How to Know if You Can Claim for Medical Negligence?

At some point in your life, you may need medical care. Whether that be seeing a doctor, dentist, or therapist, or perhaps even other healthcare professionals such as paramedics, midwives or surgeons. As a patient, you rely on their services and knowledge to provide you with top quality care.

Unfortunately, although not purposely done, mistakes and faults can occur in some situations that can leave patients in an adverse position, and in some cases more critical conditions, that could become fatal. 

Often these scenarios are not discovered until later down the line and it may leave you wondering if you are able to claim for medical negligence. There is a limitation period, however, which could prevent you receiving a financial compensation, so it is important to address the matter as soon as possible.

If you’re unsure on whether your situation is eligible, here Vince Shore, Leading Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors discusses some of the different considerations when making a medical negligence claim.

Did they have ‘Duty of Care’?

Every organisation has a duty of care, and that certainly applies to medical professionals. It is important that yourself or loved one is enlisted with the medical provider and that they are aware of your injury, illness, or condition in order for the practitioner to be responsible.

Has it been breached?

When visiting a medical professional, you trust their word due to their extensive knowledge and experience. When duty of care has been breached, that means that they have failed to provide you with the correct information or procedure to get better. This may be where the practitioner has misdiagnosed you, a prescription error has been made or even made a mistake during surgery that could leave you in a lifechanging condition.  

Have you been harmed?

Healthcare professionals might have good intentions, but in some cases, patients may have been caused unnecessary harm. If a mistake has been made by the practitioner that has left you with pain or suffering, this could put you in the position to make a medical negligence claim. 

Unintentional harm may be through things such as mistakes during operations, which result in the need for further procedures, or perhaps having to wait an extended period of time for a procedure which worsens your condition. Scenarios such as these, may mean you have a medical negligence case and your solicitor will be able to provide more guidance on this.

Have you lost earnings or had time off work?

Unfortunately, in some cases you may lose out on earnings through taking time off work. If your incurred injuries have caused you to take time off, be on statuary sick pay or use your annual leave to attend appointments, it is important to take note. 

These losses of earnings will all be considered when making your claim to ensure your compensation covers monies lost as well as covering other expenses incurred.

If you are self-employed, the situation could also be more difficult from a financial perspective, so this will also be considered when making the claim.

Has your lifestyle changed?

If you have suffered medical negligence this can sometimes cause long term issues and because of this, your day to day lifestyle may be affected. If you have to accept major changes in your life such as adapting to a disability, having your senses or fertility affected, loss of limbs or even being too late to have lifesaving treatments due to negligence, then this could lead to a claim. 

Mistakes do happen and although healthcare professionals do their upmost to minimise the chances, sadly cases do occur. If you or a family member is believed to have experienced medical negligence and feel you are able to make a claim, it is important to speak to an expert in order to receive the justice you deserve.

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