Understanding clinical negligence in Brighton & Hove

If you need to learn more about clinical negligence, you can contact GoodLaw Solicitors LLP today. Based in Brighton & Hove, our services cover all the surrounding areas.

What is medical negligence?

A medical negligence claim is a legal claim for damages arising out of the negligent medical treatment provided by a doctor or other healthcare providers, such as a surgeon, dentist or physiotherapist.

Can I claim?

Your solicitor will explain that in order to be successful in your negligence claim, you must prove three important things – that a duty of care was owed to you, that your doctor or healthcare provider breached that duty of care and that the breach caused or contributed to an injury, loss or adverse outcome to you that was not too remote.

It is not enough to prove only one of these things and in order to prove them, your solicitor will obtain a statement from you, your medical records and medical reports from experts in the area of medicine that is relevant to your case. So, for example, if you had treatment from a general practitioner which went wrong, your solicitor will obtain a report from an independent general practitioner to comment upon your own doctor’s handling of your care. For some types of medical negligence claims, see the Types of Claim page.

What can I claim?

The law can only try to put you back into the position you were in before the negligence occurred by awarding money, or damages, to compensate you for your injuries and past and future losses. However, those damages can go a long way to putting your life back on track. If you have not been able to work since your injury, then you will be entitled to claim loss of earnings. If you require care and assistance because of your injury, then you will be entitled to claim damages to pay for that too. Past losses are referred to as ‘special damages’.

You will also be entitled to damages for the injury itself and these are referred to by solicitors and the court as ‘general damages’ for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Your solicitor will advise you throughout your claim how to best investigate damages and which damages you should be entitled to recover.

Awards for damages in medical negligence claims vary significantly from the few thousand pounds to multi-million-pound settlements, depending on the injuries and losses suffered. It would not be right for your solicitor to tell you what your claim is worth at the first appointment because she or he will need medical evidence and other information in order to advise you fully.

How long will my claim take?

This is perhaps the most difficult question for your solicitor to answer. Your claim may not be suitable for settlement until you have recovered from your injuries. Most cases take about 12 – 18 months to settle if the other side is willing to negotiate a settlement at all.

There are strict time limits involved with bringing a claim to the court. This is known as the ‘limitation date’ and it is usually 3 years from the date you knew or reasonably ought to have known that negligence had occurred before, during or after your treatment. Your solicitor will advise you further on this important point about time limits. You should remember that even when your claim is started in court, it could still take up to 18 months before your claim gets to trial.

Medical negligence solicitors in Brighton & Hove

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