What Is Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is when a healthcare personnel causes negligence to a preventable issue like misdiagnosis or malpractice when treating a patient. Negligence claim refers to the breach of the duty of care. Lawyers will tell you that a victim usually has 3 years to take a claim to court and if taken later after that it usually stopped from being taken to court.

Medical negligence claims are usually very serious and they depend on a victim’s circumstances. Time to take action may vary depending on the nature of the claim. It’s usually very important to act quickly when you are sure you have a claim to make. One should never hesitate to speak to a medical negligence solicitor who will help you out.

Circumstances Under Which Medical Negligence Claims Are Appropriate


In mentally capable adults, the time limit is usually 3 years. This time runs from the date of actual knowledge of negligence or from the date of the particular action.

Hidden Negligence By Doctors

Some medical negligence cases may take years before you discover the damage, action in such cases is usually taken immediately from the time of knowledge, and the time to make a claim is usually limited to 3 years.


Underage minors are always exempted from the time limit. They may wait till they reach 21 years when they have a legal right to file a medical negligence claim in court if the medical negligence was done when they were still young.

The Disabled

The disabled usually do not have a time limit to file a medical negligence claim in court, they are always exempted from the time limit.

Death Due To Medical Negligence

If one passes on due to medical negligence, then his/her children are allowed to file a claim in court after they reach the age of 21 years. But if there are adult family members then their time to file a medical negligence claim is limited to 3 years from the date which their relative died or 3 years from the time they discovered that the deceased died because of a medical negligence. But if one dies while still in the process of making a medical negligence claim, the family is given 3 years from the death to continue making the claims.

Victims Not Of Sound Mind

There is no time limit for filing a claim if the victim has a pre-diagnosed mental illness. After they recover from the brain damage, their claiming time of the medical negligence is usually limited to 3 years from the time of their recovery because they shall be considered capable of handling the problem.

Can The Time Limit Of Filing A Medical Negligence Be Extended?

There are some cases where the court can extend the time limit for filing a medical negligence, in such cases, victims apply to the court through the help of medical negligence solicitors. The court usually extends the claim time after considering every aspect of the claim. However time extension by the court not usually guaranteed, that is why its advised to seek advice first from an experienced medical negligence solicitor.

The Importance Of Time Limit In Filing A Medical Negligence Claim

Many tend to ask themselves why there is a time limit to make a medical negligence claim but there are valid reasons why there is a limit.

  1. Medical documents in a hospital may get lost or be misplaced because hospitals clear outpatients notes after some years.
  2. One may need compensation to deal with an injury or an illness caused by a medical negligence.
  3. Witnesses may forget the actual facts and the earlier they give out their testimonies the better.