Failure to obtain consent negligence claims

Failure to obtain consent negligence claims

For finding answers and getting justice

Before you go under the knife, you have the right to understand the risks involved. Your doctor must discuss the possibilities with you and obtain your consent before moving ahead with any high-risk surgery. If the surgery goes ahead without your consent and you’re injured, it can be a devastating experience - especially because you had no way of knowing that you were at risk.

In these cases, patients are often entitled to claim compensation. This offers an opportunity to recover any money you lost due to the incident and provide for the things you need to adjust to life after a surgical injury. If you need new medical devices, or had to take time off work, compensation can pay for the related expenses and lost earnings.

At Switalskis, our team knows the law - and when medical professionals have broken it. When there is a lack of informed consent before a doctor carries out a surgical procedure, they have failed in their responsibilities. It is vital to hold them accountable and seek justice for what happened to you. 

If you’ve experienced something similar, it’s easy to feel helpless. However, it’s important to take action and make an effort to put things right. To learn how and to start the process, call Switalskis on 0800 138 0458 or get in touch through our website today.

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

At Switalskis, our services are focused on people. We know that at the heart of every case, there is a person who was let down by the medical establishment and who is facing a difficult time as a result. We’ll tailor our approach to your needs and the outcomes you want to achieve, to make sure we’re always pushing in the same direction together.

To start, we’ll have a detailed conversation about your experiences, the injury you sustained and the circumstances around it. This will tell us whether you have a claim and how much compensation you might be owed. It’ll also let us know whether there is any emotional support we can provide to help you through your recovery.

If we decide to proceed, we’ll start to build your claim. That means gathering evidence to show what happened to you and prove that medical professionals failed in their duty of care to you. We’ll review medical records, speak to eyewitnesses and independent experts, and collect any other types of evidence we need to build you the strongest possible case.

If your claim goes to court, we’ll represent you and present your case in the strongest terms. We’ll always take whatever steps we can to secure the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to, and to bring your claim to a successful conclusion.

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

What is a lack of informed consent?

Informed consent is a fundamental principle in the UK healthcare system that makes sure a patient understands the benefits, risks and alternatives to a type of medical treatment. This commonly refers to surgical procedures, which often pose the highest levels of risk, but could also be necessary when you’re prescribed a particular medication or under other circumstances.

To gain a patient’s informed consent, a medical professional must provide all the necessary information to allow them to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the treatment or not. They must explain the diagnosis and what the treatment involves. From there, they must weigh the risks against the benefits and discuss this with the patient, before answering any questions that arise as a result. Finally, the patient is allowed to make their decision.

If a patient isn’t given all the information, or is subject to coercion or undue influence when making their decision, it may be ruled that the patient was not able to give their informed consent for the procedure or course of treatment to go ahead. Alternatively, if certain risks are downplayed or dismissed, or if the patient is simply never given the opportunity to consent, this can result in a compensation claim.

Finally, if a patient lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, there are legal procedures that must be followed. If doctors fail in this regard and the patient is injured, they may be entitled to compensation.

How will I know if I am eligible to make a claim?

To make a claim, it is not enough to be able to demonstrate that you were not able to give informed consent before a procedure went ahead. While this certainly highlights a failure on the part of the medical professionals responsible, it doesn’t entitle you to compensation. 

You must be able to show that you suffered harm during the surgery or due to the medicine you were prescribed, and that you were unaware of the risk before the course of treatment went ahead. If you’re unsure whether your situation entitles you to make a claim, get in touch with our solicitors today and we’ll advise you on your eligibility to claim.

If you had an operation without being made aware of the risks and were injured, talk to Switalskis today on 0800 138 0458 .

What is the claims process for failure to obtain consent negligence?

There are often a lot of factors at play when a medical professional carries out a procedure without your informed consent. Everything from the injury you sustained to the circumstances surrounding it can affect whether the practitioner or NHS Trust in question accepts liability. In turn, this will affect how the claims process will proceed.

