Bringing a claim for medical negligence against the NHS or a private hospital can be a complicated process. It’s important to speak with a specialist legal adviser before taking any action. A solicitor can advise you on the evidence you may need and whether you have a chance of winning.
If you’ve been injured or suffered an illness as a result of the negligence of a healthcare professional, it can be a truly distressing time in your life. The last thing you’re probably thinking about is whether or not you can make a compensation claim. However, if you’ve suffered physical or psychological harm, you should consider taking legal action against those involved.
Medical negligence is extremely complicated and it’s important that you speak to a specialist solicitor who can provide you with the right advice. Medical negligence solicitors will talk you through the process, including what evidence you’ll need to present and the validity of your case.
There are a wide range of injuries or illnesses that can be claimed for if you can prove that the professional was negligent. These can vary from a minor mistake to an error that leads to brain damage or death. Medical negligence solicitors will be able to discuss your own circumstances, but reasons could include:
– Mistakes during surgery
– Failure to diagnose an illness or getting the wrong diagnosis
– Receiving the wrong treatment, or treatment not occurring soon enough
– Contracting an illness in hospital, e.g., MRSA
– Being prescribed the wrong drugs
How Do I Make a Claim?
To make a claim for compensation, you must be able to prove that the healthcare professional was negligent by failing to uphold his duty of care to you. This can be difficult, but your solicitor will speak to independent medical specialists to build the case. They need to decide if another responsible professional would have acted in the same way, in which case the incident cannot be classed as negligence.
Once negligence has been confirmed, you also have to prove that the injury was directly associated with the lack of care. Even when they have accepted negligence, medical institutions will often try to say that the injury was due to an existing condition.
The level of compensation you are awarded will depend on the type and severity of the illness or injury, as well as any financial losses you have incurred. The court will also look at any long-term problems you have and how this might impact on your future health and ability to earn a living.
There is a three-year time limit on most medical negligence cases. This runs from either when the injury occurred or when you became aware of it. It’s always best to speak with a solicitor as soon as possible.
If you think that you might have a claim for compensation, you need to obtain legal advice. Medical negligence solicitors understand the complex process and will make sure that it’s followed correctly.
Abigail Bell writes regularly on personal injury and medical negligence legislation for a range of legal websites and blogs. He has written many blogs on Expert Medical negligence solicitors. Prior to this, she worked as a specialist personal injury solicitor for ten years, so she understands the complex issues involved in making a medical negligence claim.