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“If you have suffered substandard care and negligent medical treatment from your GP causing you harm, trauma or a deteriorating medical condition, you may be entitled to make GP negligence claims.”
A Helpful Guide For GP Negligence Claims
General Practitioners popularly called GPs are usually the first people we make appointments with when we have health issues. They are expected to make proper diagnosis of whatever health challenges we have, prescribe the right medications, refer us for tests or refer us to a specialist if the need arises. GPs while they may not have expert knowledge on a particular health issue, they have an appreciable knowledge on a wide range of health issues and should provide patients under their care with the care they need.
In certain cases, some people have seen their medical condition worsen or suffered one form of injury as a result of the actions or inactions of GPs.
What are the GP Negligence?
GP negligence describes a situation where the GP provides substandard care to a patient which in turn causes the patient harm, injury, trauma or an exacerbated medical condition. In certain cases, GP negligence has led to the death of the patient while others have suffered permanent disabilities as a result of the severity of harm done.
If you wish to sue a doctor for negligence, we at Medical Negligence Direct have specialist GP negligence solicitors who have the expertise in handling GP medical negligence cases and will assist you make GP negligence claims; give you the necessary legal advice and guide you through the processes involved in suing a hospital for negligence or suing the NHS.
How Is A GP Expected To Act Towards A Patient Under His/ Her Care?
A GP is expected to provide his or her patients with care acceptable by medical standards. Anything short may be catastrophic. The GP is generally expected to:
Listen attentively to the patient’s complains and symptoms
Review the medical history of the patient before commencing treatment
Make proper and thorough examination
Refer the patient for tests and scans where necessary
Make correct diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment
Inform the patient of associated risk of various treatment types and seek the patient’s consent before carrying out procedures
Prescribe medications accurately
Refer the patient to the Specialist if the need arises
In cases of emergency a GP should make adequate arrangement for the patient to be moved from home to the hospital
A GP should also make adequate follow ups on the patient where necessary
What Is Considered As Negligence By A Doctor Or GP?
Before deciding to make a claim against GPs, it is important to establish that the GP did act negligently. The following are various negligent practices that would warrant suing your GP:
Making wrong diagnosis
Cases of missed diagnosis
Failing to communicate effectively with the patient about a treatment procedure and associated risks, so you couldn’t give an informed consent
Incorrect treatment or mistakes in prescriptions
Exposing the medical condition of the patient for unprofessional reasons
Failing to refer you for proper tests
Failure to carry out proper physical examinations
Delay in making appropriate referral to a specialist
These acts of negligence can be disastrous and cause permanent disabilities to the patient. If you have suffered such negligent treatment while at the NHS, our NHS solicitors can assist you make a claim, sue your GP for negligence and get you a deserved GP negligence claims compensation.
Generally, medical negligence compensations are awarded after successful negligence claims to help victims of negligent treatment get their life together after a traumatic incident. This is to ensure that the victim or the family (in cases where the victim is deceased) do not have to suffer because of the traumatic incident but have the best possible quality of life as the effects of the injury can allow.
At Medical Negligence Direct, we undertake GP claims against the NHS for negligence on a “NO WIN NO FEE” Basis. This means that you can consult us about your claims at no cost. If we evaluate your case and are convinced you have a strong claim for compensation for GP negligence, you wouldn’t have to pay legal fees throughout the entire duration of the case.
An agreed amount known as “success fee” will however be paid only when the case is won. It is our duty to ensure you are adequately compensated and you can be rest assured that we will do just that.
Over the years, our Medical Negligence Solicitors have secured compensations for clients who have suffered one form of GP medical negligence or another. Here are some of our success stories;
Pain and Suffering Due To Missed Diagnosis
We helped a client of ours in 2017 win a compensation value worth £15,000 after he suffered undue pain and suffering following an accident which saw him fractured his arm. Although he was sent for an x-ray, the result was misinterpreted and his GP failed to diagnose a fractured ulna. Our client was discharged without the proper medical attention he deserved and suffered undue pains for a week before the correct diagnosis was made. He was then able to proper medical attention and has since recovered.
We helped our client make GP misdiagnosis claims, the defendant accepted liability and we were able to settle for a fee to compensate our client for the trauma suffered as well as the lost earnings for those days he was unable to go to work.
