How long do you typically have to make a claim for surgeon negligence?

The UK Statute of Limitations allows potential claimants three years make legal actions such as a claim for surgeon negligence. The Statute of Limitations was established in 1980 as part of the Limitation’s Act so that potential claimants could only make a claim while evidence of negligence was still recent and also so that the party that would be considered as negligent would not have to continually fear potential litigation. This three year time limit begins on the date on which the negative medical consequences of medical negligence becomes apparent, for instance any injury, loss or deterioration of an existing condition that has occurred as a result of surgeon negligence.

There can be a number of exceptions where the amount of time a person has to pursue a claim could be lengthened or shortened. For instance, if a child suffers injury or illness due to surgeon negligence then they will have until they are twenty one to pursue a claim. This is because of the fact that as minors, they are not permitted by UK law to advise a solicitor or make a claim on their own behalf. However, a claim for injury sustained from negligence by surgeon can still be made on their behalf by a parent or legal guardian who can represent the child as their “litigation friend”. The usual three year time limit will not begin until the child turns eighteen.

Although three years may seem like a sufficient amount of time to initiate a surgeon negligence compensation claim, it is still in your best interest to contact a solicitor at the first possible moment. Delays and hindrances can occur due to a variety of factors, for instance if there is difficulty with your solicitor gathering sufficient evidence, or if there is difficulty in negotiations for deciding the value of your final settlement. It is therefore advisable to begin the process of initiating a surgeon negligence claim as soon as it is convenient. Make an appointment for a consultation with your solicitor and inform them of the particular circumstances in which an illness or injury sustained from negligence by surgeon occurred and the severity of it. He or she will then attempt to establish the negligence the medical team involved in your surgery.

This will involve contacting the medical team involved in your surgery and obtaining the relevant medical documentation. Your solicitor will show these to an independent medical expert who will examine this documentation and determine whether or not the accident that occurred during your surgery could have been avoided had another competent medical professional had been performing the surgery and taken an alternative course of action. Based on the conclusions of this medical expert your solicitor will decide whether not your surgeon negligence compensation claim is worth pursuing. If they think it has sufficient strength, they may offer you legal representation in your claim for surgeon negligence.