Examples of Medical Negligence Cases

Len Burgess[1]

Len Burgess

Money Savings Advice Examples of medical negligence cases

If you have suffered an illness/injury as a consequence of medical negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. At first glance, it can be difficult to know where to start, who to speak to, and the information/evidence required.

However, help is at hand in the shape of personal injury claims management companies who can assist in what can sometimes be relatively complex claims.

We can only estimate the number of perfectly valid medical negligence cases which are not pursued as a consequence of what can be seen as a complex process.

While proceeding with any personal injury claim without professional assistance is challenging at the best of times, looking to secure a medical negligence prosecution is perhaps the most challenging of all negligence claims.

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How Do I Prove Medical Negligence?

While many negligence/compensation claims are relatively straightforward, this is not always the case with medical negligence cases. The main measurement used to determine negligence is a type of peer test.

Referred to as the Bolam test, from a court case back in 1957, the courts will compare and contrast treatment received against that reasonably expected from a similarly qualified third-party medical professional. If the treatment received was judged to be substandard, then you would have a very strong case for negligence and compensation.

What Are the Most Common Medical Negligence Cases?

This list is by no means exclusive, but some of the more common medical negligence claims lodged with the courts include:-

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Incorrect administration of medicines
  • Missed diagnosis
  • Failure to refer patients to a specialist

Even though it is fair to say that there has been significant improvement in medical treatment in recent years, unfortunately, there are still many cases of medical negligence.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Compensation?

Personal injury claims need to be lodged within three years of diagnosis, although this period can be extended if the claimant is a minor or mentally incapacitated. It is very important to note that the timeframe begins on the date of diagnosis, not necessarily the date of treatment/misdiagnosis.

For example, a cancer misdiagnosis may not be corrected until many weeks, months or even years down the line.

How Do I Claim Compensation for a Minor?

Where the victim of medical negligence is under the age of 18, there are two options. Either a parent/legal guardian can pursue compensation on their behalf, or they can wait until they reach 18 and pursue compensation themselves.

In the event that they wait until they are 18 years of age, the three-year window of opportunity will begin on their 18th birthday.

How Do I Claim Compensation for Someone Mentally Incapacitated?

Unfortunately, there will be cases where individuals have been mentally incapacitated as a consequence of medical negligence or long-term illness. In this scenario, either a parent, legal guardian or court-appointed representative would be able to pursue compensation on their behalf.

Just because the individual is mentally incapacitated at the time certainly does not exclude them from pursuing compensation.

What Evidence Would I Require to Prove Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence can be one of the more difficult claims to prove therefore, the more evidence you can provide the more useful this will be. Evidence regularly used in negligence cases can include:-

  • Details of medical treatment
  • Copy of medical records
  • Timeline of events
  • Post-treatment trauma
  • Results of peer test/Bolam test
  • Third-party medical evidence
  • Witness statements
  • Photographic evidence

It is obviously helpful to collate evidence as soon as possible so that everything is fresh in your mind. However, there will be occasions where, as a consequence of medical negligence, this is just not possible until some weeks or even months down the line.

Can I Claim for Mental Trauma?

Both the physical and mental challenges often associated with medical negligence are treated equally by the courts. So yes, you can potentially claim compensation for mental trauma as a consequence of medical negligence.

Will I Need to Go to Court?

The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled out of court where negligence is proven and accepted. There will be some cases where the defendant may wish to challenge the negligence claim, and in this scenario, you would likely be asked to give evidence.

This is not as daunting as many people assume, and your claims management adviser would be on hand to guide you. Remember, you are not the one on trial!

Do I Need a Personal Injury Claims Adviser?

Even what appears to be relatively straightforward negligence claims can become complex with medical negligence claims often the most complicated. It is therefore sensible to approach a personal injury claims company to pursue your case.

They will have experience across the board, medical contacts if additional guidance is required as well as knowing the intricacies of the UK legal system.

How Do I Appoint a Personal Injury Claims Adviser?

When it comes to medical negligence claims, it may be sensible to approach an expert in this, particularly complex field. They will be able to review your evidence and give an honest assessment of your chances of a successful prosecution. Where they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success, they will likely offer a “no-win, no fee” arrangement.

This would effectively remove your liability for their costs, incurred while pursuing your case - hence the reason why they have such a high estimated success bar. In exchange, the personal injury claims company would look to negotiate a “success fee” which would see them receive a percentage of any compensation awarded.

What Is a “Success Fee”?

A typical success fee would be around 25% of any compensation received. It is also worth noting that in the majority of successful cases, your personal injury claims adviser would be able to reclaim expenses from the defendant.

Will I Pay Tax on Any Compensation?

No. In this instance, compensation would be tax-free.

What Type of Compensation Can I Claim?

When discussing your claim, you will become aware of two different elements, general damages and special damages. General damages relate to financial compensation for pain and suffering. Special damages relate to the reimbursement of costs already incurred as well as future costs and loss of earnings going forward.

Summary

Historically, medical negligence cases are amongst the most difficult to prove with the Bolam test a critical element of any claim. It is therefore important to take professional advice from a claims management company to ensure your case is presented in the most appropriate manner.

While some people wrestle with the moral dilemma of whether it is “right” to pursue compensation from the medical profession, if you have been the victim of medical negligence, then you are entitled to compensation.

It is also worth noting that unless negligent third parties are held to account, then procedures are unlikely to change and similar injuries will continue to occur in the future.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With Making a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Medical Negligence Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for the negligence they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Len Burgess

Len Burgess

Len Burgess is a professional financial writer who over the last five years has written hundreds of articles for all financial sectors. Len founded Money Savings Advice with the aim of helping consumers navigate their way around the financial world by providing easy to understand financial information and matching consumers with the best financial advisor based on their personal information.

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