Medical Negligence Solicitors
Trust Our Solicitors for Your Medical Negligence Claim
Our medical negligence solicitors provide legal support that you can trust. If you have been injured due to a medical accident, our lawyers can help get your life back on track.
Stephanie Prior Partner
We all expect the highest level of care from our healthcare professionals. Sadly, mistakes do happen that cause harm to patients. Sometimes, medical treatment is so poor that it may be deemed negligent. If you have suffered an injury or illness due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Our medical negligence solicitors have the specialist expertise required to guide you through the process of making a claim.
Medical negligence is where an injury is caused, or an existing condition is made worse due to poor care provided by medical professionals. These include injuries that occur while being cared for by the NHS or private healthcare providers. The terms medical negligence and clinical negligence mean the same thing. We usually use the terms interchangeably.
Why choose Osbornes Law?
Osbornes Law has been helping individuals and families for nearly 50 years. Our medical negligence lawyers are accredited by and are members of the leading charity campaigning for patient safety and justice, Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA). We hold Law Society Clinical Negligence Accreditation, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) regulates our solicitors.
The team is led by Stephanie Prior, who practised as a nurse for many years before becoming a lawyer. Her medical experience and knowledge of the NHS are vital to securing our clients’ correct medical negligence compensation and ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation. Jodi Newton is also a partner in the team; she is a highly experienced, dedicated clinical negligence solicitor with 20 years of experience.
Our medical negligence services
Our lawyers have helped clients pursue a wide range of medical negligence claims, including the following:
- Birth Injury Claims
- Delays and errors in cancer diagnosis
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Fatal medical negligence claims
- Cardiac claims
- Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims
- Care Home Claims & Nursing Home Claims
- GP Negligence Claims
- Infectious Disease Claims
- Ophthalmology Claims
- Orthopaedic Claims
- Pressure Sore Claims
- Pulmonary Embolism Claims
- Surgical Negligence Claims
- Vaginal Mesh Claims
If you have been affected due to poor medical treatment, contact our London solicitors today, and we will help establish whether you may bring a claim.
Do I need medical negligence solicitors near me?
No, we advise clients throughout the UK regarding making medical negligence claims. Take a look at our client stories to understand the type of successful claims we have made.
The team at Osbornes are medical negligence claims specialists and accredited by the leading clinical negligence panels to prove it. We’ve been fighting our clients’ corner for nearly 50 years and have a track record of securing multi-million-pound settlements for clients whose lives have been devastated by the most serious injuries due to substandard medical care.
Our promise to you:
- We only represent the injured party, not healthcare providers, so there’s never a conflict of interest
- We provide a free initial consultation and case review with no obligation to make a claim
- We will help you navigate the challenging NHS complaints procedure so you get the answers you need – as well as the compensation you deserve
How do I make a medical negligence claim?
Medical negligence claims can be complex and challenging, so it is vital to consult with a specialist clinical negligence solicitor to guide you through the process effectively.
Contact our specialist medical negligence lawyers
We’ll meet you face-to-face before taking the case on. The appointment can take place at your home, in hospital or at our offices, whatever is best for you. We will assess your case and advise whether you have a valid injury claim.
Decide to work with us
Following our meeting, we’ll advise you about the prospects of success, the potential value of your medical negligence claim, and how long it will take. If we all agree that Osborne Law should take your medical negligence case on, we will discuss the funding of your claim, including whether to run your claim under a No Win No Fee agreement.
Throughout your case, you’ll have direct access to a dedicated case worker. They will keep you informed of the progress of your claim and consult you about all decisions relating to your case.
Investigate the claim
To help us prepare your claim, we’ll obtain a full set of your medical records and review them in detail. We will also take a detailed record of your version of events and check this against your medical records. Sometimes, there are discrepancies between your account and the medical records, which we need to know about when preparing your case.
Independent medical reports
To help prove that a medical negligence occurred, we may consult an independent medical professional who specialises in a relevant field, for example, an oncologist or an orthopaedic surgeon. They will carry out a physical examination and prepare a medical report giving their opinion about your injuries, what treatment should (or should not) have been given, and how long it will take you to recover from your injuries.
