Can I file a doctor negligence lawsuit? This has become a big question, because many patients are still unaware of policies and possible steps to be taken to sue doctors for negligence.
How hard is it to sue a doctor? Fact is – It is easy to bring medical negligence claims against doctors, if breach of duty and causation can be established. Most times, people lose medical malpractice cases even when they are in their right because they do not understand the procedure.
If you or your loved one have suffered an injury or have been put in harm’s way; due to the negligent actions of a doctor whom you trusted, you may be eligible to make a claim for doctor negligence compensation.
The first thing to understand is that there are necessary steps to be taken to double your chances of getting a positive outcome from a medical negligence claim. In this article, we will guide you through all you need to know and do before, during and after filing a lawsuit through your doctor negligence lawyer.
Doctor Negligence in the UK
Although suing a doctor for medical negligence in the UK may seem quite difficult; as a matter of fact, it has become much easier than it was about a decade ago. In part because of the various available policies (for example, legal provisions made for patients and NHS constitution) aimed at monitoring and controlling the surge in inexperienced medical practitioners.
Another reason why it has become even easier to make doctor negligence claims today is the increase in the availability of doctor negligence solicitors. These solicitors are experts with extensive knowledge and expertise, who are willing to give professional legal advice and pursue doctor negligence claims on behalf of victims.
Need a solicitor to help with your no win no fee medical negligence case? Feel free to contact us today.
Common Examples of Doctor Negligence:
Here are some of the most popular medical negligence actions of doctors that have attracted legal action in recent times;
- Delayed diagnosis, by a doctor, that led to something worse
- Error in surgical operations
- Giving wrong diagnosis for an injury or medical condition
- Giving the wrong prescription to a patient
- Failing to refer patients for further testing or clinical investigations
- Failing to educate the patient or giving the patient necessary information required to make better decisions on treatment
This list above isn’t exhaustive, victims can also make doctors medical negligence claims for a wide array of other possible errors that can arise from substandard services in clinical care.
How to make a strong claim?
Want to sue a doctor after surgery? Has your loved one been a victim of death due to doctor’s negligence? Evidence is key!
Your doctor negligence claim may fall through if you lack convincing evidence. Before you report a doctor for negligence, it is important that you do the following:
- First, get in touch with expert doctor negligence solicitors who are experienced in bringing similar claims against doctors. These legal representatives would be in the best position to advise you on what to do and how to go about your claim.
- Next, you will need to get an assisting breach report that clearly proves that other similar medical professionals in the same field as the defendant would have handled your issue better and in a more proficient way. At medicalnegligencedirect, our solicitors work independent medical experts across various fields of the medical practice, who can help you with this kind of evidence.
- Lastly you will need to provide evidence that the medical negligence from the defendant caused you a worsened condition or another medical condition, a loss, extra financial expense or put you in danger, etc.
When claimants are sure of these things, then they can develop solid grounds for their doctor negligence cases.
You should know that the defendant will not fold his arms and watch you all the way. Most of the time, the defendant won’t agree to your claims and would likely get legal counsel to defend his own side. It is nothing to worry about so long as you are sure of the necessary information required, as stated above.
What must be proven in doctor negligence?
Having learnt some of the necessary prerequisites for making your case as strong as possible, it is important to understand what must be proven before doctor negligence can be established.
In fact, these events must be established in all types of medical negligence cases including medical negligence resulting in death compensation.
- Duty of care
This is perhaps the easiest thing to prove. This is because any doctor under whose care a patient is placed, compulsorily owes the patient a duty to take care of him or her. This also applies to other healthcare professionals such as dentists, surgeons, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, laboratory workers, physiotherapists, etc.
- Breach of Duty
Having a clear understanding of duty of care stipulation that makes the doctor responsible to his/her patient; for your case to hold water, you will have to provide real evidence that clearly shows that the medical doctor has breached his/her duty to you.
When you have presented your evidence, independent experts in the same field as your medical practitioner will be allowed to make an opinion of the treatment you have gotten from your doctor. What this means is that they will unbiasedly determine if there has been any breach of duty or not. Beyond agreeing with you that you have been treated wrongly, these medical experts will have to unequivocally prove that they or other professionals in the same field will have acted better or proffered a better solution given the same circumstances as your doctor.
- Causation (Evidence of adverse effect)
Once breach of duty has been established, you will be required to prove that the said negligence has caused you some loss of sort. This is most times trickier than proving a breach of duty because it is possible that even if the doctor had done his job, you could have still ended up in the same situation. And most times, because some medical negligence effects are not physical, it may even be more difficult to prove.
