How Long Does a Medical Negligence Case Take?

This guide will answer the question, ‘how long does a medical negligence case take?’. We’ll also examine what medical negligence is and the effect it could have on your health and wellbeing. 

How long does a medical negligence case take?

How long does a medical negligence case take?

Medical professionals are expected to provide a minimum standard of care to all patients. When the right level of care is not provided, this is an example of medical negligence. This can cause the patient’s condition to get worse or could lead them to develop a new condition or injury.  

To get free legal advice, you can get in touch with our experienced team of advisors today. They could even connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if they think you may have a chance for a successful claim. 

Read on for more information about how long medical negligence claims can take. If you would like to speak to our advisors about starting a claim or just get more information, get in touch now.

Select A Section

  1. What Are Medical Negligence Cases?
  2. What Factors Could Affect How Long A Medical Negligence Case Takes?
  3. How Long Do You Have To Start A Medical Negligence Case?
  4. How Long Could A Medical Negligence Case Take?
  5. Settling Out Of Court Vs Court Awards
  6. Calculating Damages For Medical Negligence Cases
  7. Speak To Our Team About No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Cases
  8. Related Medical Negligence Claims

What Are Medical Negligence Cases?

When you go to a medical professional for help, you have the right to receive a minimum standard of care. The duties of a good doctor have been set out by the General Medical Council.

However, occasionally there are instances where medical professionals provide substandard care. If this has happened to you, and you’ve suffered from a worsening of your health because of it, you may be able to make a claim. 

It’s important to note that not every instance of a medical procedure causing you harm will be an example of medical negligence. For example, you could attend a hospital with a severely crushed leg that requires below-knee amputation. Performing the amputation would be within a doctor’s duty of care. 

Furthermore, complications could also arise with treatment even when the right level of care is administered. For example, a doctor could do everything they can to diagnose your condition properly but misdiagnose you despite this. In this case, you would not be able to claim as the right level of care has been administered. 

According to NHS Resolution, they received 12,629 clinical negligence claims and reported incidents in 2020/21. These figures are just for the NHS – however, you can still claim if a private healthcare professional breached their duty of care towards you, causing you harm.

When making a medical negligence claim, the Bolam Test is often used. This is where a panel of the medical professional’s peers are asked to confirm whether the care delivered was of an acceptable level. If not, they may be considered to have acted negligently.

What Factors Could Affect How Long A Medical Negligence Case Takes?

There is a range of factors that could affect how long a medical negligence case takes. It could depend on:

  • The type of medical negligence. For example, if you are claiming for a misdiagnosis that affected you over a number of years, this may take longer to settle than an incident of surgical negligence where the wrong part of the body was operated on.  
  • How serious the health implications were – The more complex the injuries or health complications that have arisen, the longer the case could take. This is because the impact that your condition will have on you in the future will need to be ascertained. 
  • The proof provided about what happened – Some cases might require a larger volume of evidence. This could take longer to collect.
  • Trying to prove who was truly at fault – Determining who was at fault for the incident can take some time. This is especially the case if you received care from a number of different areas of medicine, as experts in both fields may need to be consulted.

Get in touch with our team of advisors today for free legal advice about claiming.  If you have a valid claim, we could connect you with a solicitor from our panel. They will work hard to ensure things move forward as quickly as possible. Get in touch today for more information.

How Long Do You Have To Start A Medical Negligence Case?

Medical negligence claims generally have the same time limitation as other personal injury claims, which is 3 years. This means that you have 3 years in which to start a compensation claim. 

This can either run from the date of the incident or the “date of knowledge”. This is the date you became aware that your symptoms were caused by negligence. 

However, there are a few exceptions:

  • If the claimant doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf. The time limit will be suspended indefinitely unless they recover their mental capacity. 
  • If a child has suffered because of medical negligence, an adult could make a claim for them, acting as a litigation friend, any time up until their 18th birthday. From then, the claimant would have until they were 21 to start their own claim provided one hasn’t already been made. 

If you’d like to know more about how long you have left to begin a claim, speak with an advisor from our team today. They could offer you a no-obligation assessment of your case.

How Long Could A Medical Negligence Case Take?

As we’ve mentioned, there are various factors likely to affect how long a claim could take to settle. A solicitor can take all the details into account when assessing your claim, and they are likely to be able to give you a more accurate idea of how long your case could take. 

Usually, a medical negligence claim will take between 8 and 12 months if the circumstances are straightforward. However, if the case is more complex or if the third party doesn’t admit liability, then this could take longer. 