Failure To Refer To A Specialist
Our Cancer Negligence Solicitors were able to win a six-figure compensation award in 2016 for our client whose GP failed to refer him to a Specialist for further examination and other tests even after his test results showed abnormal PSA levels 7years earlier.
Such medical negligence caused a catastrophic delay in treatment as he was not informed of this test result and his condition worsened as the cancer cells spread aggressively over the years. He was then diagnosed with end-stage prostate cancer and had to undergo an emergency surgery as well as aggressive radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The treatment has managed to keep him fairly stable but he remains terminally ill.
We argued that he wouldn’t have had to undergo such aggressive treatment if the proper referral was made when he returned abnormal PSA levels. Such negligence has seen his life expectancy reduced. The defendant admitted liability and we were able to negotiate a lump sum for our client.
Failure To Monitor and Act on Abnormal Fetal Heart Rate
Our client was a 32yr old mother of one who delivered a stillborn daughter in what would have been her second child. During Antenatal care at 36weeks, our client complained of reduced fetal movement. Her GP conducted a cardiotocography and recorded abnormal results. She was later discharged after further assessment and was reassured that all is well.
At 39+3weeks, she returned to the hospital and despite recording a decreasing fetal heart rate each time the CTG was conducted, no further action was taken.
Our client visited the hospital after 3 days and complained that fetal movements had further reduced. She also reported pains on her right side as well as constant headaches. She was sent to the labour ward where she was examined. This time no fetal heartbeat was heard and an ultrasound confirmed death of the foetus.
She contacted us to represent her and we were able to win her a settlement fee of £1m after the defendant admitted negligence of duty.
Death Due To Doctor’s Negligence
In 2018, we were approached to represent a family who had tragically lost their son of 15. He was a bright young lad and full of life. He had complained of persistent headaches, blurred vision and drowsiness. Because of a recent fight he had in school, the GP who attended to them told them they had nothing to worry about as they were probably the effects from the impact of the fall he had during the fight.
He was prescribed some pain relievers and discharged. However, as his condition worsened, our client took his son back to the hospital. This time he was attended to by another GP who referred them for MRI scans which showed a large brain tumour.
Our client and his son were transferred to see a Neurologist. Despite needing an emergency surgery, his surgery was delayed for over 12hours. It was finally carried out but he sadly passed away because of surgery complications.
We were able to win a compensation fee of £2.5m after the defendant admitted liability. We argued that if the correct diagnosis was made on the date of first visit, the deceased would have been seen by another specialist and the outcome -different.
Making GP Negligence Claim
Making a claim for GP negligence is a very sensitive issue and requires to be handled expertly. At Medical Negligence Direct, we have dedicated solicitors who have many years of dealing with GP negligence cases and winning compensations for many patients. We will listen to you, evaluate if you have a claim, assist you with the needed legal counsel, guide you through the processes involved and do our very best to win you a deserved compensation.
Category Of Person’s Who Can Make A GP Negligence Claim
The following are categories of people who can maker a claim for negligence;
- The victim of the negligent act
- Those who depend on the victim for their living
- The family of the victim
- The victim’s estate
How Do I Prove GP Negligence Claims
To prove a case of GP medical negligence, it has to be established that the harm suffered and other damages caused were directly as a result of negligent treatment, action or inaction of the GP. Thus, all four parts of negligence (Duty, Deviation, Direct Causation and Damages) have to be fulfilled before you can make a claim for medical negligence.
This therefore, means that it has to be proven that;
- Your GP owed you a duty of care
- The GP breached the duty of care
- This breach of duty caused you injury or led to a worsened medical condition
- These injuries and/or new medical condition caused you serious damages.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will also do their best to assist you gather relevant documents to be used as evidence to help you prove your claims. You need not to have them all ready before approaching us. These documents include:
Your detailed reports of the events that transpired, the medical appointments, diagnosis made, the GP who made the diagnosis and any other information relevant to the case.
Test results and scans
Evidence of financial losses (including past and current financial losses)
Reports from an independent medical expert assigned to perform further medical examination
How To Complain About GP Negligence?
If you have concerns about the standard of care you received while receiving treatment from your GP, you would want to find out how to report a GP for negligence.
The first step is usually to make a complaint to the GP in question. You may also want to speak to the practice manager or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in hospital neglect cases. In 2018/2019, about 208,924 formal complaints were written against the NHS. This certainly proves that you are not alone in this and should feel free to express your grievances.
