How Long Does a Medical Negligence Case Take?

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 13th January 2022. 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. 

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.

How long does a medical negligence case take

How long does a medical negligence case take?

Select A Section

  1. What Are Medical Negligence Cases?
  2. What Factors Could Affect How Long A Medical Negligence Claim Takes?
  3. How Long Do You Have To Start A Medical Negligence Case?
  4. How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?
  5. Medical Negligence Cases In The UK – Do I Need Evidence?
  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.

Examples of Medical Negligence Cases

There are various instances in which medical negligence claims could be made. Some examples of medical negligence cases could include:

  • Medication errors – There are various instances in which claims for medication errors could be made. For example, your GP prescribes you new medication that contains something you are allergic to, despite this allergen being listed in your medical records.
  • Fracture misdiagnosis – You go to A&E with clear symptoms of a broken wrist, however the doctor on hand doesn’t order an X-Ray scan and instead misdiagnoses your fracture as a sprain. This could then cause you to suffer further harm, and for the fracture to become worse.
  • Cancer misdiagnosis – You go to your doctor with symptoms of breast cancer. However, they only perform a physical exam and do not order any further tests and diagnose you with just swollen lymph nodes. This cancer misdiagnosis could lead to delayed treatment, which could lead to serious consequences.

Remember, to be able to make a claim for compensation, you must prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care. This then must have caused you unnecessary harm.

Call an advisor today about common medical negligence cases. They could also provide you with some free legal advice concerning your particular claim.

What Factors Could Affect How Long A Medical Negligence Claim 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 Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take?

This guide has answered important questions, such as “in the UK, what is medical negligence?” You may now want to know more about how long medical negligence claims take. Various factors can determine how long it takes for your medical negligence compensation to be paid out in a successful claim.

In standard UK cases of medical negligence, a claim can take between 8 to 12 months. Standard cases, in this instance, relate to ones where the injuries are not particularly serious and where the medical professional or institution accepts liability relatively quickly.

In cases where your injuries are more severe, or the third party in question does not accept liability, a claim can take longer to complete. In most cases, the claim does not go to court. However, it is a possibility you may need to make a court appearance if the third party denies liability for the injuries. This could also lengthen the claims process.

If your claim is taking longer than expected and you need compensation for something essential, you could apply for interim payments. These payments come from your compensation settlement, released in part before the end of your claim. You could apply for this if, for instance, you’re currently paying medical expenses because of the injury and need some form of financial relief.

If your injury is serious, you may need to pay for adjustments to your home. You can contact your solicitor to see if you can receive interim payments to cover these costs if you’re unable to afford them. It can also pay for financial costs such as medication, care costs and the cost of vehicle adaptations.

Medical Negligence Cases In The UK – Do I Need Evidence?

To be eligible for compensation, medical negligence cases in the UK need to be supported with evidence. You will need to prove that unnecessary harm occurred as a direct result of a breach of the duty of care owed to you.

To prove medical negligence, for example, it would be useful to have a copy of your medical records. These may contain details of your diagnosis and any treatment you were given. If you underwent any x-rays, scans, or tests, details of these and the results might also be included.

Other forms of evidence that could be submitted to prove medical negligence include:

  • Any correspondence from the medical facility, such as letters or emails.
  • Symptom diary. You may wish to include the effect any ongoing symptoms are having on your lifestyle.
  • Photographs of any visible harm or unnecessary injuries. For example, if you had an allergy listed in your record, but you were still given a medication that included this allergen, resulting in swelling or hives, pictures could be helpful.

Call our advisors if you need any assistance; they could answer questions such as, ‘how long does a medical negligence claim take?’. Additionally, if you need any advice on what could be submitted as evidence in your medical negligence claim, our expert advisors are here to help.

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. 

Injury Severity Notes Amount
Kidney (a) Serious or permanent damage to one or both kidneys. £169,400 to £210,400
Kidney (b) The risk of future urinary tract infections is significant or even possible loss of natural kidney function. Up to £63,980
Deafness/Tinnitus (a) Total deafness that has occurred at an early age, potentially due to a rubella infection, which impacts the development of speech. £109,650 to £140,660
Reproductive System: Female (b) Permanent sexual dysfunction with potential significant medical problems such as ectopic pregnancies. This amount is if the person already has children or would not have had children. £43,010 to £102,100
Reproductive System: Female (g) Sterilisation that fails leading to unwanted pregnancy. No depression or serious psychological impact have been caused. In the region of £10,200
Lung Disease (b) Lung cancer, usually in an older person, that causes severe pain and limits the quality of life. £70,030 to £97,330
Lung Disease (c) Disease such as emphysema causes a decline in lung functionality. Could cause difficulty breathing, frequent coughing, disturbed sleep and restriction of physical activities. £54,830 to £70,030
Asthma (a) Asthma is permanent and disabling. It will cause regular coughing, sleep disturbance and restriction of physical activity. £43,060 to £65,740
Digestive System (b)(i) Acute pain, vomiting and a fever due to severe toxicosis. The person will be admitted to hospital for a few days to weeks. £38,430 to £52,500
Spleen (a) Due to the spleen being lost, their is a continuing risk of internal infections due to the immune system being damaged. £20,800 to £26,290

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 medical negligence guides you may find useful:

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