If you’ve recently received medical care which you believe to be substandard, then it might be that you have grounds to pursue a medical negligence claim. Each year, the NHS receives around ten thousand new claims for compensation, of which the majority are settled out of court. But it isn’t just the NHS that needs to play by the rules – private healthcare providers are vulnerable to claims of this sort, too.
What’s medical negligence?
For a medical practitioner to be found guilty of clinical negligence, two criteria have to be met.
First, the care provided will need to fall below a reasonable standard. What’s reasonable is something that a group of their peers will need to decide. For this reason, expert witnesses can make a big difference, and a quality medical negligence solicitor will consult with a range of specialised experts to determine whether a claim is worth pursuing.
Second, the patient will need to have suffered as a result of the substandard care. This might mean causing an injury, or causing an existing one to get worse.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone who’s providing medical care has a duty to provide care of a certain standard. This means doctors, nurses, and entire organisations. While many hesitate before taking legal action, for fear that they’ll reduce the NHS’s capacity to provide care, the fact is that access to redress is built into the NHS charter: mistakes happen, and if you’ve suffered as a result of them, you’re entitled to redress.
How much can I claim?
The amount of money awarded will depend on the extent of the suffering that you’ve endured as a result of the negligence. This suffering encompasses the severity of your injury and its impact on your daily life, including your ability to work. But it also includes any emotional and social pressures you’ve found yourself under as a result of your experience.
Sometimes, the financial pressure that you find yourself under will be easy to quantify. If you’ve lost earnings, then you’ll be able to claim for them. Similarly, if you’ve had to adapt your home to aid your recovery, this might be factored into your claim.
In 2018, the NHS was compelled to pay almost £20 million in damages to a woman who was disabled for life because those caring for her as a baby failed to provide her with oxygen while she was being treated for reflux. The pay-out represented a record for the organisation.
Of course, not all cases of medical negligence are as dramatic as this – but even if the pay-out is just a few hundred, it might make the difference to the person making the claim.
Is it worth it?
Most medical negligence complaints are made on a no-win, no-fee basis. If you have a reputable solicitor, and they’ve decided that your case has merit, then they’ll be willing to shoulder the risk of failure. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about paying your lawyers if things don’t go to plan.
Shift Frequency © 2021 – How Much can You Gain
from a Medical Negligence Claim?