Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, is a term that describes substandard care from a medical professional to a patient which causes an injury, worsens an existing condition or prevents recovery. This includes, but is not limited to, medication or prescription errors, surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis and failure to provide warning of risks. Medical negligence claims or medical negligence from the outside looks really complicated, and this can put victims off seeking justice.
This guide will provide all the information you need about clinical negligence claims, helping you determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation and what steps you can take to pursue a claim.
What is Classed as Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is an umbrella term that applies to an array of actions, or inactions, which healthcare professionals may take that fails to adhere to the expected standard of care and, as a result of such failure, causes injury, illness or worsens the existing condition of their patients. Every medical professional owes a duty of care to their patient, so any action that breaches that duty and causes avoidable harm can be deemed medical negligence.
Common medical negligence claims include surgical errors, birth injuries, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and incorrect treatment. These mistakes can have devastating consequences on the victims and could cause life-changing injuries, mental anguish and, in extreme cases, death. If you or your loved one have suffered harm as a result of your physician’s error, then you may be entitled to a medical negligence claim and compensation.
Find out more about the classed of Medical Negligence.
How Do I Make a Claim for Medical Negligence?
In order to be able to make a medical negligence claim, the first thing you should do is contact one of our medical negligence solicitors. Our medical negligence experts offer an instant, no obligation consultation to discuss what happened and whether you have a legal claim. If we believe you are entitled to a medical negligence claim, we will help you gather relevant evidence and details to support your claim.
Read more about to make a process of medical negligence claims.
How Do I Prove a Medical Negligence Case?
To successfully prove your case, your medical negligence solicitor must be able to show that your physician failed to provide the standard of care they owe you and that the injury you have suffered was as a result of this failure. They will ensure a medical examination is conducted so your injury or illness, as well as its effects, can be assessed to prove the negligence you have suffered.
Visit our proving medical negligence case for more information.
How Do I Fund My Claim?
Legal Aid is available to children who have suffered brain injury during pregnancy/childbirth, or shortly after, and has caused severe disability. Unfortunately, this funding cannot be used for most medical negligence claims. This is why the No Win No Fee agreement is a great way to fund your claim. Through this agreement, you do not have to pay any fee if your claim is unsuccessful, so there is no financial risk to you.
What Sort of Compensation Can I Expect for My Medical Negligence Claim?
Medical negligence compensation is no financial reward for the injury you have suffered. The aim is to get you back to the position you would have been, had the negligent act not happened. Obviously, it would be impossible to achieve this in cases involving permanent injury. Still, the compensation helps to reimburse any financial losses and take care of future medical expenses.
Generally, compensation consists of two elements:
- General damages – a sum that covers your pain, suffering and the direct effects of the negligence
- Special damages – a sum that covers specific financial losses as well as past and future out of pocket expenses.
The compensation amount you receive for general damages will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of injury, duration of symptoms, as well as long-term implications to your lifestyle, prospects etc.
Compensation for special damages may include a range of expenses, such as loss of earnings, cost of medication and prescription, cost of remedial treatment, travel expenses, and time spent by loved ones who take care of you. In extreme cases, special damages may cover probate fees, loss of dependency, and even funeral expenses.
Can I Sue the NHS for Medical Negligence?
Yes, you can. You can make a medical negligence claim against individuals like doctors, surgeons, dentists, other healthcare providers, or institutions like the NHS Trust and NHS hospital. If you have suffered an injury or illness while undertaking treatment from an NHS doctor or other medical professionals in an NHS hospital or care facility, you may be entitled to make a medical negligence NHS Claim
As suing the NHS can be a very complex process, it is always best to get in touch with medical negligence experts to help bring your claim against NHS.
Can I Sue a Private Practice for Medical Negligence?
As noted above, you can sue an individual (medical professional) who acted negligently while providing medical care to you. Private healthcare providers are expected to uphold the same standard of care as NHS institutions; so, if they fall below that standard, they can be held responsible for any illness, injury or worsening health conditions their actions cause.
In most cases, private healthcare providers are covered by extensive insurance policies, so when it comes to bringing a medical negligence claim against them, you may find the process slightly easier since they are usually willing to negotiate a settlement fee before the case is taken to court.
To know more if you want to claims against a Private Healthcare Medical Negligence.
Will I Need to Go to Court?
The vast majority of medical negligence claims and NHS claims do not go to court. In fact, only less than 2% of claim against the NHS end up in a court. This also applies to clinical negligence claims in general, as the defendant usually accepts liability and offers an out-of-court compensation that covers for the injury sustained, the loss of earnings and the aftercare required to help restore the victim’s life. However, more complex cases may end up in court. If this is your case, your medical negligence solicitors will prepare your case on that basis and help you through the process.
Are there Time Limits for Medical Negligence Claims?
Usually, medical negligence claims must be made within three years of the injury. However, this medical negligence claims time limit is considered to begin on the date the patient became aware/informed that the injury he/she suffered was due to medical negligence.
As medical negligence claims are usually complex, the time limit for your case may be unique and specific. However, it is always best to begin your claims process as quickly as possible by contacting medical negligence solicitors to ensure you remain within the bounds of your time limit.
How Much Can I Claim for Medical Negligence?
Every medical negligence claim is unique. As a result of this and the fact that medical negligence can be complex, it is difficult to determine the exact amount you can receive for your claim. The severity of your injury sustained will play a big role in the compensation you receive.
For instance, if you have PTSD due to medical negligence, you could be awarded within the range of £2,000 and £72,000, depending on its severity and impact on your life. On the other hand, you could receive between £150,000 and £270,000 if you have suffered paralysis due to negligence.
Learn more about how much you can claim and what compensation can pay for.
Can I Bring a Medical Negligence Claim for My Child?
As a parent or guardian, you can make medical negligence claims on behalf of your child. Under the law, anyone under the age of 18 is deemed to lack capacity to make claims on their own. Someone known as a “Litigation Friend” will act on their behalf in order to bring a claim for medical negligence.
If the claim is successful, the agreed compensation amount will need to be approved by the Court at an Infant Approval Hearing. The Court will approve this settlement if they believe that the amount represents a fair and reasonable settlement for the affected child. The settlement will then be paid into a Trust where it will be held for the child until he/she turns 18.
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