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Accident and emergency departments provide a crucial service if you or a loved one needs urgent medical attention. Staff are trained to deal with critical situations, but doctors and nurses work in high-pressure environments. Many are under intense pressure to keep waiting times down – even when there are severe staff shortages or financial constraints.
While most A&E patients receive a good standard of care, unfortunately mistakes do happen occasionally. The results can be devastating, even fatal.
If you or a family member has been affected by mistakes in A&E, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Callum Palmer, a specialist personal injury and medical negligence solicitor from our Isle of Wight office, outlines five things you should know about A&E compensation claims:
1. Seek expert legal advice
If you are thinking about making a claim for compensation, it’s vital to get specialist advice from an experienced, preferably local, medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible. They will be able to help you understand whether you can bring a claim for compensation.
2. Get answers
Understanding what went wrong is important in any compensation claim. Your solicitor will investigate what happened in detail and gather evidence from independent medical professionals. They will determine what care you should have received, confirm the impact on your health and advise what care you may need in the future.
3. Make an official complaint
Making an official complaint can help you come to terms with what happened. It can also be comforting to know steps are being taken to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen to someone else. You can make a formal complaint by writing to the Patient and Liaison Service (PALS). Your solicitor can offer further advice about this and guide you through the process.
4. Watch your timing
You have three years to make a claim for compensation, starting from the date you were harmed (or the date you were first aware that your illness or injury was a result of negligence). If your case involves a child, the three-year timescale starts on their 18th birthday and you have until they are 21 to make a claim.
5. You may not have to go to court
Just because you are making a claim, doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have to go to court. An experienced solicitor will always try and negotiate out of court and try to keep the process as short as possible. If the hospital trust doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the level of compensation, your solicitor will start court proceedings. However, even if a trial date is set, there is still a chance your claim will be settled before reaching court.
Medical negligence claims can be extremely complex. That’s why it is vital to find a specialist, local, medical negligence solicitor with extensive experience.
We specialise in the full range of medical negligence claims including: A&E mistakes, surgical errors, delayed or incorrect diagnosis, failure to refer or arrange appropriate tests or scans, hospital infections, defective medical products, accidents involving anaesthesia and pregnancy and birth injuries.
We can help with your medical negligence claim on a ‘no win, no Fee’ basis with no financial risk to you.
For more information, please call Novum Law in confidence on 01983 216 964 or email Callum Palmer: firstname.lastname@example.org.