You are worried that your recent surgery has actually caused you a greater injury and you think you should make a compensation claim.
But you have lots of concerns. Can any solicitor handle this? Will it be stressful and time-consuming? Am I going to end up paying more than I will gain in compensation? Will I have to go to Court and will I need to be examined by strange doctors? Well, these and a hundred other questions may well swim through your mind and it’s not surprising.
As you might imagine, you cannot simply put in a random medical accident claim without a lot of time, sourcing of other details and work being done first. Your case will require hours of investigation into your medical records and the necessity, from this research, to determine whether or not you have a valid case.
Medical experts, independent doctors and background study of all the clinical aspects surrounding your claim will be involved. Although not many claims for medical negligence (also known a clinical negligence) end up in Court, winning a Court action is not always guaranteed.
This is one reason why it is imperative you get the support and knowledge of a highly experienced clinical negligence solicitor. A lawyer who has not been specially trained in this area of law might not have the skills they need. The result could be loss of your – or public – money, not just loss of a Court case.
It is advisable to search out a clinical negligence lawyer who practices with a Law firm who hold a Legal Services Commission Clinical Negligence Franchise. This firm should be able to provide you with funding from the Community Legal Service Fund (previously known as legal aid).
Alternatively, find a firm with lawyers who have been admitted to the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Panel or the AVMA (Action against Victims of Medical Accidents) panel. All of these panels set very high standards for entry and as result you will find that there are relatively few solicitors on these panels. You might therefore have to look further afield for a specialist solicitor, although if you are not well enough to travel a lot of medical negligence solicitors will make home visits – but your effort should be rewarded.
Next, check out their record of success in handling this type of litigation. Ask if you can have a free initial consultation. Time at these meetings can go rapidly so take along a set of basic questions to ask:
1) What access do they have to medical experts with individual specialist knowledge?
2) Do they have a track record of medical negligence cases with successful outcomes?
3) Has a clinical negligence lawyer from the firm experience of going to Court, in order to represent you, argue your case and give evidence?
Building trust with your chosen medical negligence solicitor in this way is vital for success.