What is medical negligence?
Professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider when treatment administered falls below the accepted standard of practice and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations also vary by country and jurisdiction and medical professionals may obtain professional liability insurances to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical negligence - also referred to as clinical negligence.
What types of claims can be classed as medical negligence?
Potential claims which a medical solicitor can help you with include, but are not limited to, misdiagnosis, birth injury, delay in diagnosis, inadequate care, illness caused by an unclean hospital, incorrect medication, unnecessary treatment or detrimental surgery.
Am I eligible for a claim for medical negligence?
If you have suffered in an accident that was not your fault you may well be eligible for compensation and it is your legal and civil right to make a claim and get your life back on track as soon as possible. If your ability to do your job has been affected and you have lost earnings as a result, or you have incurred travel, medical or other expenses, then you should also be compensated. In some circumstances, if extra care and assistance is required by family and friends as a result of your injury you may also be eligible.
How much will it cost to make a claim?
Your medical negligence solicitor will probably not charge for an initial consultation and they should also advise you as to the available options, including any 'no win no fee' arrangements.
The incident occurred a while ago -- is there a cut-off point?
You generally have three years from the incident in which to bring a claim, although there are exceptions depending on the specific facts of your case.
My child was injured -- can I make a claim on their behalf?
A parent, guardian or carer can deal with a claim on behalf of a child. For the child's protection, any settlement reached must be approved by a judge and the compensation is invested until the child is 18.
Is it worthwhile making a claim?
Even a relatively minor incident may be worth more in compensation than you would expect, however an experienced medical negligence solicitor can advise you further.
Will I have to attend court?
The vast majority of cases are settled out of court. If a court hearing does prove necessary an experienced medical negligence solicitor will guide and support you through the process.
In what ways can I assist the progress of my claim?
Keep a record of all expenses such as invoices and receipts incurred by you as a result of the incident and payslips if your work has been affected - and pass them to your medical solicitor. It is also useful to keep a diary of any visits to doctors, hospital, dentists, physiotherapy, etc. and a record of your pain and symptoms.
If you're thinking of making a medical compensation claim, make sure that you appoint a specialist medical negligence solicitor. One of the best ways of identifying specialists is checking on panel membership -- in particular membership of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme and the AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) panel.
Looking for a specialist Medical Negligence Solicitor who is a member of both AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) and Law Society Clinical Negligence Panels? Contact a medical solicitor at Bonallack and Bishop on 01722 422300.