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Medical Negligence Farleys Solicitors LLP

Frequently Asked Questions – Medical Negligence

Thinking of bringing a claim of medical negligence but have a few questions first? Below our medical negligence experts answer some of the most common FAQs. If your question isn’t answered below please get in touch with us today.

FAQs

What is medical negligence ?

When a healthcare professional such as Doctor, Nurse, Consultant, Pharmacist or private clinician has fallen below the standard of care expected of them and that has caused patient harm, the patient (or those acting on their behalf) can bring a claim.

What needs to be shown to prove a clinical negligence claim?

3 things :
1. That the organisation or doctor owed you a duty of care. All GP’s and NHS hospitals owe their patients this duty

AND

2. The person treating you has in some way breached their duty of care to you. In other words they have made a mistake (error) that no competent doctor in their position would make.

AND

3. That the mistake or error caused you injury

Who do I sue?

General Practitioner - Where there has been negligence by a GP, the claim is brought against the individual GP. The claim is often dealt with by the Medical Defence Union on behalf of the Doctor.
NHS Doctor or Nurse - Where the error has been made by a nurse or Doctor employed by a NHS hospital, the claim is made against the relevant Hospital trust. The claim is mainly dealt with by NHS Resolution on behalf of the Trust.
Private Doctor or consultant – A claim is brought directly against the Doctor or Consultant involved, with involvement from the Doctors insurers.
Ambulance Staff – usually a claim is dealt with by the Ambulance Trust that runs the relevant ambulance service
District Nurses – this dependants on who the nurses are recruited by, but the claim will normally be addressed to relevant Trust or in some cases the CCG
Dentists – A claim in negligence is brought directly against a dentist and the claim is often dealt with by the MDDU

Will I have to pay privately for my case?

No. At Farleys, if we believe that you have reasonable prospects of success we will always enter into a NO WIN NO FEE AGREEMENT with you (also referred to as a CFA). We will always talk you through all the funding options with you and tailor these to your case.

Our primary goal is to secure you compensation but we also aim to ensure that you and your family are protected from any risks on costs. We advise all our clients at the outset.
We always offer our clients a free 30 minute consultation in medical negligence cases.

Will I have to go to trial?

Many medical negligence claims settle way before any Trail and indeed very few cases go to trail at all. It can take many years before a claim is ready for settlement and therefore if a case does go to trial is will not be for a number of years after we are first instructed.
However, if you are eventually required to go to trial and give evidence, our experienced Trial team will give you plenty of support and advice. We will be there to support you through the journey.

Will I have to attend a medical examination?

Possibly. After we have reviewed your medical records, if we still believe you have a case, we will instruct a medical expert. In medical negligence cases, the first reports will not require you to see an expert and they will form a view following receipt of your medical notes and records.
Before issuing legal proceedings we will send you to a medical expert for examination. The type of expert will depend on the nature of your injuries. At Farleys, we use some of the countries leading experts to support your claim.

How long will my case take?

At Farleys we aim to ensure your case is dealt with quickly and effectively. However, in medical negligence cases, a lot of investigation is needed into the actions and consequences of the alleged negligence. In serious injury cases, it can take a number of years to seek a successful resolution. Our job is to take control of the litigation and ensure the defendants do not delay.

If I complain will I be treated any differently?

No! Most GPs and Hospitals have in place a good system for dealing with complaints and they are very used to handling complaints from patients. Under no circumstances should any patient be prejudiced on the grounds of making a complaint. Any failure by the hospital would involve swift and strict penalties. We at Farleys have assisted patients to complain to the Parliamentary and Legal Health Service Ombudsmen, where relevant.

My case is sensitive and I’m worried about who I will be speaking with.

All the members of our team are experienced in handling a vast array of clinical negligence work. We never lose sight of the fact that being let down by a heath professional can have devastating physical and psychological consequences. We also deal with enquiries and claims with empathy, professionalism and understanding.
Should you wish to specifically speak to a male or female member of staff, then we are more than happy to arrange this.

If I still require medical treatment, can this be included in my claim?

If the defendants admit negligence then in most circumstances, we can seek to recover the cost of that treatment on a private basis. We at Farleys, have recovered millions of pounds of compensation for our clients and have obtained compensation to cover :
• Physio
• Counselling
• Further operations
• Aftercare and nursing care
• Dental work including bridges and implants
• Prosthetics
• Hydrotherapy
• Rehabilitation and other important services

I signed a consent form does this mean I cannot claim?

Any patient needs to be informed about the procedure that is being undertaken and advised of the foreseeable risks. Lawyers refer to this as informed consent. If there is a failure to explain the risk then this may lead to a claim. Simply because you signed a form does not mean that the defendants are not responsible. If you are worried about this and have a copy of your consent form, then provide it to a member of our team who will review it with you.

Can I bring the claim on behalf of someone else?

In certain circumstances. If someone has died then an executor or personal representative can bring the claim – see our guide to fatalities claim.
Where someone is under 18, then someone, usually a parent or child, can be appointed to act on the child’s behalf.
If someone is under a disability which results in them not managing their own affairs, then a Deputy can be appointed by the Court of protection to bring the case

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