What Counts as Breach of Duty in Medical Negligence?

Date:
12/08/2020

Updated 26/01/2022

When we visit a GP or hospital, we expect a good level of care to be given. But unfortunately, the level of care we receive can sometimes fall below acceptable standards – this is called a breach of duty.

It can be difficult to know whether your care amounts to a breach of duty. You could be eligible if a healthcare professional has:

  • misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose your condition
  • prescribed the wrong medication
  • not provided sufficient information of the side-effects or risks of an operation
  • made an error during surgery

For more information, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Team. They can discuss your situation with you as part of a free claims assessment and let you know if you have grounds to make a claim.

Call us on 0808 239 6043 or request a callback

How Can I Prove a Breach of Duty?

Whether there’s been a breach of duty of care will be determined by independent medical experts. These experts will be aware of the legal tests and will need to assess whether the care provided to you fell so far below standard that no responsible medical practitioner would have provided it.

Our Solicitors will bring in one or more medical experts to review your claim. They’ll be given the full details of the treatment you received and decide whether it met the standards expected of that particular medical professional.

How Long Will Making a Claim Take?

This will depend on the complexity of your situation and whether your claim is contested or not. For a simple and uncontested claim, it could take two years. If we need to take your claim to Court, it could take three-four years. But this could take longer if there is a complex and ongoing injury.

The reason these claims can take a long time is largely because of the amount of evidence that needs to be gathered from medical experts. This process can be lengthy but is an important part of proving you’ve suffered a breach of duty.

Don’t let this process put you off. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors will keep you informed of timeframes and support you at every stage of making your claim.

Call us on 0808 239 6043 or request a callback

Is There a Time Limit on Making a Claim?

Yes, there is. From the date you become aware of the potential breach of duty, you have three years to make a claim. This is slightly different for people under 18, the three years will start from the day of their 18th birthday. If the patient lacks mental capacity then the time limits will also be different.

How we Can Help You

We can offer a free initial consultation where one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors will let you know if you can make a claim.

If we can help you, we’ll handle your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis. So you don’t need to worry about paying us anything if your claim isn’t successful.

We work with a wide range of independent medical experts who specialise in many different areas of medicine.

If we can show that you have suffered a breach of duty and that it has caused you harm, one of our Solicitors can arrange for you to be seen by a medical expert who will put together a medical report outlining your condition. We’ll use this report to determine how much compensation you should be given to cover your immediate and future needs.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.