Frequently Asked Questions
Have I got a claim?
Medical Negligence is an error made by hospital, a doctor or other qualified medical person that results in some injury, loss or damage. Medical negligence is also failure to diagnose a medical condition.
It must be an error that no reasonable doctor, hospital or medical professional would have made.
If that is the case it is called negligence.
Our role is to tell you what you have to prove and how to do so.
We are there to find the necessary proof and gather the evidence and evaluate it.
We pride ourselves in giving you an honest, straightforward appraisal of your chances of succeeding in your claim.
If necessary we obtain the help of a specialist barrister to give you impartial advice on whether to proceed.
Who can make the claim?
In general the person that has suffered the injury, loss, or damage or mis-diagnosis must make the claim.
They are known as the claimant.
In some circumstances relatives can make a claim on behalf of a patient that has died. Close relatives may also make a claim in their own right.
Parents can make a claim on behalf of a child under the age of 21.
Relatives can claim on behalf of a relative under a mental incapacity.
Who will pay?
Conditional Fee Arrangements (CFAS)
We will give you a free initial interview during which we will explain all of the options to you, including a Conditional Fee Arrangement (no win no fee.)
This is an agreement with your solicitor, that if you do not win your case, you will not pay fees to your solicitor. If you win your case and receive compensation, the solicitor will receive a greater fee at the conclusion of the case. This is called a success fee. The amount of the success fee is 100% of our charges that we will deduct from your damages, however the maximum that we will deduct will be 25% of the total of your general damages and past financial losses. If you take out an insurance policy to cover the cost of disbursements there will also be an insurance premium to deduct from the damages if your case is successful.
Legal expenses insurance
You may have an insurance policy to pay the legal fees associated with a claim, perhaps with your car or home insurance.
If you want to pay privately we will let you have our full terms of business including our hourly rates.
What is covered by Legal Aid?
Claims for damages caused by a neurological injury to a baby, resulting in them being severely disabled, will be eligible for legal aid funding. Clinical negligence must have occurred either in the mother’s womb or during or after birth, subject to certain conditions.
Graystons Solicitors is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency.
Is there a time limit?
There are many strict time limits within which a claim must be made.
The time limit will vary depending on individual circumstances.
In general you only have 3 years from the date that you became aware of the error or mistake. The time limits are extended for those under the age of 21 or for people under a mental incapacity.
In all cases it is very important that if you suspect that you or a close relative has been the victim of a medical accident you must seek the advice of a solicitor as soon as possible.
The amount of compensation depends on the detail of each individual case although there are some maximum compensation figures that apply to certain types of claims.
Compensation will reflect your specific injury or illness taking into account your age and the effect the injury or illness has on your life.
Compensation may also be available for any financial loss you may have suffered such as lost wages or private nursing care.
It may also include an estimate for the cost of future private care, lost wages or the lost opportunity to have a career or gain promotion.
Calculating the amount of compensation to which you are entitled is a very specialised and important part of your claim.