You have probably heard the term medical negligence, maybe even read articles about medical negligence claims but not been sure exactly what it means to you. As medical negligence solicitors, we thought it would be a good idea to provide you with an overview of medical negligence claims through the five Ws – What? Who? When? Where? Why? – so that you have all the information you need.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is when the actions of the health professional that treated you fell below an acceptable standard and you suffered injury or damage. Ordinarily the treatment you receive is excellent but occasionally mistakes are made. Healthcare professionals such as doctors have a duty to take care of you that is the same across treatment, diagnosis or advice. This duty of care applies to private healthcare too.
The most common medical negligence claims include birth injury claims, spinal cord injury claims and cerebral palsy claims.
Who Can I Make a Medical Negligence Claim Against?
You can make a medical negligence claim against a doctor/GP, a member of a medical team, a hospital doctor or their employers which can include NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts or private hospitals. Other healthcare professionals such as nurses, mid wives, osteopaths, lab workers, therapists, physiotherapists, and the ambulance service all have a duty of care towards you too. If any of these people fail to provide their legal duty of care and it results in injury or damage to you then you can claim.
Where can medical negligence happen?
Medical negligence can fall into the following categories:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to send you to a specialist
- Incorrect Treatment
- Where something goes wrong with an operation
- When there are problems and complications during labour
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Failure to fully warn you about the risks of a treatment
When to Make a Medical Negligence Claim?
There is a time frame when it comes to making a medical negligence claim which is important to remember. You have three years to bring legal proceedings for physical or psychiatric injury. You need to start your claim within three years from when the incident occurred or when you first realised you had suffered an injury.
The three-year time frame does not apply in all situations though. For example, with children the time begins from their eighteenth birthday.
It’s important to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible if you think you have been a victim of medical negligence. The more time you can give your solicitor to investigate the medical negligence claim the better. It also gives you a better chance to retain all the important documents that your medical negligence solicitors will need to prove that damage has occurred. It’s a good idea to keep as much information as possible relating to your injury and any financial expenses incurred. Also, in terms of remembering those all important details, the sooner the better remains true.
Why make a medical negligence claim?
There are many reasons why you may want to make a medical negligence claim and these differ for everyone. They can be personal reasons, financial reasons, altruistic reasons but they are all equally valid motivations.
- You may wish to bring closure to the matter so that you can start to rebuild your life
- You may wish to claim compensation for the expenses incurred following your injury like:
- Loss of earnings
- Any medical and nursing care costs
- Costs of specialist equipment you may require
- Costs involved in adapting your home
- All other expenses like travel costs that you pay out when receiving medical treatment
- You may wish to make a medical negligence claim as a matter of principle
- You may want to inspire improvements in the level of care received
- You may wish to receive compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced. This can cover psychiatric or psychological injury too
How can we help you make a medical negligence claim?
At Paschal O’Hare Solicitors Belfast, we appreciate that if you or someone close to you has suffered that you want the matter to be resolved as quickly as possible. We use all of our experience to ensure that we get the best outcome as swiftly as is possible. Our medical negligence solicitors are here to help you. We want to minimise the stress and worry that can surround such events.
As medical negligence solicitors, Paschal O’Hare are a Belfast law firm with the experience required ensuring your claim is handled sympathetically and efficiently. We’ve been putting our medical negligence claim experience to good use, helping people get the compensation they deserve since 1969. An initial claims assessment is provided free of charge.
If you want to find out more about making a medical negligence claim and benefit from our free claims assessment with our expert medical negligence solicitors Northern Ireland, call us free now on 0800 020 9311 or complete our Free Online Enquiry now.
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