Sadly, few of us get through our lives without undergoing some form of serious medical treatment. While modern-day healthcare is undertaken to a very high standard, mistakes are occasionally made.
It’s in the nature of the work that when clinical practitioners make mistakes, lives can be lost or damaged. If that’s the case, you may need to claim compensation to cover any losses you incur as a result. You can also take legal action if you’re the next of kin of somebody who’s unable to take action themselves, either because they’ve died or no longer have the capacity.
What Is Medical Negligence?
It’s important to stress that when we undergo medical treatment, we do not have an absolute right to successful treatment. If we don’t recover fully from our treatment, that alone is not grounds for a claim. Clinical negligence is generally defined as a breach of a duty of care when a medical professional fails to act in the manner expected of somebody operating in that field.
Sometimes referred to as medical negligence, it arises only if a clinician has done something they shouldn’t have, usually by oversight, within the normal treatment programme. Likewise, if they omitted to do something that they should have done.
Some examples of medical negligence might include prescribing the wrong or incorrect dosage of a drug, failure to diagnose a condition correctly, or a mistake made during a routine surgical procedure.
What You Can Claim For
When you take action, you can only do so on the grounds of injury or loss caused to yourself, or whomever you’re claiming on behalf of, as a direct result of negligent treatment you or they received. If a mistake was made but that mistake was proved unrelated to the injury you suffered, then you won’t be due any compensation.
However, if the mistake can be shown to have caused you pain or suffering, loss of earnings, or psychological damage as a consequence, then you may have a valid claim. You may also be able to claim for the cost of any ongoing care, equipment, or home adaptations that you require as a result.
How to Claim for Medical Negligence
Any claim must be initiated within three years of the accident occurring, or your first realisation of the injury. Naturally, it makes sense to seek specialist advice at the earliest opportunity. When seeking a solicitor to deal with such a claim, it’s best to go to one that specialises in medical negligence cases, which is where Mark Reynolds Solicitors can help you.
You’ll need to provide as much information as you can relating to your treatment. This should include any dealings you’ve had with any private or NHS complaints procedures, and evidence of any loss of earnings.
It may be that your solicitors advise you that your claim isn’t strong enough to proceed. But if it is, you’ll have to look at available options for funding because legal aid no longer covers clinical negligence cases.
To discuss a possible claim for medical negligence, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors today.