It’s generally accepted that the UK health system is one of the best around. Thousands of people are successfully treated every day for all kinds of ailments, and accidents are mercifully rare. However, there are still hundreds of avoidable mistakes made each year. So what do you need to know about making a claim?
Know What Negligence Means
Negligence can be defined broadly as a mistake made by a professional that should not have occurred within the scope of the individual’s experience and specialism. In other words, the clinician has been negligent if a patient suffers injury or death due to them doing something they shouldn’t have done, or not doing something they should’ve done. If this occurs, the patient may be due compensation. However, remember that not all mistakes are considered negligent, and bad results are not always due to mistakes.
Understand the Concept of Clinical Negligence
Clinical negligence is one of the most complex areas of UK personal injury law. It’s called clinical negligence because it covers a range of areas that go beyond the health service environment. So while it applies to work done by doctors and nurses, it also applies to psychologists, dentists, and more besides. It can cover mistakes as diverse as misdiagnosis, failure to refer to a specialist, or failure to treat a patient quickly enough. Such claims are highly technical involving extensive investigative processes, which can take a considerable time to accomplish.
Be Able to Prove Your Claim
In the case of clinical negligence, it’s the duty of the claimant to prove that clinical negligence has occurred. You need to establish liability by proving that the clinician concerned acted in a way that a competent practitioner should not have done. You will also have to show that this breach of duty by your clinician was wholly responsible for the injury you suffered. Of course, this requires you to have expert medical witnesses who are they practitioners operating in a similar area. These will need to be found and persuaded to give evidence against a colleague.
There Are Different Categories of Claim
General damages can be claimed under clinical negligence for pain or suffering sustained by the claimant, but beyond that any losses would be considered specialist damages. These can include such things as loss of earnings, medical costs, specialist care provision, or mobility adaptations. The process of making a claim can be long drawn out and emotionally draining, so specialist legal advice is a necessity to secure the compensation you need to support you in the future.
You Need a Professional
Needless to say a clinical negligence claim is a far from straightforward business. The solicitor involved will themselves need to have considerable specialist knowledge, and will usually practise exclusively in this area.
At Mark Reynolds Solicitors we have extensive experience of handling clinical negligence claims. We are accredited by the UK Charity, Action against Medical Accidents, so you can be safe in the knowledge that our solicitors have the highest standard of training to undertake such claims. Contact us for advice or assistance in your clinical negligence claim.