Specialists in Medical Compensation Claims
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FOR MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLIENTS
Bonallack & Bishop remains open for business. To minimise the need for direct face-to-face contact, we are happy to run your case by phone, video call or email.
Being let down by a medical professional and then having to explain often very personal details to a solicitor you have probably not met before can be really tough. Our team understand that. That’s why our Medical Negligence Solicitors ensure that clients wishing to make a compensation claim for clinical negligence (also known as medical negligence) are always handled sympathetically.
We can represent you wherever you live, nationwide. Because these claims are so complex, requiring expert knowledge of law and medical matters, our Solicitors handle Medical Negligence Compensation Claims not only locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset but throughout England and Wales from our offices in Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Amesbury and Andover.
Accredited Medical Negligence Panel Experts
Our highly qualified specialist team includes accredited members of the following four solicitor panels:
- the AvMA Clinical Negligence panel. AvMA, or Action against Medical Accidents, is the long-standing campaigning UK charity supporting victims of medical negligence
- the Spinal Injuries Association Approved Solicitors panel AND
- both the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel and Personal Injury Panel
And as you will see below, having a really specialist solicitor on your side is so important with these kind of negligence claims.
Call or Email Us Now for Your FREE Specialist Medical Negligence Advice – free phone advice and a free first appointment. Call FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or locally on (01722) 422300
Do I really need a Specialist Solicitor?
We think so – and we are not the only ones.
See below a direct quote taken from the AvMA website.
“Whenever choosing a solicitor in clinical negligence look for our quality mark. We can only recommend solicitors who we have accredited through our robust and independent system.
Beware of solicitors who imply that they are specialists without accreditation by AvMA, and do not be confused by the term ‘personal injury’ lawyer. Clinical Negligence is a highly specialist field of its own.”
There are now over 140,000 qualified solicitors and even more legal executives and unqualified staff in the UK. But a mere 180 of those are accredited members of both the AvMA and the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panels.
Unfortunately, far too many claimants just don’t instruct the right solicitor. That’s why in 2016/17 just 9675 claims were successful – that’s about 55%. In the last 10 years, our medical negligence experts have won compensation for our clients in 75% of cases. That’s the difference in using a genuine specialist for your claim.
The head of our medical negligence team, Denise Broomfield, is one of them. Click here to read more about Denise.
Put your mind at rest about a possible claim with our specialist FREE advice
When it comes to medical negligence claims, there’s no need to worry or suffer in silence if you’re concerned about running up sizeable legal costs. We offer:
- FREE phone advice
- FREE first interviews for all possible medical negligence claims – when our experts can give you an initial opinion whether you have a claim, and if so the likely level of compensation
Medical Claims – Home and hospital visits are available
If you are still in hospital or if you are so unwell that you can’t travel, then we can come to see you – at home or in hospital, or in a rehabilitation unit.
If you are able to travel, our solicitors can see you in our Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge or Amesbury offices and we also have interviewing facilities in West Dorset.
Medical negligence is substandard care by a medical professional (including doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses, radiographers and other health workers) i.e. medical treatment that has gone wong. We will just refer to “doctor” as the majority of medical negligence claims are against doctors.
The legal test when making a medical negligence claim is whether or not the clinical treatment given to a patient was of the standard that a reasonably competent doctor practising in that particular field of medicine should have given.
These kind of negligence claims are surprisingly common. 17,338 claims for compensation were, for example, settled in 2016/17 according to the most recent figures released by the NHS.
How do I prove my doctor was negligent?
To decide whether your treatment was negligent, our solicitors obtain your full medical records and send them to an independent doctor. This doctor reviews your notes, and if necessary your statement, and indicates whether the medical treatment was reasonable. If the independent doctor agrees that your treatment was substandard, your case moves to the next stage.
Causation of medical negligence claims
In medical negligence compensation claims it is often not difficult to prove that the standard of medical care was substandard.
It is somtimes much harder to prove that the substandard care affected the final outcome.
Most people who go to a doctor or a hospital have a pre-existing medical condition. Some complications which arise are just genuine complications of the original condition. For example, if a person admitted to hospital with a finger injury following a work accident has their finger amputated, they may think that better treatment may have allowed them to keep the finger. However, finger injuries are very difficult to treat and amputation is often necessary, regardless of the medical care.
To prove your injuries were caused by substandard medical care, we need an independent doctor’s opinion.
Doctors stick together – will the independent doctor really help my claim?
Our solicitors are very careful in choosing doctors to act as experts. We have a large database of specialist independent doctors and other experts who help victims of medical accidents. We always check that your expert does not know the doctors who treated you.
Will the independent doctor need to examine me?
This will depend on the nature of your injury. Many independent doctors prepare a report just from your medical records first – as we are asking the doctor to look back at treatment you had, and the best record of this is in your medical records. Some doctors need to examine you at this early stage of your compensation claim. If your case proceeds and you end up bringing a Court action, you will definitely need a medical examination.
If the independent doctor says I have a claim, what happens next?
First our solicitors write to the hospital or doctor concerned saying why we think you have a claim. They must reply within 3 months saying whether they admit responsibility for your injury or not.
If they do not accept responsibility for your medical injury, we may need to start Court action. Our medical negligence solicitors will explain if your compensation claim is likely to be successful and how your case will proceed.
