2016 was a record year for medical negligence claims in the UK, with NHS trusts in England paying out £1.4bn in claims, a rise of £400,000,000 on the previous year. If you have been the victim of medical negligence within the last 3 years, consider making a claim to secure compensation.
Why are Costs Rising?
The NHS Litigation Authority, responsible for defending claims against the NHS have cited an increase in the number of claims made as well as the cost to defend each one. In addition, the NHS has been accused of delaying cases which has provided a contributory factor to further cost increases.
How are These Costs Covered?
The NHS Litigation Authority collects premiums from each NHS trust, based upon the number of claims they are likely to be subjected to each year. As pay-outs rise, premiums increase in tandem.
The Motive for Claimants
Unfortunately, many claimants use the medical negligence process in an attempt to force an apology from the NHS. Even if found at fault, a court has no legal foundation for administering discipline to medical practitioners, neither does it have the power to elicit an apology to the claimant.
Paying for Your Legal Claim
- Sometimes house insurance policies feature an element of legal expenses cover which could be used to pay for a medical negligence claim. There will often be a limit on the costs incurred and you may be required to choose from a list of approved solicitors. If you think your policy may feature legal expense cover, get in touch with your policy provider for further advice.
- Legal Aid is no longer available as of April 2013. In the case of a claimant suffering from a birth injury, limited public funding may be available.
- Some solicitors offer a conditional arrangement such as ‘no win no fee’. In this instance, a solicitor will agree to take on your claim, free of charge, with a fee only due if your claim is successful in court. Fee percentages will vary so it’s best to get in touch with a solicitor to see how they can help. These arrangements can be complex so be sure to read any fine print print before signing an agreement.
How Much Will I Be Able to Claim?
This will depend entirely on what you are claiming for and whether you are successful. There are many grounds for claiming medical negligence – if you meet the criteria, your injuries and out of pocket expenses will have a direct impact on any compensation due.
Preparing for Your Claim
It is important that you gather as much evidence as possible. This should be in the form of medical records and x-rays depending on the nature of your claim. A complete list of all expenses incurred due to your injuries should be complied with receipts as further supporting evidence for your claim.
Legal advice should be your first step. There are several medical negligence lawyers in Yorkshire who have expertise in successfully bringing about medical negligence claims. Get in touch with as many as possible and see if they are able to offer preliminary advice and a no obligation quotation.
There are many people who have already successfully brought cases against the NHS. If you have suffered or continue to suffer, you could be due compensation.