Six Important Questions to Ask Your Medical Negligence Solicitor
Being a victim of medical negligence or malpractice can result in serious consequences for your overall health and well-being. Medical negligence can include misdiagnosis, being given the wrong type of treatment or medication for your condition, errors made during surgery, a failure to diagnose in a timely manner, or even giving medical advice that results in worsening rather than improving your health. If any of these have happened to you whilst you were receiving medical treatment, then you may be eligible to claim compensation for medical malpractice, especially if you have required extra support financially, physically, or even emotionally as a result.
However, anybody putting together a medical negligence claim will need to have an experienced and skilled solicitor by their side to get the most from the process. Choosing a solicitor can be a daunting process, so here are some key questions to ask any potential medical negligence solicitors to ensure that they are the right fit for your needs.
#1. How Much Experience Do You Have?
Firstly, you will want to make sure that you are working with some of the best medical negligence solicitors, with a vast experience in making medical negligence claims UK and getting the best settlements for their clients. There’s no point in using a personal injury or family law solicitor to make a medical negligence claim, as they simply won’t have the extensive knowledge and experience required in this area of the law to be successful.
Don’t be afraid to ask this question – good medical negligence lawyers will always be willing to disclose their past experience to you and put your mind at ease when it comes to the knowledge and skills that they have working with medical malpractice. They may even be able to provide some details of cases that they have worked on in the past, with the permission of that client.
#2. How Much Will It Cost?
Before you can begin making your medical malpractice claim, it’s important to have a clear idea of how much you can expect the process to set you back financially. Bear in mind that Legal Aid is no longer available for medical malpractice claims in most cases, although it could be worth looking into if you feel that you have exceptional circumstances. In most cases, however, medical malpractice claims are funded using any compensation winnings.
The best way to ensure that you don’t end up out of pocket or suffering any further undue stress due to your claim is to opt for a solicitor who offers a ‘no win, no fee’ basis – i.e., you will only pay the legal fee should you be successful in winning your claim. The fee will be taken as a percentage of the total compensation that you receive as a settlement from the defense. If you have any questions about how to pay for your legal assistance, any good solicitor will be more than happy to go through those with you and answer any concerns you have.
#3. How Will I Contact You?
Although you will likely be able to leave your claim mainly in the capable hands of your solicitor throughout, it’s important to know how you’re going to be able to get hold of them when needed, for example, to be updated on the key developments in your case, or to provide them with further supportive evidence and records to present to the defense.
One of the most important initial questions to ask a potential medical negligence lawyers is how you can get in touch with them and how often you will be able to contact them. It’s best to seek out a solicitor who enables you to get in touch as often as you would like with any developments or questions. For example, The Medical Negligence Experts are a group of experienced UK solicitors who provide a free patient claim line that both new and existing clients can use to gain information and provide updates on their case.
#4. Does My Claim Have Potential for Success?
There’s no point in going ahead with a medical negligence claim that is likely to fail due to the time-frame, lack of evidence, or any other reasons. Before choosing a solicitor and going ahead with your claim, it’s important to determine your likelihood of succeeding and gaining the compensation that you deserve. Although it’s not possible to accurately foretell how a claim is going to end up when it goes to trial, an experienced medical negligence lawyer will have a strong idea of how well certain claims tend to fare. Because of this, it’s important to provide the solicitor with as many details as possible regarding your situation and claim, so that they can advise you on whether or not it is worth pursuing. Even if you don’t think your claim has much potential, it’s still worth an ask. For example, exceptions can be made for certain claims that are for medical malpractice dating back more than the three-year time limit, if the patient was subject to certain mitigating circumstances, such as mental health issues, or they were under the age of 18 at the time.
#5. Will Treatment Be Available?
If you are hoping to make a claim for a recent occurrence of medical malpractice, then you may be in need of further treatment for any health problems that have arisen as a result. A good medical malpractice solicitor will be used to working with clients who are still experiencing health problems as a result of medical malpractice and may be able to suggest alternative trusted medical professionals to you who will not only be able to provide you with the treatment that you need, but also stand up in court as a medical witness and give their expert opinion on your claim. Speak to any potential solicitor about your need for treatment and what they suggest you do.
#6. How Long Will It Take?
It’s important to note that no two medical malpractice claims are the same, and there’s often no way of telling exactly how long a claim will take to complete. The length of your claim is dependent on a variety of different factors, such as the amount of evidence that you have, the nature of your illness or injury, and the attitude of the defense towards culpability and causation. In some cases, claims can be easily settled out of court if the defense quickly admits culpability and comes forward with an offer of compensation. On the other hand, some claimants are not so lucky – legal battles where the defense will not admit culpability, or it’s difficult to prove causation, can take months or even years. Some claims, such as wrongful birth claims can be very different depending on the area, and so it’s hard to tell how long this kind of claim would take. So, don’t expect your solicitor to have all the answers when it comes to how long you can expect your claim to take, but do ask for their opinion taking into account all the information and evidence that you have provided them with. They will also be able to offer advice on the best steps to take to ensure that your claim is deal with as quickly as possible.
Hiring a solicitor to deal with your medical malpractice claim can be a daunting task. Asking the right questions is important to ensure that you have found the right legal match for your case.