In some cases, you might require money to cope with the repercussions of the negligence you’ve experienced before the compensation is paid. If this is the case, you could request an interim payment. 

This is where part of your compensation is released before the claim is settled. It can help you pay for things like care, medication and adaptations to your home and vehicle.

Settling Out Of Court Vs Court Awards

When you make a claim for compensation for harm caused by medical negligence, there are two different ways that the claim could be resolved. A claim can either be settled out of court or result in a court award.

An out of court settlement means that the case is not seen in court in order for it to reach a resolution. It happens when both parties agree to an outcome, for example, a compensation settlement, between themselves. 

Claims that are settled out of court may be resolved in a quicker timeframe than ones that go to court. This is because court proceedings can be time-consuming. 

When you’re not able to come to an agreement with the other party, your claim may have to go to court. This could mean that the claims process takes longer than it would if it were settled out of court; however, you will usually get more money in a court award than in a settlement. If you work with a solicitor, they may be able to give you a timescale of when your claim could be settled. 

Calculating Damages For Medical Negligence Cases

See below for our table of compensation amounts for possible issues relating to medical negligence. The figures shown here are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document used to help value personal injury claims. 

InjurySeverityAmountNotes
Reproductive System: Female(b)£31,950 to £95,850This covers cases where infertility has been caused by a failure to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. This bracket will also cover related medical complications.
Reproductive System: Female(e)Around £9,570This covers cases where a failed sterilisation could lead to an unwanted pregnancy. However, there is no serious psychological impact.
Lung Disease(b)£65,710 to £91,350This covers cases where (possibly undiagnosed) lung cancer causes severe pain and limits the quality of life.
Lung Disease(c)£51,420 to £65,710This covers cases where the disease causes a decline in lung functionality. Could cause difficulty breathing, frequent coughing, disturbed sleep and restriction of physical activities.
Asthma(a)£40,410 to £61,710This covers cases where the asthma is permanent and disabling. It will cause regular coughing, sleep disturbance and restriction of physical activity.
Asthma(b)£24,680 to £40,370This covers cases where the asthma is chronic and causes breathing difficulty, regular inhaler use and the restriction of employment prospects.
Kidney(a)£158,970 to £197,480This covers cases where there is serious or permanent damage to one or both kidneys.
Kidney(b)Up to £60,050This covers cases where the risk of future urinary tract infections is significant or even possible loss of natural kidney function.

This table looks at complications of diseases that could be caused by misdiagnosis. However, it is possible to suffer complications in the treatment of injuries, too. For example, the misdiagnosis of things like a broken ankle or head injury could negatively affect your health.

It is also important to note that the figures shown may not apply directly to your case, as they are guidelines based on previous settlements. Each claim is valued individually according to the circumstances. 

You could also claim special damages as part of your compensation. This covers financial losses already accumulated because of your injuries, as well as those that may arise in the future. It can cover:

  •    Lost wages, including a loss of future earnings
  •     Medical expenses
  •     Travel expenses
  •     Adjustments to the home

To claim special damages, you’ll need to provide evidence of costs. For example, you could show receipts for prescriptions or physical therapy not covered by the NHS.

Speak To Our Team About No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Cases

If medical negligence has caused you harm, you could be able to speak to one of our advisors about making a claim. They could then connect you with a solicitor from our panel to work on your claim. 

They could offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not need to pay your solicitor. You also won’t be charged upfront or while your claim is ongoing. If your claim does succeed, your solicitor will take a pre-agreed, legally capped success fee from your compensation amount. 

This fee is only taken once the compensation is fully paid. The legal cap also means you will always get the majority of the compensation you’re awarded. 

Get in touch today to start your claim or to get free legal advice from one of our advisors. 

Related Medical Negligence Claims

Thank you for reading our guide on medical negligence claims. We hope it answers your questions. 

Nerve Damage Compensation Amounts – A guide to calculating nerve damage compensation. 

Minor Eye Injury Compensation Amounts – An article explaining how to calculate compensation after a minor eye injury. 

Beauty Salon Negligence Claims– If you’ve been harmed because of the negligence of a beauty technician, this guide could help.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – The website for the MHRA, a government agency responsible for ensuring that medicine and medicinal devices are acceptably safe. 

The Care Quality Commission – The website for the CQC, an independent regulatory body for the quality and safety of care for various organisations. 

No Win No Fee – Further information on No Win No Fee from the Law Society. 

We also have some other guides you may find useful:

Thank you for reading our guide answering the question, “how long does a medical negligence case take?” 

Article by AO

Publisher ET