Fortunately very few medical negligence claims and up contested court – nationwide in 2016/17, just 121 cases were fought in this way – that’s just 0.7%
Specialist Medical Negligence Claims
Although our experienced Solicitors deal with all types of Medical Injury, we have particular experience in the following Negligence Claims:
- Birth injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Cancer misdiagnosis/treatment
- Erbs palsy
- GP errors
- Head /brain injury
- Keyhole surgery
- Clinical negligence compensation for military personnel (including Army, Navy, RAF and claims against the MOD). Click here to read more about making a Military Medical Negligence Claim
- MRSA/C-Difficile/hospital infection/superbug
- Nursing and care home. Click here to read more about making a Nursing Home Negligence Claim
- Ophthalmic and Laser Eye Surgery
- Orthopaedics, trauma and amputation
- Plastic/cosmetic surgery
- Surgical mistakes – claims for negligence in general surgery accounts for around 50% of successful compensation awards. Click to find more about making a Surgical Negligence Compensation Claim
- Female medical negligence (gynaecology and obstetrics). Click to find more about Women’s Medical Negligence Claims
Instructing the right expert
When you come to claim compensation, having the right expert is essential; in short, getting the right reports from the right specialist and independent medical expert can make or break your compensation claim.
Getting that specialist on board from early on in your case is another reason why you need a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence work.
When it comes to appointing an expert, your solicitor needs to think about whether they are right for your particular situation. Do they have the right level of experience to deal with the level of difficulty in your case? Do they specialise in the niche area of medicine or surgery on which your case hinges on? What is their experience in preparing medico-legal reports?
Your solicitor also needs to consider whether you should be using a single joint expert [ ie one also instructed by the other side] or instructing your own; and to make sure that your potential expert has plenty of experience in acting for claimant patients.
Your solicitor will need to know how to deal with appointing experts. They can either rely on their own experience of the expert in question, and they will have access to specialist organisations with panels of experts.
Funding for your compensation claim – No Win No Fee available
Bring a negligence claim can be very expensive. Sadly the NHS and other medical bodies remain remarkably reluctant to admit any mistake – though they are regular encouraged by the government to do so. As a direct result, these claims go on far too long and legal bills are, in our opinion, far too high.
However that should not put you off making a claim – because almost all of our medical negligence cases are run using no win no fee agreements – so you don’t need to worry about paying your legal costs and can concentrate on your recovery.
Click here to read more about “No Win No Fee Claims“.
NB Legal Aid Funding is now extremely limited. Even if you are financially eligible, it’s only available for cliniical negligence claims involving a brain injury at birth or within 8 weeks of birth
Thinking of Making a Claim Following a Medical Error? Don’t Delay
It’s important to get legal advice from our solicitors as soon as possible after you become aware of your injuries.
Why? There are two main reasons
- Firstly there are strictly enforced time limitation periods. In general terms this means you will need to start your claim within three years of the negligence that caused your injuries – or if you only found out about the negligence later, within three years of your discovery of that negligence. There are also extended limitation periods for children and those with mental disabilities. Failing to start a medical negligence claim within the limitation period means you’re likely to miss out on your right to compensation completely.
- Secondly it is often much easier investigating your Compensation Claim if you instruct a solicitor as soon as possible. Things will still be fresh in your mind and evidence will sometimes be more easily obtained.
Remember – your initial phone call and first face-to-face interview with us is FREE, and our Solicitors can then tell you whether your compensation claim is worth pursuing. As a result we recommend you make notes about the circumstances of your Medical Injury as soon as possible and that you keep a written diary of events.
Making your medical negligence claim – you are not alone
Contrary to claims companies’ advertising, getting Medical Negligence Compensation is not easy. So it is essential that you have a specialist and accredited Medical Negligence Solicitor who will listen to you and clearly explain both how your claim is progressing.
If you have suffered an injury due to clinical negligence, sadly you are not alone. Remarkably there are approximately 850,000 Medical Accidents in UK hospitals annually, half of which, it is believed, were avoidable. Sadly countless patients, despite suffering from injuries due to negligent care, prefer not to claim at all, regardless of how strong their case for making a claim can be.
Our Solicitors understand how traumatic a Medical Accident is for you and your family, when after trusting clinical professionals, you end up a victim of clinical negligence. Whilst no money can ever fully compensate victims, we believe bringing these claims forward helps improve cliniical standards and raise patient awareness. Winning compensation also helps to stamp out bad practice by making GPs and hospitals learn from their mistakes.
Our Solicitors will do their utmost to ensure you receive fair compensation.
How long will my compensation claim take?
You do however need to be aware that your medical claim can be a lengthy and challenging process, and, and you need to understand that it is likely to take years to conclude.
It’s not an easy process – however fast our solicitors drive the case, it’s still going to take a while and some people do understandably get anxious and worried. That’s another reason why you need a specialist solicitor – to guide you through this difficult process.
Your Medical Negligence Claim – The Process
Medical Negligence cases can be quite lengthy and the claims process will need to begin with firstly gathering all the available evidence to prove your claim.
This will of course focus on your medical records, including the names of the doctors, the name of the clinic or hospital, the types of treatments used, the type of surgery performed, the medication given, the tests taken etc. All these are vital for the lawyer to be able to prove a case of negligence.
All the facts of the claim will be sent over to independent medical experts for an opinion as to the extent of the error. Their expertise will be used to advise our solicitors if there was negligent care or treatment on the part of the offending medical practitioner.
If there is sufficient evidence, then a settlement figure will be proposed which the medical professional’s insurance company may or may not accept.
If the professional disputes the claim or the amount of the settlement figure than the result of the claim will be decided by a court.
The legal process will be a long one and there are very rarely any shortcuts that can be taken. Even if all parties agree that medical malpractice took place than there will still be plenty of bargaining needed before a final settlement figure is reached which is acceptable to all involved.
Don’t delay any longer, get in touch with us today for FREE no obligation phone advice and a FREE first appointment.
Click to find out more about Making a Medical Negligence Claim