Clinical negligence claims can, in most cases, be a long-drawn-out process. The solicitor that handles your claim is dependent on other parties co-operating with them and this is not always the case.
In the first instance, it can take time (weeks) to obtain all of your medical records and other relevant documents from other parties. Sometimes, it is necessary to have a preliminary court hearing, just to obtain all these documents, and this needs to be done before any investigation of your clinical negligence case can begin.
Getting the opinion of a medical expert can often take time. These experts may be practising clinicians themselves and have very demanding schedules and, as a result, may require a considerable amount of time to produce a report. The amount of time it will take to investigate your claim will therefore depend on the number of experts whose opinions are needed, the availability of such experts, and the complexity of the clinical issues involved in your case.
Once your claim has been fully investigated, the process of putting allegations to the defendants, receiving and acting on their response and, if necessary, preparing for a trial can take a long time. It is impossible to give precise timings but as a general rule, it can take at least 12 months to complete the investigative phase of a claim and if your claim is complicated, even longer.
The second phase is where the sides put formal arguments to each other and, if a settlement cannot be reached, proceed to go to court. The time frame is best estimated in years, rather than months; all things being equal, it should not be more than 2 years.