COMMON FALLACIES ABOUT MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS
It is impossible to get one doctor to speak out against another - they all stick together
All medical negligence claims go to trial
Legal costs in medical negligence claims are prohibitive
All lawyers are the same - you don’t need a specialist to handle your medical negligence claim
Medical Negligence Claims take years to get through the system
Time + Claims
Time Limits to Bring a Claim?
Health Care after Nov 2005
For health care provided after 15 November 2005, a 3 year time limit applies within which claim should be brought.
If the care is provided to an infant (anyone under 18 years old) this period is 6 years.
There is some uncertainty as to when the 3 years starts from (or 6 years if an infant). This can be difficult to determine in complex cases and is something you should seek specific advice about. To be on the safe side, it is best to seek such advice before 3 years from when the relevant care was provided.
There is some (limited) capacity for an extension beyond the 3 year time limit to be sought. Whether an extension may be available in your specific circumstances is something you will need to get advice upon, we suggest as soon as possible….
Health Care Before November 2005
For health care provided before Nov 2005, different time limits are likely to apply.
In most (but not all…) situations, a 6 year time limit is set. In the case of children, this period is usually (but again, not always..) longer.
There are various unfair aspects to time limits for care prior to Nov 2005, which is a reason the law was changed at that time.
The changes in the Law in 2005 do in some respects (in my view at least..), apply to claims relating to health care provided prior to it coming into force. Once again, if this may be important to you, seek advice concerning your specific circumstances
Usual Time to Complete Claims?
The time your claim will take depends, among other things, on how easily we can source an appropriate expert prepared to review your case and comment on your medical care and the reasons for your poor outcome. It also depends on how serious your health problems resulting from the negligent care are. In some cases, birth injury cases in particular, it is commonly a period of years before the full consequences of medical negligence can be assessed and so appropriate compensation evaluated. Finally, in the small minority of cases that proceed to trial, there is always extra time required waiting for such a trial to occur, for the Judge to deliver their decision and for any appeal to occur.
All of this being said, in a reasonably straightforward case, we aim to resolve the matter and generally find we can do so, within an overall period of about 12 – 18 months from first starting to investigate the claim. This assumes your case (as with most) is resolved by a negotiated settlement at a pre-trial conference.
In exceptional circumstances, we can and have expedited claims through this process far more quickly than this. For example in tragic cases involving delay in diagnosis of cancer, now progressed to a terminal stage we have, on several occasions handled claims from start to finish in a matter of weeks.
our code of conduct
About Medical Negligence Claims Our Code of Conduct
- We will only act in relation to genuine, non-trivial claims.
- We will not act for persons seeking to bring medical negligence claims for reasons/purposes other than appropriate recovery of compensation for the consequences of negligent medical care.
- In investigating your claim we will seek advice from independent medical specialists who we genuinely believe to be appropriately qualified to comment on the particular area of medicine relevant to your case.
- We will only pursue a claim on your behalf if we obtain an opinion from such independent medical specialist confirming the quality of medical care leading to your adverse outcome, was below an acceptable standard.
- We acknowledge:
- the desirability generally of maintaining the integrity of the medical profession.
- the distress and harm that a claim can in some cases bring to otherwise competent and caring doctors or other health professionals.
- Recognising this and without in any way compromising your best interests, we will:
- give the relevant doctor or other health professional the opportunity to enter into discussions to facilitate early resolution of your claim through negotiation.
- a reasonable opportunity to nominate a solicitor for the service of process outside their place of work.
- endeavour where possible to see that the matter is not publicised in a manner which may unfairly or unreasonably reflect upon the doctor or other health professional.
THE FIRST STEP: CONTACT US
We understand that often deciding to investigate a claim is a very big first step to take. Most people are frightened of or at least apprehensive of the legal system, lawyers, or at the thought of ‘taking on’ a doctor, hospital or ‘the medical profession.’
To make it as easy as possible, just fill out the form and we will contact you to let you know whether we think investigating a claim is something you should think about. There’s no obligation and no fee involved…
If you’d prefer we can even just send you an email answering your question (if it is simple enough!) or pointing you in the right direction.
If we think a claim is worth investigating, we’ll arrange to meet for a coffee and a chat.
If you want, go ahead and let us help you with the first step.
You can also contact us directly:
08 6380 0700
64 Churchill Avenue,