and set a timetable
Cost budgeting hearing – attended by the parties representatives to deal with the approved costs of the incurred
Pre-trial case management hearing – attended by the parties representatives to consider any outstanding steps outlined in the initial case management hearing
Small claims hearing – these a final hearings reserved for more minor medical negligence claims
Disposal hearing – these are final hearings reserved for clinical negligence cases where liability has been admitted, but the parties cannot agree on a compensation amount
Contested trial – these hearings are for more complex medical malpractice cases where liability and the amount of compension are in dispute, and which may run for several days
It is important to remember not to be anxious if your medical negligence claim does go to trial as your medical solicitor will assist you at every step, ensuring as worry-free process as possible.
How much medical negligence compensation will I be entitled to?
The amount of compensation you are awarded for your medical negligence claim depends on the severity of your injuries, as well as the pain and suffering you have endured. Compensation can run from just a few thousand pounds for a minor malpractice claim into millions of pounds for more complex clinical negligence cases which have resulted in life-changing injuries, or even loss of life. Medical negligence compensation will either be agreed by both parties, or, if they cannot agree, will by the courts. It is important to remember that no two clinical negligence claims are ever the same. An experienced medical negligence lawyer will be able to advise you on how much compensation you are likely to receive from your claim.
How is medical negligence compensation calculated by the courts?
Medical negligence compensation depends on the severity of your injury and financial losses. Compensation is split into two categories: general damages and special damages. General damages cover compensation for your pain and suffering, while special damages cover compensation for your financial losses, both in the past and in the future. It is important to remember that any medical negligence compensation you receive is designed to put you back into the same financial position as if the malpractice never occurred.
How long does a medical negligence claim take?
It is difficult to say how long a medical negligence claim may take. A relatively simple clinical negligence claim may only take a few months. A more complex case, especially one that ends up in court proceedings or at trial, could take several years. An expert medical negligence attorney will be able to advise best how long your claim is likely to take.
How can a medical negligence solicitor help with my claim?
If you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence, then you need a medical negligence expert at your side, such as the team of medical lawyers at Graysons. They will assess your claim and let you know if you are likely to be successful. They will then gather all the evidence required and keep you up to date at every stage of the process, advising you of your legal options. If your clinical negligence claim does require court proceedings, they will guide you through the process and represent you at court hearings. The team of medical negligence experts at Graysons has decades of experience and can help ensure the very best outcome for your medical negligence claim. If you are looking for the best medical negligence solicitors, then put our services to the test. Contact us today if you believe you have suffered from clinical negligence in the UK.