Is There A Time Limit To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?

Have you experienced NHS medical negligence that could have been avoided if a medical professional hadn’t breached their duty of care? Are you suffering because of someone else’s mistakes? If this is the case, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim with a clinical negligence solicitor.    

NHS Medical Negligence

However, there are time limits for medical negligence claims whether they are against the NHS or a private health company. In this article we will look at the medical negligence claims process and what evidence you have to provide in order to pursue clinical negligence claims. This guide explores how long you have to make a claim against the NHS, depending on your circumstances. It will also discuss in more depth what a medical negligence claim is, and what duty of care the NHS has to patients. 

You should never have to suffer due to someone else’s negligence, especially not an experienced professional. Our team is here to help you begin your medical negligence claim and gain the compensation you deserve.

Get In Touch With Our Team 

If you have suffered an injury/illness due to NHS medical negligence, we can help you. Contact our team by calling us on 020 3870 4868 for 24/7 free legal advice from our team of advisers. A friendly adviser will be happy to chat with you and learn more about your claim. 

Alternatively, you can start your claim online and an adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience. 

If you’d like instant advice, chat with an adviser through our live chat pop-up box. They can offer advice on pursuing your claim. If our advisers can see that you have a strong medical negligence claim they can connect you with a medical negligence solicitor. If the claim is taken on it will be handled on a No Win No Fee basis. 

Services And Information

  1. Is There A Time Limit To Make A Medical Negligence Claim
  2. What Is A Medical Negligence Claim Against The NHS?
  3. What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Have To Patients?
  4. When Could You Make A Claim Against The NHS?
  5. What Is Causation In Medical Negligence Claims?
  6. Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims
  7. Who Could My Medical Negligence Claim Be Made Against?
  8. What Are The General Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims Against The NHS?
  9. What Are The Time Limits For Child Medical Negligence Claims?
  10. How Long Do You Have To Claim With Diminished Mental Capacity?
  11. I Suffered NHS Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?
  12. No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims 
  13. Other Information
  14. FAQs About Medical Negligence Claim Time Limit

Is There A Time Limit To Make A Medical Negligence Claim

This article will discuss information regarding medical negligence time limits within the UK. It will discuss who exactly in the NHS you could claim against, how much compensation you may be awarded, and how you could make a claim. 

It will also go into depth about the duty of care the NHS has to safeguard and protect patients, as well as how you can prove causation in order to pursue a clinical negligence claim. Upon reading this guide, you will become aware of the general medical negligence time limit, as well as the time limits for children and incapacitated people.

It’s important to distinguish the difference between these three time limits, or you may leave it too late and be unable to claim. We don’t want you to suffer due to someone else’s negligence, so get in touch with our friendly team of advisers today. They can provide free advice so that you can have all your questions answered. 

If you need more information and advice regarding medical negligence claim time limits, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our advisers. They can discuss the existing time limits with you and get to know your case more in-depth.

If you do chat with our team of advisers, you are under no obligation to continue with our services. However, if you would like to pursue a medical negligence claim, an adviser can review your case for you. They can do this in a free no-obligation assessment. If they think your case has a strong chance of achieving compensation they will give you the option to be connected with a medical negligence solicitor. 

What Is A Medical Negligence Claim Against The NHS?

The NHS treats thousands of patients across the UK each day. It is a blessing for many, but what if a medical professional makes a mistake? Health care is extremely important to keep our lives on track, but nobody deserves to be made to suffer due to someone else’s negligence.

NHS medical professionals have a duty of care to protect and safeguard patients. If they breach their duty of care and cause an injury or illness to occur/worsen, then the NHS may be liable to have a medical negligence claim held against them.

This means that the patient who has suffered the injury/illness can file a medical negligence claim against the NHS to potentially receive compensation. This is to compensate for the way in which the injury has negatively impacted their lives. Medical negligence claims are a way to protect people who have been made to suffer through no fault of their own.

This link contains data from the Annual Report Statistics conveying all clinical claims notified for each financial year between 2006/07 – 2019/20. 

What Duty Of Care Does The NHS Have To Patients?

The NHS has a duty of care to safeguard and protect patients under their care. If you claim clinical negligence, you have to prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care and acted negligently. You also need to be able to provide evidence that you suffered ill health because of this negligent treatment.  

NHS Resolution states that, in order to make a claim, the medical professional must have acted in a way that falls below the professional standards and guidelines. The Bolam principle assesses whether other skilled practitioners would have supported the decisions made by the original professional. 

These skilled practitioners must be unsupportive of the decisions made by the original medical professional in order for you to continue pursuing the claim. Many claimants find it difficult to launch a clinical negligence claim against the NHS alone and prefer to hire a medical negligence solicitor to help them.

When Could You Make A Claim Against The NHS? 

