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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Medical negligence and the law

    The law places a duty of care onto medical professionals. This means they must provide the necessary care, treatment and medication a patient requires, as and when it is required.

    Failure to provide adequate treatment and so on may result in a patient receiving an injury, becoming more ill or not recovering in the time and manner they should.

    Termed as a breach of duty, an event like this may lead to the patient lodging a claim for medical negligence. It is important to be aware of medical negligence and the law.

    Claiming for injury through medical negligence

    In order to claim medical or clinical negligence compensation, the injured individual must first of all establish duty of care. This is typically not a problem, as medical staff invariably have the duty to care for patients in a correct and timely manner.

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    Breach of duty

    Following this, it must be established that there was indeed a breach of duty. In other words, it must be shown that whatever a doctor or other medical professionals did or perhaps did not do fell below the expected level of standard care. This may centre on matters of advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Having established a breach of duty or perhaps negligence, it is then necessary to prove causation. This means it must be established that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the injury caused to the patient. If this is the case, the patient may be entitled to claim medical negligence injury compensation. There are occasions when there was indeed a breach of duty, but no actual injury or damage was caused. In this case, a claim for compensation would not be successful. Medical negligence and the law is very complex, and causation is one factor to consider with regards to compensation claims.

    Burden of proof

    The burden of proof of medical negligence lies with the claimant. In other words, the injured individual is required to prove that a breach of duty by medical personnel caused their injury. Finally, any claims for medical negligence compensation must be brought forward within three years of the alleged injury, although exceptional circumstances may result in this time limit being extended.

    Claims for accidents at work

    Here, too, the claimant is required to prove that the responsibility and liability to pay compensation lies with their employer. Receiving an injury at work may, for example, be the result of the claimant not following instructions or wearing provided protective gear. In this case, the employer is not liable and a claim would not be justified.

    Accident Advice Helpline

    By contacting Accident Advice Helpline, injured individuals can obtain advice with regards to the likelihood of a claim succeeding, what is required of them in order to proceed, and so on.

    The free-phone number is available 24/7, and calls are dealt with confidentially by helpful, friendly company advisers and an experienced legal team.

    Date Published: October 17, 2013

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.