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Negligence Claims

Negligence claims are becoming much more common and, for the victim, suffering from some kind of negligence can be extremely traumatic.

One of the most common negligence claims is medical negligence – where a medical professional has been negligent in their treatment of you which has resulted in you being injured, psychologically harmed or wrongly treated. However, there are frameworks in place to help begin the journey to rectify the problem.

Complaining

The first step to putting right negligent behaviour is to make a formal complaint. Who you should make the complaint to depends entirely on where the negligent act took place, via the NHS or a private practice. Your legal rights stand regardless of where it happens but the NHS have a strict complaints procedure that must be followed and the complaints procedure in a private practice may differ depending on the practice.

If you’re complaining through the NHS then you should:

  • Complain to the medical professional that you believe is guilty of negligence
  • If you’re not happy with the way that your complaint is handled then you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • There are many organisations that have been set up to help people who have been unhappy with their medical treatment. Local Health Watch has been designed to help people who are unhappy with their NHS treatment.

The NHS has a twelve month time limit for complaints. The time limit given by private practices may vary but you should try and enter your complaint as soon as possible after your treatment. This is because you are more likely to have visible symptoms or injuries that were caused or remain untreated because of the negligence that occurred. Making a formal complaint will also provide a starting point for the construction of a case, should you ever wish to seek compensation in the future.

Making a claim can be difficult

Although a medical negligence claim is pretty much just like any other personal injury claim, sometimes they can be slightly more complicated because you need to be able to prove that a member of medical staff was negligent in your treatment and caused your injury. The complications arise when it comes to proving the negligence of a medical professional. Obviously, there are certain cases where negligence is obvious – removing the wrong limb, for example – however, the majority of negligent acts are much more subtle, for example failing to diagnose an illness or failing to properly explain the risks of certain treatments.

In order to establish a medical professional’s negligence, there are a lot of things that need to be evaluated. MIND the mental health charity has loads of information on exactly what constitutes medical negligence and how it can be proved.

Damages

If your claim is successful and it’s established that there are grounds to call for medical negligence then you’ll be paid compensation.

The government releases figures every year which provide a guideline for the amounts that are normally awarded for certain injuries.

The amount of compensation that you’re awarded will depend entirely on the severity of your injuries, chances of recovery, treatment required and the impact they’ve had on your life.

You may also be awarded special damages which will help to cover the costs that have been involved with your injuries, for example:

  • Loss of earnings – the money you’ve lost out on when unable to work
  • Expenses – the money you’ve spent going for medical treatment, making home adaptations and all other related costs that you wouldn’t have had to make if the negligence hadn’t have happened

 

Making a successful claim is all about having the right people on side, so talk to a trained professional today.

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