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Hospital Negligence Claims

Each year, millions of individuals in the United Kingdom will receive medical care in a hospital. Thankfully, our healthcare system usually delivers the highest level of service, and therefore the instances of hospital negligence are low. However, in some cases, mistakes can occur, and the consequences can be life-changing.

For many people, making a negligence claim against a hospital can be a daunting process. We are here to provide you with dedicated and personal support to help you through this difficult time. Our experienced medical negligence solicitors will work closely with you to assess the possibility of claiming compensation. We will guide you through every stage of the legal process in a straightforward manner.

Negligent medical treatment can cause further pain, injury and other complications, resulting in financial losses and the possible need for future care.

If you or a loved one has been affected by negligent hospital care and/or treatment during your stay following an accident, injury or illness, it is important that you seek the advice of specialist medical negligence solicitors as soon as possible in order to properly investigate whether you are entitled to compensation.

Our medical negligence team at JCP Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide variety of claims against NHS Trusts and private healthcare providers. This experience enables us to carefully and skilfully secure the best possible compensation for you and your family, even in the most complex of cases. In the majority of cases, we are able to secure compensation without the need for you to attend a court hearing.

We represent the majority of our medical negligence clients on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you can pursue a medical negligence claim with no financial risk or hidden costs.  

For a free no-obligation consultation about commencing a hospital negligence claim in South Wales, please get in touch by contacting your local JCP office or using the contact form on the right for a swift response.

JCP offers expertise in complex and catastrophic injury claims.

Legal 500 2022 Edition

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How claims for hospital negligence work

What counts as negligent hospital treatment?

When you receive any kind of hospital treatment, the clinical professionals treating you owe you a duty of care. In the majority of cases, hospital care, treatment and procedures are delivered to a high standard. Despite this, when medical professionals are overstretched and have to work to tight deadlines and budgets, things can go wrong, and the consequences can be devastating.

In order to prove that the hospital care and/or treatment that you received was negligent, you must be able to satisfy a two stage criteria:

  1. Firstly, you must be able to prove that the care and/or treatment that you received fell below medically acceptable standards i.e. no competent clinical professionals would have made the same errors under the same circumstances.
  2. Secondly, you must be able to prove that these errors directly led to an injury, illness or an existing medical condition becoming worse.

You will be entitled to compensation for your injures and financial losses if you can satisfy these two points.

Examples of negligent hospital care and treatment may include:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosing an injury or illness
  • Delayed diagnosis or delayed treatment
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Misreading test results
  • Surgical errors
  • Poor follow-up or aftercare
  • Gynaecological errors
  • Obstetrics and Childbirth errors
  • Failing to admit patients to hospital when appropriate
  • Premature discharge
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history
  • Failure to recognise symptoms
  • Hospital-acquired infections
  • Errors resulting in death

Starting a claim with JCP Solicitors

Starting a medical negligence compensation claim is straightforward and our team will do everything we can to ensure that the process is explained to you in an uncomplicated manner.

If you believe you may have grounds to claim compensation for hospital negligence, please contact our friendly and approachable team to arrange a free initial consultation.

During our initial consultation, we will take a full account from you as to what has happened. This will include information such as how your injuries occurred and the impact that your injuries have on your day-to-day life, so we can understand your needs. Based upon this information, we will be able to advise you as to whether or not we think you have a claim.

Our medical negligence experts will also use this as an opportunity to talk you through the legal process of making a claim, and to explain your funding options, including the No Win, No Fee agreement.

Where we feel your claim justifies further investigation, our experts will begin looking into your case in more detail by gathering evidence to support your claim.

In a medical negligence claim, your medical records and witness evidence are essential - they help to evidence what treatment you received and the injuries that you have suffered. With your consent, we will write to the relevant organisations to obtain copies of your medical records.

Once your medical records have been received, we will arrange for them to be reviewed by an independent medical expert. The expert will write a report about the treatment you received. The expert will consider the care and treatment that you received in order to determine whether it was to the required standard. If the expert is of the opinion that the care you received was substandard, they will then evaluate what care you should have received and what harm has been caused to you as a result of that substandard treatment and whether there will be any future implications to your health.

We often need reports from several experts, in different specialties.

