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Can I Claim Medical Negligence After 20 Years in the UK?

What is the time limit for medical negligence claims?

The time it usually takes to make a medical negligence claim is within three years of either:

  • The date on which the medical treatment commenced or
  • The date the patient may have first become aware that they have suffered an injury due to medical negligence.

This three year period is known as the limitation period and begins a day after the cause of action. For example, the limitation period would start on 8th July 2022 if the incident occurred on 7th July 2022 and would end on 7th July 2025.

Can I start a medical negligence claim after 20 years?

While possible, making a medical negligence claim may be more challenging. You may be able to claim for historical medical negligence, if you were not aware your injury was due to potential negligence.

Are there any exemptions?

What is also important to note is that there are exceptions to the three-year rule. They include:

  • Mental disability: To have a mental disability means there is a risk that the claimant would struggle to comprehend essential information relating to the incident. They are required to take a medical assessment to verify this.
  • Injury to a child under the age of 18: The three-year rule doesn’t apply until the child has reached the age of 18. They can start their proceedings before they get to the age of 21. This is the case even if the injury occurred before they were 18 years old.

Can you extend the three-year period?

According to the NHS, there are certain circumstances that the three-year period can be extended. You might be asked by the patient or their solicitors to extend the time limit. It’s not possible to officially extend the time limit, but as the potential defendant, you can choose not to bring up the time limit as a defence.

How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

Due to the fact that medical negligence cases in the UK can vary, whether that is due to the severity of the injuries or the type of accident, it is difficult to provide a figure on how much compensation you are entitled to. Strictly speaking, it can range anywhere from a few thousand pounds to several million.

However, you are able to get an estimate by using online personal injury claim calculators. Alternatively, you should get advice from an expert or a medical negligence solicitor, who can then offer any further expertise or assistance.

How long can these claims take?

These claims can take a few years. The durability of the claim depends on several factors, such as the severity of the event, if the other party admits fault and how long it takes for you to gather all the necessary medical assessments.

There are other factors which may affect the time of the process. Depending on everything, it may take months or even years for a medical negligence claim to settle.

How easy is to make a medical negligence claim?

Although these incidents may leave you in a complicated and traumatic situation, submitting a medical negligence claim is straightforward. You will just need to find a reputable injury lawyer company and submit a form or contact them to inform them about details of the incident.

Then they will contact you with a quote and work with other parties to get you the compensation you deserve. If you need professional help with a recent medical negligence case, contact our personal injury lawyers in Cambridge today.

Check out our blog about whether you can sue a cosmetic surgeon for medical negligence for more!