As a wave of news reports have revealed, the NHS is failing many of its patients. Medical negligence, whether due to mistakes or lack of care, is depressingly common. What many don’t realize is that you can sue the NHS if you’ve suffered from medical negligence. Nor do you have to take whatever minimal level of care they offer you as compensation. Here is information regarding how to sue the NHS if you’ve suffered from medical negligence.
Decide to Take Action
NHS negligence claims are typically bound by the same three year time limit that many medical negligence cases face. Don’t accept their recommendations to wait a few more months for a second opinion and then a few more months to see a specialist to treat your condition if the initial incident occurred several months ago. You run the risk of the three year time limit running out while you wait for the NHS to deliver care to correct for its initial mistake. And heaven forbid they put you on a two year waiting list for surgery to correct their first mistake and then drop you because you’re overweight or your condition deteriorated too much. Decide to take action instead of just waiting for the state to fix things.
If you or your loved one is still in the hospital, confront medical staff directly instead of accepting their advice to wait and see if things get better. If it is necessary, file a formal complaint. This establishes that you’re unhappy with the service or experiencing problems from their inadequate care or mistakes. It generates a paper trail that is invaluable when you take them to court.
What if your child is suffering the consequences of someone else’s medical negligence? The three year time limit doesn’t start until the child turns 18. The child could thus, in theory, file a case as an adult, though this isn’t an option if they are mentally impaired. If you’re in need of legal help for a medical negligence claim on behalf of a child, consult with an attorney now. You don’t have to wait until the child is 18 to file a claim on their behalf, since you’re probably incurring medical and caregiving expenses on their behalf already.
If your loved one has died due to medical negligence by the NHS, you can sue the NHS as well. Consult with a medical negligence expert, since the statute of limitations may be the date on which they were injured, or in some cases, the date that they died. Seek professional advice before you give up due to the mistaken belief it is too late to seek redress.
And don’t fall for the propaganda that you’re hurting the NHS if you sue them for the injuries or harm you’ve received. If you file a medical negligence claim against them and win, the NHS’s management will have another incentive to improve quality of care, get rid of bad doctors or alter procedures so that future mistakes don’t happen. It is rare that the medical practitioner involved loses their job unless it is truly an egregious mistake or they have a history of such errors, and in these cases, they shouldn’t be in their job.
Request All of Your Medical Records
Your medical records are yours, and it is your right to receive a copy of them. Know that you may need to pay a modest fee for copies of medical notes to be made. Don’t worry about these charges; if you win a medical negligence case against the NHS, these costs can be recouped. You want these records now, before you see a solicitor, so that their investigation will go much faster. And getting copies of the records now before you mention that you’re going to talk to an attorney ensures the staff doesn’t get defensive and delay giving you information.
Seek a Medical Negligence Expert
The first step is to find medical negligence solicitors with experience suing the NHS, you can quickly get in contact with someone using the contact form at websites like www.the-medical-negligence-experts.co.uk. The NHS is not easy to sue, and cases end up getting dropped quite often, so you have to make sure that your lawyer understands the NHS negotiating tactics so you don’t get swindled in your settlement. You should also work with a solicitor who has an actual story of winning cases against the NHS as well.
If your medical negligence solicitors are focused on suing private healthcare facilities, they are less likely to come to an amenable settlement with the NHS. And you should seek your own legal counsel, not just go with the legal advice you may have received from the NHS when you filed a complaint against them.
You should also make sure that you pick the right solicitor as well if you want to encourage cooperation. The best medical negligence solicitors are those who take every case seriously and are ready to fight till the end for their clients. A good medical negligence UK solicitor should also have a long standing record and a reputation for getting results. Don’t get overwhelmed by star cases, and try to see if they have success with smaller cases as well.
Cooperate with Your Solicitor
This isn’t an oxymoron. Too many people hire a solicitor and then get frustrated when asked to make more copies of medical and other receipts or be reluctant to add detailed financial bookkeeping of every little cost related to the injury and maintaining the home after the incident. Or they refuse to visit a second medical professional for a separate, unbiased medical evaluation. They may be tired of all the run-around with doctors or feel it is unnecessary.
However, your solicitor is trying to generate the documentation that will maximize the odds of winning your case in court. You may be asked to see more than one independent medical specialist because they are seeking a firm diagnosis or verification of your recovery before filing the claim.
The NHS is a bureaucratic behemoth, but it does have processes for settling medical negligence claims UK. This can take months for some, years for others. The more serious the injury or harm, the longer it takes to settle. The more complex the case, the longer it takes, too. Don’t be afraid of going to court, though, since fewer than 2% of cases against the NHS go to court, and you’ll have a qualified solicitor by your side the whole time.
Whatever you do, it’s important that you take action if you feel you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, even if it’s against the NHS. It may start with filing a complaint while you’re still in the hospital. Request copies of your medical records while avoiding threats of legal action to ensure the medical facility’s full cooperation.
Then seek the advice of medical negligence experts who have experience taking on the National Health Service. Cooperate with the solicitor when they ask you do to something, whether keeping detailed bookkeeping, making more copies of receipts or visiting another medical professional for yet another medical evaluation. Be patient when dealing with the solicitor and the NHS. Complex cases and those with multiple liable parties take longer to resolve.