In order to make a successful medical negligence claim against the NHS, you must firstly, be able to prove they owed you duty of care. Secondly, you must be able to show they acted in a negligent manner. And finally, proving you suffered because of this negligence and not because of an original health condition is vitally important.  

A misdiagnosis could lead you to make a claim against the NHS. A misdiagnosis can result in you receiving the wrong treatment, which could delay your correct treatment or even worsen your condition. This could make NHS waiting time longer, increase spending, and leave you worse off than you were when you first sought help. To claim medical negligence for a misdiagnosis you must prove that the medical professional acted negligently when diagnosing you. 

Similarly, a missed diagnosis could be detrimental to your health. A medical professional not treating your illness could lead your condition to deteriorate through no fault of your own. If you have experienced a negligent missed diagnosis, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim. 

If you are not sure whether or not you have a valid case for medical negligence, call our advisers today. they are waiting to answer any questions you may have. 

What Is Causation In Medical Negligence Claims?

In order to file a medical negligence claim, you must provide evidence of your injuries/illness. Furthermore, you must prove that your injuries/illness were caused by medical negligence. This is where causation becomes important. 

To make a medical negligence claim against the NHS, you must prove causation. This means you must prove that your injuries/illness were caused by a medical professional breaching their duty of care. You also must prove that if they hadn’t acted in this way, you wouldn’t be suffering now. 

Your claim may not succeed if it’s likely your harm would have taken place even if the practitioner acted differently. It can be difficult to gather this evidence, this is why we always recommend having a medical negligence solicitor support you with a case like this. 

Get in contact with our team of advisors. They will assess your case for free. After they have looked at your evidence and listened to what you have said they may offer to connect you with medical negligence solicitor on our panel. Our advisers are available 24/7 to give free legal advice and are happy to help. 

Calculating Compensation For Medical Negligence Claims

Some articles use a personal injury claims calculator or a medical negligence calculator. However, as every case is unique, built on personal circumstances often these tools are not as accurate as seeking legal advice. 

However, we have compiled a table with compensation figures you may receive based on the Judicial College Guidelines. This table is for example purposes online and figures may vary.

Injury:Severity:Notes:Compensation:
Brain DamageSevereSome ability to follow basic commands, recovery of eye opening and return of sleep pattern. Little response to environment and need for full-time nursing care. The award depends on the severity of decreased life expectancy, sensory issues, and physical limitations.£264,650 to £379,100
Brain DamageModerateModerate-severe intellectual deficit., personality change, impact on sight, no prospect of employment, and risk of epilepsy.£140,870 to £205,580
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSeverePrevent injured person from working at all. All aspects of life are badly affected.£56,180 to £94,470
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerateInjured person is largely recovered and any lasting effects are not significantly disabling.£7,680 to £21,730
Chest InjuriesSevereA total removal of one lung and/or serious heart damage with severe pain and suffering. £94,470 to £140,870
Chest InjuriesModerateDamage to chest and lung(s) causing continuing disability.£29,380 to £51,460
Reproductive System: FemaleSevereInfertility with severe depression and anxiety.£107,810 to £158,970
Reproductive System: FemaleModerateInfertility without any medical complication and where the affected person already has children. Upper end of the bracket is awarded for significant psychological damage.£16,860 to £34,480
Reproductive System: MaleModeratePermanent impotence, in the case of a middle-aged man with children.£40,370 to £73,580
BladderSevereDouble incontinence. Total loss of natural bowel function and complete loss of urinary function and control.Up to £172,860

There are two Heads of Loss you could claim for in a medical negligence claim. These are general damages and special damages. General damages compensate for the injury itself and the mental and physical effect it has had on your life. The top end of the bracket is usually awarded if the injury lasts forever or a significantly long amount of time.

Special damages are compensation for the financial impact the injury has had on your life. For example, if you had to take time off work and suffered loss of earnings because of this. 

You must provide evidence to qualify for special damages, for example, providing bus tickets to prove you travelled to and from medical appointments.

Who Could My Medical Negligence Claim Be Made Against?

When you want to make a medical negligence claim depending on who is liable for the harm caused will determine who your claim would be against. If you are making a medical negligence claim because a doctor or nurse at a hospital caused you to suffer more than you would of due to a poor standard of care you would very often claim against the Trust of that hospital. However, if it was a private hospital then the claim would be against the company that owns it or against the medical professional themselves. If it was a dentist that caused clinical dental negligence then depending on whether they were NHS run or privately run would determine also who the claim would be made against.

If you are unsure as to who to direct your claim to give out advisers a call today. You can get in contact with our team of advisers who offer free legal advice 24/7. Once they have learned more about your situation, they will be able to tell you who the liable party may be. 

What Are The General Time Limits For Medical Negligence Claims Against The NHS?

Generally, there is a three-year time limit for making a medical negligence claim against the NHS. That’s three years from the date you suffer an injury or from when you discover the harm is due to the NHS’s negligence. 

There are instructions for pursuing the NHS complaints procedure, which may help you understand more about the negligence you suffered. 

