How Can Medical Negligence be Proven?

Author:
Lucy Alvey
Medical Negligence Legal Executive
Date:
29/03/2021

To successfully claim medical negligence compensation, it must be proven that the care you were given was below the expected standard and that this has caused you an injury.

There are two elements to this:

  • Breach of Duty - Proving that the treatment or care provided fell below the standard you’d expect of a competent or responsible medical practitioner
  • Causation - Proving that this breach of duty caused your injury or loss

A medical negligence claim can only succeed if both of these can be proven, so ultimately, it must be proven that there’s a better than 50% chance that the medical care provided was negligent and that this caused your injury.

If you’ve experienced substandard medical care, contact our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors for a free claims assessment and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We understand that the idea of taking legal action can be daunting, but we’re here to help and can let you know straight away if you have a good chance of making a successful claim. Ask us if we can represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Investigation

If we take on your case, a Medical Negligence Solicitor will gather and review evidence to support your claim. This can include:

  • Medical records - such as GP and hospital records
  • Investigation reports - Sometimes the NHS carries out internal investigations into events and these can be useful in determining whether care may have been negligent
  • Letters of apology - You may have a letter of apology from the relevant medical professional
  • Witness statement - Your version of events will contain facts relevant to the case that won’t be included in the medical records

Independent Medical Evidence

If the evidence obtained suggests that there may be a case to investigate, then at least one medical report will be needed, depending on the nature of your injury.

Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will appoint an independent medical expert to review the records and comment on the standard of care you’ve received to decide whether it fell below the standard that would reasonably be expected.

For example, if a GP failed to make a cancer referral after the patient attended several times over a one-year period, then a GP expert would be instructed to comment on breach of duty.

If the GP expert finds that a responsible GP would have made an earlier referral to investigate the symptoms, then a further report will be needed from an oncologist. They can then comment on whether the breach of duty (or delay in this case) has caused identifiable harm.

If an oncologist finds that the delay has led to a worse outcome, then breach of duty and causation have been established and you may have grounds to claim medical negligence compensation.

But if the oncologist concludes that the delay hasn’t affected the outcome, then causation won’t have been established, and no claim for compensation can be made.

We want to make the claims process as straightforward for you as possible, so we’ll take care of arranging these independent medical assessments for you and can guide and support you throughout the whole medical negligence claim process.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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