If you have suffered sub-standard care from a medical professional which has led to an injury, you may be thinking about making a medical negligence claim for compensation. This can be a daunting task for many victims of medical negligence. To help you, medicalnegligencedirect.com have created this Complete Guide To Medical Negligence Claims which should help you make an informed decision about your claim.
If after reading this guide you feel you may have been the victim of medical negligence, you should contact us for a Free No Obligation Claim Assessment so a specialist medical negligence solicitor can guide you on your next steps.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical Negligence by definition is when the standard of care provided by a medical professional falls below a reasonable standard of care (compared to other medical professionals) and this poor care leads to a patient suffering pain or injury.
The legal definition of Medical Negligence requires some more explaining. Medical Negligence matters are brought under the Law of Negligence. In order to bring a claim in negligence you must establish 3 things:
- That you were owed a duty of care (all medical professional owe their patients a duty of care)
- There has been a breach of duty by a medical professional. This means that the standard of care provided by the medical professional has fallen below a reasonable standard
- The poor care has caused you to suffer an injury
In order to bring a claim for medical negligence, the above elements must be established.
Whether or not a medical professional has fallen below a reasonable standard of care can be established by a medical negligence solicitor. They will be able to assess the care provided and determine if it was negligence or not. Often medical negligence solicitors will obtain the opinion of an independent medical expert to support their position.
If you feel you have suffered medical negligence at the hands of a medical professional you should seek advice as soon as possible. To get a Free Claim Assessment you can call our specialist Solicitors on 0800 644 4240.
What Is A Claim For Medical Negligence ?
A claim for medical negligence relates to the action a victim of medical negligence can take against the NHS or other medical professionals.
A medical Negligence claim allows victims of medical negligence to obtain compensation for the pain and suffering they have been through and to compensate them for any future losses they might incur. This includes things like future loss of earnings and future care costs. A claim for medical negligence also allows victims to obtain justice and to ensure that the same mistakes do not happen again.
To bring a medical negligence claim we recommend speaking to a specialist solicitor as soon as possible so you understand your rights and the process. There are strict time limits on how long you have to make a claim so you should seek advice as soon as possible.
Are There Different Types Of Medical Negligence Claims?
There are many types of injury categories that arise from medical negligence claims and no 2 claims are ever identical. However, common areas where we find medical negligence claims do arise are:
1:- Brain Damage Caused By Medical Negligence
This can happen in a number of ways, but ultimately these claims relate to avoidable brain damage that has been caused by the negligence of a medical professional. Common examples of causes of brain damage due to medical negligence include a patient being oxygen deprived due to treatment not being provided fast enough and a patient suffering brain seizures due to incorrect medication. Medical Negligence Claims relating to brain damage are extremely serious as the injuries will often have a life-long impact on the victims.
If a medical patient has suffered brain damage due to medical negligence they are entitled to be compensated for the injuries they’ve suffered and any offers they have incurred. It is important victims are compensated to ensure they do not lose out due to the negligence of others.
2: -Childbirth injuries Caused By Medical Negligence
A common area of medical negligence claims relates to mistakes made during childbirth and poor treatment being provided. There are a number of childbirth injuries that can be caused by medical negligence which can include: avoidable blood loss, vaginal tears, congenital hip dysplasia, cerebral palsy, bladder or bowel perforations and many more. Unfortunately, if the correct level of care is not provided to patients during childbirth, it can often result in serious injuries being suffered which result in medical negligence claims.
Childbirth injuries caused by medical negligence are very serious as they can effect both the unborn baby and mother. Serious injuries suffered in childbirth can lead to life- long injuries and ultimately death. That is why it is vital medical professional not upholding the standards needed in childbirth are brought to account.
3:-Neck And Spine Injuries
It is vital that medical professionals are extremely attentive and careful when treating neck and spine patients to ensure they are given the correct diagnosis and treatment. When poor care is given to neck and spinal injury patients is can result in terrible consequences including paralysis.
Examples of medical negligence claims relating to neck and spinal injuries can result from a failure to diagnose spinal conditions such as bulging discs or Cauda Equina Syndrome. These types of claims can also result from failure to move patients properly, causing further damage. If you have suffered avoidable neck and spine injuries due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to claim.
