Medical negligence claims: a guide to what’s involved
The relationship between patient and Doctor is regarded as sacrosanct and we all need to feel that we can trust the physicians responsible for our care. However, Doctors are human like anyone else and there are instances where medical treatment can go wrong. If your treatment has been sub-standard or resulted in a trauma, injury or ongoing health problems then you may be considering the medical negligence claims route.
The process can be long and complex, so it’s vital that medical negligence claims are always supported by a respected and experienced firm of medical negligence solicitors.
The state of play of medical negligence claims in the UK
The Times recently reported that the annual rate of medical negligence claims in Britain has risen from 5,697 to 8,655 per annum over the past five years.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that medical negligence claims are a way of generating some quick easy cash. Nothing could be further from the truth. Compensation exists to address and rectify the genuine physical, financial and emotional hardship that can be caused by medical negligence.
Quite rightly, proving a case is a stringent process, designed to protect those in real need of help and prevent people from taking advantage of the system. That’s why it’s essential to appoint an experienced firm of medical negligence solicitors if you think you have a genuine grievance to pursue.
Understanding the law: advice from medical negligence solicitors
Medical law is extremely complex, so it’s highly unlikely that you would be able to pursue a successful claim without the backing of the right medical negligence solicitors. However this simple breakdown of the basics will give you an overall picture of your rights and who is responsible for protecting them.
English law states that people who have been injured as the result of another party’s negligence may be entitled to consider medical negligence claims for compensation. Medical negligence is defined by two broad criteria:
ñ The behaviour of the Doctor or Healthcare Professional can be shown to have fallen short of accepted professional standards.
ñ The harm you suffered as a patient must be shown to have been directly caused by the negligent action in question.
If you believe that your experience matches these criteria then the NHS Litigation Authority is quite specific in recommending the support of medical negligence solicitors as essential in pursuing a claim.
Medical negligence claims: what steps can I take?
There are many scenarios where a patient may believe they have not experienced the level of care they are entitled to. These might range from encountering rudeness or inefficient service at a Doctor’s surgery to suffering serious and permanent injury during an operation. Not all of these constitute the grounds for medical negligence claims in terms of compensation.
In fact, many people who have encountered a difficult experience are more motivated by the desire for an apology and explanation than anything else. This is not the same as seeking medical negligence claims compensation. If redress is your priority then you can pursue a direct complaint via the NHS Complaints System and seek the acknowledgement that you need to put the experience behind you. If you were a private patient you cannot pursue this avenue and should instead complain directly to the surgery or clinic responsible for the incident.
If, however, you have suffered hardship through your injury – perhaps a permanent injury that has prevented you from being able to work, or has disfigured your appearance – then the medical negligence claims avenue is open to you.
At Universa we specialise in handling medical negligence claims. Our medical negligence solicitors are highly skilled in this area of law. They are also keenly aware of the trauma you may have suffered and will always be sympathetic and sensitive to your personal experience. Contact Universa today to discuss your circumstances and receive friendly, professional advice and the help that you need.