If you cannot establish that your doctor’s failure is the direct cause of your injuries and/or worsened medical condition, medical negligence may not be established. For example, if you got a late treatment or even a wrong prescription but haven’t suffered any form of loss during the course of the treatment. So long as the treatment is offering the required solution to your defined medical condition, taking any legal actions most likely may not come through.
If you have been able to prove breach of duty and causation, the last thing that needs to be established is that you have suffered damage. Damages can be claimed for physical injury, psychological stress, as well as financial loss which a person has incurred. Financial loss may include loss of earnings and cost of getting additional treatment or financial provision for future healthcare.
How to sue a doctor for medical negligence?
- Get a solicitor to represent you
- Ensure you have solid evidence to back up your claim (These evidence will be required by your solicitor)
- Choose a preferred option to fund your claim ( Our advise is a no win no fee)
- Your solicitor will then present your case before the defendant
- Negotiations will follow
- Upon agreement, compensation will be paid
How to choose your doctor negligence solicitor?
The chances of winning medical negligence claims is as good as the kind of lawyer who handles the case. This in no way negates the need for the required proofs and evidence as listed above. It is important that you employ the services of a good solicitor or law firm when pursuing doctor negligence claims.
Most claimants make the mistake of choosing their legal counsel by sentiments, thereby jeopardizing their own chances of winning their cases of doctor’s negligence. An astute legal specialist, with sound knowledge and expertise will heighten your chances at making successful doctor negligence compensation claims.
- Solicitors with proven track record of success
- Solicitors who approach medical negligence cases with sincerity and are transparent in their dealing
- Solicitors who are willing to work on a No Win No Fee basis
What can I claim compensation for?
Compensation for medical negligence goes beyond the compensation for the injury or medical condition the claimant would have suffered. If you are a victim of doctor negligence, you can make claims for assets outside the bodily harm the medical negligence may have caused you.
Anything you lose, you incurred or will incur during the negligence is due for compensation when your case is won. These may include costs of extra care, travel costs, loss of financial savings or assets, loss of life (this is usually obtainable when a patient died due to doctor negligence), etc. Families of victims who have lost their loved one as a result of medical negligence may receive compensation of death when negligence claim is brought forward.
Can you sue a doctor for a wrong diagnosis?
Yes, a doctor can be sued for a wrong diagnosis that results in more severe health conditions to the patient. This is regarded as misdiagnosis and can be pursued according to the laws guiding medical malpractice claims.
Time Limit to Make a Medical negligence Claim
Oftentimes we get asked questions such as – “can you sue a doctor after 10 years?” It is important to act quickly when you want to make medical negligence claims as there are time limits laid out for making claims.
For example, without a valid reason you may lose the opportunity to sue a doctor for negligence after three years. This is because, the stipulated and recognized timeframe for making medical negligence claims is 3 years from the date of the incident.
Even if you are suing an NHS specialist or doctor for a wrong diagnosis, it is advised that you make the claim within the first three years of the incident. However, there are cases where exceptions can be made;
- If the victim is a child and cannot bring claim themselves
- If the victim is incapacitated or has lost the mental capacity to bring claim by themselves and may need a litigation friend
How much compensation will I receive for doctor negligence?
The amount of the compensation is frequently determined by the extent of the loss suffered by the claimant. The general compensation is regarded in terms of the adverse mental and physical health issues that arise due to the doctor’s negligence, following that will be the loss of earnings or savings and any other financial loss that will come up as a result of the same medical negligence by the said doctor or medical institution.
Can you sue an NHS doctor?
You can sue an NHS doctor or any other healthcare provider under the NHS for negligence and medical malpractice. However you will be required to provide proof that another competent medical practitioner in the same field would have done better than what was done by the doctor.
Can I sue the NHS?
Yes, you can sue the NHS for negligence if you have been wrongly treated or subjected to substandard care with the NHS.
When your doctor fails to provide the level of care that is required to cater to your treatment needs, putting you through unnecessary stress and pain, you may be eligible to lodge doctors medical negligence claims.
We handle all forms of claims for doctor negligence in the UK and we will be more than happy to provide our legal assistance. Our solicitors have helped many victims get the compensation and justice they deserve. All you need to do is present your evidence to us and we will develop a strong case for your claim.
We would also ensure that you never feel left alone, and will hold your hand every step of the way until we have secured maximum compensation for you. And if you’re ever worried about the cost of making a claim, there will be no need to sweat it as we operate a No win no fee medical negligence agreement.
Fill out our free claim evaluation form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.