What happens if your claim is litigated?
Although the vast majority of medical negligence claims don’t ever go to court, there is a small chance your claim could be litigated. This happens in cases where, despite strong evidence in the medical report compiled by your solicitor and a medical expert, the defendant refuses to settle. In this instance, if your medical negligence solicitor is confident you will win the case, they will choose to escalate the legal proceedings to a court case.
Will I have to appear in court?
Up to 98% of clinical and medical negligence cases never make it to court, so the chances are yours won’t either. But even so, it’s imperative that throughout the process, you behave as you would if you were going to be appearing in a court of law.
This is especially true when making statements describing the events you experienced: at some point down the line, you may have to make them again under oath!
You may have to consider appearing in court in cases where although you and your legal team are confident you can prove negligence, the defendants are either unwilling to admit their guilt, or have offered a settlement you feel is not appropriate given the severity of your illness or injury.
How long will it take my case to get to court?
To ensure the medical negligence claim process is fair for everyone involved, there is a strict protocol that should be followed before a trial: starting with the initial letter from your solicitor, outlining your claim and asking for access to your medical records.
By law, the NHS has up to 40 days to provide you with this data, and once you have received them, they – along with your testimony – will be examined by a medical expert, who will help you and your solicitor decide whether or not to proceed with the claim.
Should you proceed, your solicitor will send the defendant a second letter – a ‘letter of claim’, setting out an overview of the case, the nature of your injury, illness or suffering, and details of any loss of earnings or cost incurred as a result. The defendant is required by law to acknowledge receipt of this letter within 14 days, and give their response within four months.
This response could be:
- Denial of the claim
- Admission to all or parts of the claim
- An offer to settle, either with or without an admission of guilt.
Depending on the response, your solicitor may be able to negotiate a fair settlement at this point, to arrive at a conclusion that avoids litigation.
However, if the claim is denied or an agreement can’t be reached and your solicitor is still convinced you can win the case, they will send the defendant an N1 claim form and any evidence your case is relying on. This begins formal legal proceedings.
Formal legal proceedings
Once the defendant has filed their defence claim with the court, which will challenge all or part of your case, it will be allocated to either County or High Court, depending on how much compensation you’re seeking and how complex the case is.
The case will proceed as per the court’s timetable, with your barrister setting out the case and calling any witnesses, who will be cross-examined by the defence. Once your case and witnesses have been laid out, the defence will have the opportunity to present their own defence and calling their own witnesses.
As part of this process you will be required to be questioned by both your own barrister and the defence, which can be daunting – but as long as you remain calm and stick to the facts there is nothing to worry about. You are not personally on trial!
Finally, once the case has concluded, you’ll be given a judgement, consisting of a verdict either for or against negligence, and if the case is awarded in your favour, an amount of compensation awarded.
If you feel you have a case for medical negligence, the court proceedings shouldn’t put you off claiming the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with our legal experts for free today and we’ll let you know how much your claim could be worth.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: Level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim against them. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert clinical negligence solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a medical negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.