Bridge McFarlandLLP

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Bridge McFarland LLP can offer you practical, uncomplicated advice, support & guidance when you need it most. Whether it be an employment dispute, family advice, an accident or negligence, life planning or moving house, let us help you.
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Our commercial team in Lincoln, Hull, Market Rasen and Grimsby prides itself on its sound business sense, commercial insight, local knowledge and first class understanding of the relevant legal disciplines ranging from employment law, business contracts, dispute resolution to agriculture and property development. From company formation to sale, succession, dissolution or dispute resolution, you can trust our team to deliver first class service and results.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for some answers? Check out our helpful FAQs section.

Frequently Asked Questions
Home > Why BMcF? > Frequently Asked Questions > Medical Negligence
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Medical Negligence


We can advise if you have received improper, unskilled or negligent treatment by a health care professional, GP or dentist.


Medical Negligence
Can I make a medical negligence claim on behalf of my child?
Yes. Only, if you are the mother, father or parental guardian.
Can I make a medical negligence claim on behalf of someone who has died?
Yes, if you are the spouse of the deceased, executor of the estate or legally defined next of kin.
Can my doctor/hospital stop treating me if I bring a claim against them?
It is entirely at the discretion of you and your treating clinician. Should you or your treating clinician consider that your doctor-patient relationship has broken down that treating clinician may consider that they can no longer treat you in a professional manner. However, if you have a complaint against your treating clinician it may not be wise to continue treatment from them in any event.
Getting a pressure sore is just one of those things though isn’t it?
No. Most pressure sores can and should be prevented. If appropriate risk assessments and preventative measures are put in place by nursing staff when someone is at high risk of developing a pressure sore they should not develop.
How can I find out if medical treatment was negligent?
We can on your behalf, conduct an independent investigation into the standard of medical treatment you have received. We will be required to obtain disclosure of all relevant medical records - both hospital and GP - in the manner set out in the pre-action protocols. Once all of the relevant medical records have been received they will be considered on a preliminary basis. They will then be reviewed by a medical chronologist who will index and paginate the records to ensure that they are in some semblance of order.

Once all the relevant medical records have been obtained indexed and paginated, they will be reviewed in detail, following which a detailed chronology of events will then be prepared setting out, where appropriate, relevant entries in the medical records. You will be asked to comment on the chronology/medical records.

A detailed letter of instruction will thereafter be prepared and sent to an appropriate medical expert to provide an opinion on liability/causation, i.e. to assess the standard of care you received at the material time and its consequences, whether temporary or enduring.

It may be necessary to instruct more than one expert in your case if opinions are required from more than one area of medical expertise. If this is the case we will let you know in due course and we will inform you which experts are to be instructed.

Once medical reports on liability/causation are available, we will consider them in detail and thereafter review them with you. We will then be  in a better position to advise you as to the prospects of success of your claim.

How does a conditional fee agreement (CFA) work?
A CFA is a risk-sharing arrangement whereby we agree to take a share of the risk in the claim. A full CFA or “no win, no fee” agreement is where, if you lose claim, you will not pay anything to us for our costs. If you win, you pay to us our fees on an hourly rate basis plus a success fee. The success fee is a percentage of our fees based on hourly rates. The level of the success fee will depend on all of the risk factors in the case including our assessment of the merits and the prospects of success on your claim. If you win, you will usually be entitled to recover costs from your opponent, but the success fee is not recoverable from your opponent however, as a firm, we agree to cap your success fee at 25% of your damages ensuring that you always retain the majority share of your compensation. You will be liable to pay to us any difference between the costs recovered from your opponent and the costs payable under the CFA including the success fee. If you lose, you will not pay anything to us for our costs, but will still be liable for any expenses and/or disbursements, but you may be able to take out after-the-event (ATE) legal expenses insurance against this risk.
How long does it take to complete my claim?
The estimated time scale involved in this matter will be eighteen to twenty-four months to conclude preliminary investigations. This can vary for many reasons but we will endeavour to keep you advised of any change in the likely time scale as the matter develops.
If I am at high risk of developing a pressure sore what should nursing staff be doing to prevent it?
There are a number of measures that can and should be put in place depending on the level of risk. There are special types of pressure relieving mattresses and cushions that can be given to patients, as well as heel protectors and special boots. Patients should be helped to turn and take pressure off vulnerable areas of their body. Nursing staff should also inspect a patients skin regularly so that they can act quickly at the first signs that a pressure sore may be developing.
Is there a time limit on bringing a claim?
A key date in a medical negligence claim is the limitation date which is three years from the date of the negligent treatment or your date of knowledge of negligence (i.e. when you became aware). Proceedings must be issued by this date if your claim is to be pursued, failing which it will be barred by Statute.
My claim has settled but I have now developed further problems, what can I do?
If you were not symptom free when you settled your claim, or have settled your claim and are now experiencing further complications that were not considered as a potential side effect of your injuries; then your solicitor may have acted negligently and you may be entitled to professional negligence compensation. Please get in touch today to see if we can help.
My claim was settled without obtaining any medical evidence, is there anything I can do?
An important part of a solicitor’s role is ensuring that you receive adequate compensation for your injuries. If your injuries are clinical related and have not been adequately assessed by a medical professional then it may be that your solicitor has been negligent in reaching a settlement without carrying out the necessary investigations. Consequently, it is possible that any settlement you receive is an undervaluation of your claim. If you believe that your clinical negligence claim has not been adequately investigated, or settlement has been reached without independent expert medical opinion please get in touch.
What are the options for funding my case?
We are obliged to provide you with the best costs advice as per the Solicitors Code of Conduct. This means that we must assess your eligibility for the different forms of funding and the best form of funding must be offered to your first.

