Before a person undergoes a medical procedure, they or their next of kin will need to give their informed consent to the procedure. This means the patient, or whoever is making medical decisions for them, must be given all the information they need to make an informed decision about whether they wish the procedure to go ahead.
The information required for informed consent typically includes:
Details of the procedure
- The most common risks associated with the procedure
- Any less common risk that could be particularly serious
- Answers to any specific questions the patient/their next of kin ask
- Any available alternative treatments and the risks associated with each of them.
If you or a loved one have suffered complications following surgery or another medical procedure where proper informed consent was not given, you may be able to claim compensation to help deal with the consequences. Such claims can be complicated, however, so it important to have the right legal advice from the outset.
Wolferstans’ medical negligence lawyers have extensive experience with lack of informed consent claims having secured substantial compensation for our clients under even the most difficult circumstances.
We can provide a highly accurate valuation for your claim, giving you a clear idea of what you may be able to achieve in damages and helping you to avoid the risk of undersettling your claim – something that can happen with less experienced firms.
With our strong negotiation skills and expertise in non-confrontational dispute resolution, we can normally achieve an out-of-court settlement for most lack of informed consent claims. This means you can secure compensation faster and with lower legal expenses, as well as allowing you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of a court hearing.
To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on01752 292204
Our lack of informed consent claims service
We help clients throughout England and Wales to claim compensation for lack of informed consent medical negligence, including claims where:
- A patient (or their next of kin) did not consent to surgery
- The specific complication the patient experienced was not covered by the consent form
- The risks of the complication a patient experienced were not made clear or were downplayed
- A patient undergoes a medical procedure other than the one informed consent was provided for
Read about some of the cases we have successfully pursued in relation to lack of informed consent claims.
How lack of informed consent claims work
Our clinical negligence lawyers provide clear, empathetic support and guidance through the entire claims process to make things as easy as possible for you.
A typical lack of informed consent claim will involve:
- Building your case e.g. applying for medical records, collecting witness evidence and consulting independent medical experts.
- Contacting the relevant healthcare provider with the details of your claim.
- Ensuring the defendant responds to your claim in a timely fashion.
- Assessing the defendant’s response and advising you of your options.
- Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or independent evaluation, to secure a suitable settlement.
- Submitting your claim to the relevant court and representing you at a court hearing where required to resolve the matter.
Funding a lack of informed consent compensation claim
When coping with the distress of complications for a medical procedure you did not properly consent to, you do not need the additional worry of finding funding to make a compensation claim. This is why we offer various funding options to suit any financial situation.
For most of our clients, a conditional fee agreement is the best way to fund a claim. Also known as ‘no win, no fee’ this means you do not need to pay anything towards your legal costs upfront and will only need to contribute towards these costs if your claim is successful.
Where we do secure damages, your costs will be based on a percentage of those damages, meaning you will always keep the majority of your compensation.
A common alternative way to fund a lack of informed consent claim is with legal expenses insurance. This is often offered as an optional extra with home insurance policies, as well as with some bank accounts and credit cards.
To discuss your options for covering the cost of a lack of informed claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our expertise in lack of informed consent claims
Our clinical negligence lawyers have particular experience with lack of informed consent claims, having represented a number of clients in these matters over the years. Having handled even the most complex and high value claims, we know exactly what is needed to create a strong case and ensure no key detail or angle is overlooked.
Wolferstans is accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, recognising our particular expertise in this area. We are also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for excellence in legal practice management and client care.
Various members of our medical negligence team are also on the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panels and have been accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as Clinical Negligence Specialists and Brain Injury Specialists.
Common questions about lack of informed consent claims
What is the time limit to claim compensation for lack of informed consent?
The standard time limit to bring a claim is 3 years from the time when the injury occurred following lack of informed consent.
However, there can be exceptions to this and other applicable time limits, depending on the circumstances. It is therefore always worth speaking to one of our specialist medical negligence lawyers no matter how much time has passed.
Exceptions to the standard 3-year time limit include:
- If the claimant is under 18 – Their parents or guardian will normally have until the child turns 18 to bring a claim. The claimant will then have until they turn 21 to bring a claim by themselves.
- If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to make a claim – There is normally no time limit for someone else to do so on their behalf.
- If a loved one has died following surgery where informed consent was not given – Their next of kin or representatives of their estate will normally have 3 years from the date of death to bring a claim.
How much compensation can you claim for lack of informed consent negligence?
This will depend on the damage to the claimant’s health and the impact this has had on their lifestyle.
You can typically claim two types of damages for any type of medical negligence:
Special damages – Covering specific financial losses incurred up to the date of settlement e.g. treatment costs, buying special equipment and loss of earnings if you have to take time off or give up work.
General damages – Covering non-financial losses e.g. pain and suffering and changes to your lifestyle, plus expected future financial losses, such as paying for on-going treatment and care or being unable to return to work.
How do you improve lack of informed consent in a medical negligence?
Providing informed consent is a process involving discussions with your doctor to ensure that you properly understand the potential benefits and risks involved in the surgery or other medical procedure which you are being advised to undergo.
The fact that you may have signed a consent form agreeing to accept certain risks is not conclusive proof that you have provided informed consent.
It will typically be necessary to rely on various pieces of evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Consent Form for the procedure involved
- Evidence from witnesses
- Evidence from independent medical experts
You will need to prove that you were not properly advised about the risks involved and that if you had been properly advised, you would not have gone ahead with the medical procedure at that time.
Further information about lack of informed consent claims
For more information about lack of informed consent compensation claims and all types of medical negligence claims, please take a look at our news, blogs and our series of helpful leaflets covering specific issues.
Start a lack of informed consent claim with us today
To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on01752 292204