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How long do medical negligence claims take?

Medical negligence claims often take several years to investigate and resolve. Whilst it is not a rapid process, it is a thorough process which requires the work and expertise of numerous solicitors, supporting staff, medical experts and barristers.  

The duration of a medical negligence claim often depends on the complexity of the injuries and issues in dispute. The more complex or high-value a claim, the longer it will likely take to achieve a settlement.  

Because we have a thorough approach to investigating your claim, Bridge McFarland LLP can listen to and investigate each of your concerns, make your voice heard and get the answers you and your family deserve.  

For many people, it is more important to get the answers they deserve than to achieve a quick resolution to their claim. We understand your priorities when things don’t go right with your medical care; we understand that you and your family want answers and want reassurance that the same will not happen to other people.  

If you believe you have a claim, speak to our medical negligence solicitors today. 

Initial steps 

When you work with Bridge McFarland LLP’s experienced Medical Negligence solicitors, we will need to take the following initial steps to investigate your claim: 

  • Take your instructions and establish whether you have a potential claim 
  • Obtain your medical records 
  • Have your medical records professionally sorted into chronological order 
  • Thoroughly review the medical records to identify mismanagement / malpractice 
  • Instruct medical experts to review your records and comment on the legal issues relevant to your claim 
  • Take witness evidence 
  • Prepare and serve a letter of claim, setting out the allegations of negligence 

Whilst we estimate that these initial steps can take between 12-18 months to complete, it is important to note that every case will differ in length. No two cases are the same.  

Alternative Dispute Resolution 

Once our allegations are served, the defendant (typically the doctor or other medical professional) will have 4 months to conduct their own investigation and provide a formal letter of response. In their letter of response, they will admit or deny liability (legal responsibility).  

If liability is admitted, the legal teams of both the claimant and defendant can proceed to assess the value of your claim and negotiate an appropriate settlement. If liability is disputed, it will be necessary for the parties to continue to plead your case until: 

  1. Admissions are forthcoming; 
  1. The parties agree to try methods of alternative dispute resolution or; 
  1. It becomes necessary to issue proceedings in court, which will force the parties to come together to formally litigate your case under court supervision 

It is difficult to predict how long each of these later stages may last. Ultimately, it is vital that your legal professional ensures that the defendant is held to account.  

Medical Negligence Solicitors 

At Bridge McFarland LLP, we strive to work for as long as it takes to achieve the settlement you deserve.  

We have a nationally recognised team of medical negligence solicitors whose services are offered at all our offices but who are also able to see clients elsewhere in the country.  

If you or your family member has been the victim of medical negligence, it is essential to seek advice as soon as possible to improve the chances of achieving a favourable outcome.  

Please call 0800 987 8800 or email  

Furthermore, you can visit our dedicated medical negligence website.