Ambulance negligence claims

Ambulance negligence claims

For finding answers and getting justice

In an emergency medical situation, every second counts. If you’re promised an ambulance and it doesn’t arrive on time or the care provided by the crew is substandard, the results can be catastrophic.

We all understand that ambulances might face delays, but there’s no room for error in providing emergency medical care. It’s the responsibility of local NHS Ambulance Service Trusts to respond appropriately to emergency calls and they may be legally liable if an ambulance doesn’t arrive on time, or the care provided by the crew falls below an acceptable standard, and this causes harm or death.

In these cases, you might be owed compensation. The ambulance negligence claims solicitors at Switalskis have supported many people in similar situations to yours, and we recognise the need for sensitivity. In some cases, an ambulance delay can have fatal consequences. Whether you’re claiming for yourself, or on behalf of someone who has died, we’ll do whatever we can to make the process easier and guide you to a successful resolution of your compensation claim.

As with an ambulance callout, time is of the essence when making a claim. Don’t delay your journey towards justice - get in touch with Switalskis today to talk about your experiences and start the process. Call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through our website now.

Call Switalskis today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch through the website. We’re here to listen, advise and help you reclaim control of your situation.

How Switalskis can help you

The circumstances surrounding an ambulance delay or substandard care can differ greatly. That means the expertise, support and legal services you need should adapt to the specifics of your case. That’s exactly what makes Switalskis’ approach different. We build our services around you, because we know that at the heart of every claim is a person who has suffered a terrible experience, and who needs our help to set things right.

In pursuit of that aim, we’ll start with a sensitive, confidential, and detailed discussion about your experience. That will give us an overview of your case, the likelihood of making a successful claim, and the compensation you could be owed. It’ll also help us to understand your specific needs, and how the injury or illness you sustained has affected your life.

From there, we’ll gather the evidence we need to build the strongest possible case. Our team has a proven track record in making clinical negligence claims and we’ll work tirelessly until the evidence is airtight. If your claim needs to go to trial, we’ll represent you in court and demonstrate your right to compensation in the strongest possible terms.

If you’ve been failed by the healthcare system, we’ll stand by your side to highlight individual and systemic problems, amplify your voice, and secure the justice and compensation you’re owed.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

How does the ambulance negligence claims process work?

Every ambulance case is different but while the details might differ dramatically, the process is usually structured in essentially the same way. Even when your claim is subject to delays or challenges that we need to overcome, it will usually need to pass the following milestones.

Step 1: Initial consultation

Reach out to Switalskis for a free, no obligation initial consultation. During this meeting, we’ll listen to your story, understand your concerns and explain whether we think you have a strong case. If we decide to proceed, we can then discuss the next steps and the available funding options.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

We’ll gather all the relevant information we need to build your case. This will include applying for all of your medical records, including your GP records. We’ll ask you for photographs, receipts and any other documents that may support your claim. We’ll take a detailed witness statement to tell your version of events. We may arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert to provide an unbiased view of your injuries and future prognosis. The aim will be to prove that the negligence was responsible for your injury and consider the potential value of the claim.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

Once we have supportive evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the NHS Ambulance Service Trust responsible. This will outline details of the claim and state allegations regarding the trust’s failings.

Step 4: Defendant response

The defendant will then have four months to investigate the allegations made against them and respond to the letter of claim in a letter of response. This letter will include whether the defendant accepts they are at fault, which is called an admission of liability. If they do not accept fault, they will state this in the letter and this is called a denial of liability. We’ll advise you of the next steps at this stage.

Step 5: Settlement and compensation

If the defendant or medical practice has admitted fault, negotiations can start. Our ambulance delay compensation experts will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible settlement amount for you. At this stage, we’ll discuss how much compensation you may receive. This will be calculated to cover the pain and suffering caused by the negligence, as well as any financial losses or expenses you’ve experienced as a result.

Step 6: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Most claims will be settled through negotiation, without needing to go to court. In the rare instances where the case does go to trial, you can trust us to represent you throughout the process.

We know that uncertainty creates stress, and so we’ll offer regular updates and estimated timelines at all stages of your claim. You’ll always know how much progress we’ve made, what the next steps will be, and what we’re doing to maximise your likelihood of a positive outcome.

How much do ambulance negligence claims cost?

Sometimes, people are daunted by the idea of taking legal action because they are afraid of the costs. They wonder how much they will have to pay if their claim is unsuccessful. Thankfully, in most cases, the answer is nothing.