While the details are different in every case, the structure of a compensation claim is often the same. In most cases, your claim will proceed as follows:

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 doctor and/or hospital involved. This will outline details of the claim and state allegations regarding the negligent treatment.

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 consent negligence solicitors will negotiate on your behalf, using our expertise and experience to secure the highest possible compensation 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’ll stay in touch and provide regular updates during your claim so you’ll always know where things are up to. Your solicitor will remain committed throughout the process, no matter what happens. Switalskis will always strive to conclude proceedings as soon as possible and secure the highest amount of compensation that you’re entitled to claim.

Is there a time limit for a lack of informed consent claim?

There is almost always a time limit that applies when you want to make a clinical negligence compensation claim. Usually, this is a three-year span known as a “limitation period”, which begins from the date that the procedure went ahead without your consent. However, if your injury did not arise until later, or if symptoms were not immediately clear, the limitation period might begin from the date you realised that the surgery was responsible for your injury.

The three-year limitation period may not apply in cases 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. A person can give informed consent once they turn 16 years of age. Before this, the parents must give informed consent on the child’s behalf.
  • 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 a procedure where a doctor failed to obtain their informed consent, 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 can be hard to understand how the rules apply to you without relevant legal experience. Speak to the solicitors at Switalskis today to learn more about whether you’re eligible to claim. If you are, we can get the process started straight away and make sure that we meet any relevant deadlines that apply.

How much does a failure to obtain consent claim cost?

Sometimes, people are apprehensive about the prospect of making a compensation claim because they are worried about what it will cost them if they lose. At Switalskis, we don’t feel that anyone should be kept from seeking justice because of their financial circumstances. Thankfully, for medical negligence claims, there are several ways to fund a claim that limit any financial risk to the claimant.

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), this is the most common way to fund a lack of informed consent 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 all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: we’ll begin an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we use. However, you may have legal expenses cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaising with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in 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.

ther types of funding may also apply, and when you call us to discuss your case, we’ll talk you through these options. That way, we can help you to determine which is the best source of funding for your particular claim.

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.

Our consent 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?

Facing complications from a surgery that has gone wrong can be extremely difficult, especially if you weren’t aware of the risks beforehand. The Switalskis team has dealt with many people in situations just like yours, and we know how difficult it can be, both physically and emotionally. Here are the commitments we’ve made to make the process of claiming compensation and putting things right as easy as possible for you:

Clarity in complexity

The Switalskis team prides itself on clear communication. We’ll break down any complicated legal and medical jargon into simple terms, and answer any questions that arise during the process. That way, we’ll make sure you’re in the best position to make decisions and that you understand what’s going on at all times.

Empathy at every step

We know that it can be emotionally difficult when you put your trust in a medical professional and they let you down. It’s exhausting and challenging when you’re facing a situation that might have been avoided if you’d had the chance to say no to a particular course of treatment. Our solicitors understand how that feels, and we’ll always do whatever we can to offer the emotional support you need at this difficult time.

Expertise you can trust

Our team has a wealth of experience in medical negligence claims. We know the law, and the processes that NHS Trusts will follow in order to defend their actions. That means we’re in the best possible position to build a strong case and fight for your claim. We’ll also work with independent medical experts where necessary to secure testimony that will strengthen your claim.

Championing your rights

When you suffer due to someone else’s mistake, it’s your right to seek restitution. Switalskis will remain steadfast in upholding this right, and in making sure your voice is heard throughout the claims process. Making a claim isn’t just about compensation - it’s about holding the people responsible for your injury accountable.

While this process can be difficult, choosing the right solicitor as your ally can make all the difference. Switalskis is committed to making the process as simple as possible for you, so you can focus on your recovery and avoid any more unnecessary stress.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you feel that you’re entitled to compensation due to a medical professional’s failure to obtain your informed consent, get in touch with Switalskis today. We can talk about your situation, let you know whether you can claim and get the process started.

Call us on 0800 138 0458 or get in touch through the website at your earliest opportunity.

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