Medical Negligence in Scotland

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What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is when you or a loved one suffers harm as a result of an avoidable mistake or substandard treatment by a healthcare professional. In Scotland, proving medical negligence means that you have to be able to prove that the healthcare provider was responsible for your injury or illness.

In Scotland, it is not always possible to offer no win no fee for medical negligence claims, however, where no win no fee services are offered, typically customers in Scotland pay 25% of the amount recovered by our solicitors but it will never be more.

This success fee, or speculative fee agreement as it is known in Scotland, is commonly used by solicitors in connection with personal injury claims. Whilst the law permits solicitors to charge a success fee of anywhere up to 100% of their costs in Scotland our solicitors will never charge more than 25% of the amount they have recovered on your behalf.

For more information, just get in touch. Our helpful and friendly advisors will talk you through your options.

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Why should I make a medical negligence claim?

Medical negligence can affect your whole life, from your physical health to your emotional wellbeing and even your finances. For example, you may have been forced to stop working as a result of your injuries. Making a claim can help you cover the loss of earnings you’ve sustained.

It can also help you pay for any treatment you may need to help you recover from the negligence you have suffered. If you require any home modifications or mobility aids, the compensation you may be awarded for a successful claim could help you pay for this.

Can I claim against the NHS in Scotland?

Yes, you can make a compensation claim for medical negligence against the NHS in Scotland. You are entitled to the appropriate medical care when you seek treatment from the NHS. If you don’t receive it, you are entitled to make a claim.

By highlighting what went wrong in your treatment, you also give your healthcare provider the opportunity to address the problem. This could help stop it happening to anyone in the future.

Can I claim against a private healthcare provider?

Yes, you can make a claim against a private healthcare provider in Scotland. All medical practitioners are required to have insurance in place. This means their insurer will be the body that pays out compensation, meaning you are not claiming against the healthcare provider directly.

How much can I claim?

Your situation is unique. This means that the amount of compensation you are awarded will depend on your specific injury and how it has affected you.

Compensation is divided into two categories:

  • General damages: This refers to any pain and suffering you have gone through after your experience of medical negligence. This also covers any lifestyle changes you’ve been forced to make, including having to give up certain hobbies.
  • Special damages: This covers future implications your injury may have on your life, including any loss of earnings or treatment you may require.

For an idea of what you may be able to claim, see our compensation calculator.

What is the medical negligence claims time limit in Scotland?

Typically, you’ll have three years to make a claim for medical negligence in Scotland. There are some exceptions to this rule, though.

If you do not discover the negligence that took place for some time after it happens, you will be able to make a claim three years after the date you find out. This is known as the date of knowledge.

The time limit only begins to take effect for children three years after their 16th birthday. This means they can make a claim at any point until the date of their 19th birthday.

If you are claiming on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim for themselves, you will not face a time limit unless they regain capacity. If this happens, they will then face a three-year time limit from that point. If they are not expected to regain capacity, there will not be a time limit.

How long will a medical negligence claim take?

As with the amount of compensation you may be awarded, every case is different. This means there is no set timeline for a medical negligence claim to follow.

Very general guidelines state that standard cases of medical negligence can take between 12 and 18 months to reach a settlement. However, more complex cases will typically take longer, while more straightforward claims could reach a settlement much quicker.

I think I have a medical negligence claim – what should I do?

The first thing to do is find the best medical care to address what went wrong in your initial treatment. Once you’re back on your feet physically, you can then start thinking about taking further action.

You should then contact First4Lawyers. We’ll have a free discussion about your case – with no obligation. Just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or click here to start your claim online.


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