What is Medical Negligence?
Medical Negligence, also known as Clinical Negligence, describes negligent or substandard care that a medical professional, such as a GP, doctor, surgeon or nurse provided to a patient.
Official figures published in The Telegraph this month show that the NHS paid out £655 million in compensation in to 1,789 patients or their bereaved families in 2017/18.
If you believe that you suffered injury, harm or your condition deteriorated because of medical or clinical negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.
Can I Claim Medical Negligence Compensation?
You may have a claim if the doctor, nurse or hospital treating you didn’t:
- Provide adequate healthcare
- Maintain proper medical records
- Properly operate hospital machinery
- Administer medication or prescribed the wrong medication
- Properly discuss your intended treatment or obtain appropriate consent for that treatment
To make a successful compensation claim you must prove that:
- The standard of care you received was below what would be expected from a reasonably competent healthcare professional
- You suffered a physical or mental injury as a direct result of their actions or inactions
Examples of medical negligence can include:
- A condition being misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late
- Surgical errors
- Errors in prescribing or administering medication
- A baby being born with a birth injury because of mistakes during the delivery
Making a Medical Negligence Claim
Before you make a claim, it’s best if you speak with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors who can talk to you about the NHS Complaints procedure. In some cases, we may feel that an NHS complaint would be helpful before taking legal action. We can assist you with the NHS Complaints procedure and review the outcome with you.
However, there are strict time limits for making a medical negligence claim, as you must claim within 3 years of the incident taking place, or the date from when you became aware of a problem.
What Does Compensation Cover?
Firstly, your Medical Negligence Solicitor will assess whether the treatment you received was substandard and whether you’ve suffered as a result of that treatment. With this information, we can calculate how much compensation you’ll need to cover areas such as:
- Loss of past and future earnings
- Cost of care and assistance
- Prescription charges and medical fees
- Cost of assistance with household chores
- Travel expenses
- Out of pocket expenses
- Special care aids and appliances
Receiving compensation can also provide a sense of closure to people who’ve been affected by medical negligence, helping them move on with the sense that justice has been done.
When a loved one died as a result of medical negligence we can also help family members to claim bereavement damages or fatal accident compensation.
Is it Right to Claim against the NHS?
We know that most patients have a positive experience with care under the NHS and that as Medical Negligence Solicitors we deal with the minority of cases where, unfortunately, treatment is not as it should have been. We also understand that there may be a reluctance from some patients to make a claim against the NHS, particularly as the NHS is viewed as a resource which is understaffed and underfunded.
However, if you are suffering and you are entitled to compensation as a direct result of negligent or substandard NHS treatment, it’s important that you get the legal advice because compensation could make a huge difference when it comes to paying for immediate and future care, equipment and treatment costs.
Furthermore, claiming compensation can highlight wider problems within the NHS, so by taking legal action, you are ensuring healthcare practitioners can be held accountable for their actions. Your case may also lead to new procedures and policies being introduced at NHS institutions, which may prevent similar mistakes being made in the future.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors and Litigation Lawyers have recovered millions of pounds in compensation for people who’ve suffered as a result of healthcare failings; as shown in the case studies below:
For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors
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