Once we have gathered supportive evidence from independent medical experts, we will then get in touch with the NHS Trust or private healthcare provider responsible for the hospital in question to see whether they will accept liability at an early stage. If liability is accepted, we will look to secure interim compensation payments for you in order to fund any private medical care and ongoing expenses, before you claim is fully settled. Any interim payment received will be deducted from your final compensation award.

If the NHS Trust or private healthcare provider are not prepared to accept liability at an early stage, we will gather more evidence in order to debate the issues. We will work hard to negotiate the right settlement for you.

Our experts will keep you updated as your claim progresses during every step of the process.

Out of court settlements for medical negligence claims

We will always try our best to negotiate a settlement for your claim without involving the court, thereby keeping the claim process as short as is possible.

It is worth noting that it is often necessary to issue court proceedings as part of the claims process, especially if the NHS Trust or private medical provider does not accept liability or does not agree with the amount of compensation we feel you deserve. Commencing court proceedings does not, however, mean that you will necessarily have to end up giving evidence at trial. Even when court proceedings have been commenced, most claims can still be settled out of court before the date of trial.

If you do have to give evidence at trial, we will be there to support you every step of the way, ensuring that you are fully informed as to the process and that you feel as comfortable as possible.

Time limits for hospital negligence claims

In most medical negligence cases, you will have 3 years to bring a claim for compensation from the date that the negligence occurred or the date when you became aware of the negligence (known as the ‘date of knowledge’).

There are, however, certain circumstances in which you may have longer than 3 years to make a claim. The exact time limit will depend on the circumstances, for example:

  • Claims involving a child can be brought by the child’s parents or guardian at any point before the child turns 18 years old. On your child’s 18th birthday, the 3 year rule comes into effect, meaning that a claim needs to be brought before they turn 21 years old.
  • If you are claiming on behalf of someone who has died as a result of hospital negligence, you typically have 3 years from the date of death to bring a claim.
  • If you are claiming on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity to bring their own claim, there is no time limit.

The time limits for hospital negligence claims can be difficult to understand. It is crucial that you get it right, because you will not be able to make a claim if you are outside the time limits. This is why we always recommend that you contact a member of our team as soon as possible in order to make sure that you do not miss the opportunity to pursue a claim for compensation.

Funding a hospital negligence claim – ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement

During our initial consultation, we will discuss the different funding options available to you, and advise you which option we think is the most suitable.

The majority of our medical negligence claims are funded by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly referred to as a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement.

A ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement takes away the financial risk to you when making a medical negligence claim. This agreement allows you to pursue a claim for compensation safe in the knowledge that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not owe us any money.

If your case is successful, our solicitors are paid a proportion of their fees and expenses by the negligent party. A small number of agreed deductions will then be made from your compensation. These deductions will be fully explained and discussed with you at the outset during our initial consultation.

If your case is unsuccessful or has to be abandoned due to a lack of evidence in support of your claim, as long as you have not withheld information or misled us, you will not have to pay us anything. You will not be responsible for any of our professional fees or legal expenses. This agreement ensures that you will never end up out of pocket.

The ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement gives you complete peace of mind that there will be no unexpected charges or hidden costs during your claim.

Why use our hospital negligence solicitors in South Wales?

Medical negligence is a complex area of law which many people find confusing and intimidating. If you or a relative feel let down, let us to take the stress out of the situation.

Our team aim to make the process as simple, stress-free and effective as possible for you, with the aim of securing the best possible compensation for you and your family.

We offer decades of specialist experience in all types of medical negligence claims, including those related to negligent hospital treatment. Our team has an excellent track record of securing substantial settlements for even the most complex and contentious claims. This has led to JCP Solicitors being recognised as one of the top medical negligence firms in South Wales.

We are accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, reflecting the high standards of our legal expertise and services in this specialist area.

Our medical negligence lawyers are committed to speaking your language. With a number of Welsh speakers on the team, we can offer our services clearly and accessibly through the medium of English and Welsh.

We have local offices covering the whole of South East and South West Wales in Swansea, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Cowbridge, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Fishguard  and St Davids.

Start a hospital negligence compensation claim in South Wales

Get in touch with our medical negligence claims lawyers in South Wales now by contacting your local JCP office or use the contact form above to request a call back.