There are many concerns felt by medical negligence victims which can create doubt and hesitation in pursuing a claim.
However, it is important to consider that the Limitation Period for the majority of Claimants is 3 Years – a time limit which is too often missed by victims of negligence.
Missing this deadline can be devastasting for those impacted my medical negligence and all too often means they are left with no other options but to pay for damages out of their own pocket or not having access to treatment at all.
We know the effects of medical negligence is devastating. You lose trust in your doctor and can be left in a worse position that you were in before.
Dealing with the physical and psychological consequences of the potentially negligent treatment is stressful to say the least, and the thought of contacting a solicitor may be the last thing on your mind.
Reasons for delaying a claim enquiry
We understand there are many reasons people may delay in contacting solicitors, which are completely reasonable and understandable.
Treatment may still be in progress at the hospital in question, which can elicit concerns that a potential claim may jeopardise care (it should not). In other cases, the claimant may wish to recover as much as possible before pursuing a claim, or they may wish to avoid a claim against the NHS unless absolutely necessary.
These are all reasonable concerns but they should not stop you from making the initial enquiry which will assist you in making an informed decision around how you wish to proceed.
At Specters Solicitors, the initial conversation is free of charge and we will address any concerns you may have, so that the decision to continue is yours to make with all the relevant information at hand.
More recently, the team has come across many potential claims where the Claimant may have a reasonable course of action but the limitation period had passed and so the prospects of bringing a successful claim are significantly impaired.
Limitation Period Law
The law says that you have 3 years from the date of the negligence or from the date that you could have reasonably be seen to have been aware of the injury (regardless of how small), to bring about your claim.
However, if the patient is a minor, they have until their 21st birthday. If the patient lacks capacity, i.e. they have a Lasting Power of Attorney or they do not deal with their day to day decisions, there is no Limitation Date.
If court proceedings have not been issued at court by the Limitation Date, the claim may be statute barred, and as such, it is vital that you speak to a solicitor as soon as you are able within that timeframe.
The purpose of litigation is to obtain financial compensation to put you, as best as possible, back in the position that you were in before the negligence occurred.
Compensation can include monies for care and assistance, future treatment, loss of earnings as well as for the general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Leaving too much time between the incident and speaking with us may deprive you of the ability to receive your rightful compensation, with no ability to “undo” this at a later date.
Therefore, if you feel you have been the victim of medical negligence, we urge you to speak with us as soon as possible, arming you with all the information you need to make an informed decision that is all yours to make.
Any hesitations you have can be addressed at this time and you will never be pressured into bringing a claim if you do not wish to.