Everyone should be able to feel safe when they’re being treated for an illness or an injury at a hospital. Doctors and other medical professionals have a legal responsibility to provide a high quality of care and diligence to all hospital patients under their care. When that duty of care is breached, the patients being treated can suffer harm and even life-changing consequences.
If you have suffered poor treatment in a hospital or surgery run by the NHS, then you may be eligible to make a hospital negligence claim. Hospital negligence includes any error, accident or substandard care on behalf of a doctor or medical professional that has left you injured or worsened an existing condition.
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There are many different types of hospital negligence, including surgical errors, incorrect treatment and misdiagnosis. If you or one of your loved ones have been unfortunate enough to suffer negligent treatment at a hospital, then you should contact a trusted hospital negligence solicitor as soon as possible.
Here at Hampson Hughes, we are dedicated to helping clients who have suffered medical negligence to get back on track. Our team of highly experienced hospital negligence solicitors have enabled hundreds of people across England and Wales to attain hospital negligence compensation from both the NHS and private hospitals.
Our hospital negligence lawyers understand that the prospect of pursuing a claim against a hospital can be particularly stressful, especially if you’re still suffering from the treatment or procedure in question. For this reason, we’ll treat your case with a high level of sensitivity throughout the whole process, keeping you fully informed at each stage.
If you’re unsure about making a claim, we offer a free consultation where one of our specialist hospital negligence solicitors can discuss the specifics of your case with you. This will provide you with a full understanding of your current legal situation and allow us to make an assessment as to whether we’re able to offer you legal assistance.
What issues qualify for a hospital negligence claim?
Hospital negligence compensation is given for damages in cases where the negligence of a medical professional has caused you physical damage and/or psychological harm. Negligence can occur during any type of procedure, treatment or encounter with a medical professional who has a duty of care.
In order for a hospital negligence claim to be successful, there must be evidence to show that the patient has been left with injuries or losses. We will gather such evidence in support of your claim including medical records and independent expert evidence. Factors indicating how the injury has adversely affected your standard of life may include the duration and extent of your pain, suffering, loss of amenity, loss of enjoyment of life and the toll that this may take on your family members. In addition to injuries, you are also entitled to claim for out of pocket expenses including medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of earnings and care and assistance.
Only a qualified hospital negligence solicitor can provide you with an accurate opinion on whether the issues that you have faced will fully qualify for a hospital negligence claim. Some of the most common issues warranting hospital negligence compensation include:
Misdiagnosed conditions or negligent advice
Neglectful care by staff (including pressure sores)
Delays in treatment
Wrong medication prescribed or dispensed
Hospital-acquired infections (including MRSA)
Pregnancy and birth injuries
This is not an exhaustive list of all available claim issues, so even if your case is not listed, you may still have cause to pursue a hospital negligence claim. For more detailed information on your chances of a successful claim, it is best to get in touch with our team of medical negligence solicitors here at Hampson Hughes and arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Is there a time limit on hospital negligence compensation claims?
There are strict time-limits that apply to making hospital negligence claims which are:
The hospital negligence being claimed for must have occurred within the past 3 years; or
The hospital negligence was suffered before the age of 18, and the injured party has not yet reached 21.
There may be special exceptions to the above time-limits such as:
If the injured party lacks capacity to deal with their own claim then they have may be allowed an extension of time to bring their claim or
Your 3 years may run from the date upon you first became aware that you had suffered injury as a result of hospital negligence.
Three years may sound like a lengthy period of time in which to make your claim, but we do advise that you consult with a trusted hospital negligence lawyer as soon as you are able to. This will ensure that you are in the strongest possible position to make a claim and that all of your evidence is both timely and easily accessible.
What evidence do I need to make a hospital negligence claim?
When it comes to making a hospital negligence claim, the success of your case depends on the evidence that is available. An independent medical expert must confirm your injuries or ongoing condition, which is why you should act as soon as possible. The appointment will determine whether the treatment that you received was substandard and how the negligence has affected your standard of life.
An in-depth description of the nature of your condition will be essential when making a claim for hospital negligence compensation. A hospital negligence solicitor will ask you for a detailed account of your experiences and may also interview your family and friends as further evidence to support your claim. Photographic evidence is an ideal way to prove the extent of your injuries and when they occurred. Please do not worry though if you are unable to provide these or do not remember exactly every little detail as we will obtain full medical records in support of your claim and advise you every step of the way.
Our hospital negligence lawyers also recommend that you keep a detailed log of all relevant events that have taken place since the medical negligence occurred. This will prove that you were treated by the defendant and help to corroborate your account.
Establishing causation is a crucial part of making a claim. This means that you need to prove that the hospital negligence caused your injury and loss. Your hospital negligence solicitor will be able to access medical records on your behalf including items such as x-rays, ultrasounds and notes from consultations which are all relevant evidence when it comes to proving that the actions of the defendant were negligent together with independent expert evidence. Once all of the evidence has been gathered and reviewed by one of our experts, we’ll be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Will making a hospital negligence claim affect any ongoing treatment?
Some of our clients have worried that making a hospital negligence claim against a particular medical facility could affect the standard or availability of any ongoing treatment they are receiving from that facility. We understand this worry, but it is important to understand that:
a hospital negligence claim does not affect your entitlement to any ongoing medical care you require
as medical professionals with a duty of care, no doctor, nurse or surgeon can refuse you care on this basis
if you don’t feel comfortable receiving ongoing treatment in the specific hospital, we can advise on a transfer
How much does it cost to make a hospital negligence claim?
Once you’ve decided to proceed with a claim, your hospital negligence solicitor will begin to gather all the evidence to support your claim and when ready, they will seek to negotiate a settlement and in the unlikely event that this is not possible, it may be necessary to issue legal proceedings (though most cases will settle out of court). When it comes to funding legal proceedings for a hospital negligence claim, most Claimants enter into a Conditional Fee Agreement known as ‘No Win No Fee’. This means that there will be no solicitors fees unless your claim is successful.
The terms of your Conditional Fee Agreement will depend on the unique circumstances of your case, which will be discussed during a consultation with one of our hospital negligence lawyers.
There a number of other payment alternatives for clients who do not enter into a No Win No Fee agreement with us. If you are prepared to pay for all of your legal costs upfront and you’re confident of the claim being successful, then private funding may be an option.
Alternatively, you can check your insurance policy to find out whether it can be used to cover part or all of your legal expenses or you may have trade union membership. There may also be an option to take out legal expenses insurance to cover the costs involved in making your hospital negligence claim. Your specific insurance provider will be able to advise you as to whether you are eligible for this.
During a consultation with the hospital negligence solicitors at Hampson Hughes, we’ll be able to discuss the specifics of your case with you and provide you with the best possible advice and support. Get in touch with us by phone or email today for a free consultation, where you can speak to us about our range of legal services and whether we can take on the representation of your hospital negligence claim.
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