Health Insurance

What is medical negligence and what can be done to help?

While most of us are lucky enough to receive hospital care without any problems, there are rare occasions where something goes wrong. Should something go wrong your treatment that causes injury or worsens a current condition, then you could qualify for a compensation claim for medical negligence.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is when negligent medical care leads to an injury or the worsening of a pre-existing condition. A medical professional may be at fault for medical negligence for a range of reasons, such as misdiagnosis, a mistake during surgery, or providing the wrong type of treatment.

If this has happened to you, then you may qualify for a compensation claim for medical negligence, but you can also take legal action if this occurred to a next of kin.

Should your next of kin have died due to negligent treatment or are incapacitated so cannot take legal action themselves, then you can claim compensation for medical negligence on their behalf.

What constitutes medical negligence?

Given the complexities of claiming for medical negligence, it is often difficult to determine whether your treatment constitutes medical negligence. While a broad term that may include many different examples, there are notable cases in which medical negligence can be determined:

When the healthcare provider incorrectly diagnoses a condition, or fails to make a diagnosis that leads to injury.

  • The healthcare provider makes a mistake during an operation or procedure that causes injury.
  • The wrong drug is administered
  • Treatment that caused injury was provided without consent
  • The risk of a treatment wasn’t explained but caused an injury

Should any of these occurred due to negligent treatment, it means that the care you received was well below the acceptable medical standards and your injury was caused as a result this.

What can be done to help?

If you have suffered a case of medical negligence, then you are qualified to claim for compensation. However, in order to make this claim the incident must have occurred within the last three years of the date you start legal proceedings or from the point you noticed you had been injured.

Children are exempt from this rule and can make a claim up to their 18th birthday.

Always be sure to take the time to seek advice on the matter well before the three-year period has run out, as many legal professionals will not fight a claim that is in its final year.

As a claiming for compensation due to medical negligence is a very complex matter, you will need to hire a specialist solicitor that can represent you. The burden of proof for medical negligence falls on the claimant, so you will need a skilled solicitor experience in this facet of law for a successful claim.

Most solicitors will provide a free consolation where you discuss the incident so they can determine whether you can make a legal claim. The amount of compensation will vary from each case, being based on the extent of the injury, any resulting expenses, and the cost of future care needed.

The good news is that most claims never go to court, as this is reserved for rare cases that are very complex in nature, with most cases being settled out of court.

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