Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Medical Negligence Claims

By Danielle Nicholson. Last Updated 27th June 2023. 

What Is A Medical Negligence Claim?

All medical negligence compensation claims must be able to meet the following eligibility criteria in order for them to be valid:

  1. A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  2. This duty was breached.
  3. You experienced avoidable harm due to this breach.

All medical practitioners are expected to meet the correct standard of care when treating their patients. This is their duty of care. Should they fail to meet the correct standard of care and you suffer unnecessary harm, you might be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

However, there are some instances where you may experience harm, but a medical professional did not breach their duty of care. In this instance, you might not be entitled to compensation.

If you have any questions about claims for medical negligence, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

What Is The Time Limit For Medical Negligence Claims?

Claims for medical negligence must be started within the relevant time limit, as set out by the Limitation Act 1980. Usually, this is three years from the date you were harmed. However, this could be three years from the date that you first realised, or would have been expected to realise, that the harm you suffered was caused by negligence.

However, in certain circumstances, there are exceptions to the time limit for medical negligence claims. These include:

  •       Those who lack the mental capacity to make legal proceedings for themselves. These parties will have an indefinite suspension applied to the time limit. During this time, a court-appointed litigation friend could act on their behalf. Should the harmed party regain this capacity and a claim was not made for them, they will have three years from the date of recovery to start the process.
  •       Those under the age of 18. For children, there is a pause applied to the limitation period that lasts until their 18th birthday. Prior to this, a litigation friend could begin the legal process for them. Once they reach their 18th birthday, they will have three years to start a claim if one was not made for them.

Fatal Medical Negligence Cases

If you are making a claim for a wrongful death on behalf of a deceased loved one, you will need to start legal proceedings within the relevant time limit. A claim can be started within three years of the date of death.

Alternatively, it could be started within three years of the date of knowledge. This is the date when the harm they suffered could be connected to medical negligence. For example, this could be the date of a postmortem or inquest.

If you need any help understanding the limitation period for medical negligence compensation claims, please get in touch with one of our advisors. They can also provide you with more information on making a fatal accident claim if a loved one died due to medical negligence.

How Long Do Medical Negligence Claims Take?

If you suffered unnecessary harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care and are seeking compensation, you may be interested to know how long medical negligence claims take.

There isn’t a set time span from starting your claim to its resolution. A straightforward case where the defendant admits liability and your injuries fully heal could resolve in between 12 to 18 months. However, this timeframe cannot be guaranteed.

Having appropriate legal support could help your case. A solicitor with specialist training in medical negligence claims could help with items such as a letter of claim and gathering evidence. This could help make the claiming process more straightforward.

If you have any questions about medical negligence compensation claims, please get in touch with one of the advisors from our team. They can assess your case for free and if it seems like you have valid grounds for a claim, you could be connected with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors from our panel.

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