If you are thinking about pursuing a claim for a third or fourth degree tear (or any other type of birth injury), you will want to know what the claims process involves.
The medical negligence claims process
All medical negligence claims are slightly different. For example, the NHS Trust/GP in question may admit liability, resulting in a quick settlement. Alternatively the Defendant may deny everything. Therefore the process involved will vary according to the claim.
By and large, however, medical negligence claims will involve the following steps:-
- Obtaining medical records – your solicitor will obtain all your medical records and review them.
- Witness statements – your solicitor will send an agent to see you. During this meeting the agent will take a witness statement from you. If your family members have been involved in your care, they may also be asked for a witness statement.
- Medical expert reports – a medical expert will be asked to write a report about your injuries and your prognosis. You may need to attend an examination to facilitate this report. The medical expert will provide an independent opinion as to whether there has been a substandard level of care, and the impact this has had/will have on your life. Please note that more than one medical expert report may be needed.
- Counsel’s advice – a barrister will be asked for advice for the duration of your claim, and will be asked to comment upon the claim’s chances of success, and the value of the claim.
- Letter of claim – a letter of claim will be sent to the other side stating your intention to bring a claim against them and outlining the reasons for doing so.
- Letter of response – once the letter of claim has been received the other side has a certain amount of time to send a letter of response. This will verify whether or not they wish to defend the claim.
- Calculating damages – in the meantime your solicitor will calculate an appropriate sum of damages. Counsel will be asked to advise upon a suitable sum of general damages. Your solicitor will calculate your special damages according to your actual financial loss.
- Issuing court proceedings – if the claim has not already settled, your solicitor will issue court proceedings. This is a formality and does not mean you have to attend court.
- Negotiating a settlement with the other side – at this stage it is common for each party to enter into negotiations regarding a settlement. Often this begins with a formal offer (called a Part 36 Offer) being made. If a settlement cannot be reached, the claim will continue through the courts. However, it is very unusual to proceed all the way to trial and claims are normally settled before this.
- Settling the claim – once a sum of compensation has been agreed upon by both sides, the claim is settled and you will receive your compensation.
Contact us today
For more information about the claims process, please get in touch with us today.