The NHS GP complaints procedure stipulates that a complaint must be made within 12 months of the date of knowledge. This is the same when you are making a complaint about a GP in private practice. A complaint unlike a claim does not result in a settlement fee but is an opportunity to express how unsatisfied and disappointed you are with the quality of care you received.
It also creates the avenue to seek an explanation about the events you are not happy about. It is important to do this as early as possible when the details of the events can easily be remembered;
It is important to include the following information while making your complaint;
- The GP involved and what the main subject of your complaint
- The timeline of events including how and when they happened
- Your queries and the explanations you seek
- Also include if you would like a face-to-face discussion or a written letter of apology
Be precise and state your case clearly, leaving out all irrelevant details. This should be done decently without any provocative or abusive language.
The letter should be addressed to the Practice Manager in the case of an NHS GP. However, in a case where your complaint is about treatment received in a private hospital, you may send the letter directly to the GP involved or his superiors.
It is expected that the recipients of your complaint should write to notify you that they have received your complaint. This should be done no later than three working days from when they received it. They would make internal investigations and give you a formal reply.
If your complaint is on behalf of another person, you will be required to add a letter of consent authorizing you to make complaints on their behalf. If the victim is dead, you will need to enclose an evidence showing that you are the next of kin. Alternatively, a consent letter from the next of kin to make such complaints on his/her behalf would suffice.
What If I Am Not Happy With The Outcome Of My Complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the response you received or how the investigations were handled, the next step is to write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), who will make further investigations about the matter. The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and the government and usually accepts a complaint that has gone through the local resolution stage.
The Ombudsman’s website provides a guide to their complaints procedure and also includes a form that can be filled online or downloaded and filled manually. The Ombudsman will usually ask for all details pertaining to the complaint including a copy of the original complaint made and the response received. It is therefore important that all relevant documents are kept safe.
In the case of a private GP, you may contact the Independent Healthcare Sector Complaints Adjudication Service who will guide you on further complaints procedure. They can also make further investigations into the outcome of the original complaint made.
If you are not satisfied with the outcomes of your complaints, or you feel you have enough evidence to make a strong case for compensation, you can proceed to meet your medical negligence lawyers to guide on how to make a claim.
How Can I Make A Negligence Claim Against My GP?
At Medical Negligence Direct, we have a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors well vast in making GP negligence claims who will assist you make a strong case for compensation. We are ever ready to give you a listening ear, understand your case and the events that have transpired and provide you with the legal advice you need on how to proceed with your claim.
We have a track record of securing best possible settlement amounts for our clients over the years, you can be rest assured that you are in competent hands. Our lawyers are dedicated and will assist you gather all evidence you should in case you are unable to do so yourself. We would also make available to you experienced independent medical professionals in the specialty relevant to your case to perform further medical examinations on you which will serve as further evidence to prove your claim.
We therefore ask that you reach out to us to begin your claims process. The procedure for making claims are outlined below;
Contact Us: The first step is to contact us, you can call us or fill out our online form and we will contact you as quickly as possible.
Funding Your Claim: When we have listened to you and evaluate the facts of your case and are convinced that you have a strong case of medical negligence, we will proceed to fund your claims. There are different types of funding available for various medical negligence claims. These are;
- Legal Aid
- Conditional No Win No Fee Agreements
- Legal Expenses or Before the Event Insurance (BTE)
- Trade Union Funding
- Private Funding
We will help you evaluate your case and choose the funding type you are eligible for.
Gathering Evidence: With funding in place, we will assist you gather evidence to support and indeed prove your claims. We would write to the relevant authorities telling them of your decision to make a claim and request access to your medical records, tests and scans results and every other information relevant to your case.
Establishing Liability: From the evidence gathered, we will establish the existence of medical negligence, the breach of duty, the injury it has caused and further damages as a result of the injury. We will thus communicate the defendant party of our findings who will make their own investigations and give a response.
Negotiating Value of compensation: We will negotiate a compensation fee with the other party using the Judicial College Guidelines. Various factors will determine the value of your compensation. These will be outlined below.
