We all trust our doctors and GPs with our health when we are unwell. They have a duty of care to care for us and ensure our health at all times and the majority of us always receive the best possible care. Unfortunately, there are times when a GP or doctor may misdiagnose a condition, misinterpret a test result, fail to refer a patient to a specialist, or simply fail to fulfill their duty of care to you. If you have suffered an injury or illness due to GP negligence, you may be able to make a claim.
GPs form the core of the UK healthcare system. They do over 90% of the work done by the NHS, caring for patients with a wide range of conditions and often liaising between patients and hospitals. Without doubt, they carry a huge amount of responsibility – even more than most medical professionals – and must comply with guidelines as laid down by the NHS Department of Health and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). These guidelines provide a clear direction on the acceptable standards of practice for GPs/doctors.
Given these rules guiding medical care, you may wonder, “do I have a medical negligence case here?” Finding an answer to this question is not exactly straightforward. As you will see in this article, a number of factors will play a role in this situation. But you will be entitled to a claim for compensation if your GP or doctor has acted negligently when treating you.
What is GP or Doctor Negligence?
GP or doctor negligence simply refers to situations where a GP or doctor has failed to fulfill their duty of care. The GP’s duty of care requires that they must provide skilled and reasonable care when treating their patients. The term “reasonable care” means that your GP or doctor must discharge their duty in a manner that reflects the educational and legal qualifications of practice in the UK. They must exercise reasonable levels of caution when providing care, such as diagnosing a condition, giving advice and administering treatments.
Who Can Make a GP or Doctor Negligence Claim?
Anyone who believes the injury or illness they suffered was as a result of the negligent actions of their GP or doctor can make medical negligence claims against the medical professional. As a victim of medical negligence, you can make a claim within three years of the date of the negligence. If your child is a victim of GP negligence, you can – as a parent or legal guardian – make the compensation claim on their behalf. You can also make compensation claims on behalf of a vulnerable adult – if you are his/her legal guardian.
If a relative has passed away as a result of the negligent treatment they received, then you can make a claim for compensation on their behalf. The executor of the deceased’s estate can also start medical negligence claims.
Types of GP Negligence Claims
While all medical negligence claims are unique, most claims can be grouped into four broad categories:
- Contributory Negligence
In this case it is determined that the patient’s action or inaction played a contributory role in the injury or illness they suffered. For instance, if a patient fails to follow the prescription of a medication as advised by his/her GP or doctor, they will be deemed responsible.
- Comparative Negligence
In this case, the patient may be deemed liable for the injury they suffered, but the GP is not completely faultless. Where both sides are liable, a judge will usually determine the level of fault of the GP and award a compensation that represents the percentage of the damages sought.
- Vicarious Liability
This refers to a situation where a medical negligence victim decides to make a claim against the management or employer of the alleged negligent GP or doctor. It may be found that the management of the GP was at fault for the negligent medical care. NHS negligence claims are an example of vicarious liability claims.
- Gross Negligence
This is the most serious form of medical negligence, as it refers to a situation where a GP or doctor has completely neglected their duty of care towards a patient, leading to devastating consequences. Gross negligence claims typically go to trial and often results in the revocation of the medical practitioner’s license.
How Do I Start a GP or Doctor Negligence Claim?
Getting expert legal support is the best course of action if you are considering making a medical negligence claim. When you get in touch with us at Medical Negligence Direct, you can rest assured to receive honest, reliable advice that will help you make informed decisions about your claim.
If you believe your injury was due to GP or doctor negligence, then the first thing you must prove is that they owed you a duty of care, and breached that care. You will also need to establish that the injury you suffered was a direct result of the breach of that duty. To achieve this, it is important that you record everything you experienced as regards the negligence. This will boost your chance of success in your quest for justice.
Our panel of GP compensation claims solicitors will also arrange for a medical examination to be conducted. This is to gather evidence that demonstrates the GP’s negligence when treating you. We will put our best foot forward, ensuring we comb every blade of grass in fact-finding to help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Making GP Negligence Claims on Behalf of Another Person
What Can I Claim for GP Negligence?
If you are considering pursuing a medical negligence claim, you can make compensation claims for:
- General damages
This is compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced. It may also include the impact of the injury on your daily life as well as the impact on your reputation.
- Care claim
If you require the care of a nurse or other professional due to the impact of the injury you suffered, you can make claims for its associated costs.
- Travel expenses
This may include costs of making medical appointment trips, including train fare and fuel costs.
- Medical expenses
This may include costs of securing private treatment, specialist equipment or physiotherapy.
- Loss of earnings
If the injury has forced you to reduce your work hours or even quit work, you can make claims for the lost wages. You may also be entitled to claims for future earnings.
If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of a GP’s negligence, a compensation award can help restore the financial balance you enjoyed prior to the negligent treatment.
How Long Do GP Negligence Claims Take?
The length of time (time limits) will largely depend on the nature and severity of the injury you suffered. Typically, however, GP negligence claims can take anywhere between eight months and 3 years.
No Win No Fee GP Negligence Claims
Funding is probably the most difficult part of making medical negligence claims. Following a health scare, pursuing a claim for GP negligence can seem like a daunting task. This is especially the case if you have had to purchase expensive medical equipment or take time off work. These can be very expensive ventures and hiring a legal support team may be the last thing on your mind.
This is why we handle all claims on a No Win No Fee basis. This ensures all victims of negligent treatment can start medical negligence claims without having to worry about any financial burden. No matter the outcome of your claim, a No Win No Fee arrangement ensures there is no financial risk to you. If your case is successful, a success fee (that will already be agreed upon) will be taken from your financial compensation.
Why Choose Us for your GP Negligence Claim?
Choosing the right medical negligence solicitors is crucial to the success of your claim. You need a solicitor you can trust and feel comfortable with through the claims process.
At Medical Negligence Direct, we prioritize the wellbeing of our clients. This includes offering a free no obligation advice to help you navigate the early stages of the claims process. It also includes offering a No Win No Fee funding arrangement to ensure you can make a claim free from any upfront fees.
Call us today on 0800 644 4240; we are just a phone call away from offering you the best possible legal support you can get in the UK.