With your life busier than you would like it to be anyway, claiming medical negligence compensation can seem like more hassle than it is worth. In fact, depending on what the problem was, you might not even know there was claim to pursue. Over the years there has been increasing openness between a patient and their doctor, but at some point human error is possible and this can lead to various degrees of harm.
Regardless of what you think about the health service, every day there will be a patient suffering due to bad practice. There is no reason for medical treatment not to be as good as it can be, and while it can be understandable as to why the problem happened; there is no reason to accept it. So, if something happens to you or a loved one, do you claim?
Assessing the claim
Obviously, the initial thing to do is investigate what has happened and how you can claim. Negligence can come in many forms but some examples would include; incorrect diagnosis or a failure to diagnose a condition, making a mistake in operation or procedure, giving the wrong drug, not getting consent or a failure to explain risks involved. It’s crucial to be able to prove:
- Breach of duty or negligence
- This has resulted in loss and caused damage to life.
If you suspect that you have been injured because of this then you need to ask for an explanation and maybe file a formal complaint. If legal action is the next step then take some time to consider all the action you will need to do because it is likely to be stressful, costly and lengthy. But, once you have decided that this is the case then you are ready to assess whether investigation and obtaining funding is something to begin immediately.
Where the funding comes from
Any medical negligence claim will come with legal costs. For this reason, you need to find funding to assist the process. This tends to come:
- Trade Union
- Legal insurance
- No win, no fee firms
- Legal aid
The medical records will be sent to your expert lawyers to assess. They will then be able to inform whether:
- Whether you received substandard treatment; and
- This treatment led to suffering and/or problems in your life or complications
Once the liability and causation has been considered, you will be able to decide whether you can or cannot proceed with the claim.
Those are the ins and outs for you, and the chances of a medical negligence claim ending up in court are very slim. It is better for both sides to end legal proceedings prior to a trial, so both parties are often able to come to some sort of an agreement. The whole process tends to be a mixture of art and science, it can take a while but it is worth it in the end when you consider that successful claims to be worth thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds.