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  • Kathleen Jones

How long do medical negligence claims take?

Medical negligence is where a patient suffers harm or injury directly from a healthcare professional's mistake or omission. The range of such claims is extensive, as medical negligence can happen in several ways, and the facts of one case will vary considerably from another. As a result, it can be challenging to say precisely how long a claim will take from the point of investigation as it varies from case to case.



That said, the average time a medical negligence case takes from start to finish is approximately three years. As a rough guide, a relatively straightforward case in which the Defendant makes admissions from the outset may take around eighteen months to two years to conclude. In contrast, a complex case like a birth injury claim can last over five years.


Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" timeframe. Many factors can impact the length of time it takes to conclude a claim, including the Defendant's behaviour, whether admissions are forthcoming, and the complexity of the issues. It is essential to seek specialist advice if you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence.


You may already know that medical negligence claims are subject to a three-year limitation period. This means that you have three years from the date of the alleged negligence or when you became aware of the alleged negligence to issue your claim at court.


While this may seem like a long time, several steps must be taken during a negligence claim, with some cases involving more steps than others. The various stages can take several months to complete, for example, obtaining medical records and expert opinions; therefore, time can pass by quite quickly.


Be assured we are specialists at Graystons and will do our utmost to progress your claim as quickly as possible. You will find an outline of the claims process below:


  1. Initial Enquiry Contact your nominated solicitor, who will obtain relevant information, including your medical treatment history and details of the problems you have experienced.

  2. Arrange Funding If you wish to make a claim, we will discuss the different funding options available. Most of our claims are pursued on a no-win, no-fee basis, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. We will also discuss with you obtaining an After The Event insurance policy.

  3. Obtain Medical Records We obtain all of your relevant medical records from all of your treating doctors and hospitals.

  4. Witness Statement A written statement of your medical treatment history, which we ask you to approve, is prepared.

  5. Obtain Medical Expert Opinion Your written statement and the medical records are then forwarded to a suitably experienced, qualified and independent medical expert. If it is their opinion that sub-standard care was provided, a further independent expert medical opinion will be sought on whether this substandard care has resulted in any injury and, if so, to what extent.

  6. Letter of Claim Following a review of the independent expert evidence, we will advise you whether or not you have a claim to pursue. Provided the opinion is supportive, we send a formal Letter of Claim to the Defendant, which details your claim.

  7. Letter of Response Once the Defendant receives the Letter of Claim, they have four months to respond. In their response, they may either admit liability and ask to enter into settlement negotiations or deny liability and invite you to discontinue your claim. .

If it is not possible to settle the claim at this stage, court proceedings will be started. Your claim will then follow a timetable of various steps as set out by the court.


We hope you found this post helpful. If you would like assistance with a medical negligence case, please contact us via our contact form or call us directly on 0151 645 0055

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