Medical negligence claims are one of the most common types of legal claims brought about by private individuals. If you have recently had contact with a medical professional (for instance, if you have had surgery or another medical procedure), and you have been made worse off as a result, then you may be able to bring a medical negligence claim against the medical professional who treated you. Below, you will find all the information that you need to decide whether you can claim for medical negligence. If your medical negligence claim is successful then you will usually be entitled to financial compensation.
What is medical negligence?
Briefly put, a medic has acted negligently if they fail to take proper care of you. Negligence is not a deliberate intent to harm you, or a deliberately harmful action. Rather, it is a failure to act in a way that fulfils their duty of care to you. This might include forgetting to inform you of some of the side effects of a surgical procedure, or accidentally getting your patient records mixed up with another patient’s records with the result that you experience a delay in your treatment or you are administered the wrong medication. If you feel that a medical professional has deliberately acted to harm you, however, then this would be an occasion for a more serious criminal charge against them and not simply a charge of medical negligence.
Who can claim for medical negligence?
You can claim for medical negligence if you can prove that your doctor was negligent and especially you can prove that as a result you were made worse off. If your doctor negligently mixes up your patient records but fixes the mistake as soon as they notice without anything happening to you then it would be very hard to make a negligence claim against them – there have been no ill effects. However, if your doctor negligently mixes up your patient records and as a result administers the wrong dose of a certain medication with the result that you start to feel ill then this would be an occasion for a negligence claim.
Can I claim for side effects to surgery?
This is a common question. If your doctor explained the side effects of a medical procedure to you and you subsequently signed a consent form granting your informed consent to that procedure, you cannot file a medical negligence claim if you experience any of those side effects. As long as they performed the surgery correctly, your doctor was not negligent: rather, they explained everything clearly to you and you consented to the risks involved in the surgery. This example illustrates that you cannot file a medical negligence claim simply because you feel worse for wear after surgery or a doctor’s appointment. You can only claim if you feel the worse for wear due to negligence on the part of a medical professional.
Do you think that you might be able to file a claim for medical negligence?
If, after reading this article, you believe that you are entitled to compensation for medical negligence, then it is important to get in touch with a legal professional as soon as possible.