The NHS has been under scrutiny lately due to a string of medical negligence cases. The reality is that its members are human, and they make mistakes of omission and commission on occasion. I am a huge fan of the service but have to admit there have been times I have been let down.
The sad fact is that sheer demand for its services from a growing and aging population and the expansion of bureaucracy over actual delivery of care have made matters worse. This is why sadly, medical negligence suits against the NHS are quite common.
I am not suggesting you sue at the drop of a hat BUT if you, or a member of your family, have been left with life changing circumstances you might feel you have no choice. In which case, here is an overview on how to file a medical negligence lawsuit against the NHS.
The first step is to recognise that you have a medical malpractice case. You will have to prove that the NHS and its staff were negligent in care, causing your pain, suffering and injury. Negligence occurs when the standard of care fell below the level expected. If you continue waiting for things to get better or assume that the issue will be resolved eventually, you could end up with the statute of limitations passing by, costing you your opportunity to sue for compensation.
The first step to winning a case is to prove that negligence has occurred, whether it was a medical mistake, failure to diagnose a condition or failure to deliver appropriate care. And this requires presenting the necessary evidence. Your first step once you recognise that you have a medical negligence case is to start collecting information. For example, you need to start collecting your medical records. Note that you have the right to copies of your medical records. You should start gathering your receipts and total up your related expenses. However, you shouldn’t wait until you have all of the information before you take the next step.
Once you’ve gathered at least some of your medical records and related information regarding your situation, consult with a legal expert. The information you’ve collected gives the attorneys the necessary information to determine whether or not you have a case, what other information needs to be gathered and what else needs to be done to build your case.
Don’t assume you have to use the NHS complaints procedure before you talk to medical negligence UK experts. You can file a complaint when you suspect negligence, especially if you or your family member is still in the hospital. You can file a complaint as the first step to gather information related to your claim. But don’t wait until the NHS complaint procedure has concluded before you speak to a medical expert. After all, you face limits on when you can file a claim, and you don’t want to risk a slow bureaucracy causing the statute of limitations to expire.
And you should also make sure that you speak with medical negligence lawyers who have experience with the NHS. The best medical negligence solicitors will have enough experience to understand their negotiation tactics and give you the proper course of action to follow. Teams like The Medical Negligence Experts have settled many cases against the NHS and will be better placed to help you. A generalist may claim that they have extensive experience, but more often than not, only an expert will be able to get the best settlement possible for your case.
Sometimes your legal expenses insurance will pay medical negligence solicitors. Trade union members may receive help from the trade union if they’re filing a medical negligence case. Charities sometimes assist with these cases, though legal aid is almost entirely reserved for medical negligence claims related to children who suffered a birth injury. You can pay your own legal bills. The most common solution, though, is a no win no fee model where you pay the solicitor out of the final settlement received.
The next step in this process is to file a formal medical negligence claim against the NHS. The NHS Litigation Authority handles the cases brought against the NHS for medical negligence. In rare cases, the case will be referred to a third group such as the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit. And the NHS LA is typically the final step, since fewer than two in a hundred cases go from the NHS LA to court.
At this point, your medical negligence claims UK solicitor will present the case, show the evidence and argue the case on your behalf. You may be personally sent for a second medical evaluation, be asked for further paperwork or questioned. However, most of the work will be done by the legal team, not you.
Once you recognise the issue, you need to start gathering the information your solicitor needs to understand your situation. Meet with a medical negligence expert to review your case, and then you can determine a payment method. Once that’s resolved, your attorney can file the claim.
Disclaimer: Collaborative post.