Medical negligence claims are used to protect victims who have suffered due to the negligence of medical professionals. Usually, this is due to a treatment going wrong, the inexperience of a professional or an honest mistake. No matter the reason, they can leave the claimant with devastating physical injuries that can cause them daily suffering and embarrassment, or simply lower their quality of life. The after-effects of sub-standard medical care can truly have consequences. This is why claimants will be able to ask for compensation to help them get through this difficult time of their lives.
However, when people usually think of medical negligence, they immediately think of doctors or surgeons at the NHS. Well, not only is there a complaints system in place for the NHS, but you can make medical negligence claims against more than just doctors or surgeons. After all, there are many other types of medical professionals who could be liable for medical damages if treatment does go wrong. Let Gowing Law help you start your medical claim journey:
What are medical negligence claims?
Naturally, when you undergo any type of surgery or medical treatment, you may feel a little nervous about how you are going to recover. Any good medical professional will guide you through the treatment and let you know about any risks that could happen during and after the treatment. If they do not inform you or ask you to sign a contract to acknowledge you are aware of the risks, they could be sued for medical negligence. Additional ways they could have caused you harm include:
- Prescribing you the wrong medication.
- Operating on the wrong area of your body.
- Leaving medical instruments inside of the body.
- Not asking the patient about allergies or checking a patient’s medical history.
- Mis-diagnosing a medical condition.
- Failing to get consent about putting a patient on a certain treatment.
- Dirty environment in recovery wards.
Of course, there are many other types of medical negligence. If they have caused you pain and suffering, your practitioner could be liable for damages. If this has happened to you then it is your right to claim for compensation. After all, if your injuries have forced you to spend time off work, you may be worried about financial implications, as well as the cost of recovery. All you need is the evidence to back it up.
Why do we most think of “doctors” when it comes to medical negligence claims?
Most of the time, when people think about clinical negligence claims, they think of a severe accident that has taken place in a hospital during surgery or during some sort of treatment. People mostly think of this because of the impact of the treatment. Incorrect treatment can lead to severe consequences, sometimes even having life-changing effects. These are the most likely things that can come to mind when we think about compensation claims. However, the same thing could be said about other types of medical practitioners.
Who can I make a medical negligence claim against?
So, the main way for you to understand who you can make a claim against is to know whether or not they owed you are a “duty of care.”
If a professional is responsible for your health and well-being, they must do everything necessary to make sure you do not get hurt during treatment. The same could be said for an employer when it comes to safe work environments and drivers when they are on the road. Everyone has a responsibility to keep other people safe. If they are negligent and cause an accident, this could mean that you could be owed compensation.
Here are some additional medical professionals who could be responsible for your clinical negligence claim:
The work of a dentist can either make or break a smile. Whether this is cosmetic work or to protect the teeth themselves, if they end up causing an infection, breaking a tooth or even failing to recommend the best treatment for you, you could claim compensation for their negligence. The damages may include physical injuries, but also emotional trauma due to embarrassment about the appearance of your teeth. You may also have suffered from financial damages due to having to get treatment to fix the state of your teeth.
Mental Health Professionals
Mental health specialists play a vital role in people’s recovery from a huge range of emotional and traumatic ailments. These specialists have received training to ensure that their patients feel comfortable and are able to open up about their issues. However, in other cases, patients may find that their mental health specialists do not help with their issues. Instead, they may recommend the wrong medication or make the patient feel worse about themselves. If these issues start to do harm to the patient, they can ask for compensation.
Naturally, due to the profession of a cosmetic surgeon, you may think that this could fall under a beauty negligence claim. However, if you are undergoing some sort of scar reduction treatment or perhaps facial reconstruction, you would most likely be undergoing a medical cosmetic treatment. However, in other cases you may simply be interested in having a treatment to change your body shape or facial appearance. If these treatments go wrong, they can leave you feeling extremely disappointment and potentially in a lot of pain. If you have suffered due to the negligence of a cosmetic surgeon, you could claim compensation if they have left you with any physical ailments or scars from the surgery, especially if you did not know there was going to be a risk.
