Published On: Wed, Jan 20th, 2021

Medical Negligence in the UK: From Victim to Victor

Medical negligence – also known as clinical negligence – is where a patient takes a medical practitioner to court in order to claim compensation after suffering harm due to negligence on the part of the doctor or nurse. It is a complicated process and specialist solicitors are often required in order to help claimants through it. Here is a quick guide to medical negligence claims and what you should do if you want to make a claim.

Image/Kristopher Radder

Image/Kristopher Radder

Overview of Medical Negligence

Britain’s doctors and nurses are some of the best in the world. Despite this, things can – and do – go wrong. Accidents can happen, wrong decisions can be made, and you could end up suffering physical or emotional harm as a result.

If this happens, there are various options you could consider, and this page on the NHS website provides some information about making a complaint. One option could be to make a claim for medical negligence in order to claim compensation for the harm you have suffered.

A claim could be made against any healthcare professional – including doctors, nurses and dentists – in a range of settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and dental practices in both the public and private sectors. Claims could result from anything from serious mistakes during surgery to a GP prescribing the wrong prescription or making the wrong diagnosis.

When Can You Claim Compensation?

In order to file a medical negligence case with the aim of claiming compensation, you must show that the health practitioner was negligent and acted in a way that another professional would not have and that you suffered harm as a result that would not have occurred otherwise.

Although Britain has very high standards, all medical professionals know that mistakes can happen, and they must therefore have medical insurance to cover them in the event that a patient makes a claim against them.

How Is Compensation Determined?

The compensation you will receive is determined by various factors. These include the effect that the problem has had on your quality of life, the distress it has caused you and the loss of earnings that it has led to among other things.

Medical negligence can often cause distress, harm and serious financial problems. Compensation is often required to improve the claimant’s quality of life, such as by providing equipment to help them deal with a disability, or to make up for the loss of employment.

The only way to find out what the potential compensation could be is to discuss your situation with a specialist medical negligence solicitor who can provide you with advice.

Making a Clinical Negligence Claim

In 2012, nearly 15,000 claims were made for injuries that were caused by medical procedures, according to figures quoted in The Mirror. This was a 13 percent rise from the year before. It is clear to see that mistakes do happen, and if you decide to make a claim you will not be alone.

If you feel that you have a case, the first thing to do is visit a specialist medical negligence solicitor. Experienced solicitors such as those at practices like axiclaim.co.uk can listen to your situation and help you determine whether you have a case or not.

Cases can take a long time before a settlement is reached. Most cases tend to take over a year, but they could last even longer. However, it is worth remembering that the vast majority of cases are settled without going to court.

If your solicitor decides that you have a good chance of being successful, they may agree to help you make your claim. They may do this on a ‘no win no fee basis’, where you will not have to pay them their fee unless you are successful. However, this depends upon the solicitor you use.

One thing to remember is that you should act fast. As soon as you become aware of clinical negligence, you are advised to begin action as soon as possible.

Contact a Specialist Solicitor if You Want to Make a Claim

If you feel you have suffered a case of medical negligence, your first step should always be to contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible. There is no way to know how much chance you have of being successful in your claim before discussing your situation with an experienced professional. They can then provide you with advice so you have a much better idea of what to do.

Remember, if you have suffered physical or emotional harm, you may well deserve compensation to help you rebuild your life. So speak to an expert and find out what your next move should be.

Guest Author :

Evan Pearce’s career in medical research has produced a great insight into the industry. He often writes about the ins and outs of the medical world, from emerging technology to trends and more.

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