Sue NHS hospitals: Medical Negligence and Hospital Compensation Claims - Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my clinical / medical negligence case take before I get compensation from the hospital?
This varies from case to case. We try to conclude cases as quickly as possible, while at the same time never compromising on our goal of obtaining the maximum possible damages for our clients. However, because of their complexity, clinical negligence claims where you sue NHS Trusts or hospitals often take more than a year and in some cases several years.
How long can I wait after the medical treatment until I make a clinical negligence claim for compensation?
In most cases you must make the claim within three years from when the injury occurred, or within three years of when you had (or ought to have had) knowledge you were injured as a result of negligence. The time limitation is complex; so even if the medical accident was more than three years ago, it is important that you contact us to see whether you are still in time.
Will you have me analysed by doctor who is an expert in the injury I received as part of the hospital compensation claim?
Yes, if we believe your claim has merit we will obtain a preliminary assessment of the medical issues from an experienced medical consultant in the relevant field. SheridanLaw has an extensive network of consultant experts in various medical disciplines who advise on the medical issues relevant to a particular case as part of bringing the hospital compensation claim and suing the NHS or a private medical establishment.
What will it cost me to bring a clinical / medical negligence claim?
There are a range of funding options, including public funding (legal aid) and ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements. For more information on how to fund your hospital compensation medical negligence case and suing NHS hospitals, see Funding your clinical negligence claim.
Can I use SheridanLaw even though I live in the north of England?
Yes, although we are based in Kingston and many of our clients are from Surrey and London, we frequently represent clients from other parts of the country or from abroad who have a serious medical negligence hospital compensation claim and need an experienced solicitor to sue the NHS.
How much compensation will I get for my clinical / medical negligence claim?
This depends entirely on the particular circumstances. Some of our clients, who have suffered severe injuries that have significantly impacted their lives, have been awarded very high amounts when they sue NHS Trusts. Sheridan & Co will always work hard to ensure you get the maximum compensation possible for the particular injury suffered.
I have seen the words clinical negligence, medical negligence, hospital compensation and medical malpractice used. Is there any difference between them?
No. The terms clinical negligence, medical negligence and medical malpractice refer to the same thing – bringing a negligence claim against a medical practitioner or institution providing medical services, such as a hospital or GP practice. Although clinical negligence is the term most frequently used, practitioners will often use the terms medical negligence and medical malpractice.
Will I have to go to court?
The vast majority of medical negligence and hospital compensation claims to sue NHS Trusts or hospitals settle (ie we reach an agreement on the amount of compensation with the other side after obtaining your approval). In these cases, there is no need for you to go to court.
Will I be updated regularly on the progress of my clinical / medical negligence case?
Yes, we update our clients regularly.
Will there be lots of legal jargon that is difficult to understand?
When you are dealing with the law it is impossible to avoid all legal jargon. However, we always try to use clear and understandable English. If, however, there is anything you do not understand, we will be more than happy to explain it to you.
What types of medical treatment do you frequently see clinical negligence claims arising from?
Examples of the types of medical conditions that might give rise to a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim include: clinical negligence relating to cardiac care, clinical or medical negligence relating to cerebral palsy, clinical or medical negligence in the diagnosis of cancer, negligent treatment leading to brain injury, medical malpractice causing a birth injury, negligence leading to erb’s palsy, negligent cosmetic surgery, negligent general surgery, clinical negligence in eye care, negligent gynaecological treatment, negligent orthopedic treatment, medical malpractice in spinal care, negligence in psychiatric care, negligence causing cerebral palsy, clinical negligence relating to cauda equina syndrome, negligent pediatric care, negligence in treatment by general practitioners and dentists.
How much experience does SheridanLaw have in medical / clinical negligence cases?
SheridanLaw has brought many hundreds of claims, and has been specialising in clinical negligence and NHS negligence claims for over 25 years. Ian Sheridan is a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and the firm is accredited by the Legal Services Commission to undertake clinical negligence work
I had medical treatment while on holiday in Florida that I think was negligent. Are you able to help?
Yes, as well as having American qualified lawyers in our team, SheridanLaw has an extensive network of contacts throughout the US. Working with these American attorneys, we are able to bring cases in America when it is in the best interest of our clients to do so.
I want to bring a clinical negligence claim but feel uncomfortable about suing the doctor personally. Is this necessary?
In most cases we would sue the NHS Trust that employed the doctor rather than the doctor himself. However, this is not always the case (for example, where you were a private patient), and we will need to assess the specific circumstances of your case to decide on the most appropriate litigation strategy to adopt.
Can I bring a clinical / medical negligence claim where I saw a doctor privately? Yes, it is possible to bring a clinical negligence claim on behalf of a patient regardless of whether he or she was treated privately or by the NHS.
Can I bring a claim if the injury was caused by a medical professional other than a doctor?
Yes, clinical negligence claims can be brought where the negligent treatment was by any healthcare professional. Sheridan & Co has experience of bringing clinical negligence claims where the negligence was by nurses, midwives, dentists, ambulance drivers, physiotherapists and pharmacists as well as by hospitals.