It doesn’t matter if it happened in a private clinic or in a facility run by the National Health Service. If your condition worsened or you are faced with a new injury, you can claim for medical negligence. Like in all other injury cases, you need to show evidence that the medical or healthcare professional attending to you neglected medical standards and thus caused you further injury. Deciding on what constitutes medical negligence is not always cut and dried, especially in the case of surgical operations. This is because some operations have risks.
Although medical negligence claims are notorious for being hard to win than other injury claims, there are no-win, no compensation solicitors who specialize in this type of claim. Do not be shy about shopping around for solicitors and asking if they specialize in this type of claim.
Be prepared though. There are cases when your solicitor might require a conditional fee or require you to pay fees upfront. This is especially true for claims filed against the National Health Service. But these are just for extreme cases, and it only happens when a solicitor feels that the case has a slim chance at winning (51%).
If you feel worse off after treatment, seek medical attention immediately. Do not worry about evidence, since every hospital admission is always documented. When you are feeling better, seek out the advice of your solicitor. Under normal circumstances, they would advise you to file an official complaint before making a claim.
You can only make a medical negligence claim if you were actually injured as a result of negligence on the part of the healthcare professional. Do not cover cases of “almost had” injuries. There are always prescription errors or of the wrong limb being scheduled for surgery. But if these were corrected at the last minute, then do not seek out compensation for a near miss.
But if you have discovered a medical malpractice injury within the last three years, you might be able to claim for damages. A compensation claim must be settled or claims must be filed within three years after the event that caused the injury. However, judges have the right to extend the time limits based on certain guidelines. You may file a claim for medical negligence for loss of income, costs of care giving, medical expenses and prescription medicine, pain and suffering, loss of life’s amenities, reduced prospects for employment, and legal expenses.
Determining if you indeed are a victim of medical negligence is often not that easy. Your solicitor will need to conduct an initial investigation based on your written statement, your medical records, and a medical report prepared by another medical practitioner specifying if the medical practitioner who allegedly caused the injury followed the standards of healthcare in his field. After the initial investigation, your solicitor will need to obtain evidence that the alleged medical negligence caused the injury.
An investigation would normally take six to twelve months. This is because most medical experts are not able to produce reports until sometime after receiving a case because of their long waiting lists.