What is the time limit for medical negligence claims?

Medical negligence claims are extremely complex and require expert advice from professional and law-society registered solicitors. Read on to find out if you have a claim and what the time limit is.

What is the time limit for Medical Negligence Claims ?

The time limit for Medical Negligence Claims is three years from the ‘date of knowledge’, if you are ‘mentally capable’. This means you can claim anytime within a three-year period of when the incident happened. This also means you can claim within three years once when you first realised medical negligence occurred. This three-year period is set out by legislation, with a few exceptions:

• If the victim of negligence was aged under eighteen years old when the incident happened, then they have three years to claim, starting from the date of their 18th birthday.

• If a loved one has died from medical negligence, you can claim on their behalf. In addition, if a loved-one does not possess the mental capacity to make their own claim, you can claim on their behalf.

• If you or a loved one have a mental illness, then there is a three-year period to claim for medical negligence, once you recover from their mental health illness.

• If you claim medical negligence after three years have passed, it is unlikely your claim will be successful.

What happens if I don’t know whether I have been a victim of medical negligence or not ?

If Medical Negligence caused you injuries or illnesses then you can claim compensation. Medical negligence claims can be paid to you if the injury or illness:
• caused you pain, suffering or discomfort;
• left you with psychological trauma;
• resulted in you losing earnings;
• meant you had to pay for additional costs;
• left you unable to carry out your hobbies or certain activities;
• meant you had to spend money on adapting your home or on additional care equipment you now need.

Can I make a Medical Negligence Claim ?

Yes, but it recommended that you speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor to explore your options and investigate your case. You can win your medical negligence claims, if we can prove that ‘on the balance of probability’:
• the care you received did not meet the medically acceptable standards of care
• your treatment was negligently carried out by your medical practitioner.

However, you are not to blame: everyone makes mistakes now and again. Even doctors! Your medical negligence compensation claims may have a positive life-changing consequence for you and your family. We understand how upsetting your experience was, but the more information and evidence you can share, the greater your chances of a successful medical negligence claim.

Am I a victim of medical negligence ?

In the past three years, have you suffered any injury or illness because your medical professional:
• Did not explain to you the risks or complications of a particular treatment?
• Incorrectly administered the wrong drugs or the wrong dose to you?
• Did not get your informed consent before a treatment?
• Made a mistake during a medical procedure or operation?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, and the event happened within the past three years, then you may have a medical negligence claim.

Why Is There A Three-Year Time Limit ?

There are legal reasons why the limit is three years:

• As time passes, witnesses may forget or confuse what happened;
• Records and medical notes may be lost, or destroyed by hospitals;
• Victims discover they need compensation for their injury or illness, especially if they now require new care equipment or aids.

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