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Medical Negligence Solicitors London

Medical negligence – sometimes called clinical negligence – is any instance of substandard care provided to a patient by a medical professional that causes injury or an existing condition to worsen. 
Our medical negligence solicitors in London can help you to progress any claim you feel you might have. 

Ready to talk? Contact our medical negligence solicitors in London. Call 020 7650 1200 or

There are many different types of medical negligence cases:
  • Misdiagnosis  – Receiving the wrong or no diagnosis for a condition, symptoms missed and illnesses worsening.  
  • Delayed diagnosis – Failing to diagnose your condition, leading to the condition worsening and avoidable pain and suffering, for example when birth asphyxia occurs. 
  • Incorrect treatment – Given the wrong drugs or receiving inappropriate therapy. 
  • Surgical mistakes  – An error during a procedure or operation resulting in an injury or further illness. 
  • Consent – Receiving treatment without providing your consent. 
With all medical negligence claims, you’ll need to prove the care you received fell below acceptable standards. 

What does medical negligence mean?

Medical negligence, in the broadest form, is when a medical professional or institute is in breach of the legal duty of care they owe an individual patient or patients. 
Whatever the scale of the claim, for it to class as medical negligence you need to prove the medical professional failed to meet their duty of care, resulting in your injuries or illness. 
These two components are:
  • Fault – The medical professional failed to treat you in the way reasonably expected, causing your condition. Your health was under their responsibility and the consequences are therefore their fault. 
  • Avoidable harm – Also known as causation, this shows it was clinical negligence that led to your injuries or illness, rather than an underlying condition. Essentially, the harm caused was entirely avoidable had the medical professional upheld their expected duty of care.

Medical negligence examples

Examples can include causing birth injuries due to negligence on behalf of the doctor or midwife, which can lead to cerebral palsy in the child. 
Misdiagnosis  of symptoms can happen if test results are misinterpreted, the wrong treatment prescribed or a patient is referred to an inappropriate specialist. 
Mistreatment of many illnesses and diseases, or substandard care, can have a significant impact. This includes illnesses diagnosed too late, injuries missed by medical professionals or receiving incorrect treatment. 
Medical negligence cases can arise when you experience substandard care from any healthcare professional. If you’ve suffered negligent treatment from any of the following healthcare professionals then it may class as practitioner negligence:
  • GP or Doctor 
  • Nurses
  • A&E staff
  • Midwives
  • NHS employees
  • Private medical professionals

Making a medical negligence claim

Contact our medical negligence lawyers in London to discuss your case and find out whether you have a strong claim. 
One of our team will ask you a series of questions in confidence – either over the phone or in person, whichever suits you. This initial assessment is free.
These questions aim to get a better understanding of what impact the medical negligence has had on your life. Any supporting evidence you can provide will help strengthen your claim, mainly in the form of medical records and statements. 
The lawyer you speak to will advise on whether you have a claim, how much compensation you may expect to receive and what next steps you should take. 
To start your claim:
  • Call 020 7650 1200 to discuss your medical negligence case or email the team and someone will be in touch

How long do I have to make a medical negligence claim?

You usually have three years to bring a claim from the point you realise you have been injured or your condition has worsened. 
For medical negligence claims on behalf of children, they can be made at any point up to the age of 18 – after which the three-year rule applies. 
There’s no time limit to make a claim for people who lack the mental capacity. A ‘litigation friend’ – usually a family member or carer – will represent them. Our specialist lawyers, who have worked with people with limited mental capacity, can help in these circumstances. 

How long will the process take?

Your medical negligence claim process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to settle. Our team will strive to sort it as quickly as possible. The amount of time it takes will depend on:
  • The severity of your case
  • Amount and speed of gathering evidence
  • How long the responsible person or body takes to respond
  • Length of court proceedings (most cases settle before trial)
Whoever is dealing with your claim will be able to advise on how long they think the process will take.

