How Long To Make Medical Negligence Claim? Clinical Compensation Time Periods

UK Medical Negligence Solicitor Sets Out How Long It Will Take To Make A Clinical Negligence Claim For Compensation

Medical negligence – more appropriately known as clinical negligence describes a claim for compensation due to an error by a medical professional – whether that be a GP, the NHS or a private consultant doctor.

How Does Your Solicitor Know How Long You Have To Claim Compensation For Medical / Clinical Negligence?

The time period for making a claim for medical negligence depends on several factors, including:

1. Use a specialist clinical negligence solicitor

Clinical negligence claims for compensation are highly complex and as such require the expertise of a specialist medical negligence solicitor who is familiar with the law associated with making clinical injury claims and who has a network of consultant doctors of all kinds of speciality who are familiar with producing reports to support such claims.

The most essential choice you will make is to choose the correct solicitor to contact – the right choice will allow your claim to run smoothly and ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation which you are entitled to.

2. What is the nature of the medical negligence you have suffered?

Some medical negligence claims are relatively straight forward for your solicitor to assess.

Consider a claim when a surgeon has left a coil of surgical wire in your stomach following an operation – the very fact a coil is in your stomach is the proof of the negligence.

Other claims are far more complex and require a consultant doctor to produce a report looking at all of the evidence to determine that negligence has occurred. This might be the situation for a misdiagnosis or an operation which leaves ongoing symptoms of pain.

In such instances – your solicitor cannot assess your claim, but must rely on a medical expert to produce a report to decide if an error has occurred.

3. What is the severity of your injury?

Even after your lawyer has received a report from a first medical expert confirming clinical negligence – a second medical report is required from another medical expert to verify the severity of your injuries as a result of the negligence.

Obtaining two medical reports can take quite some time.

4. Is liability conceded?

If legal liability, fault or responsibility is not accepted by the NHS Trust – your solicitor will have to issue your claim at court to prove negligence occurred. This might mean the need for a trial with all respective medical experts and legal representatives timetables tallying together to find a window of opportunity for a trial to occur.

So  – How Long Will Your Clinical Negligence Claim Take?

It is very difficult to say – but I would estimate between 1 – 3 years depending on the factors I have listed above.

What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have Suffered Medical Negligence?

Two things you should do immediately:

1. Lodge a formal written letter of complaint with the NHS Trust, and

2. Contact a clinical injury solicitor to assess your claim before it is too late.

Can You Have Your Medical Negligence Claim Assessed Online Free Of Charge?

“Yes” – my website provides free online legal help including speaking to me in person about your medical negligence claim. Simply click Medical Negligence Claim to select from the help you prefer.

2 Responses to “How Long To Make Medical Negligence Claim? Clinical Compensation Time Periods”

  1. Claire Price says:

    In 2006/6 had a dental implant done by a Dental practice in Abergavenny. I was unhappy with the result and he offered to re-do the implant. The procedure wasn’t explained to me nor the dangers of being a smoker. It was only when I was in the chair that he started talking about bone being taken from my jaw etc etc. Following the procedure he left my mouth in a complete state! He had cut away my gum almost completely, stitched my lip to my gum, when this stitching dissolved it exposed a large screw in my gum and what a complete mess he had made. I investigated on the internet and shared my concerns with him, he however continued to fob me off, and kept telling me it would ‘come good’ When he wanted to go ahead and put in the new implant I was so concerned I wouldn’t let him do it and sought advice from another dentist who put me in touch with an implant expert in Cardiff University hospital. This was in Jun 2007. I saw him privately at a cost of £100. When I told the first dentist he wrote me out a cheque immediately for the full amount, and offered to pay any further consultations with the implant expert. Mike Hill was horrified with what he saw and also explained to me as a smoker they wouldn’t have entertained the idea of even doing the procedure. I never went back to the first dentist to have the new implant fitted after following advice I was given at the hospital that it would most definitely not work anyway. I instead had explained to me that due to the mess that was left behind I would need to undergo a series of reconstruction operations to try and rebuild the gum and put right the damage that had been done. I then went under the care of the Cardiff University hospital and was put on a waiting list. I have just had the first procedure carried out which involved removing my front tooth as the cavity was so huge now next to it that it had to be removed, I then had a chunk of tissue taken out of the roof of my mouth to try and rebuild some gum, some bone substitute implanted and then a pad stitched into the roof of my mouth where the graft had been taken. This has been an extremely painful procedure, and extremely distressing losing my front tooth. Everybody has been so horrified by my story, and I am being told time and time again ‘Why didn’t you sue’ ‘why didn’t you sue’ I have maybe left it too late now, but having this procedure done has made it very raw for me again and I feel that I am having to go through all this unnecessarily due to the negligence of the first dentist. I do understand that sometimes these procedures just don’t work, but I do feel he was incompetent, he wasn’t truthful, he didn’t explain procedures, dangers, consequences of smoking etc so I believe wholly responsible for being negligent. Please if you can help me contact me for further details. Yours hopefully, and with many thanks in anticipation, Claire

  2. Claire

    Thank you for your enquiry. From your description I believe you would have a had a claim against the dentist as it seems clear that negligence occurred, which is backed up by the dental implant specialist.

    The difficulty comes in relation to the time period to start a claim at court – which should be 3 years from date of injury or date of knowledge of injury. Date of knowledge could be the date that the implant specialist pointed out the errors in the original dentist’s work.

    If you were under the age of 18 years at the time of the original treatment you would have a longer time period to claim – until your 21st birthday.

    The courts do have a discretion to waive this time period, but the grounds are quite strict for this to be allowed.

    From your description it seems that certainly in June 2007 you had knowledge that the original dentist had been negligent in his dental treatment.

    I would however like to speak to you about you treatment and would be obliged if you would call me on 0161 8346776 for a free consultation to see if there is someway that I can help you make a compensation claim.

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