The medical report helps us to establish a link between the substandard medical care you received and your subsequent health issues. It’s important that the medical assessment fully reflects your injuries so we can negotiate the settlement figure you deserve.
Letter of claim
We’ll write to the healthcare provider that treated you telling them that you’re taking legal action – this could be your GP or the local NHS Trust. While the Letter of Claim is not an official court document, it sets out your allegations and requests compensation. The healthcare provider has 14 days to acknowledge receipt of the letter and four months to conduct their own investigations and respond. At this point, we find out if the healthcare provider admits liability or disputes the claim.
Negotiate a settlement
If the healthcare provider accepts liability, we can start negotiating a settlement, based on what we think you’re entitled to. The amount will reflect the type and severity of your injuries, the impact they have on your quality of life, and financial losses such as loss of earnings, medical bills, and the cost of any future care you may need. We can also apply for an Interim Payment if you need urgent funds or medical care before the settlement is agreed.
Issue court proceedings
If the healthcare provider denies liability or we can’t agree a suitable settlement, we may need to start court proceedings. As a first step, the Court will set a timetable for the various stages of the litigation. This can stretch over many months so we keep negotiating with the other side and try to reach an agreement before a court hearing is necessary. We may arrange mediation or some form of alternative dispute resolution at any point of the claim, as this can often lead to a faster, more amicable outcome and help keep costs down.
Settlement or court decision
Only a very small percentage of medical negligence claims go to trial. If yours does, then a judge will decide on the outcome after hearing evidence from both sides. You will receive compensation for your injuries, financial losses and legal costs if successful. If unsuccessful, you may not receive compensation and may have to pay the defendant’s legal costs.
Medical Negligence FAQS
How do I know if I have a valid medical negligence claim?
Before taking on a medical negligence case, our solicitors will check that you have a valid claim. We will need to establish that:
- You were owed a duty of care by the healthcare provider. This duty is usually automatically established when a doctor-patient relationship exists.
- The clinician breached their duty of care. This typically involves demonstrating that their actions or omissions fell below the standard of care expected from a reasonable and competent healthcare professional. Sometimes, this is obvious, for example, if an instrument is left inside you after surgery, but more often it requires extensive medical evidence.
- The medical professional’s negligence directly caused your injury or worsened your condition. This is known as ‘causation.’ For example, imagine if a patient visits their GP several times with signs of cancer but the GP doesn’t refer them for tests. The GP’s actions may be negligent, but proving causation is more complex. It requires expert evidence to show that if the referral had been made earlier, treatment could have started sooner and that would have led to a better outcome.
- You suffered actual harm, injury, or financial loss due to the negligence. This can include physical injury, emotional distress, medical expenses, loss of income, or other damages.
- The incident happened within the past three years or you became aware of the negligence no more than three years ago. There are a few exceptions to this rule but, generally, claims made after three years are considered time-barred and will not be accepted by the court.
What types of medical negligence can I claim for?
- Medical misdiagnosis – where a condition gets missed and goes undiagnosed or when a diagnosis is wrong, including misdiagnosis of cancer .
- Mistakes during surgery – include incidents where the wrong operation was performed, infections caused by poor hygiene and cosmetic surgery that has led to disfigurement or scarring.
- Prescription errors – you have been prescribed the wrong medication, incorrect dosage or together with another drug that shouldn’t be taken together.
- Negligent clinical advice – failure to warn of risks, including making alternative treatments clear so that you could make an informed decision.
- Pregnancy and birth injuries – sustained by the mother or baby during pregnancy, labour or after birth.
What types of medical professionals can be held liable for negligence?
Various medical professionals can be liable for negligence if they fail to meet the expected standard of care, causing harm to a patient. These professionals can include:
- General practitioners (GPs ), specialists, surgeons, and hospital doctors can all be held accountable for medical negligence.
- Nurses, nurse practitioners, and other nursing staff members may be liable if they breach their duty of care to a patient.
