If you have been the victim of medical negligence or malpractice, this can bring about devastating consequences for your health and wellbeing. Types of medical negligence can include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose a condition, surgical errors, or giving patients the wrong medication, treatment, or even advice that leads to the worsening of their overall condition.
If any of these have happened to you whilst getting medical treatment, then you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation, particularly if you have needed extra financial, physical or even emotional support as a result. If you’re in the process of putting together a claim for medical negligence, you’ll need a good solicitor by your side.
Here are some important questions to ask any potential solicitors to ensure that they are the right choice for you.
#1. How Much Will It Cost?
Bear in mind that legal assistance doesn’t come free of charge, so it’s important to ensure that you factor in the costs before you begin to put together your case. Any good medical negligence solicitor will always be completely upfront with you when it comes to their legal fees and the percentage that they will take in the event of you winning your case. It’s best to look out for a solicitor that offers their services on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis as this means that if your case is lost, you will not be out of pocket.
#2. What Experience Do You Have?
Good medical negligence solicitors are always willing to discuss their past experience with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the type of qualifications that they have gained, the relevant work experience that they have had in the past, and even how many similar cases they have won or lost. This information will help you to better gauge whether or not a specific solicitor is the best fit for you, so ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you can make an informed decision.
#3. How Long Will the Claim Take?
When you have been put through hell as a result of medical negligence, the last thing that you want is the additional stress brought on by a lengthy battle in court. So, ask your potential solicitors how long they expect the claim to take. Although this may not always be the answer that you want to hear, you may find that some solicitors expect to be able to finish your claim and have a decision in a shorter time period than others, which could sway your decision.
#3. How Will I Contact You?
During your medical negligence claim, you’ll want to be sure that your solicitor is willing to take your calls and have regular contact time with you to keep you in the loop. For example, The Medical Negligence Experts have a free patient claim line which can be used by both new and existing clients to get information, updates and advice. Be sure to find out how often you can expect to meet with or speak to your lawyer for updates; bear in mind that some lawyers have heavier workloads than others and therefore, will have less time to dedicate to your case.
#4. Will Treatment be Available?
In many medical malpractice claims, further evidence from a medical professional is necessary to succeed in court. In some cases, your solicitor may be able to arrange private medical treatment for you along with a second opinion that you can use as evidence. If you are still in pain or suffering due to the medical negligence or malpractice, it may also be worth asking your solicitor if they have access to any support networks or treatment providers who can be of assistance to you.
#5. How Much Potential for Success Does My Claim Have?
Although it’s impossible to foretell exactly how a claim will end up in court, experienced medical negligence solicitors tend to have a better idea of how well different types of claims fare; for example, which types of medical negligence are usually likely to win compensation than others. Be sure to provide the solicitor with as many details as possible about your case before asking this question as this will allow them to make the most informed decision. Bear in mind that the answer to this question may change throughout the case, especially if any new or updated evidence comes to light.
However, understanding your realistic prospects of a successful claim from the beginning can help you to manage your expectations.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, then finding the right solicitor is one of the most important parts of the claim process. Be sure to ask any potential solicitors a broad range of questions to ensure that you have as much information as possible.