The below table demonstrates the injury claims time limit:

Situation:Personal Injury Claim time limit:
Claimant knows immediately who is responsible for the negligence that caused them harm.3 years from the date of the negligence.
Claimant later becomes aware that their harm was caused by someone else’s negligence.3 years from the date of discovering the negligence.
Those with lack of mental capacity.3 years from recovery, or a friend/family member can pursue the claim for you.
Claimant under 18 years old.3 years from 18th birthday, or a trusted person can file the claim for you.

What Are The Time Limits For Child Medical Negligence Claims?

The time limits for child medical negligence claims against the NHS differ from the standard time limitation.

If you experience harm due to someone else’s negligence when you are under 18, the three-year time limit begins on your 18th birthday and lasts until your 21st birthday. If you are not aware of the illness or injury caused by medical negligence until after you turn 18 then the time limit will not start until you are knowledgeable. 

However, someone you trust can act as a Litigation Friend to pursue the claim for you before you turn 18. It’s important to note that you can only act as a Litigation Friend up until their 18th birthday. If no claim is made before they turn 18 they can make their own claim.

How Long Do You Have To Claim With Diminished Mental Capacity?

If the claimant suffers a lack of mental capacity, the three-year time limit begins when they regain capacity and recover. Alternatively, a friend/family member can become a Litigation Friend to file the claim before they are recovered.

If they only realise their injury was due to an NHS practitioner breaching their duty of care, later on, the three-year time limit will begin from the day they discover this.

I Suffered NHS Medical Negligence, What Should I Do?

If you have suffered clinical negligence, you should first collect evidence. Medical evidence is the most important. This proves your injury is as severe as you say it is. You could provide medical records, for example, to convey your diagnosis and treatment.

Next, you should gather financial evidence to help you claim special damages. As mentioned earlier, special damages compensate for the financial impact the injury has had on your life. Providing evidence, such as bus tickets to prove you travelled to and from medical appointments. This will prove you have spent money due to your injury. 

If you have suffered NHS medical negligence and would like to discuss making a medical negligence claim, you can speak to our friendly team of advisers. They will discuss your potential claim. Then they can then offer to forward you to our panel of solicitors. Who will discuss No Win No Fee agreements with you.

 No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claims? 

Many claimants worry about the fees a medical negligence solicitor may charge when pursuing a case. That is why we advise claimants to use a solicitor that offers No Win No Fee terms. These are technically called a Conditional Fee Agreement. 

If your medical negligence claim fails, you have no obligation to pay any of your negligence solicitor’s fees. On the other hand, if your case succeeds, your solicitor will deduct a small, legally capped percentage of your compensation. This percentage will be discussed with you beforehand. This is to pay your solicitor for their hard work.

There is little to lose, so why wait? We recommend that you contact us by:

  • Calling us on 020 3870 4868. Our team of advisers are available 24/7 to offer free legal advice about your potential claim.
  • Start your claim online. An adviser will get back to you at your earliest convenience. 
  • Chat to an adviser through our live chat pop-up box for an instant response.

Help us help you claim the compensation you deserve.

Other Information

Can You Sue On Behalf Of Someone Else? – A Complete Guide For Claiming Compensation For Someone Else: If you’d like to learn more about suing on behalf of someone else, our guide explores how to become a Litigation Friend. 

How Do You Claim If Injured At Work In The UK?: Have you suffered an injury at work due to your employer’s negligence? Our article discusses how you can make a personal injury claim against them.

A Guide To Claiming For An Accident In A Shop – How To Claim Compensation If Injured In A Shop?: If you’ve suffered an injury in a shop due to the occupier’s negligence, our guide explores how you can file a personal injury claim to gain compensation.

How do I know if I’ve Broken a Bone?: If you think you may have broken a bone, this NHS guide explores the signs and treatment for a broken bone injury.

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: This legislation provides information on how an employer can breach their duty of care and cause an injury in the workplace.

Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957: If you have suffered an injury in a public place, this piece of legislation explores who may be responsible for breaching their duty of care and how.   

FAQs About Medical Negligence Claim Time Limit

Can I claim medical negligence after 10 years?

There is usually a three-year time limit for claiming clinical negligence. However, if you suffered from a lack of mental capacity or are under 18, the three-year time limit begins from your recovery or your 18th birthday.

How long do you have to make a claim against the NHS?

There is a three-year time limit to pursue a medical negligence claim. However, if you are unaware that your illness or injury was due to a medical professionals negligence, the three-year time limit begins when you make this discovery.

How do you prove medical negligence?

Medical records of your injuries, for example, your diagnosis, medications, and treatment could all be used. You should always seek treatment after a clinical negligence injury as having medical evidence gives your claim a better chance of success.

Thank you for reading our guide to medical negligence claims time limits. We hope it has offered you guidance, support, and clarity that you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Writer HL

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