When you go into hospital, you are putting your trust in the doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to safeguard your health and wellbeing. Sadly, mistakes can happen, sometimes with lifelong consequences for you and your family.
If you have been the victim of hospital negligence, you may be living with very serious issues for your health, financial security and other areas of your life. Where this is the case, claiming compensation can be the only way to get the support you need to rebuild your life, as well as being the best chance to get answers about what went wrong.
For over 30 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend have been helping people living with the impact of medical negligence to take action and get the outcome they and their families deserve.
Why choose Devonalds for your hospital negligence claim?
Having represented people from across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend for more than three decades, our team have built an exceptional record of success under even the most challenging circumstances. We feel a very strong connection to our local community, with many of our team having been born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area.
We take pride in offering a friendly, approachable service for what can be a difficult subject to deal with. Our team are people just like you and we want you to feel totally comfortable when coming to us to find out more about making a claim. We will be happy to answer your questions clearly and honestly, without unnecessary legal jargon.
From your first contact with us, your claim will be handled by one of our trained legal experts. They will be available by phone and email any time you have a question or need an update, ensuring that you can always get hold of someone who knows you and your case.
We offer no win, no fee funding options, so you do not need to worry about finding the money to fund your claim upfront. We also know that many people are worried about the idea of going to court, which is why we always aim to achieve an out-of-court settlement where possible.
Speak to us about starting a claim for hospital negligence compensation today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for negligent hospital treatment, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How claiming hospital negligence compensation works
Starting a claim
It’s likely you have a lot of questions and we would be happy to answer them for you. We offer every new medical negligence client an initial consultation during which you can tell us about your situation and get the answers you need.
You will then be able to make an informed choice about what to do a next, with no pressure from us to pursue a claim unless you are completely comfortable doing so.
No win, no fee hospital negligence claims
Most of our clients fund their claims using a ‘conditional fee agreement’, which is more commonly called a ‘no win, no fee’ deal. This means there is no upfront cost to start a claim and you will only need to pay our fees if we succeed in securing compensation for you.
This approach to funding means there is no financial risk to you as, if we do not get compensation for you, you won’t owe us anything. That’s why they call it ‘no win, no fee’.
Proving hospital negligence
In order win compensation, we need to show that the errors in your hospital treatment were negligent. Doing this will rely on various types of evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Testimony from independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
We will ensure that all relevant evidence is gathered and presented effectively, making your claim as strong as it possibly can be.
Valuing your claim
Obviously, you will be keen to know how much compensation you may be entitled to. Working this out is referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’ and covers both the financial and non-financial impact of your injuries.
Compensation for injuries caused by hospital negligence can cover issues such as:
- The cost of medical treatment, specialist care & equipment
- Lost income if you need to take time off or give up work
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs and other expenses
- Loss of amenity i.e. not being able to carry out activities you/your loved one would otherwise have enjoyed
- Providing for your/your loved one’s future financial independence
Time limits for hospital negligence compensation claims
In most circumstances, you will have 3 years to make a claim from the ‘date of knowledge’, which is the date on which you were aware of the injuries and that they were potentially caused by medical negligence.
However, you may have longer to claim if one of the following applies:
The claimant is under 18 – You would then have until the claimant’s 18 birthday to bring a claim for them. The claimant could then bring their own claim, if required, up until they turn 21.
The claimant lacks the mental capacity to pursue their own claim – There would then normally be no time limit for someone else to bring a claim on their behalf.
You are claiming for someone who died due to hospital negligence – You would then have 3 years from the date of death to make a claim on behalf of their estate or dependants.
If you are unsure whether you still have time to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Reaching an out-of-court settlement
It is common for people to want to avoid court proceedings, which is entirely understandable as we realise people often find the idea of going to court intimidating. Wherever possible, we will seek a settlement out of court, allowing you to avoid the need to attend court, as well as generally getting you compensation faster and with lower legal fees.
Taking your claim to court
There may be situations where going to court is the only option to get you fair compensation. Where this is the case, we will make sure you have the best possible representation, as well as close personal support through every stage of proceedings.
Managing hospital negligence compensation
When you receive compensation, it can be lifechanging, but you also need to think about making sure the funds meet your needs long-term. We can advise you on options such as putting your compensation into a ‘personal injury trust’, which ring-fences the funds so they do not affect your access to means-tested benefits.
Common questions about hospital negligence claims
How long does it take to get compensation for hospital negligence?
Unfortunately, there are no set timeframes as it all depends on how quickly we can establish liability and the amount of damages you are owed. In general, your claim will be resolved faster if a voluntary settlement can be agreed out of court. If court proceedings are needed, it can take significantly longer to secure compensation.
How do interim payments work?
If you have immediate financial needs, such as paying for essential medical treatment, you may not be able to wait for your claim to be resolved and compensation to be awarded. In such cases, we can look at securing interim payments to get your access to the funds you need faster.
Interim payments allow you to receive some compensation while your claim is still ongoing to pay for treatment, care support and other essential costs that cannot wait. The idea is that your recovery should never be compromised by the need to wait until your claim is resolved.
Will my claim go to court?
If the NHS trust or other healthcare organisation responsible for your injuries will not accept liability or they dispute the level of damages, then court proceedings may be required as a last resort to secure a fair settlement.
Should this be the case, we will ensure you have the very best representation possible and provide the close personal support you need for what we recognise can be a worrying process.
Will I get an apology?
While we will always try to secure an apology due to the comfort and sense of closure we know this can bring, unfortunately there is no guarantee you will get an apology, even where the hospital or NHS trust agrees to pay compensation.
Can you claim compensation for a loved one who died due to negligence hospital treatment?
If it can be proved that the death was due to negligent hospital treatment, then you may be able to make a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate or dependants. You would normally have 3 years to do so from the date of death.
Compensation for fatal hospital negligence can potentially cover issues including:
- Funeral costs
- Lost earnings
- Household costs
- Medical costs
- Childcare costs
- Loss of benefits (e.g. pension rights)
- Loss of services (e.g. personal care support)
Start a hospital negligence compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for negligent hospital treatment, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.