Medical negligence can happen at any point while receiving medical care, from a simple GP visit to surgery and aftercare. It can happen in several ways, including mistakes made during surgery, misdiagnosis, or being given incorrect treatment.
When malpractice results in unnecessary suffering and consequences for you or your loved ones, you may be eligible for a medical negligence claim.
Every medical professional has a duty of care towards their patients, and when that duty of care is breached or disregarded – the medical body in question should be held to account. Filing a claim can also help prevent the same mistakes from happening again, as this forces a thorough investigation to be organized, and the error is then examined and reported.
What is medical negligence, and is there a difference to medical malpractice?
You may hear the terms “medical negligence” and “medical malpractice” often used mutually to refer to lawsuits against medical care providers. But the two phrases refer to two different concepts with significantly differing qualifications and consequences.
Medical malpractice requires an extra element that medical negligence does not: intent. That means, in order to be qualified as medical malpractice, the accuser must show that the medical care provider acted or failed to act while aware of the possible consequences to the patient.
Medical negligence, on the other hand, may be shown solely by proving that a medical “mistakes: caused the sufferer harm. According to ReviewOfSolicitors.co.uk, the compensation available to medical negligence victims is different from what is available to medical malpractice victims.
Medical negligence describes the breach of duty by a medical care provider. Every medical professional has a duty of care to avoid actions that could reasonably be expected to injure or cause harm to their patient. Medical negligence takes place through mistakes, oversight, omission, or accident.
If you need to prove your medical negligence case, then a trustworthy solicitor can act on your behalf to demonstrate that your medical professional broke their duty of care.
Medical Negligence Breach of Duty
To file a medical negligence claim, you need to confirm that your healthcare provider or doctor failed in their duty of care, causing you harm.
Every medical care provider is expected to discharge their duty in a way that suits their knowledge, skill-set, and experience. This legal requirement -also referred to as “duty of care” – is compulsory in every relationship between a patient and surgeon, doctor, GP, nurse, or medical staff. Not discharging this duty of care may be considered negligence on the part of the healthcare provider.
However, there’s a grey zone few know about. Failure to fulfill a duty of care by a medical care provider does not automatically mean a patient is eligible for a compensation claim. The patient is under obligation to prove that the medical professional’s break of duty directly caused their damage or worsened their health state.
Letter of Complaint
The GP, surgeon, or another medical provider will typically have an internal complaints procedure. It’s often suggested that medical negligence victims follow this procedure before attempting medical negligence claims.
After completing a formal complaint, an investigation regarding the case will begin. The victim will be eligible to receive witness evidence, meeting notes, and all correspondence created from the investigation. This documentation or investigation may contain evidence that backs your claim and could form an integral part of the compensation reward you receive.
If you’re not 100% satisfied with the complaint procedure, then consulting with a solicitor is your next smart step. A professional medical negligence attorney will demand copies of both the complaint and its result, as well as any documentation attached to it.
The victim must also prove the injuries or harm experienced because of the medical negligence and malpractice-produced injuries. As such, a medical record will be the most useful tool when filling a medical negligence claim. They contain information written about you (the patient) at the time they received medical care, before the negligence treatment. As a result, medical records are considered a reliable account of the medical care provided.
Under the GDPR, copies of medical records can be evaluated charge-free. Within one month of this request, medical care providers are under obligation to provide these records.
If you experienced an illness or suffered an injury due to medical negligence, your witness report, as well as from friends and family, will go a long way to set out the events as they took place. Through witness reports, the patient will be able to explain how the injury or illness has impacted his or her day-to-day life.
A medical negligence attorney will prepare the witness testament after meeting with you. Therefore, if you are planning to file a claim for negligence, do well to keep a brief log that details events as they happened. By doing so, you will be able to keep important details in mind when providing the statement.
Expert Medical Evidence
To better integrate the facts of your case, a medical statement from an independent medical expert in the relevant medical field will be crucial. Through this statement, the expert will describe the standard of treatment you endured and how this has impacted the illness or injury you sustained. Expert medical evidence will mostly be based on your medical records.
If you’re proving your personal injury claim without problems, the compensation award you can receive entails different types of damage related to the pain and suffering of the injury or illness, as well as any financial damages you sustained because of the negligent treatment. General damages may include:
- Pain and suffering: You can file a medical negligence claim for the pain caused by the injury as well as the initial treatment you’ve received.
- Long-term recovery: As you take the long recovery path, you will likely be in constant pain. If that happens, don’t hesitate to file a compensation claim.
- Psychological damage: If you’ve suffered psychological issues such as depression or anxiety due to an injury, you may be entitled to a claim.
When nothing goes right after you’ve just endured a surgical procedure, it’s in your best interest to contact a medical negligence solicitor for advice as soon as you’ve realized something is wrong with your treatment.