Medical negligence, also referred to as medical malpractice, occurs when a patient is harmed or suffers losses due to a doctor’s actions or those of a medical professional. These cases arise when a healthcare provider neglects to provide the proper treatment, take appropriate action, or give substandard treatment that can lead to injury or death of a patient. In most cases, medical malpractice may stem from a medical error such as misdiagnosis, wrong medication or dosage, health management, and aftercare.
However, medical malpractice laws offer patients and victims some form of reprieve, mostly compensation for any harm that results from medical malpractice. According to statistics, there are 15,000-19,000 medical negligence cases filed against doctors annually. It’s best to note that the standard and regulations for medical malpractice may differ between states.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors and other medical professionals go through several years of training to provide their services. Having gone through all these, most patients expect them to provide a certain standard of care, same for hospitals.
The healthcare giver is not held responsible for any harm the patient may experience; however, they are legally liable for any damage or injury experienced by a patient as a result of providing substandard medical care. According to negligence attorneys in the US, there are several factors to be considered for a case to be classified as medical malpractice; these include:
The medical professional violated the standard of care
There are specific guidelines and standards that are universally accepted as the best course of action when dealing with certain conditions. When the medical professional fails to provide this standard of care that other medical professionals would otherwise provide, then the patient is considered a victim of medical malpractice.
The healthcare giver’s negligence resulted in injuries
Failing to observe specific standards of care may not be considered malpractice in some cases. For a patient to file a lawsuit against the medic, they need to provide proof of injury as a result of negligence. Furthermore, the patient also needs to prove that the injury or harm could have been averted if the medic followed the guidelines and medical standards.
The resulting injury caused considerable harm to the patient
Medical negligence cases are often long, complex, and expensive to litigate. To conclude the case, both parties need to provide extensive medical records, depositions and bring in expert witnesses. This being the case, the injuries and the potential compensation need to be worth it. Considerable damage could be:
- Significant loss of income
- Constant pain
- Enduring hardship
However, keep in mind that dissatisfaction with the outcome of treatment may not be classified as medical malpractice. It’s only a medical negligence case if a patient is injured or harmed as a result of negligence.
Medical Negligence Claims
There are several cases of medical malpractice that go unsolved due to the victim’s lack of knowledge. As a negligence attorney, I am here to provide victims with all the necessary information they may need to follow through with their medical negligence case. Here is what they need to know.
As stated before, victims need to understand what medical malpractice is and what qualifies as a medical negligence case. They need to prove how the negligence relates directly to the injury or harm suffered.
Normally, a negligence claim needs to file within three years of the victim becoming aware of the problem; this is within the period the negligence occurred. However, there are times when there are exceptions for medical negligence claims, for example, when the patient lacks mental capacity or is under eighteen years.
Finding an Attorney
When scouting for an attorney, it’s best to seek a specialized negligence attorney with experience and knowledge in the field of medical malpractices. These professionals are well placed to advise you on whether to pursue the case. They can also help you plan your next move, providing all the necessary legal information and options as per your case.
Most medical negligence cases are settled before going to a full trial. This is because the defendant will come forward with a form of settlement. However, it would be best if you didn’t rely on this. You should be prepared to go to a full trial and argue your case before a judge. Keep in mind that this course of action depends on the facts surrounding your case.
It doesn’t have to be an NHS Doctor
A medical malpractice case is not limited to NHS doctors; any and all medical professionals can be held accountable if there is proof of negligence. These medical professionals include dentists, private clinics, eye clinics, and cosmetic surgeons. Any of these medics can be held liable when a victim is able to provide proof of injury or harm as a result of their negligent actions.
How you’re Going to Fund it
Previously, victims of medical negligence accessed funds to support their cases from the Legal Aid; however, today, this is only available in specific circumstances. Today, the main option used by victims is signing a Conditional Fee Agreement; this means no win, no fee. Victims can also take advantage of their legal insurance cover, existing on pre-existing insurance policies.
You need Proof
Without any physical evidence to support your claims, it is difficult for the case to proceed against the defendant. For this reason, you need to arm yourself with all the records and documents related to the case, no matter how small it is. The records required include notes, records, correspondence, and expert medical opinions. With our services, we can source additional records and proof from the medical professional.
How long it will take
Most medical negligence cases take between 18 months to three years, or even longer to complete. However, the trial or case duration may depend on the medic’s attitude to liability and causation, the complexity of the victim, and the injury sustained.
We are here and ready to help you file your medical negligence claim. Visit our website for more information on our services and bookings.