What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence (sometimes called clinical negligence) is any error, accident or sub-standard care by medical staff that has caused you an injury or made your condition worse.
There are many different types of medical negligence including incorrect treatment, surgical errors, misdiagnosis and dental negligence.
Unfortunately, all types of clinical negligence can have life-changing consequences for patients – whether through physical injury or psychological trauma. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the medical treatment they’ve received, we’re here to help you get the compensation you need.
How do you make a medical negligence claim?
Making a compensation claim at such a difficult time can often feel like the last thing you want to do, but we aim to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
In fact, the first step is as easy as getting in contact with us for free on 0800 376 0150 to find out whether you could make a claim.
During your call, we’ll ask you some questions about the treatment you received to get a better idea of what happened. Our friendly advisors will never pressure you into making a claim – we’re here to give you free, impartial advice.
If you do decide you’d like to go ahead with your claim, we’ll choose the right medical negligence solicitor for your case, and can pass you on to them, usually on the same call.
Your solicitor will also speak to you for free – they’ll make sure you know exactly what to expect before they get in touch with the other party and get your claim underway.
How is medical negligence proved?
All medical staff have a ‘duty of care’ to treat you properly and avoid causing you unnecessary injury. When making your clinical negligence claim, your solicitor will work hard to prove that the care you received was below the legal “duty of care” standard.
To do this, they’ll typically look at three things:
- Breach of duty – proving that the doctor or medical professional failed to uphold their legal duty of care to you
- Causation – proving that the treatment you received was the cause of your injury (or caused your condition to get worse)
- Damages – giving evidence of your injuries
Our solicitors will be on-hand to guide you step-by-step through the claiming process, so you won’t need to worry about being confused by legal jargon. They’ll also be able to take care of most of the paperwork for you, so you can focus on your recovery.
Can a claim affect your treatment?
If you’re still being treated by the doctor or hospital who was responsible for the negligence you experienced, then you may be worried that making a compensation claim could affect your treatment.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll be treated any differently because of your claim, as it’s against the law for a hospital or GP to refuse to treat you because of a complaint or compensation claim.
If for your own peace of mind, you decide you’d like to continue your treatment somewhere different, you can ask to be transferred to another hospital or referred to a different doctor.
Can you claim on behalf of someone else?
We know how hard it can be to see a loved one suffer, especially if their injuries have been caused by someone else’s negligence. It can feel like a breach of your trust, and you may be looking for a way to help them during their recovery.
We can help you make a medical negligence claim on a behalf of a friend or family member. If their injuries are serious, they might not physically be able to claim on their own – or, they might not feel ready to speak to us about what they’ve been through. Either way, we can help you make it right for them, by giving you free advice and speaking to you on their behalf.
Unfortunately, in severe cases, medical negligence can be fatal. We know how difficult it can be to cope with the grief of losing a loved one, and we can’t take away what you’ve been through. Losing someone close to you can also put you under financial pressure – we can help you get compensation to cover legal costs funeral fees and any other expenses.
Medical negligence involving children
When your child is seen by a medical professional, you place a lot of trust in them – this makes it more shocking when accidents happen.
We can’t take away what you and your child have been through, but we can help you make a claim on their behalf so that they can receive the support, treatment and rehabilitation they need.
We can help you make a claim on behalf of a child any time up until their 18th birthday. Alternatively, they can make a claim for themselves up to three years after they turn 18. Read more here.
What are the different types of medical negligence?
Because medical negligence is a broad term to describe a wide range of experiences, we know you might want some more specific information on your type of negligence. We’ve listed some of the types of cases we can help you with:
- Hospital negligence, including claims against private and NHS hospitals
- Dental negligence can cause damage to the teeth, gums and jaw
- Injuries during or after surgery
- Misdiagnosis of a medical condition, which can lead to incorrect treatment
- Medication errors where the wrong medication has been given or prescribed
- Birth injuries including injuries to both mother and child
- Care home claims involving the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable
- Claims against a negligent GP
How compensation can help
After receiving negligent treatment, you may be feeling alone, frustrated and in pain. To us, it feels wrong that you should have to worry about money on top of everything else.
Especially if you’ve had to undergo more treatment to put the problem right – you probably didn’t expect to be spending so much time in the hospital, away from loved ones and unable to go to work.
As well as covering lost earnings from time off work, your compensation can help to cover additional costs relating to your experience, including:
- Private treatment costs
- Prescriptions you’ve had to pay for
- Travel and accommodation costs for you and your family
- Any alterations you’ve had to make to your home because of your injury
Your solicitor will take all expenses and effects of your injury into consideration when making your case – they’ll make sure you receive compensation to cover your pain and suffering and the effects on your hobbies and social activities, too.
You can get in touch with us for free on 0800 376 0150. We’ll be able to answer any questions and can let you know whether you could make a claim.