Before we go in-depth to explain the process of making a medical negligence claim, and all the information that is required, let’s firstly clear up any misinformation about what medical or clinical negligence is. For starters, you should know that medical and healthcare staff have a level of care and service that they have to provide for you as the patient. Hence, when this standard of care has been breached, and your health has been compromised due to their lack of care, that is deemed as clinical or medical negligence.
When might I be able to claim?
Here are a few instances in which you will make a claim:
- Having a delay in your medical diagnosis
- Having been given the wrong diagnosis
- Receiving bad quality treatment during a surgery
- Receiving bad quality nursing care
- Having your treatment process delayed
- Being prescribed the wrong medicine
- Having a medical therapeutic fail.
What can I do about it?
So, what should you do when you have experienced medical negligence? Medical negligence claims should be filed as soon as possible. So, the first thing you should do is to make a complaint as soon as possible. Once the hospital and medical staff get back to you regarding this complaint, it is likely that you will be met with an official apology and some form of compensation by the hospital.
In some situations, you may also be reached out by the staff for further discussion with regards to the complaint made. In order to receive some form of monetary compensation for the harm that has been done to you due to the hospital’s negligent care, you will likely have to make a medical claim. Some of these damages can be:
- Dealing with constant pain that impedes your quality of life
- Treatment that you are still going through
- If it affects your daily life and functioning
- Income loss due to the injuries
- Costs from the additional care or any medical devices that you need
- Having to make changes to your home due to your injuries
- Any form of physiological and psychological injuries that you’ve had to deal with
Who can bring a claim?
So, who can make the claim? If you are not under 18 and am not disabled, you will be able to make the claim for yourself. However, if you are under 18, you can get your parents to make the claim on your behalf. Also, if you have some form of disability and cannot act for yourself, you should get a lawyer to represent you on your behalf.
How do we prove that we have grounds for a claim?
Medical negligence claims are often complex and difficult to prove. For your claim to be successful you must prove. So, how do you ensure that your claim is successful? Here are a few criteria:
- Proven negligence in which the standard of care that was supposed to be provided to you was not being met
- The negligent care was the perpetrator of your injury
After you make your claim, all your records from the hospital and consult an external medical professional regarding the care that you had received. During this consultation, the medical professional will review all the information and provide his or her advice.
After this review and consultation are complete, how strong your case can be determined, followed by an estimated range of financial compensation will be provided for you. If you wish to continue with making your claim, a letter to the accused will be written, in which they will be given 4 months to review the claim and make their response.
Is it likely to end up in court?
For most cases of medical negligence claims, there is usually a settlement being made, and it is unlikely for the case to be carried into court. However, do not underestimate the severity and seriousness of making a case. A claim should only be made if there is actual damage done to the victim, and compensation is necessary for them to move forward.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
You must start your claim proceedings within three years of the date that the incident occurred, or of the date, you first realized that you may have suffered a significant injury as a result of failings in your medical care.
So, the question of how much time you have before deciding to make a claim usually comes up at this point. There is a maximum 3 year window period from when the negligence has occurred, or when the treatment had begun,
However, for those who are unable to represent themselves such as children and the disabled, this 3 year period does not hold for them.
How would I fund my claim?
Making a claim can get rather inexpensive, so there are a few ways you can fund your claim. These options are:
- Conditional Fee Agreements – These would render you not responsible for any costs unless your claim is successful
- Legal Expenses Insurance – You may be covered by any insurance policies you hold
- Trade Union Help – Being a member of a Trade Union can provide you with financial assistance
- Private Funding: This is where you have to make all payments in full.
What if I am pursuing a claim on behalf of someone who has already died?
There are a number of claims which can be pursued in relation to the loss of a loved one. In this case, there are also a few ways to make a claim regarding a deceased person. These options are:
- Bereavement damages: This is where you are able to claim an award for the death of a spouse, child, or a civil partner
- Funeral costs
- Loss of dependency: In which you are dependent on the individual financially and are suffering a loss because of their death.
- Loss of services: In which the individual who has passed away had provided services for you in the past.
Now that we’ve come to the end of this article, we hope that you know a bit more about filing medical negligence claims. The process of filing a claim may seem intimidating and confusing at first. However, with the information provided in this article, we hope that we’ve managed to streamline and simplify the process for you!