What you need to know about medical negligence and making a legal claim

If you or a loved one have experienced medical negligence, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next.

You might not understand exactly what medical negligence is or how to begin making a claim. This blog will provide a brief overview of what medical negligence is, how to identify it, and what to do if you suspect you have a claim.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when harm or injury is caused to a patient as a result of substandard treatment or care. It can occur at any point while you are receiving medical care, such as at your GP surgery, the hospital and any aftercare you receive (or fail to receive).

Is there a difference between clinical and medical negligence?

If you start searching online about medical negligence, it can be confusing as it is also often referred to as clinical negligence. So what is the difference? Ultimately, the terms are used interchangeably and, more often than not, mean the same thing.

What can you do if you think you have been a victim of medical negligence?

It is important to take action if you suspect that you or a loved one have been the victim of medical negligence. A medical negligence lawyer can help you understand your legal rights, review your case, and determine whether you have a valid medical negligence claim. The lawyer can also help you to gather the necessary evidence and build a strong case for medical negligence.

Are there time limits for making a claim?

Yes, the usual time limit for making a medical negligence claim is three years. This is from either the date the negligence occurred or when you became aware the treatment you received was negligent.

Common types of medical negligence

Medical negligence can take many forms, and no two cases are the same, but some of the most common types include:

  • misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • surgical errors
  • medication errors
  • birth injuries
  • failure to treat
  • failure to diagnose
  • failure to properly monitor a patient’s health
  • failure to provide adequate follow-up care.

It is important to be aware of these common types of medical negligence and how they can impact your life.

Knowing when you have a medical negligence claim

It can be difficult to determine whether you have a valid medical negligence claim. However, a few key indicators can help you decide, and a solicitor will be able to assess your circumstances and advise you.

First, you must be able to demonstrate that the healthcare provider failed to meet the accepted standard of care. This means that you must be able to show that the healthcare provider acted in a way that was negligent or careless when providing care or treatment. This can include failing to diagnose or treat a condition in a timely manner, failing to monitor a patient’s condition properly, or providing substandard care.

Second, you must be able to demonstrate that the medical negligence resulted in injury or harm to the patient. This means that the patient must have suffered a physical, emotional, or financial injury as a result of the negligence.

Finally, you must be able to demonstrate that the negligence caused the injury or harm. This means that you must be able to show a causal link between the medical negligence and the injury or harm suffered by the patient.

How much compensation can you expect from a medical negligence claim? 

If your claim is successful, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your physical and emotional injury, and financial loss.

This compensation can include any medical costs incurred, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the negligence. However, the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive will depend on the specifics of your case. A medical negligence lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and seek the maximum compensation available to you.

Can I make a complaint about the care I received if I am making a claim for compensation?

NHS rules govern that the two can run simultaneously. While financial compensation is important, so is getting a sense of closure to your ordeal and suffering as a result of the medical negligence, and this may be achieved through formal complaint processes rather than just your claim for compensation.

To speak to Mark about this, or any other related matter, please call 01483 887766 or start a live chat today.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.



Mark Wisby

Associate, Clinical Negligence

Mark is an Associate Solicitor specialising in clinical negligence and serious injury claims. Mark’s role is to investigate allegations of negligence including at inquests to...

Mark Wisby- Clinical Negligence

Associate, Clinical Negligence

Mark Wisby

Mark is an Associate Solicitor specialising in clinical negligence and serious injury claims.

Mark’s role is to investigate allegations of negligence including at inquests to try and get his clients any additional help they may need and to recover for them the compensation they deserve. He guides his clients carefully through the litigation and alternative dispute resolution process always setting out clearly what the options are and which is the best one.

He has over 30 years’ experience of working for both claimants and defendants including working on secondment for a number of insurers dealing with employers’ liability, public liability, product liability and road traffic accident claims. He has over that time recovered substantial damages for his many clients including over £3 million for one of them.

Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives and qualified at the Inns of Court Temple as a solicitor in 2004.

Mark really listens to what his clients want to achieve and will always tries to ‘go the extra mile’ to secure a successful outcome.

What do Mark's clients say?

"...thank you so very much for handling my case and getting me an unexpected outcome even with its complexity! The settlement has afforded me to cut my hours and afford to take early retirement..."

"A huge thank you for all of your guidance and support. Throughout you have been patient, explaining everything, never offering false hope, always approachable. We can now move forward..."

"I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you for all the hard work you have done for me... I really appreciate it and wasn't expecting anywhere near the final figure, all due thanks to you!"

"Thank you for all your efforts in sorting out my personal injury claim... I also thank you for your clear and concise explanation of legal speak which is hard to understand. All of my meetings with you were productive and interesting and you kept me well informed throughout."