- Dentists and orthodontists can be liable for negligence if they provide substandard care or make mistakes during dental procedures .
- Pharmacists who dispense medication incorrectly or provide incorrect information about medications.
- Midwives can be sued for negligence if they fail to provide appropriate care before, during, or after childbirth, leading to harm to the mother or baby.
- Anesthesiologists who administer anaesthesia incorrectly or fail to monitor a patient’s vital signs during surgery.
- Radiologists who misinterpret medical imaging, such as X-rays or MRIs, and provide inaccurate diagnoses
- Ophthalmologists (eye care professionals) if they provide incorrect prescriptions, misdiagnose eye conditions, or perform eye surgery incorrectly.
To establish a claim, it must be proven that the medical professional breached their duty of care and this breach directly resulted in harm or injury to the patient.
How long do I have to file a medical negligence claim?
Medical negligence claims are subject to strict time limits, which, if missed, means you could lose the opportunity to pursue your case forever. This time limit is known as the limitation period.
We recommend against judging the calculation of your limitation period without expert advice from a specialist solicitor.
The law governing the medical negligence limitation period is set out in The Limitation Act 1980. In short, you must issue a Claim Form at Court within three years of the date of negligence or the date you first knew about the negligence, whichever is later.
Calculating the limitation period is fraught with complications, so it is important to take legal advice as soon as possible to bring a claim. There are particularly complex rules for assessing the “date of knowledge” of the negligence.
The three years can slip by quickly, and delay increases the risk of losing vital evidence. Therefore, we recommend consulting a solicitor, ideally no later than 12-18 months after the incident of negligence, to avoid the problems caused by delay and to give your claim the best chance of success.
Are there any exceptions to the medical negligence limitation period?
- Suppose someone has died due to medical negligence. In that case, the limitation period is calculated to expire three years from the injured person’s death date or the date of the Personal Representative’s knowledge, whichever is the latter.
- The limitation period for any claim brought by a child (defined as those under the age of 18) does not begin to run until the date of their 18th birthday, which effectively means that they have until their 21st birthday to issue court proceedings.
- Where the person bringing the claim lacks mental capacity, there is no time limit for issuing court proceedings. Assessing capacity is not always straightforward, and solicitors must tread carefully when determining whether their client lacks the capacity to make their own decisions.
- The Court has the power to exercise its discretion to allow court proceedings to be issued outside of the limitation period, but this is reserved for exceptional cases, and there are very specific criteria set by the courts to trigger the Court’s discretion to allow a claim to proceed out of time.
How long does a medical negligence claim take?
It is very difficult to say exactly how long a medical negligence claim will take from start to finish. It depends on the nature of your case, the complexity of your case, and how long it takes to obtain all the evidence (medical records, witness statements, medical reports, etc).
It also depends on the stance the Defendant takes. The NHS Trusts will usually report to the NHSLA, the governing body of the NHS Trusts. A lot will depend on the attitude of the NHSLA and/or the Trust.
If legal proceedings are needed, they must be issued at Court no later than 3 years after the date of your injury or 3 years from the date that you knew that the treatment/care you received was negligent. This may happen at a later date, i.e. when you are seen by another specialist, who then diagnoses your injury, explains the cause of the injury to you and explains that it was related to previous medical care that you received.
We can provide advice on any tertiary advice and assistance that you may require during the life of your claim. If the Defendant admits liability for your injury, we can apply for an interim payment of damages on your behalf to assist in speeding up the litigation process.
How much compensation will I receive when making a medical negligence claim?
- Medical negligence compensation can be claimed in the following forms.
The amount of general damages will depend on the severity of your injury, its effect on you, and how long it takes you to recover. We will need you to be seen by an independent medical expert so that we can obtain a medical report on your injury and its effects.
We need a medical report on the full effects of your injuries to enable us to calculate the value of your claim. If we have a medical report, our assessment of the value of your claim will be more accurate than if we do not
The amount of special damages will depend on the expenses that you have incurred as a consequence of your injury such as travel expenses, prescription charges, the value of care provided to you by relatives/friends, any medical fees, loss of earnings, and damaged possessions. It is helpful to keep receipts of the expenses you incur, as it will make it easier for us to prove your losses.
