Clinical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional gives a patient substandard care and as a result, the patient sustains injuries they would otherwise not have sustained. Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to all their patients to ensure they are treated properly and appropriately. Where substandard care has been given it is normally either a failure to treat the patient properly for their medical condition or a failure to get proper and informed consent from a patient for their medical treatment.
Clinical negligence involves healthcare professionals such as doctors, surgeons, nurses, dentists and other medically qualified personnel. Victims of clinical negligence by definition are often already ill at the time inadequate care is given, compounding an already complicated situation. Victims may be left not only with their original medical complaint but further injury caused by incompetent care.
Cases are often complex and the solicitors handling the action must have a knowledge not only of law but also of medicine and the interaction between the two. This requires a significant level of expertise and skill from the instructing solicitor.
We must first obtain instructions from you about the circumstances of your treatment. We then obtain all your relevant medical notes and records to ascertain precisely what treatment you were given. After going through the records and ensuring their accuracy, we will instruct an expert physician with the relevant expertise in that area of medicine to determine if the treatment given was negligent. If the expert finds that the treatment given was below the standard you were entitled to expect then we can begin your action for compensation against the healthcare professional who was responsible for your medical care.
The general rule is that you have 3 years to issue proceedings from either the date of the negligent act or when you became aware that you had an injury due to negligent treatment. There are some exceptions to these rules for children (who normally have at a minimum to the age of 21 to bring an action) and mentally incapacitated individuals. These time limits are called “limitation periods” and can be difficult to calculate in clinical negligence matters. It is imperative to seek legal advice immediately if you think you have been the victim of clinical negligence. Do not let time pass without seeking advice. If you exceed the limitation period you may not be able to bring an action irrespective of the merits of your case.
Before you can issue court proceedings you will normally have to establish you have a good case. This means that we will have to obtain your medical records and instruct a relevant medical expert. The expert will charge a fee for their report. You may be entitled to legal aid to assist you in seeking advice and paying the expert and we can make the application on your behalf to the Legal Services Commission. If you are not entitled to legal aid, we will be able to give you details of the likely cost of our legal advice and the expert report once we have obtained your medical records.
This will depend on the complexity of the case and how the NHS or the relevant insurance company handle the matter. If they admit fault then the case will proceed much more quickly. Normally cases take between 2 and 4 years to come to a conclusion.
Lawyers divide compensation into 2 parts:
General damages to compensate you for the physical and psychological injuries you suffered.
Special damages which include any past or future loss of earnings, all medical and out of pocket expenses, adaptions to property and any future care costs.
Our job is to maximise both sets of damages for you to ensure that you are fully compensated for your loss. In addition to our legal advice, we will employ barristers, doctors and expert medical witnesses on your behalf.
Few cases go to a full court hearing. Most cases are dealt with or settled by us without the necessity of a full hearing.
If you have suffered improper or unsatisfactory treatment from a medical professional or facility, leading to an accident or illness, you may have cause for a claim.
Our expert team has decades of experience in the professional handling of medical negligence claims, providing our expertise to ensure you receive justice.
Whether caused by inexperience, unsatisfactory care or substandard patient treatment, dental negligence is an increasingly common claim.
At Kearney Law Group, we have extensive experience in dental negligence cases, allowing us to approach each case empathetically, professionally and expertly to achieve the best possible results.
Having worked with Paul over much of the last decade I would strongly recommend his services to anyone.
He has considerable experience and depth of knowledge backed up by an excellent approach to negotiation. I have referred friends to Paul in the past and will continue to do so.
Paul Kearney of Kearney law group has provided legal advice and guidance during a difficult situation. I found him to be experienced, responsive, knowledgeable and honest. While working with Paul, I felt as though my situation was in adept and trustworthy hands, and he has not steered me wrong.
-Eamonn Nimz O'Ceallaigh
Kearney Law Group specialises in legal services relating to Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Historical Institutional Abuse and Mother and Baby Homes cases. We are committed to achieving the best results for our clients.
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