What Is Clinical Negligence?
Clinical negligence means any kind of harm caused to you by someone in the medical field due to their failure to carry out their job to accepted standards. Medical professionals have a duty of care not to cause further harm to their patients while treating them.
If they breach this duty of care you may be entitled to compensation. And, for the harm to be put right, as far as possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals breach this duty of care. And, it can be confusing to understand exactly what that means and what you can do about it.
This breach of duty can occur in a vast range of medical practices, including as GPs and dentists. There is also a wide range of errors that clinical negligence covers. Listed below are some common examples:
- Delayed or incorrect diagnosis
- Failure to get necessary consent
- Neglecting to act in time
- Careless surgical procedure
- Incorrect medication or treatment
- Administrative errors that lead to injury
If you believe you have been a victim of clinical negligence, we can help. We can offer legal advice on how to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Please contact us today to find out more. Or, keep reading.
Clinical Negligence Vs Personal Injury
It can be easy for some to confuse clinical negligence with personal injury. It might make sense if someone has caused you harm to think that is a personal injury. Although the two cases are similar, there are some major differences.
In a personal injury case, such as a traffic accident, it is usually clear who caused the accident and who is to blame. If it’s clear who’s at fault, it’s clear who owes compensation and who deserves compensation.
But, with clinical negligence that blame is rarely so easy to place. Clinical negligence is usually more complex. In this type of claim, there must be proof of two things:
- That there was a breach of duty of care. There must be proof that a medical professional made an error, negligently. It is perfectly feasible for someone to make a mistake without legal liability attaching to it. We must show that what the medical practitioner did would be accepted as being negligent by other medical practitioners.
- That the breach of duty of care caused or contributed to further harm. There must be proof that whatever the error, it was detrimental to your health or treatment. And this must be in a way which would not have occurred had the negligent treatment not happened.
You can only be compensated, though, for the additional harm and suffering caused. The fact that you may be suffering from a pre-existing medical issue will not be part of the compensation. To put it simply, they will only be responsible for paying compensation for the extra harm they caused.
If you believe you have suffered from clinical negligence, there are a few limits on when you can claim.
Usually you should start your legal claim within 3 years of the negligence. Or within 3 years of when you might reasonably be expected to have known about it, whichever is later.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, if a child has received negligent treatment. This 3-year rule would only come into effect when the child turns 18. So, in receiving negligent treatment as a child, you should start a claim before they turn 21.
Another exception is dependent on the mental capacity of patient. In short, if someone who has had maltreatment lacks the mental ability to start their claim, there is generally no time limit on when to start the claim. Although, the 3-year rule will start if or when they recover from their mental disability.
Because of these time limits, we recommend that you start seeking advice as soon as possible. Doing this allows thorough investigation to take place. As such, the sooner you get advice the more likely you are to get your compensation due.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of clinical negligence. Chris Rudd Solicitors focus on the most common issues. One particular area of interest is dental negligence. The scope of dental work is forever expanding. With more ambitious work being undertaken, there is potentially more scope for dental clinical negligence.
Most of the time, going to the dentist is quick, safe, and not very painful. Despite around half of adults in the UK having some fear or anxiety around dentists. Yet, occasionally dentists do make errors. That error may leave you in discomfort, pain, or even cause more serious dental health issues.
Some examples of this are:
- Delayed or incorrect diagnosis
- Nerve injury
- Extraction of the wrong tooth
- Inadequate or substandard dental work, such as fillings or crowns
- Mistakes with dental implants
If you believe you have been victim of dental clinical negligence, keep reading. Find out what Chris Rudd Solicitors can do to help you.
How We Can Help
We know it can be overwhelming, stressful, and confusing to know how to start a claim.
That’s where we can help. We can provide you with 15 minutes free legal advice. And, if you have a solid claim we will begin and progress your claim. Almost all the time, we can do this on a no win no fee basis to get you the compensation you deserve.
We can offer you:
- A specialist team of experienced legal advisors
- Free initial advice with no obligation
- A no win no fee service
- We will get you compensation you deserve
If you do believe you have the basis of a claim for clinical negligence, please get in touch today. We can help you get the compensation you are owed. Feel free to call us on 01925 351 350.