Your Right to Make Medical Negligence Claims
In the (admittedly rather unlikely) event that you are caused some amount of suffering due to a fault in the medical care given to you at the hands of a medical professional, or due to the particular negligence of said professional, there will be the possibility there for you to make a claim, with the chance of receiving compensation for your troubles.
If you are already currently hard pressed when it comes to financial matters, you would do well to avoid the traditional medical lawyers, and instead opt for one who operates on a no win, no fee basis. This way, you won’t be forced to pay anything up front, and your legal costs will be fielded by the other party.
Grounds for Medical Negligence
You can make a claim for medical negligence on a number of different grounds. For example, if you believe that you were not given the appropriate treatment or the care you deserve by the medical professionals who looked after you (including doctors, nurses, midwives, aides and the like), then you will likely be able to make a claim.
If you are given an incorrect diagnosis, or if your medical professional fails to make a correct diagnosis in a reasonable amount of time, you could also claim for damages in this case. Another possible claim scenario would be for any injury incurred during the process of giving birth, through the person in charge not noticing a complication in time, or for failing to act in a correct and timely manner.
Limitations on Making a Claim
First and foremost, the most important part of basing a compensation claim on the grounds of medical negligence is that permanent harm or suffering must be caused. It is no good to try and claim on something small – because the medical profession is so powerful, it has to be a serious injury with long term or lifelong effects to stand any chance in court.
The next step in making a claim is to have definitive proof that it was 100% down to the fault of the medical professional. Accidents normally won’t cut it, unless it was easily preventable. It can be quite hard to prove conclusively that the doctor or nurse was at fault, so get some help from a lawyer who specialises in medical law; they should be able to help you.
Also, there is a cut-off date that you should be aware of – you must have started the ball rolling on making the claim (i.e. the initial papers should have been filed) before three years have passed since the negligence took place.
If you have suffered from medical negligence and want something done about it, a good place to start would be by visiting a branch of the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) – a part of the NHS, they should be able to advise and put you in touch with the correct people.