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How long does a medical negligence claim take?

It’s difficult to say without knowing any details, but as a very rough ballpark figure then an average medical negligence claim might take between 12 and 18 months to resolve. Sometimes, when the other party admits the negligence, things can take less than a year to resolve whereas other times, if the other party does not accept responsibility and there’s a lot of complex information to understand, the claim may take more than two years.

Your claim has to be properly investigated so that evidence can be gathered in support of your claim. Your solicitor will obtain and review your medical records and you will need to be examined by one or more medical experts.  These steps alone can take between six and twelve months.  

If the seriousness of your condition and your chances of a full recovery are unclear, you may also need to wait for further medical examinations.  This is because a claimant should always wait to see the full extent of the damages; then a reasonable monetary figure can be assessed.  If a claim is agreed too soon, and a claimant relapsed in some unforeseen way that required more care or costly treatment, then once a claim has been settled a subsequent claim is not allowed.

Once the evidence has been collected, your claim can be put to the doctor or NHS Trust involved (the defendant). Their legal representatives may want to get their own medical evidence. If so, this is likely to lead to a delay in your claim being dealt with.

In many cases, an agreement will be reached without the need to go to court although if the defendant denies responsibility altogether, your claim will take longer to settle and court action becomes more likely.

During negotiations, it may be possible for you to receive an interim payment as an advance on your compensation. This could help you to make any adaptations you need to your home or to pay for treatment. Any amounts received as an interim payment are deducted from your final award.

In fact medical negligence claims can take so long to resolve simply because the claims can be very complex.  If your health has suffered as a result of a medical professional’s negligence then your quality of life can suffer in several different ways that require compensation payments.  These areas include payments for; pain and suffering, loss of amenity, loss of past & future earnings, reduced employment prospects, cost of care, medication and private medical treatment.

If you think you may have a medical negligence complaint to make, then you should seek legal advice. Suing some other party for damages is known as litigation and it can be very difficult to gather all the information you need to back you up.

At QualitySolicitors, this is what we do.  We’ll match you up with a legal expert who can handle your medical negligence claim effectively and efficiently on your behalf; and that includes if you ever need to go to court.  Just call us on 08082747557 and we can have a free five-minute chat just to see exactly how we can help you.

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