Family doctors provide an invaluable service in keeping us fit and well, in treating minor ailments and common conditions and in referring us for specialist care when the need arises. In most cases, they do their job incredibly well and to the standard you would expect from a qualified medical professional. However, there are occasions when things go wrong and where mistakes are made that can result in patients being injured, developing serious or life threatening conditions or even dying.
In cases like this it is important that failings in care are highlighted, that provision is made for those affected to be supported and that where appropriate compensation is paid. At Step Legal Solicitors, we specialise in helping the victims of medical malpractice to hold those responsible to account and in securing access to whatever is needed to make the journey ahead easier, whether that is financial support to cover lost earnings and ongoing care costs or targeted rehabilitation therapies to aid physical and psychological recovery.
We can assist with claims against general practitioners and other healthcare professionals employed by GP surgeries including nurse practitioners, blood technicians and pharmacists.
We offer a free initial consultation to determine whether a claim is possible and, where it is, we can normally act on a no win, no fee basis so you can take action without having to pay any legal costs upfront and with no obligation to settle our fees unless we are successful in securing you compensation. To find out more, please call us now on 0800 195 6412 and ask to speak to one of our professional advisors.
We deal with cases of all severity, although our specialism lies in handling claims where medical negligence has resulted in death or where a medical mistake has led to a patient suffering serious complications or developing a life threatening, life limiting or life changing condition.
How we can help
Our experienced lawyers can help you to make a negligence claim against your doctor’s surgery for:
- failing to call you in for a medically required review;
- failing to give proper consideration to your symptoms or to carry out a thorough physical examination;
- failing to take account of your medical history when contemplating what might be wrong;
- failing to carry out or order appropriate tests;
- failing to refer you to see a specialist;
- failing to provide you with effective treatment for a manageable condition;
- failing to provide you with the correct medication;
- failing to diagnose you properly; and
- improperly performed blood tests or minor surgical procedures.
We can also help where a GP or nurse practitioner has failed to spot a life threatening condition, despite you or a loved one presenting with symptoms that should have sent alarm bells ringing and triggered an automatic 999 call. In particular we can help where your GP has failed to spot the tell-tale signs of:
- a heart attack;
- a stroke;
- a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis);
- a severe asthma attack;
- collapse into a diabetic coma;
- meningitis; or
- a severe infection, like sepsis.
Criteria for making a claim
To be able to bring a GP negligence claim, you must be able to prove that:
- the way in which you or your loved one have been dealt with by a GP or other member of surgery staff falls below acceptable professional standards;
- you or your loved one have been injured as a direct result of the treatment you have received, or alternatively that your loved one has died; and
- death or injury would not have occurred (or would have been less likely) had appropriate professional standards been adhered to.
In this context, ‘injury’ includes a physical injury, a psychological injury, the onset of a new illness or the worsening of a pre-existing condition.
Who will pay to settle my claim?
Most claims against NHS medical professionals are directed to NHS Resolution, which effectively acts as an insurer for the National Health Service.
They have a separate budget from that allocated to patient care in which to settle the claims they face and in most cases where compensation is due they agree to make payment on a voluntary basis to avoid the matter having to go to a trial at court. More than 10,000 claims are made against the NHS each year and the amounts paid out vary in size from the very modest to the very substantial.
How much compensation am I likely to receive?
Assuming medical negligence can be proved, the amount of compensation you are awarded will depend on the severity of the injuries you have sustained, the likelihood that you will recover, whether any ongoing treatment or care will be required, the prospects of you being able to return to work (assuming you are of working age) and your own personal circumstances.
Claims for minor injuries causing no lasting damage may only be worth a few thousand pounds, whereas claims for more serious injuries or death could run into five or six figures and in some cases even into the millions.
We will tell you how much we think your claim is worth when you contact us and ensure that you are informed immediately in the event our assessment changes as your case progresses.
Time limits for bringing a claim
In order to bring a negligence claim, you must normally issue court proceedings within three years of the date on which the negligence is said to have occurred or within three years of you realising that something a GP or other medical professional may or may not have done is likely to have caused you or your loved one harm. There are exceptions to this rule when:
- making a claim on behalf of a child, in which case the relevant time limit will not expire until they turn 21; or
- making a claim on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity, in which case there is no limit that applies.
It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as you become aware that a claim may be possible in order to avoid the relevant time limit expiring and your claim becoming barred.
Why choose Step Legal Solicitors?
Our lawyers are experts at what they do and have the skills and experience needed to secure you the compensation you deserve. They also understand the devastating impact that medical negligence can have and the mixture of emotions you will be feeling as you try to come to terms with what has happened.
Nothing we can do can turn back the clock and undo what has been done, but with our help you can get yourself into a position where you are as well placed as you can be to try to move forward.
We will support you to pursue your claim vigorously and shoulder as much of the responsibility for driving your case forward as we can in order to make the process for you as easy as possible. We will explain what is happening at every stage and provide you with advice on the appropriateness of any offers of settlement you may receive.
We will work with a network of experts to ensure that the extent of any injuries you have suffered are properly assessed and that full account is taken of any financial losses you have sustained, so that the eventual amount of compensation you are awarded truly reflects the harm that has been caused through your injury or illness or your loved one’s death.
We will also ensure that you get access to any treatment or rehabilitation that you require and put you in contact with local and national support groups who can help with practical things, like assisting you to access further medical help or any state benefits to which you may be entitled.
Finally, we will work hard to get to the bottom of what went wrong and to secure you an apology for the substandard treatment or care you have received.
To find out more about pursuing a claim for GP negligence with Step Legal Solicitors, please contact us on 0800 1956412 or send an email to email@example.com. Remember, it costs nothing to find out if a claim may be possible and, if it is, we can usually act for you on a no win, no fee basis.
Our legal experts can assist wherever you are based in the UK and particularly if you live locally in Crewe or any other area of Cheshire or Staffordshire.
As well as GP negligence claims, we can also support you to bring: