What is Medical Negligence? | Medical Malpractice Definition

What is Medical Negligence?

What is Medical Negligence?


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    Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional, through a negligent act or omission, provides substandard care to a patient, causing injury or harm to such a patient. Generally, medical negligence arises from misdiagnosis (errors in diagnosis), incorrect treatment, surgical errors, and after-care management.

    This guide provides answers to questions such as what is medical negligence definition, how long can you wait to sue for malpractice, how hard it is to prove medical negligence as well as all you need to know about how to claim negligence.

    What you should know about medical negligence?

    Here are some of the key things to note about medical negligence:

    • No act of negligence in law is acceptable – When a medical doctor or healthcare professional falls short of providing the reasonable medical standard of care obtainable within their practice, leading to a patient’s injury this is termed medical negligence.
    • It is within your right as a patient to claim for negligence – If you have been a victim of hospital negligence, doctor negligence, or any other form of medical negligence, you can bring forward a medical malpractice lawsuit.
    • Medical negligence only becomes medical malpractice if the negligent treatment received by a patient results in what is considered “injury” in malpractice cases. Put simply, if your doctor has deviated from the appropriate standard of care, causing your condition to grow worse, unexpected complications, or causing you to seek additional treatment, he can be held liable for medical negligence.
    • Conversely, if your doctor’s medical negligence had no detrimental effect (impacted your health or caused you pain, harm/ suffering), such an act of negligence may not lead to a medical malpractice case.

    That being said, we will delve right into some of the questions you may have about making a claim.

    What can be classed as medical negligence in the UK?

    Simple answer, any form of professional negligence in medical practice or substandard care that has been provided by a medical professional to a patient, which can be proven to be the direct cause of the patient’s injury, damage, harm, or worsened condition.

    If you need further help in relation to your personal claim, our medical negligence solicitors are available to attend to you if you simply give us a call today.

    Find below some of the most common types of medical negligence:

    • Misdiagnosis
    • Delayed diagnosis
    • Failure to treat
    • Negligent medical advice
    • Medication error
    • Surgical Negligence
    • Anaesthesia
    • Prescription and Medication Errors
    • Long-Term Negligent Treatment
    • Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
    • Dental Negligence
    • Long-Term Negligent Treatment
    • Pregnancy and Birth Injuries
    • Negligent Cosmetic Care

    What Are The 4 D’s Of Medical Negligence?

    The four D’s of medical negligence are; Duty, Dereliction/Deviation, Direct Causation and Damages. These four events must be proven in order to establish a medical negligence claim.

    Duty: Your solicitor will have to prove that your doctor owed you a duty of care which he deviated from and has caused you to suffer unduly. To establish this duty, your medical negligence solicitor would have to establish that a relationship existed between you and the healthcare professional. Put simply, that you were under the medical professional’s care for the duration of your treatment. Examples of evidence could be medical records.

    Dereliction: When a healthcare professional fails to follow the set standard of care within their profession, patients may suffer harm as a result. This is termed Dereliction or Deviation from the acceptable standards of care.

    A clear example of this is when a patient is made to undergo a wrong procedure or given a wrong treatment due to negligence or inaccurate diagnosis of the patient’s condition. Whether this happens deliberately or accidentally, it is evidence of medical negligence.

    Direct causation: Direct causation is the specific medical negligence action or inaction by a medical professional that has directly resulted in harm, injury or a worsened condition during patient care. An example of this could be a surgeon operating on the wrong body part or leaving a medical item inside a patient after surgery, which eventually causes the patient to suffer permanent disfigurement.

    Damages: Damages in the 4 D’s of medical negligence represents the physical, psychological and financial impact the negligent actions or inactions of a medical professional has had on the victim’s life. The total compensation figures awarded to victims is largely dependent on the severity of damage. This can be estimated by your medical negligence solicitor based on injury compensation guidelines set by the Judicial College. Evidence victims may need as support to prove damages in medical negligence include medical records, independent expert testimony, receipt of financial cost of corrective treatment.

    What Is “Causation” In Medical Negligence?

    In clinical negligence, causation is used by medical lawyers to refer to the extent of the damage that resulted from a negligent treatment received by a patient.

    How do medical negligence claims work?

    If you have no knowledge of medical malpractice laws and how to claim negligence, the idea of filing a malpractice lawsuit may seem quite daunting. Though medical negligence claims are not very straightforward and may be time consuming, with the right help and knowledge from experienced solicitors, you can increase your chances of getting a desired outcome.

    If you have decided to claim for medical negligence damages, our solicitors can help you get the justice you deserve

    Categories of medical negligence claims we handle:

    If you are not sure of the things you can sue for negligence and malpractice; some of the example of medical negligence cases our solicitors are experts at handling include but are not limited to:

    Have you been involved in any of the above? Do you have a peculiar case? This isn’t an exhaustive list. Contact us as soon as possible. Our medical negligence solicitors have handled some of the most complex and interesting negligence cases; even NHS medical negligence claims.

    So whether your loved one has been a victim of death due to doctor’s negligence, or you have encountered medical negligence delay in treatment that has caused you to suffer terribly, you might be eligible to make medical negligence compensation claims.

    How Do I Make Medical Negligence Claims?

    The first thing you need to do is contact our team and present your case. When you do so, one of our expert medical negligence solicitors will take up your case. We offer a free initial consultation where we will discuss and investigate your medical negligence case fully and advise if you have a legal claim. You also will not need to worry about any upfront legal fees as we offer a no-win, no-fee funding option.

    Who can make a claim?

    When it comes to making medical negligence compensation claims, you may be legally entitled to bring forward a claim if you fall under the following set of persons:

    • The victim of the negligent treatment
    • Anyone dependent on the victim
    • The victim’s family
    • The victim’s estate

    Can I Claim for Medical Negligence On Behalf of My Child?

    In the UK, parents and legal guardians can make medical negligence compensation claims on behalf of their children. Usually, claims brought on behalf of children can be made anytime until they become 18 years of age and are able to bring the claim themselves.

    Our solicitors have worked on so many medical negligence cases in London, involving children, and we can talk you through all you need to know regarding this type of claim if you contact us today.

    Can I claim for medical negligence on behalf of someone?

    Short answer, yes you can! You can act as a litigation friend on behalf of a close relative or someone whose psychological or physical ability is so compromised that they cannot bring a claim themselves.

    In circumstances like this, then there are no time limits for making medical negligence claims because of a pre-existing condition of the individual. So if you believe your loved one is currently in a debilitating state due to the negligent action of a professional whom you trusted, we can help you bring a medical negligence claim and give you the justice you deserve.

    Note: A Litigation friend is either the parents, legal guardians, siblings or other family members, trusted friends or an appropriate official

    What are the benefits of making medical negligence claims?

    Every Medical Negligence Claim is aimed at achieving two main objectives. These include:

    • Compensation for the victim and their families for the pains, loss and trauma that they have suffered as a result of the medical negligence.
    • To provide the best medical rehabilitative care which is necessary for victim’s recovery and to support and rehabilitate the victims of negligent treatment so that they do not suffer financially as a result of the injury

    Have the medical professional whom you trust failed you? Have you suffered personal injury due to negligence? Our team of experts have helped a lot of victims secure worthy compensation in medical negligence cases.

    Why should I make medical negligence claims?

    Reason is simple, the law says you can do so. If you have suffered harm caused by someone else, it wasn’t your fault and you don’t have to suffer the consequences. The law makes provisions for you to make a medical negligence claim and lays down precise rules to enable you to do so.

    In addition the consequences of medical negligence can be very devastating. It can turn a person’s life upside down in the most unimaginable ways – affecting both victims and families. You can quickly go from being able to do anything you want to do, to being bedridden for months to years; or even completely losing your ability to move. The law gives you the chance for fair justice and compensation gotten from medical negligence claims can go a long way to help you get back on your feet. Getting the right justice you deserve can even help you erase the trauma of the experience you must have had.

    More so, medical negligence cases can help to highlight bad practices in the profession of medicine and improve overall treatment outcomes preventing other patients from encountering the same negligent behaviour you have experienced.

    You don’t have to be worried about making a medical negligence claim. We understand the satisfaction that comes with making things right when a person has wronged you. Reach us today for a confidential chat!

    How do I prove medical negligence?

    One thing to bear in mind when proving negligence for medical malpractice is that you will need evidence. In the UK, it is unlikely that your medical compensation will go through without any physical evidence.

    This is why we advise our clients to keep records of everything that has to do with the negligent treatment they received and how it caused them harm.

    As a victim you must prove that; 

    • The healthcare professional had a responsibility to care for you. 
    • The healthcare professional failed or deviated in giving you that duty of care
    • The deviation directly caused you pains, harm, injury, trauma, suffering or made your condition worse
    • Your quality of life and wellbeing has been seriously impacted negatively as a result of this negligence  

    Some of the necessary documents you will need to provide to aid the success of your compensation claim for medical negligence include: 

    • Images (where applicable)
    • Detailed statements of what transpired during your sufferings 
    • All available medical report including test and scan results
    • Witness statements (from close friends and family)
    • Evidence of financial impact or losses as a result of negligence (including past, present and estimated financial losses)
    • Medical Report from the Independent Medical Expert after performing medical examinations on you.

    Need helping putting together your evidence? Our expert medical negligence lawyers can assist you. So do not hesitate to contact us today. 

    Summary of the process involved in making medical negligence claims

    Need to know step by step how to file a medical malpractice claim? Our medical negligence claim process is hassle free. Find below

    dental implant claims

    1. Contact Us: First thing to do in order to begin your medical claim procedure is to contact our medical negligence solicitor. 

    2. Choose a Funding Option for your Claim: There are different options for finding medical negligence claims. Some of these options include; 

    3. You can contact our solicitors to discuss further 

    4. Gathering Relevant Documents And Evidence: You will need to present all documents necessary to support and establish your medical negligence claim.
    5. Establishing Liability:  Your case will be presented to the defendant i.e the healthcare provider or institution that has wronged you. 
    6. Negotiating Settlement: Negotiations for maximum compensation will be made on your behalf by our expert negligence claims solicitors. 
    7. Payment: Payment of settlement follows immediately after the two parties have agreed on a worthy/fair amount of compensation. 

    Get in for a medical negligence expert opinion on your case. It is important that you have the right shoulders to lean on at a very difficult time and you can rely on our solicitors to guide you through all the hurdles of making medical negligence claims
    We will stand by you all the way no matter what your case is. Whether you are looking at suing a hospital for medical negligence or filing a surgical error lawsuit, we are committed to ensuring that you get the best possible legal representation with an appropriate compensation value to help you put behind your pains. 

    How much compensation will I get for medical negligence?

    If you are wondering how much money you can get for medical negligence, the answer lies between the factors bordering on individual cases. Generally, compensation for medical negligence vary depending on: 

    • The type of injury or illness
    • Severity of injury or illness 
    • The impact of injury on your daily life 
    • The impact of injury on your current and future employment  
    • The financial expenses you have incurred 
    • Your future care needs 

    The average payout for medical negligence in the UK ranges from around £1000 to several million. If you call us now or fill out our claim assessment form, our solicitors can help you get an estimated range of the amount of compensation you may receive using our expert medical negligence calculator

    Who pays the compensation for medical negligence?

    When it comes to medical negligence settlements, the defendant ( your doctor, GP, surgeon, dentist or healthcare institution) whom you are claiming against is not directly responsible for the medical negligence compensation payout. Payment is usually made by the insurance company of the defendant on their behalf, after a successful medical negligence claim.

    In the case of the NHS, the NHS Resolution is the insurer responsible for medical negligence payouts in NHS claims. Usually, all NHS Trusts are required to pay an annual premium that covers for medical negligence settlements, so you can be sure that your compensation doesn’t not affect frontline care in any way.

    In private healthcare (when you are claiming against a private hospital or individual medical practitioner) medical negligence payout is also covered by the insurer of the other party. This way, you can be sure that the medical negligence compensation you have demanded from the defendant will not be a bill that they cannot afford to pay.

    How long can you wait to sue for malpractice?

    Victims of medical malpractice must act quickly to bring forward their claim as there are time limits for making medical negligence claims. To answer the question, you can sue for malpractice the moment you realize that your injury was linked to a medical error.

    If you’d like to talk things through, call us today. Our medical negligence NHS claim solicitors will take all necessary steps to protect your best interests and secure you a worthy compensation for your troubles.

    How Long Does Medical Negligence Claim Take?

    On average, medical negligence cases take between 12 to 18months to settle. Some cases take less time, while others could go on for three years and even longer. The length of time you claim will take depends on what happened in your case – severity and complexity of your case.

    However, our solicitors try to settle claims as quickly as possible and will take all necessary approaches to ensure that you get the rightful compensation you deserve.

    What are the medical negligence claim time limits?

    Victims of negligence have a three year time limit for making compensation claims for medical negligence. This does not necessarily apply from the date in which you suffered the injury. This is because you may have discovered, at a later time, that the injury resulted from a negligent treatment received.

    However, in cases where claimants are unable to claim themselves, due to medical, psychological or physical inability or where they are mentally incapacitated, the time limits may vary.

    However, in cases where claimants are unable to claim themselves, due to medical, psychological or physical inability or where they are mentally incapacitated, the time limits may vary.

    To find out more about medical negligence time limits, please talk to us as soon as possible.

    Will I Need A Medical Examination If I Make A Negligence Claim?

    As part of supporting evidence, it is likely that you’ll need to see an independent medical expert to assess the extent of any damage/injury. Especially someone who is in the same field as the professional who has acted negligently.

    Not only will this expert evidence obtained go a long way to help to establish the link between the negligent act and damage, but it will also help confirm the long-term impact of damages on you (The Claimant).

    How many medical negligence cases go to court?

    Medical negligence cases are usually settled out of court. It is only the most complex cases that end up going to court. For example, if the defendant refuses to accept liability the case may go to court and court proceedings do take time.

    According to the NHS, in 2018/19, a total of 15,655 claims which is approximately 70.7% of medical negligence claims were settled without formal court proceedings. Only about 29.3% of claims went to court.

    Our solicitors have handled a variety of clinical negligence claims and have assisted clients whose cases made it to court. Irrespective of the stage where your claim is, we can help. We will help you go through the claims process and will represent every step of the way.

    When will a medical negligence claim need to go to court??

    If the two parties involved could not find a common ground for negotiations, or if the defendant refuses to accept liability, then your medical negligence solicitor will begin court proceedings.

    When your case is brought before a judge at a court hearing, the judge will then decide liability and any damages after critical analysis of your case. If your medical negligence claim is successful, the other side pays your damages. Conversely if your claim is unsuccessful, you are covered by our no win no fee medical negligence claims policy. In this case, you will not be required to pay the cost of our legal fees for representing you.

    Can you claim against the NHS for medical negligence?

    Provided you have been mishandled, mistreated, injured or suffered any form of harm due to negligence by the NHS, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. While the NHS is known for giving exceptional care to patients, occasionally they fall below standard.

    If you are looking at claiming against the NHS or an NHS healthcare professional, we can help. The NHS complaints procedure differs from that of general medical negligence cases.

    In the same vein, medical negligence NHS payouts follow the NHS compensation payout guide determined by the NHS Resolution (the body in charge of resolving disputes between the NHS and victims of negligence). Call us now to learn more about what it takes to make a claim against the NHS for medical negligence or read further here.

    Must I make an official complaint to the NHS?

    No, you can start a medical negligence NHS claim without making a complaint directly to the NHS. Even though you have made an official complaint to the NHS in the first place, it does not prevent you from bringing forward a medical negligence claim.

    Our solicitors are well experienced with helping victims in claiming against the NHS. While we understand that making an official complaint is helpful, it is not a must. Generally, a complaint will only help you find out more about what happened and possibly result in an apology, after which you can decide what your next line of action would be.

    Can you sue a hospital for misdiagnosis?

    The answer is yes. Suing a hospital for misdiagnosis is very possible. In fact, any healthcare professional within a hospital who had acted negligently and misdiagnosed your case can be held accountable for their actions.

    If you are not sure how to file a lawsuit against a hospital or you plan on suing a hospital for stroke, you can speak to us today. Whether it’s a private hospital or an NHS clinic, you may be eligible to make hospital compensation claims.

    Can I Sue my doctor for negligence?

    Yes, suing your GP for negligence is possible. When patients ask questions like “can I sue a doctor for Misdiagnosis?”, we have found that in most cases, they are really concerned about how a claim may affect their treatment.

    Note that making a claim should in no way affect your treatment. In fact, it is an offense for any doctor, hospital or GP to refuse treatment to a patient because they made a claim against them.
    However, if you feel uncomfortable receiving treatment in the same medical practitioner or same hospital where you suffered medical negligence, we can advise you how to request a transfer to another hospital.

    Making a GP or Hospital Care Complaint

    If you want to make a complaint against a GP or NHS hospital, ask for a copy of the complaints procedure for the hospital or GP that treated you; and carefully follow all guidelines.

    After making your complaint for medical negligence, your case will be investigated. According to the NHS constitution, patients are within their rights to make a complaint and they also have a right to compensation if they have been harmed by negligent care.

    Our expert solicitors are all across the UK and can help you start your medical negligence claim, whether you wish to complain to;

    Key differences between medical negligence claims in England and Scotland?

    While medical negligence claims generally constitute the same elements (as in the 4 D’s of negligence) , the claims process may differ slightly.

    England and Wales Scotland
    The person bringing the claim (the victim) is called the ‘claimant’ The victim is called the ‘pursuer’
    The individual or institution you’re seeking compensation from is called the ‘defendant’ In Scotland, it is called the ‘defender’.
    Investigation precedes claim and medical negligence claims only go to court if the parties cannot reach an agreement. Medical negligence claims are lodged in court first before investigation follows.
    Compensation includes general damages and special damages Damages are classified under three categories solatium, past wage loss and services

    Do I qualify for medical negligence claims?

    You can find out from our expert medical negligence solicitors today! While most people claim that Medical malpractice lawsuits are very tough to win, our experts have a proven track record of success in winning even the most complex medical negligence cases. We possess the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to help you get compensation if you feel you have a legitimate case.

    How do I find the best medical negligence claims solicitors near me?

    If you feel you may have a medical negligence claim, please talk to us about your situation. You don’t have to pay the penalty for medical negligence by suffering in silence. We will put you in touch with the right medical negligence expert.

    Our team of medical negligence solicitors will investigate your case, advise whether or not your claim is worth pursuing. Rest assured we will do our best to see that you are awarded maximum medical negligence payouts UK, if we see that you have a valid case.

    At Medical Negligence Direct, we believe that you should be able to make your medical negligence claim without worrying about expensive legal fees. This is why we operate a no win, no fee basis on our medical and personal injury claims. So please, feel free to reach out to us as you are entitled to a free, no-obligation claim assessment.

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