With regards to discussing this type of claim, we must first define its purpose. A medical negligence claim is basically a term used to describe medical malpractice that has caused harm to a patient. As the team at CitizensAdvice states, “if you have been injured as a result of negligent medical treatment, you may be able to take legal action”. They also mention that it is possible to take legal action on behalf of someone if you’re the next of kin; however, there are particular terms and conditions attached.
In the past, there has been some debate over whether or not there is a time limit to medical negligence claims. For instance, personal injury lawyers often state that a claimant has a certain amount of time to bring a claim to court. This statutory limit is widely regarded as just 3 years. Nonetheless, there are a few factors to consider…
Special Rules For Children
When a child is harmed through medical malpractice, the limitation period for them doesn’t begin until they are 18 years of age. As Mills & Reeve outline in their briefing handbook about the Medical Malpractice and The Limitation Act (1980), “there are a number of exceptions to the general three-year rule that can stop or delay time running for medical negligence claims”.
This also means that they have 3 years AFTER their 18th birthday. Once they have turned 21, the chance to appeal within that period of time runs out.
Those who are disabled, otherwise known as a PP (Protected Party), may also be exempt from the three-year rule. If they are not fit or mentally capable to independently make decisions due to impairment, then they are able to extend the limitation.
The time limit exists due to the fact that witnesses could forget what really happened over the years and this affects their appeal’s authenticity. Therefore, it makes sense to grant extra time to people who suffer from mental troubles.
Incident Of Death
With the incident of death occurring, people often wonder if there are ways to curve around the claim. Professional
solicitor site, Been Let Down, interestingly outline the facts. They declare that when the victim of negligence has died, “the family of the deceased has three years from the date of the death to bring forward a claim on behalf of the victim’s estate”.
Furthermore, if the negligence had not been previously detected, the 3-year limitation applies to the discovery date.
As you can see, there are many reasons as to why medical negligence claims over 5 years are taken into careful consideration. In relation to rare and specialized cases, the 3 year period has been overlooked.
Despite this time span being reviewed as rather short, it is essential that a limit is in place. Motives such as the way medical notes can be lost in hospitals or discovering that you can claim compensation sooner rather than later are valid points. So, if you still have the time and haven’t left it too late, it may be worth looking into!