What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice also referred to as medical negligence refers to when medical professionals fail in their duty of care towards their patients through negligent treatment, substandard care or other forms of action or inaction which causes the patient harm, pain, injury or further complications.
Medical malpractice can come in diverse forms such as surgical errors, wrong diagnosis, missed diagnosis, drug prescription errors, treatment delays as well as abuse from caregivers in care homes.
The effects of medical malpractice can be very traumatizing and devastating for both the patient and the family. Some have suffered complications needing more invasive treatments with their life span substantially shortened. We have undertaken malpractice cases of various kinds including those that have involved death by hospital negligence.
If you or your loved one is a victim of medical negligence and has suffered injury pain or a worsened medical condition, you have strong grounds to make a medical negligence claim.
What is A Medical Negligence Claim?
This refers to when an individual takes legal action against his or her medical professional for harm suffered due to substandard and negligent treatment received during their visit to the hospital or while being attended to by the healthcare provider.
If negligent errors or mistakes were made while undergoing a medical procedure or while being attended to by your GP, such as misdiagnosis, delay in making the correct diagnosis, drug prescription mistakes or errors on the operating table leading to complications, or unnecessary injury, then you may have legal grounds to make a medical negligence claim.
The reasons for making medical negligence claims include-
- To compensate the victims of medical negligence and their families for their suffering, pain and trauma.
- To provide financial aid for the victim and family so that they do not have to suffer financially as a result of the negligent treatment
- To help the victim access further medical and rehabilitative care which is vital for their recovery
We have also discovered that when claims are made, it forces the hospital being claimed against to make appropriate changes for better healthcare delivery.
Suing the NHS for medical negligence or in fact any hospital or its staff can be a very daunting task and some people decide not to seek justice for the harm done to them but here we have expert NHS malpractice lawyers who are well experienced in NHS negligence claims who will ensure that the entire claims process is smooth and stress-free for you.
NHS Medical Malpractice Statistics
Despite the wonderful work done by the NHS in attending to the needs of millions of patients every year. The NHS continues to receive medical negligence claims against it in tens of thousands every year. For instance, NHS negligence claims in 2018/19 were over 10,000 and about 11,625 cases were closed that same year. Of this number, 6,848 claims were successful.
That year emergency medicine received the highest number of NHS negligence claims while the negligence claims involving Obstetrics received the highest number of settlement payouts overall. While NHS negligence payouts for that year was about £1.778 billion, it rose to £2.3billion in 2019/20 with about £61.4 million spent on GP negligence claims alone.
Forms Of Medical Malpractice
There are several negligent actions which can be described as medical malpractice. These are actions or inactions which when performed by medical professionals can cause harm or avoidable complications to the patient under their care. They include:
- Medical Misdiagnosis which can come in the form of wrong diagnosis, completely missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Failure to inform a patient of the risks associated with a medical procedure and get their informed consent
- Wrong treatment
- Errors in drug prescriptions
- Delayed treatment
- Discriminating or abusive treatment
- Failure to refer patients for proper diagnostic tests or unnecessary delays to carrying them out after referral
- Delay in or failure to refer a patient to a specialist for further and more expert medical attention
- Surgical mistakes leading to complications of different kinds for the patient
If you have suffered any of the following acts of negligence or similar ones as these, you may have a valid claim for medical negligence. Our medical negligence experts have helped many people over the years get justice for harm done to them and win the best possible compensation amounts. We are here to help you and we encourage you to reach out to us in the shortest possible time to evaluate your claims and proceed to represent you.
Medical Malpractice Claims We Undertake
Our medical negligence solicitors have the expertise in representing clients in a wide range of medical negligence claims. We take pride in ourselves for undertaking and winning hugely satisfying compensation awards for clients over the years.
We undertake medical negligence claims in the following areas:
- Care Home Abuse Claims
- Orthopaedic Negligence Claims
- Cancer Misdiagnosis Negligence Claims
- Hospital Negligence Claims
- Brain Injury Claims
- Surgical Negligence Claims
- Cosmetic Surgery Claims
- Childbirth Injury Negligence Claims
- Dental Negligence Claims
- NHS GP/ Doctor Negligence Claims
- Erb’s Palsy Negligence Claims
- Forceps Delivery Negligence Claims
- Spinal Injury Claims
How To Prove My Medical Malpractice Claim?
