Medical malpractice is when someone experiences an injury resulting in ill health due to the negligence of a hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional. It can relate to an incorrect diagnosis, the issuing of incorrect medication or negligence during procedures.
So, you might be asking “do I have a medical malpractice case”? If this is something you’re wondering, you probably have suspicions for a reason. It can never hurt to speak to a lawyer to get a second opinion. But what factors need to be involved to determine a medical malpractice case?
Healthcare in the UK can be complicated and with its difficulties. Unlike many other healthcare services, the NHS entitles every British citizen to free healthcare. Whilst this is an admirable service, some people believe that this means conditions may not be up to scratch and that healthcare professionals are overworked and underpaid.
Whatever your views on the issue, in a medical malpractice case you must be able to prove that there has been a breach of the practitioner’s duty of care. You must be able to prove that they were responsible for your healthcare and did something, or neglected to do something, that showed your treatment wasn’t of the correct standards. For this to be proven, another medical professional must concur that there has been negligence.
The next factor in a medical malpractice case is demonstrating “causation”. This means that you need to prove that the negligence of the healthcare professional was the cause of your injury or condition. If you have heart failure, for example, and your condition became significantly worse due to an incorrect diagnosis from a lack of standard tests, you may have a medical malpractice case, as the healthcare professional did not follow the standard procedures.
This then leads to a significant decline in your health that could have otherwise been prevented. Likewise, if you have had a surgical procedure that has gone wrong due to medical negligence, you may have a medical malpractice case. However, be aware that before most surgical procedures you will be warned of the potential outcomes of the procedure, and the possibility of scarring or ruptures. You will have signed paperwork that confirms that you understand this.
To make a compensation claim for medical malpractice, you need to be able to demonstrate that you’ve suffered losses. This means having the correct paperwork and hospital documentation which has evidence of your injuries or resulting in ill health, and how this has impacted your life. This might include a loss of earnings, adaptations to your home, equipment and further medical treatment or therapies.
The award will be divided up into the following:
- General damages: compensation for your pain and suffering, and how the medical negligence has impacted your everyday life. This is called the “loss of amenity”.
- Special damages: this includes funds for any financial losses which have occurred due to the medical negligence, such as a loss of employment. You will need to have documents to support this claim.
Have you been in a situation like this before?
*Disclosure: Paid Collaboration
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