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Clinical Negligence – The Process

In a claim involving Clinical or Medical Negligence, regardless of the value of the compensation you may receive, the process is slightly different to that involved in pursuing a personal injury claim.  This is because if you are involved in a road traffic accident where you sustain an injury to your back for example, it is clear that the injury has occurred as a result of that accident.

However, in claims involving clinical or medical negligence it is not always as straight forward.  Sometimes there are complications that may arise from a particular type of surgery or treatment through no fault of the medics involved in your case.  This is what is known as a ‘recognised complication’.    Sometimes however, those complications or indeed other injuries can arise as a result of negligence and your specialist lawyer at Josiah Hincks will need to establish which scenario applies in your particular case.

So in cases of this nature, Josiah Hincks will obtain copies of your medical records and notes and instruct one or more medical experts to advise in relation to the issues of ‘breach of duty’ (whether there has been negligence or not) and ‘causation’ (whether the negligence has caused additional injury).  It is only once these reports are received that Josiah Hincks will be able to advise whether you have a viable claim.

Providing supportive expert evidence is received, the next step will be to write to your opponent setting out the allegations against them and asking them to pass the information onto their insurers, who will undertake relevant investigations.  The time period for those investigations to be completed and for a response to be provided by your opponent, is four months and 21 days.

During the investigation period, an appointment will be arranged for you to be examined by an independent medical expert, who will provide a report detailing your current condition and prognosis.  This report will be used to determine the level of compensation you can expect to receive in relation to your injuries.  You will be entitled to recover compensation for those injuries which are over and above the injuries or symptoms you would have experienced, even if the negligence had not occurred.

You will be asked for information regarding your financial losses and expenses, which can include loss of earnings, travel expenses and care.   If the expert evidence suggests that you are likely to require care in the future or further time off work for example, then this will be incorporated into your claim.

Once all of the above information is obtained, your dedicated clinical negligence lawyer here at Josiah Hincks will be able to provide you with an indication as to the likely level of compensation you can expect to receive and after seeking your authority to do so, will commence negotiations to settle your claim by sending a copy of the medical reports and details of your financial losses to your opponent’s insurers.

If liability is disputed by your opponent then this will be discussed with you and if we remain of the opinion that your claim is likely to be successful, we will discuss with you the necessity of issuing court proceedings.

Vickki Ridgway Clinical Negligence Specialist

Vickki Ridgway is a highly experienced Chartered Legal Executive, with in excess of 20 years’ experience in dealing with all types of personal injury and clinical negligence claims.  Vickki is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, (www.apil.org.uk/).