Neck and spinal injury claims for medical negligence can often involve claims for on-going care, equipment and loss of earnings depending on the level of injury you have sustained.
4:-Complications Caused By Surgical Procedures
Injuries and complications can often be caused by surgical procedures that have gone wrong. Injuries resulting from surgical mistakes can be very bad for patients and that is why a high degree of care should be provided, but is often not. It is common for surgical negligence claims to relate to damage that has been caused during surgery negligently.
This can include damage to nerves, tissue and other vital organs. In some rare cases, surgical errors result in surgery on the wrong body part or an object being left inside the patient which are known are “never event” and should never happen, but they do.
Surgery is designed to make patients situation better. If you are made worse due to surgical negligence, it is unacceptable and the medical professional should be held to account. A medical negligence claim can help with this
5:-Misdiagnosis Of Cancer
Unfortunately medical negligence claims often arise from a failure to diagnose or treat cancer. This kind of mistake is very serious as any delay in diagnosing cancer can have a major impact on the prognosis of the patient. In the event that your medical professional (whether a GP, hospital or other medical provider) has failed to diagnose cancer, you may be able to claim.
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Misdiagnosis of cancer can occur due to a number of reasons, but often these claims relate to patients whose cancer could have been diagnosed had the results of tests been properly reviewed. It is terrible that medical professional can fail to properly assess medical results that indicate cancer, leading to delays in treatment. Such examples often result in medical negligence claims.
What Evidence Is Needed To Bring A Medical Negligence Compensation Claim ?
Your medical negligence solicitor will be able to advise you on the evidence needed to bring your claims in more detail. However, generally the following evidence will be obtained or used during a medical negligence claim:
- Patients medical records – your solicitor will review your medical records to assess the level of medical care provided and whether guidance and policy was followed;
- A witness statement taken from the patient by their solicitor;
- Expert Report – this is a medical report from an independent expert which comments on the level of care provided in the opinion of the expert. This evidence can often “make” or “ break” a medical negligence claim.
- Witness evidence form the medics who provide the negligent treatment.
How To Make a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim ?
The process of making a claim for medical negligence usually starts by getting a specialist medical negligence solicitor to assess your matter. If they believe your case shows medical negligence they will generally obtain your medical records and review the care provided.
Based on what the solicitor finds, they will then write to the medical treatment provider and set out the allegations of negligence and the injuries his has caused. Prior to this, your solicitor may obtain an Expert Report from an independent medical expert who has reviewed the treatment you were provided and commented on the level of care.
Following the initial letter to the medical provider, they have up to 4 months to respond. If they fail to, your solicitor can then issue court proceedings against them, Ultimately, most medical negligence claims are settled out of court, but if the matter cannot be resolved a medical negligence claim can result in a court trial.
How Long Do Medical Negligence Cases Take?
The amount of time it takes to make a negligence claim depends very much on the case. Generally cases are settled within 2 years of a solicitor being instructed. However, this timescale can vary depending on; the response of the defendant, the level of injuries sustained, the amount of compensation claimed and many other factors.
When a medical negligence claims enters the court process, they generally resolve within 12 – 24 months depending on the court and location.
Can You Claim Against The NHS For Medical Negligence?
Yes, you can claim for medical negligence against the NHS. As a medical care provider, the NHS plays a vital role in keeping members of the public healthy. If they fail to fulfil their duty and are negligence towards patients, the NHS must be held to account, just like any other organisation.
If the NHS fails to meet the standards that are required of it, you can bring an action against their various organisations for compensation. The NHS holds millions of people’s lives in their hands and it is never acceptable for the care provided by the NHS to be negligent, never.
All NHS organisations hold compulsory insurance to deal with medical negligence claims and you can be assured that a claim for medical negligence will not remove money from the NHS front line.
How Much Compensation You Can Claim For Medical Negligence ?
The amount of compensation you can claim for medical negligence is different in every case. The amount of compensation will depend on a number of key factors which will determine how much compensation you awarded for medical negligence. The common matters that arise when determining how much you can claim for medical negligence are:
- Level of the injury
- Timescale of injury
- Care Costs
- Equipment Costs
- Loss of Earnings/Future Loss of Earnings
- If a claimant has children or dependants
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