At Switalskis, we believe that no one should be held back from exercising their right to claim because of financial worries. We often provide legal services for medical negligence cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning that there are no legal fees to pay if your claim is unsuccessful. We can also advise you on funding options that might also apply in your case, and help to make sure all the eventualities are covered before your claim moves ahead.

Some of the options we can discuss include:

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), this is the most common way to fund an ambulance delay claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. Our costs are written off. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss any deductions with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: we’ll take out an insurance policy to cover you for the expenses we experience during the investigation. This might include obtaining reports from independent experts to support your case. We have our own insurance provider that we recommend you use. However, you may have legal expenses cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which may also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaising with your insurer.
  • Legal Aid: in very rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

There may be other types of funding available in your case, as these are only the most common examples. When you call us, we’ll discuss your circumstances and then talk you through all of the funding options that apply in your case, so you can choose the arrangement that works best for you.

Is there a time limit for ambulance delay claims?

For these types of claims, there is usually a limitation period of three years in which you must start your claim. This begins from the point that you experienced the negligence - usually, from the date of the event giving rise to the claim.

In some cases, the limitation period will begin from the point that you realise that you suffered harm as a result of the negligence. For example, if your condition wasn’t apparent until later, the three years might begin from the date that you made the connection.

There are also cases in which the time limit doesn’t apply in the same way, particularly those involving:

  • Children: if the person who suffered the negligence was under 18 at the time, the three-year period doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until they turn 21 to start legal proceedings.
  • Mental capacity: if the person who suffered the negligence lacks mental capacity to make their own decisions, there may be no time limit to make a claim on their behalf.
  • Fatal cases: if you’re claiming on behalf of a family member who passed away due to complications arising from an ambulance delay, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that negligent treatment caused their death.

It’s always best to take action as soon as you can. There is more evidence available to us in the immediate aftermath of an incident, and there is no risk of missing the deadline for making a claim. However, other exceptions sometimes apply for ambulance delay compensation claims, so you should always seek expert legal advice. Contact Switalskis today to talk about your circumstances and learn more about your eligibility to claim.

Our ambulance negligence claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

The consequences of an ambulance delay or negligence can be extremely severe, and if you’ve suffered permanent injuries or lost a loved one due to this type of negligence, it can be hard to see a path towards justice. At Switalskis, we’ve worked with many people in similar situations to yours, and we know that while nothing can turn back the clock, legal action can deliver compensation, accountability and closure at the end of a devastating period.

We know how daunting it can be, and we never want to add any additional strain to the situation you’re already facing. That’s why we make several important commitments to every client we take on that are designed to make the ambulance negligence claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.

Clarity in complexity

Legal processes can be hard to follow and language is complicated. To avoid confusion, we’ll break everything down into plain English, answer any questions you may have, and make sure you understand exactly what’s going on at all times. That way, you’ll be empowered to make decisions and avoid the stress of uncertainty.

Empathy at every step

We know how difficult situations can get when emergency treatment doesn’t arrive on time or is substandard. Often, you’ll have much more than your physical recovery on your plate. There may also be a feeling of betrayal, worries about the future, a need for answers, and other emotional burdens. Switalskis will offer a shoulder to lean on and put you in touch with any resources you need to support your emotional recovery from the incident.

Expertise you can trust

Choosing a solicitor with the right knowledge and level of expertise can make a vital difference to your chances of making a successful claim. Switalskis’ clinical negligence team is extremely well regarded and has a strong track record of securing ambulance delay compensation. Our solicitors have been accredited by Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) and The Law Society in recognition of their expertise.

Championing your rights

Making a claim is about more than financial compensation. It’s an opportunity to make your voice heard, to hold the people responsible for your suffering accountable for their action, and to address the causes so that future incidents can be prevented. Making a claim is also your right, and Switalski will be your ally throughout the process to make sure you’re able to exercise that right fairly.

Our aim is to make the ambulance claims process as easy as possible for you, so that nothing stands in the way of the justice you deserve. We’ll take on the full responsibility for your case so that you’ll have more time to focus on the things that matter - your health and your loved ones.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If a delayed ambulance delay prevented you from getting emergency treatment when you needed it, or the treatment was substandard and caused you harm, it’s important to take action.

For a sensitive, confidential chat about your situation, or to start the claims process today, call Switalskis on 0800 138 0458 or get in touch through our website.

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