The term medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence) is when a medical professional provides care that falls below the expected standards, causing a patient injury or mental harm in the process. At some point in our lives,we all will need to make use of the UK’s healthcare system,
whether this is through the NHS or a private institution. When we do, we put our lives in the hands of medical experts and professionals, trusting that they will give us a very high standard of care. However, there are occasions when medical professionals stray from the acceptable treatment standards and cause some form of injury. This is known as medical or clinical negligence
If you have received medical care that has in some way caused you ill health or injury as a direct result of a doctor’s negligence, you may be entitled to medical negligence claims. However, proving medical or clinical negligence can be very difficult. In order to make a successful negligence claim, you must be able to verify two things: that the medical professional breached his/her duty of care, and that this breach of care has caused you the adverse outcome you currently suffer. This is known as fault and avoidable harm. We will discuss both terms separately.
Fault (Breach of Duty)
Breach of duty is when a healthcare provider does not discharge his/her job in accordance with the skill-set and specialization expected of the profession they practice.
A doctor owes his/her patient a duty of care to provide the best possible treatment that they can. For breach of duty or doctor negligence to be established, you need to prove that another medical professional of the same ability and specialization would not have made the same mistake in a similar circumstance.
Causation (Avoidable Harm)
In order for a potential claimant to make a successful claim for medical negligence, it is not enough for the treatment received to just be of substandard quality. It must have caused them harm in some way.
While this may sound easy, proving causation can be particularly difficult if the patient was already ill prior to the treatment. To add to this, you may not be able to make a medical negligence claim if the medical professional acted negligently but there was no injury or harm as a result.
What Can Medical Negligence Claims Help You Achieve?
If, for instance, you were treated by a medical professional at the NHS and are looking to pursue Medical Negligence NHS Claims, financial compensation is all you can get from the process. However, when pursuing NHS negligence claims or medical negligence claims against a private institution, compensation may not necessarily be your singular driving force. You may also want to receive an apology for the negligent act, and assurance that making this claim will help improve procedures in the future so others do not go through the same experience.
Medical negligence solicitors can advice you as to what options are available to help achieve your objectives. For instance, you may be able to make a formal written complaint about the substandard care you received, but this must be done within six months of the treatment.
What Are the Time Limits?
A strict medical negligence claims time limit exists for potential claimants. It is generally expected that you start the claims process within three years of the injury or of when you first learned that the injury was as a result of medical or clinical negligence. However, exceptions apply for cases involving children, for those who lack mental capacity, or when the injured person has died.
Why Choose a Medical Negligence Solicitor?
Medical or clinical negligence is a complex process – a combination of two entities in law and medicine. Though it is possible for claimants to represent themselves when making medical negligence claims, it is strongly advised against, especially if you are not familiar with the complex process as it is very easy to get lost in a subject matter as complicated as medical negligence. Even for those who are knowledgeable in this subject, taking on complex cases can be very ambitious.
By contacting Medical Negligence Direct for your negligence claims, you will be taking off all the stress and worry associated with pursuing a medical negligence claim. Whether this is NHS negligence or a claim against a private institution, you can rest assured we will take care of everything once we have details of your case. Our goal is to secure the claim you and your family deserve; our medical negligence experts will keep you updated on each stride we make until we achieve this goal.