A growing number of medical negligence cases are reported every year. According to the National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA) Annual Report and Accounts for 2012 there have been 14,171 claims closed. This is 13% more than 2011 and 40% higher than 2009.
If you suspect you have suffered injury as a result of medical negligence contact Compensation Solicitors Online. Our specialist solicitors provide the best advice and support and can secure the best compensation for the injury you have suffered. Moreover, this can be done on a NO WIN – NO FEE basis.
TYPES OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIMS
It is possible to make a claim against anyone providing service below the acceptable professional standard of care. You can claim if you have suffered an injury as a result of:
- Anaesthesia Errors;
- Clinical Negligence during Child Birth/Pregnancy;
- Cosmetic Surgery;
- Dental Negligence;
- GP Negligence;
- GP/Hospital Misdiagnosis;
- Hospital Negligence;
- Surgical Negligence.
YOU AND YOUR GP
You become a GP’s patient as soon as you register on the GP’s list as per the NHS (Choice of Medical Practitioner) Regulations 1998 (as amended in 1999). The duty of care which your GP owes you does not arise until your GP becomes aware of your need for medical attention. If you, as a patient, have requested the services of a GP, the duty of care has come into existence.
Moreover, certain statutory requirements are imposed upon a GP by virtue of the National Health Service (General Medical Services) Regulations 1992 SI 1992/635. An example is the obligation for a GP to treat a person if requested to in the event of an accident or other emergency in the area of his practice (schedule 2, para 4(1)(h)).
ERRORS IN DIAGNOSIS
If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed by your GP or hospital professional, this might have happened in a number of ways, including:
- A failure to monitor treatment and revise diagnosis where the treatment is proving ineffective:
There is the danger of your doctor acquiring the so-called ‘tunnel vision’. To avoid this, your doctor should always keep your diagnosis under review as the treatment progresses, and keep an open mind about the causes of your condition if it does not respond to treatment.
- A failure to spot something ‘serious’:
It is possible that your practitioner cannot be faulted for failing to identify your specific illness or disease, however, your condition has been so serious that he ought to have realised that either further tests were required for more accurate diagnosis, or you should have been referred on to a specialist who was capable of making the diagnosis.
- An inadequate medical history:
It is obviously necessary for a full medical history to be taken before embarking upon treatment. Failure to do so may have tragic consequences.
- Errors in examining you:
- Errors of judgment in interpreting your symptoms:
An error of diagnosis will not necessarily be negligent. This can be determined by applying the legal test and determining whether your diagnostician has acted as a reasonable doctor in the circumstances.
- The failure to conduct tests or refer you for specialist consultation:
Even though it is not necessarily the case, it may be negligence for your doctor to fail to use diagnostic aids which would have assisted him in reaching an accurate diagnosis. This is, of course, if such aids are available.
Moreover, if your doctor is unable to diagnose or treat you he is under a duty either to seek advice from an appropriate specialist or refer you on to a specialist. If your doctor has attempted to diagnose you themselves, they have, in effect, undertaken work beyond their competence, for which they will be liable if you have suffered any harm as a result.
YOU AND A HOSPITAL PROFESSIONAL
Unlike the duty owed to you by your GP, the duty of care between you and the hospital professionals may have arisen at the moment when you have presented yourself at the A&E Department complaining of illness. It would be irrelevant whether you have actually seen a doctor or not.
Furthermore, the hospital which you attended will be vicariously liable for any injury you have suffered as a result of the negligence of its employees (unless it is a voluntary hospital other than a hospital under the National Health Service Act 1946).
If you have had an operation performed on you and you believe that you have suffered injury due to the negligence of the medical professionals during the operation, you might find yourself into the difficulty of establishing fault of a particular person. Usually, there are a number of people involved in an operation: surgeon(s), anaesthetist, nurses.
Luckily, if your operation has taken place under the NHS there is no need from your side to prove fault of a particular person as long as fault of a professional authorised by the hospital can be established. In such cases, the hospital will be vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee(s).
Nevertheless, particular fault might be necessary to be proven in cases of private treatment.
A poorly performed sterilisation vasectomy or abortion could result in the birth of an unwanted child. Failed preimplantation or prenatal diagnosis could lead to the selection of an embryo or fetus that is born with undesired traits or in an undesired condition. So could a failure to properly immunise or advise a woman about the risks of an activity or infection to her future child.
Therefore, there are various types of prenatal negligence that can lead to the birth of children who would not otherwise have been born or would not have been born with particular traits or prospects.
Cases on prenatal negligence typically turn out to be more complex than regular medical negligence claims. This is caused by the sensitivity of the matter and the raising of policy and ethical issues.
In simple terms, the following types of actions are likely to be brought under prenatal negligence:
- Actions by or on behalf of the child:
- Prenatal injury actions: claims brought on behalf of a child born in a damaged condition where the child alleges that he was injured by the negligence of another before their birth.
- Wrongful life actions: a child claiming a financial award for its birth with allegedly unsatisfactory traits or prospects, in circumstances where if the alleged negligence had not occurred it would not have been conceived or born at all.
- Actions by or on behalf of the parents:
- Wrongful conception actions: the parents were deprived of the opportunity to avoid the conception or pregnancy in the first place.
