Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to frequently asked questions about personal injury claims, clinical negligence compensation claims and the conveyancing process below, or call Liddy's Solicitors for more information.
What if I believe that my solicitor has been negligent in my claim?
Sometimes solicitors make mistakes when dealing with a claim, either losing the case outright, or more often than not, settling the claim for damages less than the claimant should receive. If you feel that your solicitor has done a bad job on your claim, telephone us and we will discuss what we can do for you.
What is clinical negligence?
Clinical negligence, or medical negligence as it is often referred to, occurs when medical professionals fail in their duty of care towards a patient. Examples of this include a surgical error, a misdiagnosis, the mishandling of a birth, drugs being incorrectly prescribed or administered, a fracture being missed, misleading a patient about their treatment or failure to take the right steps to combat the spread of infections in a hospital.
Deciding whether clinical negligence occurred is not always straightforward, as all treatments involve an element of risk and an adverse outcome is not necessarily evidence of a failure in care. If you believe you have grounds for a claim, one of Liddy’s Solicitors’ clinical negligence specialists will help establish whether or not doctors or other medical staff fulfilled their duty of care towards you.
To make a successful compensation claim, it is not enough to simply demonstrate that negligence occurred, there also needs to be evidence that it caused some kind of damage or injury. Examples of negligence that did not affect the outcome of treatment are likely to be a matter for the professional bodies of the staff involved, rather than the basis for a claim.
How do I make a clinical negligence claim?
The first step towards making a clinical negligence compensation claim is to arrange an initial consultation with a specialist solicitor. This is a complex area of law, but our expert team will explain everything in detail and make sure you understand what is involved.
They will also help you to establish whether you have grounds to proceed with a claim and assess your chances of success. This process is likely to involve obtaining your medical records and asking appropriate medical experts to examine them.
Is it possible to win a claim against the NHS?
In short, yes. NHS trusts pay out millions of pounds to victims of clinical negligence each year and, at any one time, there are thousands of ongoing claims against medical staff, hospitals and clinics in the public sector.
Claims are not restricted to the NHS. Private hospitals, cosmetic surgery clinics, dentists and other healthcare practitioners all have the same duty of care towards patients, and can be held legally responsible for injuries caused by negligence.
When should I begin a clinical negligence claim?
The general rule is that you have three years from either the date of the negligence or the date when you first became aware that the negligence caused your injury to issue proceedings. However, if you suffered the injury before your 18th birthday, you have three years from the date of your 18th birthday to begin your claim.
There are some circumstances in which different time limits may apply, but it is sensible to seek legal advice as soon as you realise you may have a claim. One of our clinical negligence specialists can assess your case and provide guidance on how to proceed within the time limits.