LawFuel.com – Law Marketing Newswire Service – There is no getting away from it, clinical negligence is big business. Okay, so that might be stating the obvious. However, more and more people feel that this is a route that they need to travel down. This isn’t to say that the standard of healthcare has necessarily deteriorated. It could just be that many more procedures are carried out, not to mention an increased knowledge of patients’ rights on the part of the general public.
As you might well expect, this area is somewhat of a minefield. At any given time there will be lots of differing opinions floating around. The good news is that this blog post will give you the low-down on what to expect as well as providing an insight as to your options.
So if you feel frustrated or worse as a result of a recent medical procedure then by all means, read on.
Before getting to the “nitty gritty” it is probably a good idea to take a step back and look at the definition of clinical negligence.
The first thing to realise is that not all injury’s come under the umbrella of negligence. It might have simply been a case that the incident could not have been avoided.
The law will only step in to protect you if it can be shown that on the balance of probability you received treatment on a negligent basis. Furthermore, that it can be established that this treatment was directly attributable to your injury.
Some examples of clinical negligence might well include the following:
- Prescribing or giving the wrong drug
- Making a mistake during an operation or other procedure
- An incorrect diagnosis
- Not warning about the potential risks of a treatment
When something has gone wrong the minimum that you can expect is to be told exactly what happened. For some people this full explanation coupled with an apology might be enough to satisfy them. Of course, this very much depends on the individual circumstances and the seriousness of the situation.
If you decide that this simply isn’t enough then you will probably be looking at organising a clinical negligence claim. It is important not to jump to this conclusion lightly as there are many variables to consider.
Sometimes these claims can drag on for long periods of time, patience is important here. Additionally it is very likely that you will recount your experiences do many different people along the way, which for many people could be particularly traumatic.
Time isn’t Always Your Friend
Different people handle traumatic events in their own ways; there really isn’t any right or wrong here. However, it is important to know that the clock ticks very fast when it comes to this type of claim. Put simply, you should know that there is a maximum of 3 years to register your complaint.
The only changes to the above relate to children and those with a mental disability. For the former the 3 year limitation won’t come into effect until they have reached the age of eighteen. In the case of mental disability it won’t apply until after they have recovered from their disability.
The next stage is to seek the advice of a professional body. This will either be an independent solicitor or increasing commonly a clinical negligence claim group. Either way there will be someone that will be taking a close look at the information that you provide them with. At the end of this they will be in a position to confirm if they believe you have a strong enough case.
Proving that You Have Grounds
We already know that these types of claims don’t get resolved overnight. In fact it can take many months if not longer of legal wrangling before a conclusion. So before any legal professional will commit their time they will want to be pretty sure that you have a credible case.
As a result of this you shouldn’t be surprised when you are asked to furnish certain information. This will almost certainly include:
- Medical records
- Full personal statement
- Additional supporting documents
It is imperative that your solicitor is able to obtain credible supporting information from 3rd party. Without this it is very unlikely that your case would be successful. Often a solicitor will refuse to act on behalf of a client if this information isn’t forthcoming or indeed available, such is the weight that it carries.
Naturally when things go wrong people feel upset, this is only human nature.
The biggest thing to bear in mind that if you looking for purely an apology then a complaint might prove to be a better investment of your time. However, if you are looking for a level of compensation then you will surely need to consider instigating a clinical negligence claim.
Also, don’t worry too much about dusting off your suit for your big day in court. The vast majority of all claims are settled well in advance of things ever reaching this stage.
As a professional freelance writer, your author (Colin O’Donnell) has written many posts on the subject of medical malpractice. His advice before commencing a clinical negligence claim is to make sure you are not just seeking an apology for what has gone on as a complaint could be a better way to achieve this.