- Wrongful birth actions: the parents were deprived of an opportunity to avoid continuing with an existing pregnancy.
If you believe that you have suffered an injury due to dental negligence this is typically caused by:
- Inadequate dental technique;
- Misdiagnosis and/or lack of treatment.
You may have a claim if any of the following has occurred:
- You have been led to believe that there is only treatment option available to you: dentists have a duty to inform you of all treatment options available to you.
- You have been seeing your dentist regularly for a number of years and they have failed to notice or treat correctly your gum disease.
- You have had a cosmetic procedure performed on you by your dentist and you have not been fully explained the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.
- You have had root canal treatment performed on you by your dentist and he has failed to remove the entire root or to fill the canal properly, or there has been a piece of the dental tool broken off within the root canal.
This is an incredibly fast growing medical area. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), in 2012 there were 43,172 surgical procedures carried out in the UK (an increase of 0.2% on 2011).
Great risks lie within this expanding industry: people approaching private clinics directly, unregulated non-surgical procedures, up-front payments, delusional high expectations, etc.
If you believe that you have suffered an injury due to medical negligence during your cosmetic surgery you can claim compensation under medical negligence.
In simple terms this is a step-by-step outline of how your medical negligence claim will progress:
- Contact Compensation Solicitors Online for a FREE assessment of your claim. If we believe that you have grounds for a claim, we will be happy to represent you on a NO WIN – NO FEE basis (CFA).
- You should try to collect all the evidence which proves that a medical professional is to blame for your injury.
- You should keep a record of all your medical documents (medical bills, doctors’ appointments, prescriptions, payment receipts). This will be used to prove your medical negligence injury and any related financial losses.
- We will then instruct a medical specialist in the field related to your injuries to examine you. The information we obtain from the expert will be used for the purpose of showing that the person who has treated you has in his/her actions fallen below the professional standard of care, i.e. if a competent doctor were in the same situation, they would not have made the mistakes which led to your injuries. Furthermore, the expert will set out in his/her report your injuries and describe what the future holds as to your recovery or continued disability. This will be relevant when calculating the compensation value.
- We will analyse all the information and draft a letter of claim and send it to the medical team responsible for your injuries. This letter will outline how the team was negligent and how this caused you to suffer an injury.
- If the negligent party admits liability, we will try to settle your claim out of court and obtain the best compensation for your injuries.
- If the negligent party denies liability, we will bring your case to court and we will win the compensation which you deserve.
It is our priority to ensure that you get the right medical/rehabilitative treatment as quickly as possible. This can make a real difference in your life.
Generally, personal injury claims have a three year time limit i.e. court proceedings have to be issued at least one day before the third anniversary of the accident , otherwise they will be time barred and you will no longer be able to pursue your claim. (There are a few exceptions to this rule and the court does have some very limited discretion to extend the various time limits). You can still pursue a claim for personal injury after the third anniversary of the accident, you just have to make sure court proceedings have been issued before that third anniversary in order to do so. We will be happy to discuss this further with you.
If you are a minor at the time of the accident, i.e. under 18 then the 3 year limitation date starts to run after you have turned 18. Furthermore, there also a complicated set of rules that allows the 3 years limitation date period to run from the date of knowledge of the incident/accident. These rules normally apply to clinical/medical negligence cases or industrial disease claims, where they may be a long latency period between the incident giving rise to your claim and you first suffering any symptoms and becoming aware of it. The rules on this are technical and we will, once again, be happy to discuss this in detail with you.
There are a variety of funding options open to you. We will discuss these options with you in more detail and where appropriate represent you on a no win no fee basis (also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement).
According to the NHSLA Annual Report and Accounts for 2012, the average time to resolve a claim is under sixteen months.
There are two parts to any compensation claim, consisting of two types of damages:
General damages are calculated as a part of the compensation based on the type of injury and are designed to compensate for pain and suffering and the impact on the claimant’s enjoyment of life.
Special damages are the more variable part of the compensation and depend on individual circumstances. The claimant may be able to recover:
- Expenses relating to the cost of living with any disability;
- Expenses to cover services provided by other people;
- Increased accommodation costs;
- Loss of earnings;
- Medical expenses;
- The cost of buying in care.
Establishing the level of special damages to be paid is a crucial part of a compensation claim. Compensation Solicitors Online have experience in compensation claims in cases of medical negligence.
MAKE A CLAIM
If you would like to speak directly to one of our team you can either call us on 0208 203 4999 or send us your enquiry and we will give you a call back to discuss your claim within 1 business day.
WHY COMPENSATION SOLICITORS ONLINE?
Compensation Solicitors Online is a successful, well established firm of solicitors that specialises in obtaining compensation for our clients. We are reliable and we have been running for over ten years.
We pride ourselves with frequent recommendations from our existing clients. This is due to the straight forward and professional manner in which we deal with our clients and their cases.
Moreover, our specialists in the area of Medical Negligence deal with such cases on a day-to-day basis. We possess the necessary experience and expertise to provide the best quality advice and support for you during your claim.
Contact us today and join the hundreds of satisfied clients whom we have helped in conducting their Medical Negligence claims and obtaining thousands of pounds of compensation for them.