What Is Medical Negligence? Advice For Taking Legal Action

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Medical treatment is usually provided to a high standard, but there’s always a chance that an error occurs which causes you injury, makes an existing condition worse or prevents a better recovery. If this happens to you, then you may be able to bring a medical negligence claim for compensation.


For most people, a medical negligence case can seem too difficult and complicated and may be put off pursuing a legitimate claim, but at Axiclaim we aim to make it as easy as possible to obtain the compensation you deserve. If you have a viable case, one of our many professionals will discuss the case with you at the start and keep you and always keep you advised of progress at every stage.


Support when making a medical negligence claim


We aim to provide the best service for you, which is why our team of medical negligence experts are always on hand to fight your corner. If you have any questions about a potential medical negligence case, you should contact one of our advisors who will be able to discuss it with you.


Our specialists have decades of experience of handling all sorts of different, complex medical cases to help support those who unfortunately have been affected. The in-depth knowledge our team possesses, across the wide variety of medical areas, will ensure that you always have someone available to help you.


How can medical negligence occur?


There are many different types of medical error, but the most common are as follows:


  • Incorrect diagnosis
  • Delay in diagnosis
  • Errors during surgery
  • Incorrect medication
  • Failing to refer the patient to a specialist
  • Failing to provide advice of treatment options or warn of potential risks


If a child suffers injury through a medical mistake, then a claim can be brought through their parent or guardian. We’ve won many cases for children and have huge experience of such claims, so we’ll talk you through the procedure and provide you with relevant information and advice that will make the process as comfortable as possible.


Proving negligence by a medical professional can seem like a difficult challenge, and often it is. Not every single minor error will be regarded as negligent, but you must prove that the treatment you received would not be considered adequate by other healthcare professionals in the same field.


If it can be proven that the care was negligent, you must also prove that the negligence probably caused you additional or further injury or delayed or prevented recovery.


If you are able to prove that you have suffered injury as a result of negligent care, then a claim can be made for both physical and psychiatric injuries. Furthermore, you’re able to claim damages for losses such as:


  • Earnings
  • Care and assistance needed due to a negligent injury
  • The cost of any private treatment
  • Transport or travelling expenses


When you first begin preparing for a medical negligence claim, the lawyers will want to fully understand the impact that this negligence has had on your life so they are able to ensure that the compensation you receive can cover all past losses and future needs.

Are you eligible for medical negligence compensation?


If you are the victim of negligent care or a member of your family is struggling due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. From prescription medication to hospital admission, most of us have some contact with healthcare professionals during the course of our lives. The vast majority of these encounters will occur without incident, but sometimes, mistakes can occur as a result of human error. Such errors can lead to further illness, accident or injury, which could have a catastrophic effect on quality of life.

What you need to know before making a medical negligence claim


There are a number of areas you need to ensure are covered before you begin a claim for medical negligence.


  1. Find a solicitor


Normally, this should be one of the first things you do. You should find solicitors who are specialists in medical negligence. A lot of lawyers, particularly personal injury lawyers, claim to be medical negligence experts, but in reality, deal with a very small number of simple cases, while spending most of their time working on different types of claims. At Axiclaim we have a vast pool of professionals who all specialise in a wide variety of medical areas and who do very little else but medical negligence claims.


  1. Any medical professional can be negligent


No matter whether it’s a private, NHS, cosmetic or dental clinic you are able to claim against any medical professional that may have caused injury as long as the medical evidence shows that you have suffered injury through their negligent mistake.


  1. Very rarely will you go to trial


A lot of people who have never claimed before assume that a lot of their time when claiming compensation will be spent in court. However, the vast majority of medical negligence cases are settled well before trial. Normally, the defence will come forward with a reasonable settlement. However, your lawyers will prepare your case as though it were going all the way to trial if a settlement cannot be achieved and of course are quite willing to fight your case in court if necessary.


  1. Time limits apply


Medical negligence claims must be started within three years of the patient becoming aware of the problem, which is usually, but not always when the negligence first occurred. Sometimes, the three-year period will run from a later date, when you first realised that you had suffered injury as a result of a medical error.


Children are given from their 18th birthday to their 21st to bring their claim forward. As for those who are mentally incapable of instructing solicitors, the time limit begins once/if they begin to regain their sound mind.


There are a number of ways to fund your negligence claim.  This could be through insurance you already have trade union membership, which may be able to help with any legal costs; or the most popular, the conditional fee agreement. This particular type is the norm of most solicitors now as they usually enter a no win, no fee agreement with the claimant ensuring that if the case isn’t successful, they won’t have to pay a penny.


  1. The length of the cases


As most medical negligence cases can be complex and rely on a lot of medical evidence from expert witnesses, they can take some time to come to a conclusion, the exact duration of a case depends on the amount of evidence, the type of evidence required and the defendant’s response. Most cases are resolved in between eighteen months and three years.


  1. Medical expert evidence is required


Medical negligence cases are completely different from other types of injury claim due to them being reliant on the opinions of independent medical experts as to whether the treatment was negligent and whether or not this treatment caused further injury. Axiclaim has a very extensive panel of medical experts who work closely with us. They are entirely impartial and give honest and reliable opinions on a case.


If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence then you may have the right to claim compensation. If you’re unsure on whether or not you qualify, then you can get in touch with one of our expert advisors at Axiclaim who will be able to advise you on your next steps.


Axiclaim’s team of specialist lawyers deal exclusively with medical negligence claims and can offer you all of the support, advice and help you need in order to move forward with a claim for compensation. If you are the victim of illness or injury due to medical negligence, we can help. Claims can be brought against:


  • Individuals: i.e. doctors, consultants, nurses or any other professionals you may encounter
  • Organisations: i.e. hospitals, clinics or nursing homes
  • Medical services: i.e. dental practices or mental health services


Medical Negligence Claims can be brought against parties in both the public and private sectors. Whether you’re suffering financial hardship because you’re unable to work, or need medical negligence compensation in order to pay for ongoing medical care, Axiclaim can help. Compensation isn’t awarded simply due to potential loss of earnings: it’s awarded for things like loss of enjoyment, loss of future employment, medical care and pain and suffering. We know that medical negligence can impact every part of your life, causing both physical and emotional suffering, which is why we make sure that you’re awarded compensation to help you come to terms with both the physical and emotional problems that you may be dealing with.


Many people wrongly believe that medical malpractice compensation can only be sought in extreme cases, such as failure to diagnose a terminal illness or mistakes made during surgery. But patients can claim compensation for a number of medically negligent incidents, including:


  • Prescribing mistakes (incorrect medication prescribed, incorrect dosage prescribed, mistakes when writing down the drug/dosage needed)
  • Failure to diagnose illness/injury despite diagnostic tests taking place
  • Failure to diagnose illness/injury in a reasonable amount of time
  • Misdiagnosis (incorrectly diagnosing one illness for another, leading to delays in the amount of time taken to receive proper care and treatment, or causing undue suffering and worry)
  • Any medical error or mistake that results in an accident, illness or injury that occurs as a direct result of the negligence of a medical practitioner that could not have been reasonably foreseen or avoided


In order for a claim to be successful, it will need to be proven that the accident, illness or injury you are suffering from would not have otherwise occurred. But rest assured – if you are the victim of medical negligence and are suffering as a direct consequence of that negligence – Axiclaim will do everything we can to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.


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Contact us for sympathetic help and advice from our team of medical negligence solicitors, or call us on 0800 023 88 55