Most people receive excellent treatment from our National Health Service and in the private sector, however, sometimes you may suspect that a mistake has been made and you have not been treated properly. In this case, you may consider making a claim for compensation.

With over 60 years’ experience, the team at Farleys have extensive experience in handling medical negligence claims of all types and have secured millions of pounds in compensation for our clients over the years.

Our team are personable, approachable, and will always act to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. We offer a personal service and will always ensure that your case is handled with the care and professionalism it deserves.

As well as seeking the right level of compensation, our experts help clients to access top quality medical care, rehabilitation and support and make arrangements for their future, where needed.

We are a full-service law firm, and draw upon the help of other legal experts when needed, from other departments such as financial planning, personal injury trusts, wills advice and Powers of Attorney.

Our experts have answered some frequently asked questions about clinical negligence claims.

If you think that you may have a clinical negligence claim please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team at Farleys.

We have a dedicated contact number for service users of The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity  0330 134 6997, or you can contact us by email on [email protected].

A clinical negligence claim is a legal claim for compensation where you have been injured as a result of the negligence of a medical professional.

Most clinical negligence claims have a 3 year time limit which means that court proceedings must be issued (not just that the claim must be started) within 3 years of the injury or in some cases, 3 years from the date that you first became aware the injury was caused as a result of negligence. For cases involving children, the 3 year time period starts from their 18th Birthday.

The investigative process at the start of a claim can be lengthy and therefore, it is advantageous to instruct legal representation as soon as possible and when the issues are fresh in your mind.

Everyone is different and there is no one motivation for bringing a clinical negligence claim. For many, it is about receiving recognition from the medical professional that a mistake was made and changes will be implemented to ensure that the same does not happen to another patient. For others, financial compensation is essential as the injury suffered might have affected their ability to work or look after their family in the same way they did before the incident; in some cases, the impact of a clinical mistake can be life-changing.

There are many methods of funding available. The main sources of funding are Legal Expense Insurance (you might have this cover on one of your insurance policies, i.e home insurance), Conditional Fee Agreement (‘no win no fee’),private funding and legal aid. Not all of these methods will be available to you, but your solicitor can discuss your options with you at the beginning of the case.

Negligence has a specific legal definition which combines a failure to take care with causing an injury.

Breach of duty of care

– You must show that the treatment or care received fell below the standard of a responsible body of medical practitioners in the relevant field of medicine. Therefore, if the practitioner is not supported by a responsible body of their peers, then breach of duty can be established.

Causation

– It must also be proved that the breach of duty caused or materially contributed to you suffering a worse outcome than you would have done if the breach of duty had not occurred. If the outcome would have been the same, then the claim will fail.

To bring a successful claim, you must prove, on the balance of probabilities that breach of duty has occurred and that it caused you to suffer injury. Your legal representative can discuss this in detail with you referring to your individual set of circumstances.

This depends on the individual circumstances of each case. Typically, a claim for clinical negligence can take between 1-3 years, however, a number of factors can effect timescales, such as – whether the Defendant admits liability for your injuries, how complex your injuries are and the number of medical reports that need to be obtained, whether a final prognosis can be given for your injuries and your age; as if you are a child it is likely that the claim will go on for some time until the full extent of the injuries can be established.

The majority of cases settle before you get to a final hearing and therefore, it is very unlikely that you will need to give oral evidence in court. Although it might be necessary to issue court proceedings in order to progress your case, only a small percentage of cases go on to trial. The Civil Procedure Rules that both parties need to follow encourage settlement where possible before trial.

This is an impossible question to answer as each case is unique. If successful, you will receive general damages for your pain and suffering, as well as special damages for specific losses you have incurred or will incur as a direct result of the negligence, for example loss of earnings.