How do I claim for medical negligence?

The consequences of medical negligence, irrespective of their severity, are hard to face. Except for worst cases of medical negligence resulting in health complications or even loss of life, patients simply expect those responsible to own up the fault, answer their queries, and at the least apologise for the inconvenience caused. Even then it’s advisable for the affected patients to officially file a complaint with the higher authorities to record their concerns on the type of treatment meted out.

In a few extreme cases, however, patients may need corrective surgery or additional treatment to tide over the side effects of misdiagnosis or wrong treatment. Claiming for medical negligence can financially compensate for the additional expenses incurred on further treatment in such cases. But it can only offer temporary respite from financial woes to the family of the deceased patients. The claims process entails several formalities, and professional legal counsel is a must to represent the case in an accurate manner and get justice for the affected.

Find a Trustworthy Medical Negligence Solicitor

In such claims, doctors or medical institutions are usually represented by legal stalwarts. It is, therefore, important to hire the services of a reputed, experienced and successful solicitor who specialises in medical negligence claims. Legal guidance will be necessary at all stages of the claims process for the patient/family to present the right kind of documentation and evidences to receive the compensation they fairly deserve.

Not all medical negligence claim cases reach the court. Most of them are amicably settled out-of-court where the negotiating skills of an established lawyer prove very valuable.

What Cases Qualify for a Medical Negligence Claim?

While it is better to file a complaint when medical negligence is suspected, claiming for the injuries is possible if they are caused by:

• Wrong medications/ treatment
• Missed or late diagnosis (in case of fractures, cancer or select other diseases that can be cured in the early stages)
• Negligence during surgery (surgery at the wrong place, defective surgery, mistakes)
• Injuries during childbirth
• Defective cosmetic surgeries (greatly affecting the appearance, health of patients)
• Infections contracted when in the hospital

These are but a few types of medical negligence claims that can be filed. Do first check with the solicitor if a specific neglect qualifies for a claim.

Preparing for The Claim

Remember, it is not that easy to prove medical negligence beyond doubt, but with valid records, it still is possible.

It is important to clearly explain the impact of medical negligence on the patient’s health condition to the solicitor. Next step is to carefully collect all medical records, x-rays, account of present symptoms, and present it to an expert for a second opinion to ascertain negligence (that when treated right, the patient could be cured of the ailment). Also, the patient’s health records prior to the treatment prove valuable to establish that he/she was in good health before being admitted to the hospital or nursing home.

Note that the solicitor usually will arrange to gather evidence and present it for expert opinion from an authoritative medical practitioner and then proceed to file the claim in court.

Remember that medical negligence claims need to be filed within three years of the date of surgery, treatment or suspected neglect, simply to make sure that the facts presented are accurate, the records intact, and there are better chances of being compensated.

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