There are different types of funding that can be offered and are as follows:

  • Legal Aid Public Funding  - From April 2013, public funding will only be available to individuals who fulfil very specific criteria set down by the Legal Services Commission (the government body who deal with legal aid).  You will only get Legal Aid if your case relates to the representation of a child in exceptional circumstances.  If you are supported by a Legal Aid Certificate, our fees are paid at a level of remuneration set by the Government.  We will be paid by the Legal Services Commission by reference to the amount of time spent on the matter.  There are a number of factors which can affect whether your costs will be paid by the Legal Services Commission or not and the person in charge of your case will fully advise you in this respect.  At this stage you should be aware that if you lose your case it is possible that you may still be ordered by the Court to contribute towards your opponents costs, even though your own costs are covered by Legal Aid.  Furthermore, there is a possibility that even if you win your case, your opponent may not be ordered to pay the full amount of your costs and may not be capable of paying what they have been ordered to pay.
  • Before the Event Legal Expenses Insurance - this insurance can usually be found on your buildings and contents insurance and premium bank accounts.
  • No Win No Fee Agreement - Under such agreement, if you are unsuccessful in your claim we shall waive our fees relating to work done during the currency of the agreement.  If however your claim is successful we shall charge a success fee based upon a percentage of our basic fees (this cannot be more than 100% of the basic charges in total) but it is limited to 25% of the total amount of any:

            (i)  General damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity; and

            (ii) Damages for pecuniary loss, other than future pecuniary loss

            The success fee is payable by you.

  • Private Fee - It is always open to you to instruct us to act for you on a private fee-paying basis.  This will mean that you will be responsible for our fees as and when they are incurred regardless of the outcome of your case.  Legal costs are very often one of the most significant issues in claims of this type.  Because of the need to pay disbursements (that is sums paid to others in the preparation of your case such as medical experts and barristers) when they arise, legal fees do mount up very quickly.

Your funding eligibility will be assessed at your initial appointment.

What is a pressure sore?
A pressure sore is also known as a bed sore or a pressure ulcer and is a serious skin condition particularly effecting those under nursing care. Pressure sores are areas of the skin that become damaged and unhealthy due to consistent pressure applied to the area.
What is medical negligence?
Medical Negligence is when a medical practitioner such as a doctor, nurse, midwife, dentist or an institutional health provider breaches his or its duty of care to you and you are injured as a result of that breach.
Where can pressure sores develop?
Areas of the body that are particularly vulnerable to developing a pressure sore are the heels, the sacrum (just above your bottom), ankle, elbows and shoulder blades.
Will I have to attend meetings?
An initial appointment can be held on the telephone, during a home visit or by attending any one of our offices.

Throughout the duration of your claim we will keep you updated every step of the way. However, your instructions are important and therefore you may have to have examinations by experts and attend meetings with those experts and a Barrister who specialises in medical negligence.

The meetings can be held at locations that are convenient to you.

Will you visit me at home?
Yes we can arrange to carry out appointments by visiting you in your home.