Private Medical Specialists
Of course, one of the most obvious types of specialists responsible for your injuries are private practitioners. Whilst most people will seek medical treatment from the NHS, there will be others who go to a private clinic for help. These doctors may be specialists in certain area, i.e. physiotherapy or dermatology and may be assigned to help you with a more specific problem. For instance, you may want to find easier alternatives to child-birth in a hospital bed, so may be after the advice of a private midwife. Either way, if something does go wrong then you can make a clinical/medical negligence claim against the person/ private clinic that gave you bad service.
What sort of damages can I claim for medical negligence pay-outs?
If you are going to make a claim, you need to know exactly what you are going to get compensation for. You need to write out the types of damages that you have suffered and see if you can find evidence to back them up. Take a look at our infographic below to understand the types of damages you could claim for:
If you are dealing with a medical negligence claim, it is most likely that the injuries you are suffering from are physical. You may have been given the wrong medication or perhaps have suffered from after-effects of a treatment. That’s why it is so important that you claim compensation as quickly as possible. You need to ensure that your wounds don’t get any worse and that you do not lose vital evidence that could help your case.
What sort of evidence do I need for medical negligence claims?
For any successful medical negligence claim, you need to have evidence to back it up. Without evidence then your case will be little more than a “he said-she said” scenario. Validate your claim by looking at the damages you have been forced to endure by pairing them up with evidence. The evidence you have may include:
- Photographs of your injuries/damages
- Videos of your injuries/damages
- CCTV footage
- Police records
- Witness Reports
- Diary Entries
- Medical reports
Remember, you can find evidence both before, during and after the medical treatment. For instance, before the treatment happened, you may have not been told about the risks of the treatment or may not have been given a contract to sign. During the treatment, your doctor may have made a mistake or may not have fully completed the operation, meaning that you were left with wounds. After the treatment, you may have had medical costs or pain from the wounds left behind. They have got worse or you may have been forced to seek medical assistance from a different professional. All of these can add up to your damages and can help you make your case valid.
How long do I have to make medical negligence claims?
There is a time limit when it comes to making a claim. This is 3 years from the day of your accident. We would recommend that you get in touch with a professional medical negligence solicitor to help you understand what you could claim, as well as what you should expect from legal action. This will also give your solicitor the maximum amount of time to help you gather evidence for your case. Be patient and make sure to ask your lawyer questions about what you will need to have a strong case. This will help them help to you.
How much could I claim from a medical negligence case?
This is the sort of question that reflects the idiom “how long is a piece of string?” Every case is different. Some have more serious implications involved and others may have more responsible parties than just a negligent practitioner. So, depending on the complexity and the extent of your damages, you could be owed thousands in compensation. To get an estimated pay-out amount, you should seek counsel with your lawyer. They can look at your damages and evidence and help you understand what you could be owed.
How long will it take to make a successful medical negligence claim?
Again, this depends on the complexity of your case. For instance, if the other party refuses to accept responsibility, you may have to collect more forms of evidence. This means that the case will be drawn out for longer. Be patient with your solicitor and make sure to supply them the evidence they need to proceed with your claim. They may need more time to come to a settlement agreement or arrange a court date. Speak to them to get an estimated time frame for how long your case will take.
Will my claim need to go to court?
Not necessarily. All medical negligence claims are different, but some may be simpler than others to solve. The NHS has its own complaints system and most responsible parties are very willing to sit down and talk about a settlement agreement. However, if your case does end up going to court then you do not have to worry. Your solicitor will be there with you to support you throughout all of the court proceedings.
Gowing Law is here to support you through any medical negligence claims
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we understand that any sort of injuries at the hands of a doctor or medical professional can be traumatic. No one deserves to have their safety put in jeopardy. That’s why we are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We can guide you through the claim with free advice and consultations to start with. If you are happy to move forward, we can offer you our services on a “no win-no fee” basis. This means that there will be no hidden fees and costs.
Get in contact with our trained solicitors today to begin your claim. You can call 0800 041 8350, email email@example.com or use our contact page to directly message our team. We would then be happy to talk you through any questions you may have.
Read more about medical negligence claims
Ready to learn more about clinical negligence cases? These types of claims can get extremely complicated. That’s why Gowing Law is here to help you understand the basics before you move forward with your claim. Our blog is updated with new articles every week. If you can’t find the article you are looking for, feel free to get in contact by messaging us. We would be more than happy to write about your suggestions. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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