You may be able to claim compensation if a healthcare provider caused you an injury while you were in their care. Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider (such as a doctor, dentist, or allied health professional) fails to exercise reasonable skill and care when providing you treatment and/or medical advice, and you suffer injury as a result.
If you suffered an injury as a result of medical treatment and you are unsure about whether you have a claim, then contact our medical negligence lawyers for a completely free initial consultation. We will be able to tell you there and then whether you have a case worth looking into.
There is a range of medical service providers, including individuals and institutions, who can be sued in the event of medical negligence. This list is not exhaustive and includes:
doctors, including GPs;
nurses and midwives;
dentists and orthodontists;
ambulance officers and paramedics;
a range of other allied health professionals.
Medical negligence matters can take many forms. Common examples include:
misdiagnosis or unreasonable delay in making a diagnosis;
an error occurring during surgery or other medical procedures;
injuries sustained during childbirth, including stillbirths and neonatal deaths;
cerebral palsy claims;
failure to refer for investigations, specialist advice or emergency treatment;
dental and cosmetic injuries;
defective or incorrect medical devices/products.
Medical negligence is a broad and complex area of personal injury law. Amongst other things, to prove medical negligence, it must be shown that the treatment received was below the standard of care and skill considered reasonable by a body of other health professionals practising in the same medical discipline. A claimant must also prove that the harm they suffered was connected to the negligence.
The very nature of medical science means that the evidence needed to convince a court that a health professional should be ordered to pay damages (compensation) is usually complex. When considering pursuing a medical negligence claim, it is important to retain a lawyer experienced in this complex area of legal practice.
Anyone who has received medical advice or treatment and thinks that they have suffered an adverse outcome as a result of that treatment is entitled to look into whether they should sue the medical service provider. The law relating to suing a medical service provider is quite different in a number of respects from other types of compensation claims, such as suing your employer or another road user after a car accident.
To proceed with a common law claim arising from medical negligence, you will need an expert medical report from another health professional prepared to state that there is a case in negligence against the person (or entity) you claim has caused your injury. This is not straightforward.
A lawyer experienced in medical negligence claims will be able to properly consider the nature of a potential claim and determine:
whether there are sufficient prospects to consider proceeding with obtaining an expert report; and
how to secure the opinion (report) from an appropriately qualified medical specialist.
Our medical negligence lawyers have helped individuals recover the compensation they deserve following negligent medical treatment/advice. Our experienced solicitors will review your case at no cost and provide an overview of your prospects there, and then so you can decide whether to proceed further with investigating your potential claim.
Yes – the same rules essentially apply to determining whether there has been negligence involved in the medical treatment received (from start to end) whilst either a private or public patient. You can also sue an individual health professional whether the treatment was provided in a private or public facility.
As with most claims where an injured person is alleging negligence on the part of another person or legal entity (e.g., a hospital), a claim must be made within 3 years from the date of the alleged negligence.
This limitation period is critical – failing to formally (legally) start your medical negligence claim prior to the expiration of this 3-year period will usually mean your rights to recover damages due to the negligence will be lost forever.
Getting your claim started early means peoples’ recollections of important events are clearer, and beginning the investigation process early will ensure that proper written records are obtained and written statements taken from potentially important witnesses.
Early legal advice is vital in securing the maximum compensation. Our medical negligence lawyers are happy to discuss your potential claim and provide you with your legal options at no cost to you. The earlier you seek legal advice about your options, the greater your prospects of succeeding with a claim.
Every claimant is entitled to seek compensation for the ‘pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life’ due to the injury caused by the negligence of the doctor/hospital.
If you have suffered loss of income due to the injuries you suffered, then you are able to seek to recover that loss (past and any loss of income into the future).
Any out-of-pocket expenses that you have incurred due to the negligent treatment can be recovered, again, both past and into the future.
If your injury is such that you have needed care and assistance from family members and/or friends, then the value of such assistance may be recoverable (certain ‘thresholds’ apply to this type of claim).
You can claim the costs of any recurring medical equipment/items required for the remedial medical treatment you require because of the negligence. These costs can be substantial, depending on the extent of the adverse medical outcome.
Claims involving medical negligence are complex. Strict time limits apply, and complicated procedural issues are involved.
It is important to consult a lawyer with the necessary experience in conducting medical negligence litigation to ensure that your prospects of succeeding with a claim are maximised and that you recover all the compensation you are entitled to. Our medical negligence lawyers can provide a free, no-obligation case appraisal, so it costs you nothing to know where you stand.