“People who use health and care services have the right to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion by staff who have the skills and time to care for them.” Department of health 2016
Healthcare in the UK is among the best in the world and we have come to expect the best care when we need it, from the NHS and private practitioners, from GPs, hospitals, dentists, and eye specialists. Sometimes, however, mistakes can be made, and the results can be serious and life changing.
If you or a loved one has suffered preventable pain, discomfort or illness as a result of errors in medical treatment, you might be able to bring a claim for medical negligence.
You can claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced; to help if you or your loved ones need extra care and support for living; or if you have suffered financial losses such as earnings. We can help guide you through the medical negligence claims process and will be with you every step of the way.
Here at Patient Protection we have a team of solicitors who specialise in medical negligence to help if you or a loved one have unfortunately been neglected during a medical procedure. Medical negligence is when a mistake has been made by a healthcare professional worker such as a doctor or surgeon whether that’s through the NHS or private care. This negligent treatment can be a medical procedure, diagnosis or hospital treatment that could mean you’re entitled to claim compensation.
If you think that you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical negligence, get in contact with one of our advisors who are available and can offer free, no obligation legal advice about whether you have strong ground for a claim.
Medical negligence explained
No matter which area these healthcare practitioners work in, they never have the intention to harm any of their patients. The majority of medical mistakes are not intended, but due to circumstances, things can go wrong. If it can be proven that if the same surgery in which the patient was injured was done by another medical professional and would not have made the same mistakes under similar circumstances, then you might have a claim for medical negligence. Mistakes that occur to the patient could be devastating and should not be taken lightly.
In order for your medical negligence claim to stand up in a court of law, you need to be able to provide sufficient evidence that a healthcare practitioner or organisation provided negligence care and did not uphold their duty of care, which has led to you being physically or mentally ill. However, if a negligence incident has occurred but you weren’t harmed then the case won’t hold up because there needs to be some harm caused due to the negligent act that was committed.
Different types of medical negligence compensation claims
There are many areas within healthcare where medical negligence can occur and lead to mild injuries that the patient can recover from, to life-changing injuries which could completely alter someone’s lifestyle. It’s not always entirely clear whether or not medical negligence has occurred and it could take an individual a while to discover if they’ve actually been medically neglected. Even admitting that you may have been medically neglected can be hard for someone to come to terms with, but you have to understand that you’re not alone, negligence can take place in most areas of healthcare. Here are some examples of medical negligence claims that we at Patient Protection cover:
- Care home negligence
- Cosmetic surgery negligence
- Dental negligence
- Ear, Nose and Throat negligence
- Fatal negligence
- Gynaecological, pregnancy & birth injury negligence
- Hip replacement negligence
- Infection claims
- Surgical Errors
- Child health claims
- Defective implant claims
- Diagnosis negligence
- Eye injury claims
- GP negligence
- Head & spinal injury claims
- Hospital & surgery claims
- Medication errors
What are the main types of negligence claims?
In order to go forward with your medical negligence claim, it’s vital that you are aware of the different aspects that are at the core of a negligence claim. There are different types of negligence that can occur depending on the severity of the injury, they are;
Gross negligence – This is the most severe type of negligence possible. As mentioned previously, the majority of healthcare professionals do not intend to cause any harm to their patients. If gross negligence occurs it means that the practitioner responsible has been seriously careless and has completely disregarded you and your health. This particular breach of law should be brought directly to the law whether a victim needs compensation or not, this person who has acted in such an undignified manner should not be working in the health industry.
Vicarious liability – This liability resides with whoever’s in charge of the person who has committed the negligent act as they are actually responsible for them. In medical negligence terms, this means that a health organisation may be accused of liability for the work of any subordinate physician that has caused negligence.
Comparative negligence – This is measured in terms of the degree in which the person responsible for the actual negligence to the claimant. Basically, what percentage of this is the fault of the health practitioner. It’s almost a shared responsibility where a jury will decide where the blame lies concerning the victim and the accused.
Contributory negligence – This is when the victim of the negligence is actually proven to be the person responsible for the negligent treatment taken place and therefore no compensation is awarded for their injuries.
How much compensation can be expected from medical negligence?
As each case is different, it’s difficult to pin an exact figure on each medical negligence claim brought to us as there are many aspects that will be taken into consideration before the compensation is awarded. You can use medical negligence calculators that can provide an estimate on previous cases that could be similar to your own.
Is medical negligence on the rise?
Apparently so. Last year the NHS alone paid out more than £1 billion in medical negligence compensation which was a record high compared to previous years and has doubled since 2010/11. A huge majority of these payouts were due to maternity blunders, with oxygen starvation tripling over the past decade and babies being left brain damaged, which is taking up 10% of medical negligence cases, but accounting for 50% of the total compensation claim.
How much time do you have to make a claim?
If you believe that you have the grounds for a medical negligence claim, you should seek out legal action as soon as possible because there’s only a certain amount of time you’ll be able to make a claim until. You are able to make a medical negligence claim three years from the ‘date of knowledge’ in which to begin commencing legal action. The date of knowledge refers to the date you knew or could have been expected to know, that your suffering was caused by a negligent act from a healthcare professional. The law works slightly different for victims under the age of 18, who have three years from their 18th birthday to file a claim.
Why choose no-win-no-fee?
No-win-no-fee is exactly what it says, there’s no financial risk associated with it. This means you won’t have to pay bills and your claim is free. Often one of the main reasons why medically neglected people don’t carry their claim forward is due to the legal costs, but this shouldn’t concern you, by choosing the no-win-no-fee negates the financial implications other methods could have. This means that we won’t seek a penny from you in legal costs at any stage of the medical negligence claims process, and if your case isn’t successful, then all fees will be covered by us.
How can I make a medical negligence claim?
You should never feel intimidated about making a medical negligence claim which has been caused by a healthcare professional not maintaining a high standard of duty of care. At Patient Protection our solicitors are here to guide you through the claiming process and ensure that you’re fully informed through every step and updated on any case developments.
At Patient Protection, you can contact one of our advisors who will provide you with free, no obligation legal advice on whether your claim is viable. If we believe that your medical negligence claim has solid grounds for compensation, then our advisors will forward your case onto our specialised medical negligence team of solicitors who will carry you through this case and ensure that they get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.