What is medical negligence?
‘Medical negligence lawyers focused on your needs’
If you’re asking yourself ‘What is medical negligence?’, as medical negligence lawyers we’re ideally placed to help. Before anything else, we’ll help you assess the costs of pursuing a claim against any compensation you may be likely to receive. If costs make a claim unviable, we may advise you against pursuing it.
The three steps of medical negligence claims
One way of answering the question ‘What is medical negligence?’ is to explain the three steps involved in every claim. Think of each step as a hurdle that has to be cleared in order for your claim to be successful. If your case falls at any of the hurdles, your claim will fail.
Your case has to show a breach of duty of care that has led to negligent medical treatment. Your medical negligence lawyers have to prove that a clinician or health professional has not exercised a reasonable standard of skill or care when treating you.
The standard of medical treatment has to be judged by the standards of that particular grade of staff, the area of medicine involved, and the time when you had treatment. The clinician must have done something, or failed to do something, that his or her colleagues would say showed that your treatment wasn’t up to a proper standard.
Of course, doctors and medical staff can get something wrong without being negligent. This really is a question for medical experts. So unless another medical professional says there has been negligence, you won’t be able to bring a claim.
You must show that your injury or condition was caused by the negligent treatment. The court won’t take into account any outcomes from your treatment that might have been expected, or any pain and suffering that would unfortunately have been inevitable. You can only claim for extra pain and suffering if it was caused by the negligence. Medical experts will need to assess your situation.
You must be able to demonstrate that you’ve suffered losses. The court calculates the amount of compensation you should receive for any injury caused by the negligent treatment. This is known as the value of your claim, and is what your opponent agrees to pay, or what the court decides if no agreement is possible.
Compensation is made up of two parts. The first takes into account general damages, which is compensation for your pain, suffering and effects on your day-to-day life. How much you receive will depend on the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines and past awards made in similar cases. The second is special damages, which includes funds for your financial losses, both in the past and in the future. You’ll need to provide evidence and documentary proof to support any claim. Interest will also be included in any award you receive.