To prove your medical practice claim, you need the services of a medical negligence solicitor who will assist you establish the fact that indeed you have suffered from negligent treatment. It is important to note that just because a medical professional acted negligently, is not enough reason to make a claim. The negligent treatment must have caused harm to the patient for a claim to be made.
In proving a medical negligence claim, the four parts of negligence has to be established which are;
- Direct Causation
What this means is that you have to demonstrate that;
- Your medical professional owed you a duty of care
- He or she breached that duty of care towards you and acted negligently
- The breach of duty of care is the cause of the harm, injury, trauma or complication you have suffered
- You have suffered other damages to your life and general wellbeing including psychologically and financially.
There are several documents you will need to prove your medical claims. Our medical negligence solicitors will assist you in whatever way you require to make available these documents. They include;
- Detailed statements
- Medical records, test results and scan results
- Witness statements
- Evidence of financial impact or losses incurred as a result of the medical malpractice
- Images or photographs
In addition to this, a medical Report from the Independent Medical Expert after performing medical examinations on you will be needed. This report will detail your present health condition and how exactly your health has been impacted by the negligent treatment.
How To File A Medical Malpractice Claim?
To begin the process of filing a medical claim against a hospital or suing the NHS for negligence, you need to do the following;
- Contact Your Medical Negligence Solicitor- for an assessment of your claim and free legal advice
- Fund Your Claim- using any of the various medical negligence funding types that are available
- Gather Facts and Evidence- which be used to prove your claims
- Establishing Liability -by getting the defendant to accept wrongdoing
- Negotiations- at this point both parties will have to reach an agreement on various issues. At this point the case can be registered in court as this will ensure that both parties meet set deadlines. It does not mean that the claim will go to court. However, if both parties fail to reach an agreement, then the case will be presided over by a judge in court.
- Payment of Compensation Fee
It is good to note that most medical malpractice cases do not get to a court trial but are settled out of court. The NHS Resolution represents the NHS when a claim is made against any NHS Trust. In 2019/20, only 0.6% of all claims against the NHS went to court.
How Long Can You Wait To Sue For Malpractice?
To be candid, it does you no good to delay making your medical negligence claims. This is because of the statutory medical negligence claims time limit.
According to the Limitation Act of 1980, you have three years to make your medical negligence claim. This time limit begins from the day the medical negligence occurred or the day you became aware of it.
Also, if the person has died as a result of the negligent treatment, the litigation friend also has three years from the date of death to make a claim.
However, children under the age of 18 are exempted from this rule. They are given until their 21st birthday to make a claim. In such a case, their parents or guardians can make claims on their behalf. In the same vein, persons who are incapacitated and unable to make claims by themselves can be allowed time until they are able to do so. Also, a loved one can take legal actions in their stead.
How Much Compensation For Medical Malpractice in the UK?
There are different compensation values for different medical malpractice claims. Each claim has its own specifics and these determine the amount an individual will receive as compensation claims. Some of the factors that can influence the settlement payout of a claim include;
- Type of injury
- Location of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Damages caused by the injury
- Financial losses incurred as a result of the injury
- Future prognosis
- Expenses for medical appointments
- Rehabilitation costs
- Cost of hiring caregivers
- Accommodation adjustment
Settlement payout values in the UK can fall anywhere between £1,000 to several millions of pounds depending on the determinants mentioned above. Our NHS clinical negligence on assessment of your claim can give you an idea of what you can expect as your compensation fee using our medical negligence calculator.
The NHS Resolution has reported that the average medical negligence compensation fee in the UK is £50,000.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Expert today
Our NHS malpractice lawyers will undertake your medical negligence claims under our No Win No Fee policy. This Conditional fee Agreement allows you to make claims and take legal actions against any health establishment without having to pay legal fees. You do not have to make any upfront payments or during the legal proceedings. Also, you don’t have to pay us even if your claim is not successful.
However, when your claims are successful, 25% of your compensation award known as success fee will be deducted while you receive the rest.
Contact us today on 0800 999 3372 or fill out our online claims assessment form for free assessment of your claims and to kickstart the process of seeking the justice you deserve.