Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Negligence Claims
Why should I choose Brindley Twist Tafft & James?
At Brindley Twist Tafft & James (BTTJ), we have a specialist team of lawyers who are focused exclusively on Medical Negligence cases. The team spend their time, experience and knowledge solely on helping people who have been affected by preventable medical mistakes. The team is led by Tom Barnes, who is a member of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel and the Action against Medical Accidents Panel (AVMA). This means we are professional, highly knowledgeable and experienced at handling cases like yours and we do so with the utmost sensitivity, sympathy and care. Our solicitors will listen to you, understand what has happened and then explain how we can help. We know how important it is for you to deal with someone you can trust, who can support you and on whom you can rely on to provide the best result possible.
Where are you located?
We are a firm of solicitors in Coventry and we work on a nationwide basis. We are hugely experienced in a wide range of cases and claims and we are happy to do home visits if required. You will have an assigned medical negligence lawyer who will be in constant communication with you and will look after you at every step of the way.
How do I make a claim and do I have to pay?
The first step is to get in touch with us. Our team are all legal professionals who are specialists in medical negligence and you can be sure that the information you share will be treated totally confidentially and with the utmost sensitivity. We will spend time listening to you and asking questions to find out more about your particular situation. We will be able to assess whether you have a case and will let you know as quickly as possible.
If your case is accepted we will explain to you what happens next.
At Brindley Twist Tafft & James (BTTJ) we offer a full medical negligence service to help you through every stage of the legal process. We work on a no win no fee basis and will arrange everything for you. When you first consult with us, we will explain clearly how it all works. Because we are ‘no win, no fee’ if we pursue your claim and it is not successful, you do not have to pay us. Not only that, but we will arrange an insurance at no cost to you which covers any other costs that may be incurred if your claim is unsuccessful. For example, costs for obtaining medical records or specialist reports will all be taken care of. This gives you full peace of mind at all times and every step of the way. And because it does not cost anything to consult with us in the first place, there is no reason why you should not contact us as soon as you can and find out how we can help you.
What exactly is medical negligence, or clinical negligence, and how do you prove it?
Medical negligence is also known as Clinical negligence and concerns claims against healthcare professionals. The healthcare professional may be working privately, or working for the NHS. To prove negligence, a claimant must show that the medical professional owed a duty of care to the patient, that they were negligent in their management and that the patient has suffered harm as a result. We will have to show that the medical professional acted in a manner that other similar professionals would not have done and that the harm caused would otherwise not have occurred. If a medical negligence claim is successful, the outcome is an award of damages.
To help successfully prove a medical negligence case there are 4 main steps we will need to go through on your behalf.
- The first step is where we will obtain medical records. We will normally do this so that we can establish a timeline of events and understand exactly what happened.
- The second step is where we will obtain medical evidence. We need to address the question of whether the actions of the medical professional were well below the standard expected and to do this we will normally arrange an independent medical report by an independent medical professional. If the independent medical professional feels that there was negligence we will obtain further evidence on the damage caused and the impact of this damage.
- The third step is where we will negotiate with the negligent party.
- The final step is where we will obtain compensation for you for the harm that has been caused. We will always do everything we can to get you the best settlement possible.
How long do I have to make a claim?
The general rule is that you have to bring a medical negligence claim within 3 years from the ‘date of knowledge’. The ‘date of knowledge’ is the date when you first realised you had suffered an injury.
There are exceptions to this rule which concern a case that involves children or a person who cannot manage their own affairs because of a mental disability. If the person who the mistake happened to was under 18 at the time, the time limit is actually 3 years from the date of their 18th birthday. If the person who the mistake happened to cannot manage their own affairs due to a mental disability, the three year limit doesn’t apply until (and unless) they recover from their disability – this means that sometimes there is no time limit in these circumstances.
In all cases it is best to consult with us as soon as you can and we can advise you on the possible courses of action.
How much could I get for my medical negligence claim?
If your claim is successful, the amount you may be awarded depends on various factors and because each case is different, it is not possible to say exactly what compensation you may get. Factors that will be considered are the amount of time you have suffered because of the error, what impact this has caused and costs that you may have incurred. For example, it may be that you could not work or that you had to seek specialist care.
What we can tell you is that our team of medical negligence lawyers at BTTJ have the knowledge, skills and experience to fight for the best settlement possible and we will do everything we can to ensure you are fully compensated.
Can I contact you if I am still receiving treatment?
Yes, you can contact us and discuss making a claim with us even if you are still being treated. Infact if an error has been made by a healthcare professional it is likely that you do still require more treatment. We will establish whether you have a case and advise you on the best course of action. You cannot be refused future treatment because you have decided to pursue compensation for something that should not have happened.
Why should I make a claim?
If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for the damage that has been caused. It may be that you are no longer able to do the same job, or even work at all. Perhaps you need ongoing care because of what happened? We can help you pursue compensation for these financial considerations, as well as for the harm itself.
We know that you may have lots of questions about what happened and you’ll be very upset and angry. You’ll also want those responsible to be accountable for what happened. If you pursue a medical negligence claim, our solicitors are there with you, at every stage of the process. With our support, those responsible can be held to account and we can ensure they own up to the mistakes made.
Whilst unfortunately we can not change what happened, bringing a claim can help lessons to be learnt and steps to be taken to ensure improvements are made.
Some clients also feel that they would like what happened to them to be made public and our solicitors can help raise awareness of your situation in the media if you wish.