Medical negligence is a tricky problem because the layman is not really in a position as a rule to know if there has been negligence in their case. It is often when another doctor – a locum or a specialist for example – becomes involved in the case that the possibility becomes known. Even without medical knowledge though, most people do have a feel for whether a doctor is behaving correctly and if you are in any doubt, call us at Accident Advice Helpline. The call is free and the consultation you will have with one of our expert lawyers will be with no obligation to proceed.
What is medical negligence?
Unlike an injury that you may suffer which is the fault of someone else, medical negligence is sometimes tricky to define. Medical outcomes are never certain, even in quite simple procedures, so just because the operation or course of treatment has not ended as well as hoped, negligence is not necessarily the cause. Put simply, it is when a patient (or their family) can prove that the doctor (or other medical professional) owed a duty of care to the patient, that they were negligent in his management and also that the patient suffered harm as a result. All three of the parts of this statement need to be met before a personal injury claim can succeed. Our legal experts at AAH will be able to guide you through what can be a complex and long process.
Don’t delay – there is a time limit
Any personal injury compensation claim on the grounds of medical negligence needs to be begun no more than 36 months after the event occurred. This can be waived by the court in special circumstances and it also doesn’t apply to anyone who was under eighteen at the time or was suffering from a mental condition. In any case in which you might think you have a case arising from someone else’s negligent behaviour, you should always contact Accident Advice Helpline as soon as possible. There is no way you can be too early; but you can certainly be too late. Our patron, consumer champion Esther Rantzen encourages anyone who has suffered from any kind of accident or negligence to call free to see if they can claim. It costs nothing and although it can’t put right an injury, compensation helps relieve financial worries that can slow recovery.
Date Published: September 2, 2013
Author: David Brown