Making a clinical negligence claim can seem like a daunting prospect, but the processes we follow at Waldron & Schofield are designed to make it as simple and stress-free as possible. We know that being the victim of clinical negligence, or knowing someone that has been through something similar, can be extremely difficult, which is why we always take a caring, sensitive and professional approach to claims of this type.
In order to provide you with all of the information you need to know, here we explain what you can expect when making a clinical negligence claim with us, demonstrating why we’re the right choice for you.
Each medical negligence case is different. An orthopaedic claim is not going to follow the same path as a birth brain injury claim, for example. However, the process is fairly consistent, and the amount of time a case takes to finalise is usually between one and two years.
The first step is to assess the claim. Our team of qualified specialists will discuss your initial concerns and evaluate any evidence that you may have before letting you know whether we can take the case on. In the first instance, we may suggest making a complaint to the hospital or medical provider. This does not cost you anything and you are under no obligation to take it any further should you decide not to.
If we take the case on, we will advise you on how the claim can be funded. We can act on a no win, no fee basis, and we usually top this up with an insurance policy, the terms of payment for which are also no win, no fee.
Funding and instructing a medical expert
Once we have taken on the case and set up funding arrangements, we will then apply for your medical records. Once the records are received, we will review them and prepare a chronology. As you can appreciate, there may be copious amounts of records and these need to be shortened down. We then prepare a written statement of the history of your medical treatment, which we ask you to approve.
We will then proceed to instruct an experienced independent medical expert. The instruction will include your medical notes and the finalised statement. The expert will consider whether sub-standard care was provided to you and whether this sub-standard care has in fact resulted in any injury and, if so, to what extent. At this point, we will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a claim that can be pursued and, if so, what compensation you can expect to receive if successful. If we decide the claim cannot go ahead, you owe nothing.
If the expert is supportive, we will then send a letter of claim to the defendants, who will then have four months to respond with their stance on liability. During this four-month period, the expert will prepare another report after examining you. This report will detail your injuries and provide an estimate of the expected time for you to recover. If the defendant admits they were at fault, we will proceed to settle your claim.
If the defendants deny liability, we will meet with all of the medical experts and a barrister, who also specialises in medical negligence claims, to discuss and agree the best way to pursue the claim. After we have agreed the best course of action, we will then issue court proceedings.
Going to court can be time-consuming and costly, so it is in everybody’s interests to settle the claim. A claim can be settled at any point leading up to the date of the trial through various forms of mediation, including offer letters.
Following the settlement of a case, we are always happy to assist our clients further, be that to answer any further questions or remain as a point of contact. We often find that we have built the trust of our client that we retain them for other services we offer.
If the case has been successful, our clients tend to be very satisfied with the award. If the case was not successful, we will always be happy to be contacted about either the case or any other matter related to it.
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about how our tailored services can best suit your needs, do not hesitate to get in touch. Although based in Greater Manchester, we can provide high-quality legal assistance to those who need it around the UK. Call us today on 01706 624029 or fill in the online contact form.