Medical Negligence Claim Process – A Complete Guide

By Zoe Diss

People signing a contract

Navigating the legal process of making a medical negligence claim can feel daunting, but understanding its basic structure can empower you and ensure your claim runs smoothly. Read on to learn about the key stages of the medical negligence claims process in the UK. England and Wales.

Stage 1: Making the Enquiry

Your journey begins with contacting a legal professional specialising in medical negligence. During this initial discussion, you’ll share your concerns about the care you received, and the medical history relevant to your claim.

Remember, seeking legal advice doesn’t commit you to a claim; it’s an opportunity to explore your options confidentially.

At Blackwater Law, you will first speak to a member of our enquiries team. They will establish the facts of your claim and begin to map out the next steps for you.

Stage 2: Solicitor Review

Details gathered during the enquiry stage will be passed on to our team of senior solicitors. They’ll consider the detailed information about your experience, medical records you have provided, and any other available evidence, and assess the merits of your claim.

We may ask you to request additional records from the healthcare providers involved in your care to ensure we have a complete picture of your medical history. We can guide you on how to do this.

Looking for expert legal advice?

Contact Blackwater Law today and find out if you could be entitled to compensation.

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Stage 3: Accepting your claim

After our senior solicitors have considered your details, we will let you know as soon as possible whether we believe your potential claim warrants further investigation. If we take on your case, we will explain your funding options, including a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ agreement.

Stage 4: Accessing your medical records

To assess your claim, your solicitor will need access to your complete medical history. We will write to the healthcare provider(s) involved in your care and treatment requesting copies of your medical records. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, access requests should be dealt with within one calendar month of receipt, however, it can take longer.



Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitors acted for Mr L in a medical negligence claim in the High Court after he was misdiagnosed. The misdiagnosis meant he went on to suffer a serious stroke-causing life-limiting disability.

Stage 5: Consulting Experts

Medical negligence cases require expert medical opinion. Your solicitor may will consult with independent medical experts to evaluate whether there have been breaches of duty of care that have caused you injury.

Often, expert evidence will be crucial to the success of your case. It provides a third-party independent opinion of your experience and is an indication as to whether something has gone wrong with your care, as well as valuable insight into how any injuries you have suffered may affect your life moving forward.

If the experts we approach indicate that you have suffered harm because of potentially substandard care, we will move your case on to the next stage of the investigation, which will be formally instructing an expert to prepare a formal report for your case.

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Timelines can vary significantly from one case to another and there are a few things to consider before starting a claim. More
If you have suffered an injury because of poor care, you may want to sue the NHS for negligence. This complete guide can help you make the best decision for you and your family. More
There are a variety of factors that can determine how much compensation a claim can be worth. Our solicitors explain in this article. More

Stage 6: Approaching Defendants

If the expert evidence is supportive of your claim, i.e. you have received negligent care that has caused you an injury, we will send your opponent (Defendant) a letter of claim outlining the alleged negligence and its consequences. On receipt of the letter of claim, the Defendant will have four months to respond, either admitting or denying liability with their reasons for doing so.

Stage 7: Court Proceedings

If negotiations with the Defendant(s) reach an impasse, court proceedings may become necessary. This involves filing a formal lawsuit and presenting your case in court. Whilst this might seem intimidating, your legal team will guide you through every step and represent your interests.

What happens when a compensation claim goes to court?

Stage 8: Settlements

Most medical negligence claims are settled out of court through negotiation and compromise. Both parties seek to avoid the time and expense of a trial while reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
Settlements often involve financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, as well as pain and suffering.

Things to remember

  • Every claim is different: What we have outlined in this article is a general structure that a claim may follow. It is important to remember that each claim is different, with its unique features and intricacies. These variables across claims will inevitably change how a case will run.
  • Time limits apply: You generally have three years from the date of negligence or awareness of its impact to make a claim. Don’t delay seeking legal advice.
  • Specialist support is crucial: Navigating medical negligence claims can be complex. Enlisting a solicitor experienced in clinical negligence claims ensures your rights are protected and your case is presented effectively.
  • Communication is key: Maintain open communication with your legal team throughout the process. Ask questions, express your concerns, and actively participate in decisions that impact your case.

Seeking justice after experiencing medical negligence can be an empowering journey. By understanding the basic structure of a claim and the dedicated support available, you can navigate this process with confidence and potentially secure the compensation you deserve.

For specific guidance on your situation, consulting a Blackwater Law medical negligence solicitor is essential.

Get Free Initial Advice

Contact Blackwater Law today and find out if you could be entitled to compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500