Medical negligence refers, in simple terms, to any injury that comes to the patient as a result of a doctor’s error. However, malpractice is an impressively broad category. It is a notoriously complicated personal injury claim, and the complexity extends to the steps necessary to solve it. The process can often take an extended amount of time, even years, to settle. If you believe you have been victimised as the result of a medical practitioner’s fault, you may want to have a look at the following list so you can identify whether or not your case fits the description, and if so, which are the steps you ought to take to get justice.
What is medical negligence
Medical negligence is any event in which a healthcare worker provides a patient with treatment below the required standard of care. As a result, the patient suffers injury due to inadequate procedures or medication courses. A few examples of what counts as medical negligence include:
- Surgical mistakes, which entail anaesthesia errors (using an inadequate amount of anaesthesia, or not being mindful of a patient’s allergies, which could present a risk for anaphylactic shock), foreign bodies left inside the patient’s body, or failure to address postoperative needs.
- Misdiagnosis implies that a patient requires an extended amount of time to get the appropriate treatment. Delaying the appropriate treatment scheme can carry significant, sometimes lethal, risks for the patient. For instance, a minor infection can turn into septicaemia if not treated efficiently. Moreover, administering other medications can cause the patient’s ailment to react abnormally and become more challenging to manage or cure.
- Prescription errors mean that the patient receives the incorrect treatment or medicine that clashes with something the patient already takes. The dosage can be another problem, either higher or lower than the patient’s needs.
- Hospital-acquired infections can cause a medical negligence claim as well, especially if the medical professional in charge of your care didn’t recognise the early symptoms.
However, there are many other examples, and each case has its own particularities. If you are unsure whether or not your case fits the profile, request professional assistance. Medical negligence law experts will provide you with the legal advice necessary to make a clinical negligence claim. Their significant expertise means that you can also get an answer about whether or not the details of your case qualify as negligence. Moreover, they can assess realistic estimations about compensation.
Making a claim
If you’ve decided to forward a medical negligence claim, you must be aware of the steps you need to take. You must have the ability and resources to prove that the care was not consistent with medical norms and that you suffered some injury following the treatment or procedures. That said, injury brought significant discomfort in your life in the form of substantial physical, mental or economic hardship.
There are two types of damages caused by medical negligence: general and special. General damages relate to the impact of the injury and include the suffering and pain brought to a person’s life. In contrast, special damages refer to issues such as long-term medical expenses resulting from negligence, transportation costs to reach medical assistance or the loss of earning capacities if the injuries resulted in permanent disability incompatible with working.
It’s essential to get in touch with an advisor that can handle your case. Your case will require the necessary evidence to support your claim. You will have to create a report summarising the impact of this negligence on you and how it changed your life. If you also mean to retain costs through the claiming, you must ensure that you keep bank statements or receipts to support your statements.
If you want your claim to stand the best chance in a court of law, you must make sure that you provide pertinent evidence pertaining to your injuries. This can be difficult to achieve because it’s not easy to prove that your doctor breached the duty of care. You’ll probably have to undergo a medical examination with an independent physician in order to ascertain the extent of your injuries. Demonstrating that the injuries or illness came as a direct result of the negligence you were subjected to is crucial. But to properly address it, you’ll require the assistance of a legal expert who is aware of the know-how and intricacies of fairly complicated laws.
The time necessary to resolve a medical negligence claim varies from person to person. There are many aspects to consider, such as the severity of the damage done to the patient and the defendant’s position. If the medical practitioner admits that they are the guilty party, the claim can be solved in a time ranging from twenty-six to thirty-nine weeks. However, if that is not the case, the legal proceedings will extend over a substantial period, as more evidence will be brought to the case. The severity of the injuries is also paramount. Some solicitors elect to wait for the patient’s wounds to heal or at least substantially resolve before the claim can proceed further.
The amount of compensation you are owed depends on the type of injury you suffered, its severity, the time required for it to heal, and whether or not your health has been permanently affected by the event. Generally speaking, the more drastic the injuries, the more likely you are to be entitled to increased compensation. The following examples show the estimated compensation you could expect to receive:
- Severe Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): between £49,270 and £78,840
- Laparotomy scarring: roughly £8,110
- Superficial scarring: ranging between £2,220 and £7,350
- Ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis: between £3,180 and £19,170
After experiencing injury, illness or any other type of disturbance to your life due to medical negligence, it’s normal to feel like you are owed justice and indemnity. The standards are high, and the process can be strenuous. But if professionals guide you in this endeavour, there’s nothing to lose from taking this step.