Medical negligence compensation

The amount of compensation you could receive will vary depending on the extent of your injuries, illness and the negligent treatment received. 
Compensation can cover the costs of physical and emotional pain caused and the impact on your quality of life. 
It could help cover: 
  • Medication and treatment
  • Therapy
  • Care
  • Transport and/or parking expenses
  • Adaptations to accommodation 
  • Loss of earnings
  • Specialist equipment
Examples of successful medical negligence compensation awarded:
  • Five-figure settlement for a first-time mother who suffered depression after delayed surgery .
  • More than £30 million for lifelong care for a boy starved of oxygen at birth
  • Six-figure settlement for woman who received life-changing facial injuries after delayed diagnosis of sarcoma . 
  • £2.25 million for a man’s life changing neurological injuries after doctors failed to investigate spinal compression after surgery. 

Why choose Leigh Day?

Our medical negligence team in London has more than 30 years’ experience, fighting hundreds of cases and successfully earning compensation for our clients. 
We have expert solicitors in London who work across a broad range of specialisms. These include everything from claims related to brain injuries, cerebral palsy, birth injuries, illness and disease.
The Times ranked Leigh Day as one of the three top law firms for clinical negligence in the UK in its 2020 Top Law Firms supplement. We are also ranked highly in both the independent directory The Legal 500 and Chambers.

Our medical negligence team

Our team of medical negligence solicitors in London all have many years’ experience settling claims related to different areas of negligence.
  • Emmalene Bushnell – Partner and clinical negligence lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience. Specialises in obstetric, gynaecology, cerebral palsy, infectious diseases and birth injury.
  • Sarah Campbell – Partner with more than 20 years’ experience. Expertise covers birth and maternal injury, neurological damage, consent cases and deaths as a result of medical negligence.
  • Despina Kavadas – over 15 years’ experience, trained at the firm, focuses on maternal and birth injury claims as well as GP negligence.  
  • Olive Lewin – Over 25 years’ experience and previously trained as a nurse. She has experience of settling complex and high-value clinical claims.
  • Sally-Jean Nicholes – Partner with over 25 years’ experience focusing on cases resulting in brain damage, severe disabilities or death in adults and children.  
  • Maria Panteli – Partner in the clinical negligence team, Maria has nearly 20 years’ experience. Specialises across maternal health, birth injuries, spinal injuries, delayed cancer diagnosis and a full range of clinical negligence.
  • Sanja Strkljevic – Focusses on medical care provided to patients at NHS and private hospitals, by private doctors and GPs, maternal injuries, and amputation cases resulting in serious injury or death.
  • Angharad Vaughan – accredited by the Law Society as a clinical negligence specialist, acts for people injured in a range of complex medical negligence incidents 
  • Kirsten Wall – Partner specialising in clinical negligence, acting for those left disabled due to negligent treatment. 
  • Suzanne White - Head of the clinical negligence team who qualified in 1999, previously qualified as a radiographer after training with the firm.
Suzanne White is a highly experienced clinical negligence lawyer who is described as "a charismatic, committed and outstanding communicator" by market commentators.– Chambers guide to the legal profession 2020 

To discuss your medical negligence claim, contact Leigh Day by phoning 020 7650 1200 or


Medical Negligence FAQs

What is an inquest?

An inquest happens when a coroner decides to investigate the circumstances of a death to determine how the person died before registering the death. Learn more about what an inquest is.

Can I sue the NHS after three years?

If you have suffered medical negligence then you have three years from the point of realisation to make a claim . Special rules apply for children, who are not subject to the three-year limit until they are 18 – so they have until their 21st birthday to claim. People not capable of managing their own affairs due to a mental disability are also exempt and will rely on a ‘litigation friend’ to bring a claim.

Is it hard to prove medical negligence?

To prove medical negligence you’ll need supporting evidence to improve your chances of success. This can include medical documents, witness statements, medical records (such as x-rays, ultrasounds), photographs and financial records. 

Can I claim for a child or someone else?

Yes, you can make a medical negligence claim on behalf of a child under 18 years old or a ‘protected party’ – someone who lacks the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves due to an impairment or disturbance in the functioning of their mind or brain. You will be appointed as a ‘litigation friend’  to make decisions about the case.

Will I need to go to court?

It is rare that medical negligence cases go to court – they are normally settled before reaching this stage. However, with complicated cases there is a chance. Our team will support you through the process if this happens.  

Will I need a medical examination as part of the claim?

As part of the supporting evidence for your case, it’s likely that you will have to see a doctor for an expert examination. They will assess the extent of your injuries suffered due to medical negligence to help support your claim. 


020 7650 1200

2 minutes with the medical negligence team


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