Some victims of medical negligence are still unable to make claims. We will find out if it is really difficult to sue doctors for negligence and how we can help them make negligence claims.
Many patients are still unaware of policies and possible steps to be taken to sue doctors for negligence. Sometimes, people lose medical malpractice cases even when they are in their right because they do not understand the procedure. This guide aims to find out;
- If victims of negligent treatment can file lawsuits against their doctor for failing in their duty of care towards them,
- And how they can do so.
The fact is that it is actually easy to sue doctors for negligence as long as you are able to establish breach of duty of care and causation. This means that you can sue your doctor and claim doctor negligence compensation;
- You are able to show that he failed in his duty of care towards you
- You show how that breach of duty of care caused the injury you suffered
There are steps to take which will greatly improve your chances of getting a positive outcome from your claim. Here, we will guide you through all you need to know and do before, during and after filing a lawsuit through your lawyer.
Doctor Negligence in the UK
Suing a doctor for medical negligence in the UK has become much easier than it was about a decade ago. Here are two reasons why this is so;
- Development of various policies and legal provisions for patients including the NHS constitution which monitor and control the surge in inexperienced medical practitioners.
- Increase in the availability of doctor negligence solicitors. These are experts who are willing to give professional legal advice and pursue doctor negligence claims on behalf of victims.
If you need a solicitor to help with your no win no fee medical negligence case, then feel free to contact us today.
Bear in mind that you do not need to wait to sue a doctor. It is advised that you make a claim as soon as possible. It could be within one week or one month or one year. The earlier you start your claim the earlier you can get your compensation.
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 all there is when we talk of negligent treatments that can cause harm to patients. There are other possible errors for which victims can also make doctors medical negligence claims.
How to make a strong claim?
If you want to sue a doctor after a failed surgery or if your loved one has died due to doctor’s negligence, then 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 and how to go about your claim.
- Next, you need to show proof that another doctor in the same field would have handled your case better. At MND, our solicitors work with 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 denies liability 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?
Some elements must be proven before doctor negligence can be established. These events must in fact be established in all 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 of care. This also applies to other healthcare professionals such as dentists, surgeons, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, laboratory workers, physiotherapists, etc.
- Breach of Duty
Now to further strengthen your claim, you will have to clearly show that your doctor 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.
Apart from this, they will also have to prove that another doctor in the same field would have acted better or proffered a better solution given the same circumstances as your doctor.
- Causation (Evidence of adverse effect)
The next step is for you to prove that you suffered harm as a result of the said negligence. This can be more tricky than proving a breach of duty. This is because it is possible you may still suffer the same fate even if the doctor had done his job. And most times, because some medical negligence effects are not physical, it may even be more difficult to prove.
If you cannot prove that your doctor’s failure is the direct cause of your injuries, negligence has not been established. For example, if your wrong treatment or late treatment didn’t cause you harm, your claim will not be successful.
Having proven breach of duty and causation, you need to establish that you 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 chances of winning their claims. 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 other claims outside the physical harm you suffered.
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. It also includes loss of life (when a patient died due to doctor negligence), etc. Families whose loved one has died due to 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 Doctor Negligence Claim
It is important to act quickly when you want to make claims as there are time limits 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 time frame for making negligence claims is 3 years from the date 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 has lost the physical or mental capacity to bring a claim by themselves. In such cases they may need a litigation friend (someone to make claims on their behalf).
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 calculated based on the mental and physical health issues that arise due to the negligence. Also, the loss of earnings or savings and any other financial losses incurred will be taken into account.
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.
You may be eligible to lodge doctor’s negligence claims if your doctor failed in his duty of care to you.
Our solicitors handle all forms of claims for doctor negligence in the UK. We have also helped many victims get the compensation and justice they deserve. All you need to do is to present your evidence to us and we will be happy to help develop a strong case for your claim.
We would also ensure that you never feel left alone. We 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.
We operate a No win no fee medical negligence agreement which means you do not need to pay a dime. Fill out our free claim evaluation form or call us or call us on 0800 644 4240 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.