Before being given any non-emergency medical treatment, you have the right to be informed of exactly what the treatment involves and any potential risks. Where a hospital or other healthcare provider has failed to obtain your informed consent to a particular treatment and you have experienced harm to your health, you may be entitled to compensation.
It is normal to feel angry, upset and frustrated where you or a loved one have suffered damage to your health as a result of medical treatment. If you did not consent to the treatment or the risks weren’t made clear, it can be particularly distressing. Getting the right legal advice and representation can be essential to get you answers about what went wrong and the compensation you deserve to help deal with the impact on your life.
For over 30 years, our specialist medical negligence solicitors in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend have represented people like you in these kinds of difficult situations, so we can help give you the best chance of achieving the positive outcome you need.
Why choose Devonalds for your lack of informed consent claim?
With a track record of successfully advising and representing families throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend for more than three decades, we feel a strong connection to our local community. Most of us were born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, which is part of the reason we are so passionate about giving each of our clients the very best support.
You may have never dealt with a lawyer before, but we want you to feel totally comfortable when getting in touch with us. Our team are people just like you and will be happy to answer your questions clearly and honestly, without unnecessary legal jargon.
Your claim will be handled by one of our trained legal experts from start to finish and they will be available by phone and email at all times. So if you have a question or need an update, you can always speak to someone who knows you and your situation.
You may be worried about going to court to claim compensation – fortunately it is often possible to settle medical negligence claims out of court. This can get you compensation faster, save on legal fees and avoid unnecessary stress. Where court proceedings are the best option, we will ensure you have the very best legal representation for your case.
Speak to us about starting a claim for lack of informed consent today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for failure to obtain informed consent for medical treatment, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How claiming compensation for lack of informed consent works
Starting a claim
Before starting a claim, you will likely want to know what your chances of success are, how much compensation you are likely to be able to get and what the claim’s process involved. We offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions and give you the confidence to choose your next step.
Following this first meeting, you will be under no pressure to pursue a claim with us as we want you to feel completely comfortable that you are making the right choice for you and your loved ones.
No win, no fee lack of informed consent claims
Most of our medical negligence clients work with us under a ‘conditional fee agreement’, more commonly known as a ‘no win, no fee’ deal.
This means you won’t need to pay anything to us to start a claim and our fees will only apply if we succeed in getting compensation for you. If your claim does not succeed, you won’t owe us anything.
By using a conditional fee agreement to fund your claim, you avoid any financial risk from pursing compensation. In the event of a successful claim, it is possible some or all of your legal costs may be met by the other side, meaning there may be no cost to you at all.
Proving that you did not provide informed consent for treatment
To have a claim, we must show that informed consent was required and was not properly given. This will typically rely on various types of evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Testimony from independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
Using our specialist training and many years of experience, our medical negligence lawyers can ensure all appropriate evidence is gathered and presented effectively, giving you the best chance of a positive outcome.
Valuing your claim
Knowing what level of compensation you are entitled to is clearly very important. Working this out is referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’ and involves looking at all of the financial and non-financial ways your injuries have impacted your life.
Compensation for injuries following lack of informed consent 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 claiming lack of informed consent compensation
The standard time limit for claiming compensation for lack of informed consent is 3 years from the date when you became aware of the issue (referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’).
However, there can be exceptions where you may have longer to claim, including:
If you are claiming for a child – You have until they turn 18 to do so. The claimant will then have a further 3 years (up until their 21st birthday) to bring a claim of their own.
If you are claiming for someone who died – You have 3 years from their date of death.
If you are claiming for someone without the mental capacity to pursue their own claim – There is normally no time limit to claim.
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
We will always start by attempting to negotiate a voluntary settlement with your healthcare provider wherever possible. Not only does this allow you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of court proceedings, it also typically means you can get compensation much faster and with lower legal fees.
Our medical negligence lawyers are highly skilled in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with a strong track record of securing an out-of-court settlement for even complex and high value claims. Our goal is always to get you the maximum compensation available in the way that is best for you and your loved ones.
Taking your claim to court
Where court proceedings are required, our medical negligence solicitors will ensure you have the best possible representation and work closely with you and your family throughout the whole process.
We will clearly explain what is involved at every stage of proceedings and the potential outcomes, so you can make informed choices and any stress and uncertainty is kept to a minimum.
Managing lack of informed consent compensation
Compensation is often lifechanging, but it is important to make sure you think about how to use your compensation effectively to meet your long-term needs.
Our team can advise you on your options, including where it makes sense to place your compensation into a ‘personal injury trust’. This ring-fences the funds, so you can use them as you need without worrying about any impact on your access to means-tested benefits.
Common questions about lack of informed consent claims
What does lack of informed consent mean?
Before you are given any clinical treatment, your doctor, dentist or other relevant clinical professional is required to get your consent for the treatment (or the consent of your parent or guardian if you are under 18).
‘Informed consent’ means you (or your parent/guardian) have given consent only after having been provided with all relevant information about exactly what treatment will be given and any potential risks.
Lack of informed consent, therefore, means that consent was not given for a specific treatment or treatments and/or the potential risks were not properly explained.
There are some limited exceptions where informed consent is not required, such as in a medical emergency where there is no time to gain consent due to the need to act immediately to safe the patient’s life.
How long does it take to get compensation for failure to obtain informed consent?
Obviously, this is an important question, but there is no set answer as it depends on the circumstances. In general, if your claim can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement, you will usually get compensation faster. It may also be possible to secure interim payments while your claim is ongoing if you need immediate assistance with meeting essential costs.
How do interim payments work?
Where you have immediate financial needs due to your injuries, such as paying for essential medical treatment, it may be possible to secure interim payments from the party responsible for your injuries while you are still pursuing your claim.
The idea behind interim payments is that the standard of care you receive and your ultimate recovery should not be compromised by having to wait for your claim to be resolved. They are commonly an option where your healthcare provider has admitted liability but the level of damages has not yet been agreed.
Will I need to go to court to get compensation?
Many medical negligence claims can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement, so it is often the case that court proceedings can be avoided. As well as making the claims process less stressful for you, this will normally allow you to get compensation faster with lower legal costs.
However, if your healthcare provider refuses to accept liability or an acceptable level of damages cannot be agreed, going to court may be the only way to get you fair compensation.
Will I get an apology?
Even where compensation can be agreed, there is no guarantee you will get an apology. However, we understand how important it is for people to have the mistakes in their care acknowledged, so we will always try to secure an apology where possible.
Can you claim compensation for a death where there was no informed consent?
If a loved one has died following treatment for which informed consent was not obtained, it is possible you may be able to claim compensation on behalf of their estate or dependants.
You will normally have 3 years from the date of death to claim and the available compensation could potentially cover costs such as:
- 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 lack of informed consent compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for failure to obtain informed consent for medical treatment, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.