Saturday, 28 April 2012

Medical negligence claims: what can you expect?

Sometimes, the fact that there may be so many courtroom dramas on television may not be helpful to people who are thinking about making medical negligence claims. Television dramas would have us believe that bringing a claim may be all about lawyers in dark suits stomping around courtrooms. So what really happens?

Medical negligence issues may happen in many kinds of scenarios. On one hand, you may have a long standing illness that may have been misdiagnosed or mistreated. On the other hand, you may have suffered a botched operation, where doctors and surgeons may not have done what they should have when you were on the operating table.

Either scenario can be upsetting, because you may not have received the care you are entitled to expect from the medical profession. Deciding to make a claim is the first step.

Choosing your lawyer
Medical negligence cases may not be just like any other kinds of accident compensation claims. They may require specialist knowledge, and perhaps more importantly specialist experience of how to negotiate with the NHS or their lawyers. This is because the “day in court” that you may be expecting from watching television dramas may be quite rare. In many cases, where negligence may be clear from the facts, medical negligence claims may be settled because the person who is responsible may want to draw the matter to a conclusion without going to court.

At Bentleys, you may speak to a qualified lawyer in your initial enquiry call, who may set your mind at risk by setting out how likely your claim may be to succeed. After taking the details of your claim, you may be able to get a rough idea of the level of compensation you may expect, given that there may be standard “rates” for different types of injury.

You may also be guided through the next parts of the procedure so that you may know what to expect next, and importantly, what may be expected of you.

Your day in court
As a claimant, you may have to submit to further medical examinations, in order to gather more evidence for your case. If your claim has been taken on in a true no win no fee deal, you may not have to pay any fees for these appointments upfront. Your lawyer may stand the cost and the risk of them and recover the cost later from the other party should your claim succeed.

What happens if yours is one of the comparatively few medical negligence claims that ends up in court? By this stage, your lawyer may have prepared you so thoroughly that you may feel confident about what to expect from the experience.