What Evidence is Needed to Prove a Medical Negligence Claim?
When you make a medical negligence claim in England or Wales, then as the injured person, the obligation is on you to present evidence to prove your case. This can include:
When you instruct our Medical Negligence Solicitors to act on your behalf, we’ll take responsibility for compiling and assessing this evidence to prove your case.
The evidence can help you prove that the clinical or medical treatment provided fell below the standard of a competent and skilled practitioner in the relevant field of medicine at that time. Once this is established, the injured person must also prove that they suffered pain and suffering as a result.
Letter of Complaint
The NHS, GP or private practitioner will ordinarily have an internal complaints procedure. It’s possible and often advisable for an injured person to utilise this complaints procedure before starting a medical negligence claim.
The injured person will be entitled to copies of all documentation created by the investigation. This can include correspondence, witness evidence and meeting notes. There may be evidence within this documentation that supports the medical negligence claim and could be integral to being awarded compensation.
One of our specialist Medical Negligence Solicitors can assist and guide you in making a complaint if he/she deems this necessary.
If you’ve already utilised the complaints procedure but remain dissatisfied with the outcome, then you should ask for a free consultation with a Medical Negligence Solicitor who will require copies of both the complaint and the outcome, as well as any other documentation provided.
Medical records will be the most useful evidence when bringing a medical negligence claim. These records are written at the time of treatment and prior to the negligence claim being considered. As such, these records will be viewed as an accurate account of the clinical or medical treatment provided.
Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), individuals can access copies of their medical records free of charge. Medical practitioners are required to provide these records within one month of this request.
Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will seek your permission to obtain these records on your behalf, and there’s no requirement for you to obtain these records prior to instructing a Solicitor.
Witness statements will be taken from the injured person, as well as from their family and friends. This statement will set out the events from the injured person’s perspective and provide an explanation as to how the injury has impacted upon their day to day life.
Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will prepare a witness statement after meeting with the injured person. So it’s useful if you’re making a claim to keep a brief log of events/appointments so these are fresh in your mind when providing your statement.
Expert Medical Evidence
In order to prove your case, it will be necessary to obtain a report from an independent expert in the relevant field of medicine. This expert will report on the standard of treatment provided and the impact this had on the injury sustained. This report will primarily be based on their review of your medical records.
Expert medical evidence will be obtained by your Medical Negligence Solicitor following review of the records.
The aim of a claim is to place the injured person back in the position they would’ve been in had the negligence not occurred. Therefore, if an injured person wishes to claim financial losses as a result of the alleged negligence, then these will need to be proven also. That means it’s important that all documentary evidence concerning loss of earnings, medical expenses etc., are retained. Without this evidence, the medical practitioner may refuse to compensate for these losses.
What if the Medical Negligence Resulted in Death?
If you’re claiming for medical negligence that led to a person’s death, further evidence will be required at the outset. This can include:
- A copy of the Death Certificate
- A copy of the Will/Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration (if relevant)
- A copy of the Post Mortem Report (if this has been undertaken)
- Details of any Inquest that has taken place
When you get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors, we can discuss your concerns and advise you on specific evidence required to pursue the case further.
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