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Where do you start if you have been let down by a medical professional?

If you have been a victim of medical or clinical negligence you may be entitled to seek compensation.

You may be uncertain about whether your experience actually constitutes medical negligence and have been reluctant to seek help. Even if you are unsure about your circumstances, is well worth making an initial enquiry to find out what your rights and options are.

Medical negligence solicitors are well versed in dealing with enquiries from clients making tentative enquiries about whether their experience may be considered medical negligence and if so what the best course of action is.

Medical negligence is broader than malpractice during surgery and can include infections contracted in hospital (including MRSA), post traumatic stress, misdiagnosis and subsequent failure or delays in referral and maternal and birth related injury. Medical negligence can also include detal procedures.

What happens when you contact a medical negligence solicitor?

The first thing the solicitor will do is ask you a series of questions about your experience. They will give you an initial understanding of your position and if you and your solicitor wish to progress the matter you will probably be advised o visit an independent doctor who will carry out a medical examination.

Many clients are reluctant to undergo further medical examinations but this is a normal and necessary step as it will be necessary to obtain an impartial professional medical opinion before moving forwards.

The solicitor will then put a case together and approach the medical professional's nominated legal representative. It may be that the medical professional accepts that they were negligent and financial compensation can be negotiated without the need to go to court.

Alternatively if no admission of negligence is forthcoming or no agreement of compensation can be reached, the matter may go to court.

How much compensation will you get?

Compensation is awarded based on a number of factors including:

  • The seriousness of your illness or injury resulting from the negligence
  • The amount of money you have lost and are projected to lose as a result of the negligence
  • Whether you are going to need extra help and support in the future and the likely cost of that support
  • The degree of pain and suffering and the degree to which it has affected your life

Do medical negligence solicitors work on 'no win, no fee'?

Some do and some don't. Increasingly no win no fee is becoming the standard , as with the majority of personal injury claims. Bear in mind that your solicitor will be focussed on the likelihood of success and may be lees motivated to take on marginal cases on this basis.

Solicitors working on a no win no fee basis will seek settlement of their fees by the other side. Some solicitors may offer insurance to protect you in the vent that your claim is not successful. You should clarify how your solicitor will be paid at the outset.

How can the Good Solicitor Guide help?

Choosing the right medical negligence solicitor for your circumstances can be difficult. The Law Society operate a specialist scheme called the ' Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme'. The scheme is there to help and support victims of medical and clinical negligence and members of the scheme will have attained the highest levels of knowledge, skills and experience. You can check whether your solicitor is a member of the scheme here:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/accreditation/specialist-schemes/clinical-negligence/

Additionally, the Good Solicitor Guide lists thousands of solicitors in the UK who offer help and guidance in the field of clinical negligence. You can find their contact details easily by carrying out a quick search on our site. You will also be able to read the reviews and experiences of previous clients.

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