Falling ill is unpleasant as it is and on top of that, if hope to recover physically and get relief from the pain or disease is crushed by the mistreatment/misdiagnosis by the doctor, it becomes as stressful as it can be for the patient and the family. At such times, it is important that the victim fights for his/her rights, not only for the compensation, but also to ensure that such below par treatment is not provided by the doctor or the health care provider to someone else. However, due to the sensitive nature of the medical negligence claims, it is quite difficult to prove the claims easily. A legal expert on medical negligence or a personal injury lawyer can provide expert guidance and take over the case on the victim’s behalf after ascertaining the case’s merits. There are certain things about the medical negligence claim cases that the victims need to understand comprehensively before filing the lawsuit, to ensure that things are moving on the right track and that the case has a fruitful end.
- The victim should be able to support the fact that the damages, loss and pain is caused due to the negligent actions of the doctor in question.
- It has to be proved that the doctor/medical professional owed duty towards the patients.
- The breach of the duty owed to the patient has to be proved.
- It has to be conclusively proved with evidence that the material loss or physical suffering is caused due to the mistreatment by the doctor/health care provider.
- Proving negligence is extremely crucial and the stages for the same are duty, dereliction, causation and damage. Proving these four points leads to successfully claim the compensation and winning the case.
The procedure of filing the negligence case is slightly different and depends upon whether you received the negligent care from a private facility/doctor or an NHS facility/doctor. However, in both the cases, the rights of the victim to ask for the claim remains the same, only the procedure to file the claim differs slightly.
- In case of complaints to NHS, the victim or his family can directly complain to the doctor or health care provider in question. The NHS will keep a mediator if necessary to solve the case or resolve the issue.
- One can contact Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if the doctor does not provide an affirmative response.
- Getting local help from the organisations such as “Local Health Watch” can help in accelerating the case resolution.
- The sooner the victim or the victim’s family file a complaint, better it is. In general, a set time of 12 months is assigned to resolve the case, but the timeline provided by the private facilities may differ.
- If the damages are conclusively proved in the course of finding resolution, the damages are calculated and provided as per the standard set. The damages fall under two standard categories, general and special. The general damages include loss of amenity, injuries and physical suffering, whereas the special damages include medical expenses, legal expenses, future expenses, lost income, future loss of income and so on. The government issues guidelines every year that clearly detail the amount that can be claimed for the specific damages.
- The help of a professional personal injury solicitor can be sought to fast track the case and achieve the desired outcome.
Filing and wining negligence claims can be difficult, but if the victim follows the standard procedures accurately, collects and presents evidence conclusively and take help of a reputed medical negligence lawyer, it can turn the tables quite easily. Filing a negligence case is not only important to get the compensation for the damages suffered, but to also ensure the doctor or health care provider does not repeat the same mistake.
Author Bio – Scott Fanders, author of this informative article is an experienced personal injury lawyer and a hobbyist blogger on the same niche. He aims to provide important updates and information to the victims and their bereaved family, on how to go about filing a negligence claim.