Why should you choose a specialist medical solicitor for clinical negligence claims?
When medical treatment goes wrong and you are let down by healthcare professionals you thought you could trust, choosing to make a clinical negligence claim can feel like a burdensome task. Where do you even begin? But with the impartial and empathetic support from our team at Medical Solicitors, you can get answers about failings and compensation for your injuries and feel confident in the process.
Generally speaking, NHS and private healthcare workers carry out treatment and examinations to the highest standard and should receive praise for the critical role they play in society. But we are all human and mistakes do happen.
Examples of medical negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose or wrong diagnosis
- Not being referred for further investigations
- Mistakes during surgery or procedures
- Wrong medication or treatment prescribed
- Failure to gain consent
- Not being told of risks
While these are almost always unintentional, the consequences of substandard care can be catastrophic for victims and justice should rightfully be sought.
When making any type of legal claim, who you choose to represent you is an important decision. This can mean the difference between a well-handled win or a chaotic loss. But the stakes are higher with medical negligence claims; life-changing injuries and/or financial hardship are usually the motives behind bringing such claims. While a solicitor cannot undo physical or emotional damage, they can ensure compensation is obtained for your losses and reinstate a sense of faith for a more positive future.
It is critical that you instruct a specialist clinical negligence solicitor rather than just a solicitor you know. Specialist solicitors have been developing this area of law greatly over the last 40 years and all carry extensive registers listing high calibre healthcare providers who are willing to give fair opinions on cases. In addition, they have formed close-working relationships with specialist barristers. It is essential to have the right team on board. A non-specialist solicitor handling a medical negligence claim is as dangerous as an unqualified person trying to defuse a bomb.
At Medical Solicitors we have taken over and won many cases that have needed ‘rescuing’ from firms who have not investigated adequately, for example:
- In an ongoing case relating to ureter damage during fibroid removal surgery, a personal injury firm had only obtained medical records in an 18-month period but not complete copies and no scans or x-rays. They were clearly lost and unable to acquire insurance cover for the case. We have had to start afresh but now have supportive medical opinion.
- A gentleman lost his wife to appendicitis but, unbeknown to him, the inquest death verdict was wrong. Two other firms refused to take matters further. We took the case on 18 months out of time, immediately recognising the verdict was wrong.
- A lady passed away from vulval cancer, suffering terribly over an 18-month period owing to GP negligence and failure to refer further investigation at hospital. Another firm rejected her case after receiving an unsupportive gynaecology opinion. Upon our reading, the opinion was illogical and contrary to medical literature.
In specialist hands, medical negligence claims are handled far more proficiently, without unnecessary delay and achieving, at the very least, all-important answers about what has gone wrong and why.
At Medical Solicitors, our sole focus is clinical negligence claims. As our name suggests, our legal team is made up of skilful and knowledgeable litigation professionals who only practice medical-based law. This area of law is far from straightforward and simply having a legal qualification is not enough to demonstrate competence. The journey to building a solid case which proves a negligent act happened can be complicated and requires knowledge of both litigation protocols and medical practices.
When the path is not smooth running, as specialists we have the experience and confidence to know how to keep pushing through, leaving no stone unturned. At the same time, we recognise the need to protect our clients from further emotional distress. We are wholly committed to giving each of our clients the undivided attention, guidance and representation needed at what is often one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. We do not burden our clients with information, although we do keep them regularly informed. This is a fine balance. We also do our best to put legal and medical jargon into plain English.
Our success rate is extremely impressive for litigated cases. In Medical Solicitors’ 11 years of trading, almost all litigated cases have been settled out of court.
Caroline Moore, Managing Director says: “Since I qualified in 1991, the vast majority of my litigated cases – around 98 percent – have successfully concluded out of court. I have only ever had two trials on liability in my 29-year career.”
About Medical Solicitors
Medical Solicitors was launched in 2009 by Caroline Moore whose core aim was to provide adept and personable legal representation to those harmed by wrong, accidental or substandard care. Too often, people affected by medical negligence lose faith in all professionals and are suspicious of lawyers. Caroline wanted to ensure all of her clients were treated as people, not file numbers, and were comfortably reassured that the emotional and complicated process was dealt with sympathetically and professionally. The last thing a vulnerable client wants when they feel let down by healthcare providers is to not feel cared for by their solicitor.
Caroline Moore – Managing Director and Senior Solicitor
Before starting her own law firm, Caroline had had a formidable career. Her childhood dream was to be an artist but ultimately (encouraged by her parents) she sought a more financially safe career option.
Having grown up in Manchester watching legal TV dramas, Caroline secured a place at the University of Sheffield to study law. After graduating, she then commenced a professional development year at the former College of Law in Chester. This was followed by a further two years in Manchester as an articled clerk. Here, Caroline received hands-on training from litigators who were working on the emotionally wrought Hillsborough Disaster inquest.
After a brief period in Guernsey where she had her first and only experience of criminal law, Caroline settled back in Sheffield in 1992. It was while working as an assistant solicitor that she laid the foundations of a great reputation in medical negligence claims.
Caroline was entrusted with and won a case involving a birth injury which led to cerebral palsy. Back then in the mid-90s it was unheard of for a young and inexperienced litigator to deal with such high value and complex cases. This was the catalyst Caroline needed to propel her career in a new direction.
