Breach of Duty in Medical Negligence Claims Explained

Jodie Cook
Senior Associate, Medical Negligence Lawyer

A healthcare provider, such as a GP or hospital, has a duty of care to patients. So if the standard of care fell below reasonable standards, this is called a Breach of Duty.

To receive medical negligence compensation, the following must be proven:

  • That you were owed a duty of care
  • There was a breach of duty of care
  • You have an injury or suffered avoidable harm
  • There’s a link between the breach of duty of care and your injury or harm

For a free legal advice on making a clinical or medical negligence claim, contact our specialist team of Solicitors and Lawyers.

We’ll discuss your situation with you and let you know if you have a claim. We may be able to handle your case on a No Win, No Fee basis - ask us for details.

Call us on 0808 239 6043 or request a callback

How Do We Prove Breach of Duty?

There is a legal test that sets out how Solicitors and Lawyers should assess the standard of medical treatment you received. According to that test, if your treatment reaches the standard of a reasonable body of medical opinion, then it is not negligent.

Of course, we’re legal experts, not doctors, so if you’re making a medical negligence claim, it’s reasonable for you to ask how we can know your treatment met this standard.

For that reason, we bring in one or more independent medical experts to consider your case. These medical experts will look at the treatment you received and decide whether or not it met the standard that would reasonably be expected.

The medical experts we instruct will be independent medical practitioners who work in the same area of medicine as the doctor or clinician that treated you. The medical experts we instruct have a full and detailed understanding of what the standards of treatment are.

What Must the Medical Expert Decide?

The medical expert must be able to say that the care provided to you fell so far below an acceptable standard that no reasonable doctor would have treated you in the same way.

However, it’s not their job to advise us what they would have done personally if they’d been treating you.

If there is a small number of doctors who would have treated you in the same way as the defendant doctor or hospital did, and the medical expert believes it would have been reasonable to do so, then you will not be able to meet the legal test.

However, when we have medical evidence to show that your treatment amounts to a breach of duty, we’ll then ask our medical experts to look at whether that breach of duty of care caused you avoidable harm.

How Simpson Millar Can Help You

If you believe that the medical treatment you received may have amounted to a breach of duty of care, you should speak to one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors who will be happy to listen to your concerns.

If we can take on your claim, we’ll make sure you’re kept updated every step of the way and that you understand what’s going on with your case.

We work with a large number of independent medical specialists with expertise in many different areas of medicine.

If it can be proven that you’ve suffered a breach of duty of care, we can arrange for you to be seen by a suitable medical expert so that they can prepare a medical report outlining your condition.

This medical report will help us determine how much compensation you should be awarded to cover your immediate and future care and rehabilitation costs.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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