In order to succeed in a Clinical Negligence claim, often called ‘medical’ negligence, it is necessary to establish that the treatment was negligent. A patient has to prove that the Clinical Practitioner has been negligent on a balance of probabilities.
This means showing that the standard of care fell below what could reasonably have been expected. Medical opinion often differs over treatment for a particular ailment and it is a valid defence if it can be shown that the treatment was in accordance with the views of a responsible body of medical opinion.
Here are some typical examples of scenarios where clinical negligence takes place.
1. Failure to diagnose your condition or making the wrong diagnosis.
2. Making a mistake during a procedure or operation.
3. Administering the wrong drug.
4. Failing to obtain consent to treatment.
5. Failing to warn about the risks of a particular treatment.
If it can be established that the standard of care was negligent then you still have to prove that the negligence actually caused the injury. This can be trickiest part of the case. The Medical Practitioner may claim that the injury arose from the illness itself and not from the treatment; or that the injury would have come about in any event. Detailed medical evidence will be called with specialists for each side. Sometimes joint experts will be instructed where it is appropriate.
Clinical Negligence claims are a highly specialist area so it is important that your solicitor has specific experience in this field. The Clinical Practitioner or Authority will have their own solicitors and experts and you must have equal specialist advice.
If you think you or anyone you know has been a victim of clinical negligence, get in touch now for a free assessment.