Having dealt with various complex and high value personal injury cases, Caroline achieved accredited status as a personal injury panel member with the Law Society. In 1999 she achieved accreditation from their clinical negligence panel and simultaneously became a Grade A solicitor. Around that time, the legal services commission announced medical negligence work would only be publicly funded if undertaken by specialist firms with a panel member – so this accreditation was great timing.
Caroline continued to be in demand and was sequentially headhunted by two big law firms in the city. At the second firm, she developed the clinical negligence department from scratch. But she was also now a mother of three – including young twins – and was conscious of juggling the school run and reading bedtime stories while trying to work through 120 case files each day.
It was time to make a choice. Was there really much difference in setting up a department for someone else, or setting up your own firm to be your own boss?
Despite being told she was foolish by doubters, Caroline spent 12 months making plans after the kids were in bed and learning the ropes of the commercial realities of running her own law firm. She knew the timing was right – any sooner and she wouldn’t have been a well-rounded solicitor with the medical knowledge she’d picked up case by case. Neither would she have developed the instinct as to what cases could prove successful. During her career, she’d managed to build a solid network of medical experts across different specialities whom she could consult with and had formed trusted relationships with skilled barristers.
Just six weeks after opening her own firm, Caroline settled a case literally at the door of London County Court – that of an 89-year-old war veteran who had suffered an amputation.
More than 11 years later and Caroline is still very much at the heart of the business, supervising the team as well as running her own caseload, particularly brain injury and gynaecological claims which are a few her sub-specialisms. She has since built a well-rounded team around her, who all bring their own attributes and experience to Medical Solicitors.
Sarah Johnson – Consultant Senior Solicitor
With an acclaimed career spanning over three decades, Sarah joined our team in 2020 to help strengthen our experienced team and develop the specialist services we offer. She is ranked as a Band 2 practitioner by Chambers and Partners, with an outstanding reputation in Yorkshire for clinical negligence.
Sarah has vast experience of complex and challenging cases, such as complicated brain damage claims (often related to birth injury), complex orthopaedic cases and spinal injuries including cauda equina syndrome.
She is a panel member for Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA)the charity for patient safety and justice, the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation, and a senior litigator of APIL.
Christine Brown – Senior Solicitor
With over 20 years’ experience in medical claims, Christine was one of the first solicitors in South Yorkshire to receive clinical negligence accreditation from the Law Society.
Christine helps clients in a broad range of cases including birth injury to mother and baby, gynaecology, general surgery, orthopaedic injury, nerve injury and GP cases. She has expertise in cases involving children and adults without mental capacity.
Matthew Brown – Senior Legal Executive
After a lengthy career in industrial disease and personal injury claims, Matthew has spent the last nine years exclusively working on a wide range of clinical negligence claims.
His expertise is broad and lies with the complexities of stroke, DVT and pulmonary embolism claims, particularly issues surrounding risk management and failure to administer thrombolysis. He is also adept at guiding family members through coroner’s inquests investigating cause of death and establishing whether death could and should have been reports avoided.
Matthew is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and a member of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Louise Haslam – Solicitor
While undertaking her law degree at Sheffield Hallam University, Louise spent considerable time with the clinical negligence team at an internationally renowned law firm. She graduated with first class honours and spent time as an advisor with the Citizens Advice Bureau before joining a law firm which specialised in clinical negligence and personal injury, subsequently qualifying as a solicitor in 2014.
Louise joined Medical Solicitors in 2018 and has experience in a wide range of clinical negligence claims including complex and high value claims. She has extensive knowledge regarding anaesthesia awareness and the risks associated with a loss of sensation. Louise expresses an interest in delays in diagnosis, particularly missed fractures and delays in cancer investigations being undertaken. Recent interesting cases include a delay in diagnosing compartment syndrome and retinal detachment
Louise is a member of APIL.
Miriam Bi – Solicitor
With previous experience as a clinical risk paralegal, Miriam joined Medical Solicitors in 2016 as a Litigation Assistant and we have since supported her to achieve a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Sheffield.
Miriam has a particular specialist interest in general surgery, prostate cancer, hernia cases and spinal injury cases. She has represented families at inquests and is familiar with the coronial process. These inquests can be really difficult times for families, so the extra support is valuable for them.
She is a member of CILEx and a member of APIL.
Sonia Parkes – Litigation Executive
With over 30 years’ experience in industrial disease and personal injury claims, Sonia has a particular interest in cosmetic surgery claims and represented 20 women in Barnsley who were affected by the defective PIP breast implant scandal in which the implants contained industrial rather than medical grade silicone and were banned in 2010.
Sonia is an affiliate member of CILEx and a member of APIL.
See our Law Society accreditations here.
Find out more about our team here.
Qualities all good medical negligence solicitors should have:
- Experience in the field of medicine
- Well organised
- Empathy and respect
- Strong and confident communicator
- Able to manage negotiations and mediations
- Proactive mindset
- Honesty regarding prospects of claim
- Current knowledge of legislations and reforms
- Database of medical experts
- Excellent testimonials from previous clients
No win, no fee
While our team has a solid reputation and a proven track record in various specialisms, that doesn’t mean it comes with a price tag to make you wince. If you are worried about legal costs, we offer no win, no fee.
Medical Solicitors is a family-run practice based in Sheffield but location isn’t always important; ability and experience should be your main priority when choosing who handles your clinical negligence claim. We have worked with clients throughout the country and our most recent very large settlement was for a young woman on the Isle of Wight.
It all starts with a conversation so speak with one of our friendly team to see if we can make a difference to your future.