When a medical mistake has far-reaching consequences
Every year more than 10 million operations are carried out in the UK. The vast majority go well. Millions of people are treated by doctors and nurses. The care they deliver usually leads to recovery. But sometimes operations and treatment can go wrong. When this happens you need speedy and expert legal advice. You need Scott-Moncrieff’s specialist medical negligence team on your side.
Mistakes can happen because of human error by a medical professional or because a medical product or item of equipment fails or malfunctions. With doctors under increasing pressure, more mistakes are likely to be made with diagnoses (such as when a GP fails to spot a potentially serious problem at an early stage).
In an ideal world, no-one would want to take legal action against a doctor or nurse. But when something has gone seriously wrong and an individual is left with long-term health problems, it’s only right that a legal case is brought and compensation paid.
Scott-Moncrieff has the proven flair and expertise needed to bring a successful clinical negligence case. Our healthcare lawyers recently secured compensation in a whole range of cases – from mental health patients who’ve been mistreated to people who’ve suffered spinal and brain injuries as a result of medical errors. We understand the far-reaching effects – both physical and emotional – of suffering the results of a medical mistake. Our medical negligence lawyers offer services for throughout England including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Oxford, Brighton, Bury St Edmonds, Ipswich, Cambridge and Newmarket.
What is medical negligence?
In general terms you’ll be able to bring a med. neg. case if a medical professional:
- gave you the wrong medication
- didn’t diagnose your condition or made a wrong diagnosis
- made a mistake during a procedure or operation
- gave you the wrong drug
- failed to warn you about the risks of a treatment
- failed to obtain your consent to a treatment.
What sort of medical mistake can be claimed for?
At Scott-Moncrieff we’re proud of our first-rate team of clinical negligence lawyers. All have extensive experience of this highly specialised area of the law. All have dealt with serious cases in which serious injury or death has occurred. All are members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers Lawyers (APIL).
It’s possible to claim compensation in a whole range of medical negligence scenarios and we’ve represented people who’ve suffered injury in the following ways and in many more:
- birth defects caused when an error is made during childbirth
- brain and spinal injury
- hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA
- failure to diagnose a serious medical condition at an early stage
- avoidable delays in treatment
- problems caused by faulty medical devices or products
- mistakes made during surgery
- complications arising from cosmetic surgery (eg breast implants)
- misdiagnosis or mistakes in treating mental health conditions
- wrongful discharge from hospital
- inadequate treatment of the elderly or mental health patients.
Do I Need to Make an Official NHS Complaint in Order to Bring a Legal Action?
You can start a legal claim for clinical negligence without going through the official NHS complaints procedure. But it’s a good idea to consider using the NHS procedure as it can help you get information about exactly what happened. You may then be able to use this information as part of your legal case.
Private healthcare practitioners are registered with a professional body that regulates that area of practice.
I’m in the Armed Forces. Can I Still Bring a Legal Case?
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors also act on behalf of members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the NAAFI and their families in clinical negligence claims. Our solicitors have taken on cases where injury or death has arisen as a result of negligent medical or dental treatment anywhere in the world that service personnel and/or their families are located.
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Claim?
The time limits affecting clinical negligence cases vary according to the details of each case and there are no time limits in cases involving children. Most adults will have to initiate a legal action within three years of becoming aware that a medical mistake has led to problems.
It’s essential to get expert legal advice as early as possible as complicated medical negligence actions can take a long time to resolve. By involving a lawyer as soon as you suspect that something has gone wrong you’ll be making sure your case is concluded as quickly as possible.
Will I Have to Go to Court?
The vast majority of clinical negligence cases are settled out of court. In some circumstances it’s possible to receive payment from an existing compensation scheme. Examples include people who have suffered damage as a result of vaccinations can make a claim to the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit. Similarly, individuals who’ve contracted HIV having been given contaminated blood during haemophilia treatment can claim payments from the MacFarlane Trust and compensation from the Government.
How can I Fund my Case?
Scott-Moncrieff offers Conditional Fee Agreements (commonly called ‘no win, no fee’) in appropriate cases. This means that you won’t be faced with a large bill if you lose. We’ll discuss whether your medical negligence action is suitable for such an arrangement at an early stage so you know exactly where you stand.
Alternatively, you may be able to use Legal Expenses Insurance to fund your case. Our medical negligence solicitors will provide expert advice on the best way forward so you make optimum use of any insurance policy that may be relevant. And we’ll keep you 100% up-to-date with costs as your case progresses so there’ll be no nasty surprises at the end.
Contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors in London,