How Much Compensation For GP Negligence
There are no fixed values for Compensation you can receive for GP negligence. Determinants that play a major role in the compensation award value include:
Type and location of injury
Severity of the injury
Impacts and damages caused by the injury
Financial losses as a result of the injury (including past, present and estimated future losses)
Estimated time for recovery
Other travel expenses
Fees for medical appointments
Costs of rehabilitation (mobility aids, assistive devices and the costs of replacements)
Cost of hiring caregivers in a case where the effects of the injury are so disabling that the victim requires care to carry out daily activities.
Accommodation costs where you have to modify or entirely change your apartment to suit the present condition.
Payout values can range between £1,000 to several millions of pounds depending on the above factors mentioned. The NHSR reports an average compensation fee of £50,000. Taking a look at the 2019/20 NHS statistics, we see that of the £2.3billion which the NHS paid out for negligence compensation claims, about £61.4 million was spent on claims involving GP negligence alone.
The table below outlines the range of compensation values for various types of injury
|Type/ Severity of Injury||Range of Compensation Value|
|Negligence resulting to injury to internal organs||£60,000 to £100,000|
|Negligence resulting to Severe brain Injury||£180,000 to £300,000y|
|Negligence resulting to Pelvic and Hip injury||£50,000 to £85,000.|
|Negligence resulting to amputation of the limbs||£65,000 to £200,000|
|Negligence resulting to Pain and suffering||£1,000 to £200,000|
|Negligence resulting to cerebral palsy||Values above £500,000|
|Negligence resulting to Orthopaedic injuries||Values from £50,000 depending on severity|
|Medical negligence resulting to death||£12,000 to £300,000 considering the events surrounding the death|
|Spinal cord injuries||£50,000 to £300,000 for moderate and less severe injuries £1 million for very severe injuries|
|Negligence resulting Dental Injuries||£1,020 to £1600 for minor damaged teeth
And £27,940 to £91,350 for very serious facial scarring
GP Negligence Claims Time Frame
Claims made because of GP negligence will usually take between 12 months to 24 months to settle. However, cases that go to a trial before a judge will definitely go beyond this time frame.
Legal Time Limit for Making GP Negligence Claims
You would normally be allowed 3years from the date of knowledge to make your claims. However, in cases involving children, the 3-year time limit starts from the child’s 18th birthday.
Where the victim is dead, this time begins to run from the day of death.
For cases involving defective products, a time limit of 10years is given from the date of product circulation.
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Frequently Asked Question about GP Negligence Claims
How Do I Prove GP Negligence?
It is important to show the following to prove that medical malpractice occurred:
- Existence of doctor-patient relationship
- Your GP displayed negligence of duty
- The negligence or breach of duty caused the injury or led to a worsened medical condition
- The injury directly caused specific damages
Can You Sue GP For Misdiagnosis?
You are legally entitled to sue your GP for misdiagnosis if you strongly believe he made an error in diagnosing your ailment which has caused a delay in beginning treatment leading to worsening medical condition.
Why Do Doctors Ignore Symptoms?
A doctor may ignore a patient’s symptoms if he thinks they are premature or too insignificant to be worried about. Medical professionals may also ignore symptoms if they think they are normal for certain physical conditions or age of the patient.
Can A Doctor Lie About Test Results?
A doctor is obligated to provide the best standard of care for his patients. He is expected to be truthful and hide nothing about your test results, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment options. If a doctor is found to have lied about such sensitive information, he has committed medical malpractice and should be made to face the penalty for such actions.
Should You Tell Your Doctor Everything?
In order for your doctor to help you, it is in your best interest not to lie or hide anything about your condition even if you are embarrassed. They have a duty to help you and are under oath to keep such matters confidential except in cases where it is necessary to get you the best possible treatment.
Will I Need A Medical Examination To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
Most times, an expert independent medical professional in the relevant specialty will be required to perform medical examinations on you. Your lawyer would most likely use the reports from your medical examination as evidence to prove your claims.
Will A Claim Affect My Treatment?
Making a complaint or claim about the quality of care you received or currently receiving shouldn’t affect your treatment. However, if you are uncomfortable being in the same hospital or under the care of the same doctor you are suing or making complaints about, we can always assist you by advising you on how you can request to be transferred to another hospital or another doctor.
Can A Doctor Go To Jail For Negligence?
Medical negligence cases are civil and not criminal cases. Therefore, a doctor will not possibly go to jail. However, there are cases where a healthcare professional may be held criminally liable in a case of medical malpractice.