Past and Future losses can be claimed, but interest will only be paid on past losses once proceedings have been issued on your behalf. Interest cannot be claimed on future losses.
If you were partly to blame for your injury, your compensation may be reduced to reflect your share of the blame. Although this can but rarely happens in medical negligence cases.
Sometimes if a claim is disputed, the Defendant will offer reduced compensation as a compromise and to entice early settlement. If this happens, we will advise you on whether the reduced sum should be accepted or your case should proceed to court.
The Defendant is obliged to repay the government any social security benefits you have received as a result of your injury up until the date of the compensation award.
The Defendant can deduct these from your compensation on a “like-for-like” basis. For example, suppose you have claimed benefits from the state because you could not work because of your injury. In that case, a claim will be made on your behalf for your loss of earnings, and any benefits paid to you by the state will be repaid on your behalf to the government by the Defendant, and you will receive compensation for your loss of earnings.
Here are some examples of compensation that our clients have received:
How much does it cost to hire a medical negligence solicitor?
Your medical negligence claim may be funded by:-
- Conditional Fee Agreements ( No Win No Fee agreements )
- Before the Event Insurance (BTE)
We offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win No Fee Agreement), and we can offer delegated After the Event (ATE) insurance with deferred premium (payable at the end of the case) to protect you against any adverse costs.
We use the Law Society’s approved Conditional Fee Agreement.
We guarantee that you will not have to pay anything if we are unsuccessful in obtaining compensation for you. If this happens, we are paid nothing.
If your claim is successful, you may have to pay legal fees and expenses out of your compensation, but we guarantee that this will not exceed 25% of the compensation awarded to you and this includes the ATE insurance premium and IPT.
These guarantees only apply if you pursue your claim with us for as long as it has reasonable prospects of success, follow our professional advice and do not deliberately mislead us.
The deduction from damages
There are two elements to the deduction from damages:-
- A “success fee” to cover us for the risk of losing your case and being paid nothing.
- A premium for insurance to cover you against the risk of having to pay the other side’s legal fees or your expert fees and expenses.
We guarantee that the deductions will not exceed a maximum of one-quarter of your compensation.
The success fee is a percentage uplift on our normal fees to cover us for the cases we lose. It is not a percentage of your compensation.
The amount of the success fee depends on how risky your case is. The riskier, the higher the percentage uplift on our normal fees.
ATE Insurance cover
The insurance policy is to cover you against two risks:-
1. We will fund the experts’ fees and other expenses. If your claim succeeds, the other side will pay these expenses. If it is unsuccessful, the insurance company pays these fees for you.
2. If you reject a formal offer of settlement and then a Judge awards you the same amount or less, the normal rule is to pay the other side’s costs from the date you should have accepted the offer. However, if we advised you to reject the offer and you took our advice, the insurance will pay the other side’s costs.
Remember that we guarantee that the success fee and the insurance premium combined will not exceed 25% of the compensation awarded to you.
If you have BTE insurance cover that provides cover for you for clinical/medical claims at the time of your injury. In that case, we can write to your insurers to request coverage under such a policy to investigate your potential claim.
Will I have to go to court to settle my medical negligence claim?
It is rare for medical negligence claims to go to court. Most cases are settled once all the investigations are completed before legal proceedings are issued.
Where proceedings are issued, as long as the case has good supporting medical evidence, most cases settle without the need to go to court.
It is in everyone’s interest to avoid court, so both sides are encouraged to settle matters quickly to avoid extra costs.
However, even though most cases settle well before going to trial, you should ultimately be prepared for going to court so a judge, having heard all the evidence, can decide whether the treatment was negligent.
What is a patient recall letter?
A patient recall letter is sent by a hospital or healthcare provider to people who previously have received treatment from them. The letter explains that there may have been an issue with the treatment received or the actions of an individual medical professional and asks the recipient to come in again to be re-examined.
