Before attempting to clarify where potential claims may originate, it may be helpful to define what clinical or medical negligence is. In essence, it is a doctor, therapist or nurse’s breach of duty of care towards a patient, resulting in harm being inflicted on that patient.
This basically means that on any occasion when a patient does not receive the care and/or treatment they require and subsequently becomes more ill, suffers prolonged pain or worse, a potential for medical negligence claims exists.
A patient may, for instance, be diagnosed with the wrong condition. Doctors may, to use a rather extreme example, tell a patient he or she suffers with indigestion, when in fact, they have a heart problem. Subsequently receiving no or inadequate treatment, the patient could end up having a heart attack, making him seriously ill or perhaps even killing him. The patient, or if he dies as a result of the misdiagnosis, his family, would then be eligible to claim negligence compensation.
Failure to diagnose a condition
Another example of a situation warranting a potential claim for clinical negligence is a radiologist not spotting a potentially malignant tumour in a patient’s body. Left untreated, this tumour may cause the patient significant suffering, even death.
Wrong or no treatment
Should a nurse or therapist administer the wrong type of treatment while a patient is under his or her care, or for some reason does not administer required treatments at all, the result may again be prolonged suffering and pain for the patient. Here, too, the patient or their family would be eligible to claim for compensation.
Where medical negligence originates
What all this means is that such cases can originate anywhere, from health centres and doctors’ surgeries to hospitals, clinics or treatment centres. All members of the medical profession have a duty of care towards patients and, while mistakes should not happen, occasionally they do, often with disastrous results for the patient. Whenever this happens, patients or their families have the legal right to claim compensation.
If you were diagnosed wrongly or not at all, or given no treatment by a medical professional within the last three years, you may be eligible to make a compensation claim. Contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 to find out how to claim and get experienced, no win no fee* legal assistance in conducting your claim. Calls to the law firm’s advice line are free and kept strictly confidential.
Date Published: March 5, 2014
Author: David Brown