Every year in the United Kingdom, thousands of people are affected by medical negligence. These mistakes can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life, and they can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. If you think that you have been affected by medical or clinical negligence then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. In general, the law requires that claimants begin their claim within 3 years of the “date of knowledge” of the incident; however exceptions are made in the case of minors who have been affected by medical negligence. These claimants may make begin proceedings up to 3 years after their 18th birthday. The courts may also make occasional exceptions for people are still forced to fund day-to-day care for years after the negligent incident.
What is medical negligence?
During any sort of medical procedure or diagnosis, medical staff are required to treat patients with respect, attention and diligence. If staff fail to uphold one of these values then they are at risk of being accused of negligence. Claims of negligence can occur after an incorrect medical diagnosis, a botched surgical procedure or an incorrectly administered hospital treatment. These mistakes can cause lasting damage, serious disability or even the death of a patient. If you are able to show that you have been affected by incompetence or a lack of sound judgment on the part of a doctor, surgeon, dentist or other healthcare professional, then you have the right to make a claim on the grounds of medical negligence.
Examples of medical negligence include injuries to a mother or baby during labour, mistakes caused by the incorrect administration of anaesthetic, misdiagnosis or significant delays in the diagnosis of cancer cases, misinterpretation of test results, errors related to medical prescriptions, secondary infections picked up during a hospital stay or cosmetic surgery errors. However, this list is not definitive and there are many other circumstances which may be covered. To find out if your case could be considered as medical negligence, then you should get in contact with a medical negligence expert to discuss the case fully.
Why does medical negligence occur?
In recent years, funding shortfalls and spending cutbacks have led to medical staff being put under increasing amounts of pressure, which has in turn led to a decline in the standards of patient care. This has meant that some patients are put at risk. Many clinical or medical negligence claims are borne out of oversights or basic errors caused by staff members having too much work. However, these errors can cause serious harm to patients and can compromise their dignity, health and comfort.
Many other medical negligence claims are aimed at private health care providers, who have attempted to cut their business costs, leading to serious declines in the standards of medical treatment that they provide. Rises in the number of under-qualified private healthcare providers offering cosmetic, dental and optical have led to an increasing number of claims relating to medical negligence claims in these fields.
How to make a claim for medical negligence
In order to begin your claim for medical negligence, you should get in contact with a legal professional or claims advisor who specialises in medical claims. A professional will be able to carefully guide you through the claims process, so that you understand all of your legal rights and responsibilities. In order for the advisor to ascertain the viability and potential value of your case, you will need to explain your case to them in detail during a consultation session. Many claims professionals are able to offer their potential clients a free consultation session, so that they are able to find out whether their claim is viable before they proceed.
Once you have agreed to proceed with your case, your advisor or legal professional will help you to begin compiling the evidence which you will need to support your case. As part of this evidence, you may be required to submit to medical examination by an independent medical specialist, so that a report can be produced which details your health issues. Once a case has been compiled, your professional advisor will be able to help you to contact the negligent party and begin the negotiation procedure. Your legal professional will help you to win as much compensation as you deserve.