What should I do if I get a patient recall letter from a hospital or health board?
The first thing is to attend the recall appointment and get checked out. Stay calm. Getting a patient recall letter may be concerning, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have been a victim of medical negligence. The hospital or healthcare provider is simply taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.
If you have concerns about the medical treatment or diagnosis you received, speak to our medical negligence team. The patient recall letter serves as a record, acknowledging that the healthcare provider is aware of the potential claim. However, this does not mean that you should accept any offer of settlement from the healthcare provider without consulting with our team first, as it may not be a fair amount for your specific case. Our experienced solicitors can assess your situation and advise you on the best course of action to take.
Can I change solicitors if I'm not satisfied with my current solicitor?
Our team regularly receives calls from clients who have instructed other law firms, asking, “Can I change my solicitor?”
If you have a claim but are not happy with the advice you are receiving, we have specialist solicitors able to assist.
Speak to a specialist Medical Negligence Solicitor
Call us to speak with a lawyer 020 7485 8811
Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you
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Justice for client who suffered serious birth injuries
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Severe abdominal pain prolonged due to failed surgery
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Nerve injury following bowel surgery
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Child Left with Brain Injuries at Birth
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Recent fatal medical negligence cases
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Osbornes is a very respected firm in the marketplace.
They handle really complex cases very well
The clinical negligence team are knowledgeable and professional in their approach and demonstrate a high level of skill in litigation work.
Osbornes Law offers experience in obstetric and fatal claims as well as niche cauda equina cases.
Osbornes Law is an established firm which handles a breadth of complex and high-value clinical negligence matters.
Osbornes has a skilled team of solicitors advising clients on a wide range of clinical negligence matters.
Hard working, approachable, good knowledge of clinical negligence and clients’ specific conditions
A joy to work with and always 100% client focused at all times.
The clinical negligence team at Osbornes is much lauded for its ability to ‘represent the diverse range of London-based clients
“The team is very quick and efficient in responding."
"Obsbornes Law is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes for clients."
‘They are ambitious for their clients and expect high standards from all who work with them.’
"Osbornes somehow combine the accessibility of a local firm, with the professional standards of a national or city outfit."
"Osbornes, is described as having ‘superb judgement and a medical knowledge that is second to none."
Stephanie has developed a particularly strong reputation for her handling of birth injury claims, as well as cases concerning surgical negligence and delays in surgery.
"An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."
"Stephanie Prior takes on complex cases and gets excellent results. She has a background in medicine which serves her clients well and is a realistic but tough litigator."
"Stephanie Prior is hugely dedicated, adored by her clients, tenacious, efficient and extremely knowledgeable."
"Stephanie Prior is very good with troubled clients and is easily able to make them feel at ease."
"Stephanie shows sensitivity and deals with things in an understanding way."
Osbornes provides a very intimate and personal client service which is increasingly rare in this sector.
The lawyers in the team are highly experienced and will drive cases very hard on behalf of their clients.
"Stephanie Prior has a realistic attitude to the complexities of the cases. She wins the trust of her clients and goes the extra mile to ensure they get the best outcomes."
"Stephanie Prior... manages a varied caseload, including obstetric claims, child and adult brain injury cases and fatal and non-fatal spinal cord injury cases."
"Stephanie is experienced, knowledgeable of all aspects of clinical negligence work, and strategic in running cases."
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"The team were extremely professional in putting my needs first. There was a joined-up approach to catering for the client, and all lawyers involved were briefed and constructive."
Stephanie Prior is always very professional and kind. Highly recommended.
Quite simply excellent, with a highly competent and well-rounded team. They understand complex medical litigation and have been our lifesavers, and we will always owe them our immense gratitude.
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Our Medical Negligence Team View the whole team
Rob Aylott Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Jodi Newton Partner
Ben Posford Partner
Personal Injury Solicitors
Stephanie Prior Partner
Tahsin Choudhury Paralegal
Sophie Cole-Ducker Paralegal