Medical negligence injury
Medical negligence never really seems to be out of the news these days – the NHS pays a staggering amount in compensation claims for all varieties of injury.
The premise is simple – health practitioners are responsible for the well-being of patients in their care. They are highly trained and in the vast majority of cases they give their utmost attention and the best possible care to people who need it, but they are only human and sometimes mistakes happen.
Unfortunately, when doctors make mistakes, their actions, or lack thereof, can have rather more resounding consequences than when somebody in a different profession does the same.
If a person has been affected by the malpractice of a medical practitioner, whether they are a GP, a surgeon, a midwife or a nurse, then they could be eligible to seek compensation.
Medical negligence can have far reaching consequences. Many cases revolve round the tragic circumstances of a baby suffering injury during birth, for example, suffering brain damage due to oxygen starvation. In this scenario, the doctors should arguably have realised the foetus was in danger and taken swift steps to ensure no further harm was caused i.e. performed an emergency Caesarian, such as in the case of Georgina Archer, who was left brain damaged for the above reasons and was left with cerebral palsy and communication problems.
Xavier Cutillo, who was born in December 2009, suffered injury when doctors allegedly used excessive force during his delivery and damaged his eye and skull with forceps.
On the other hand, there are cases of misdiagnosis, such as the man who was compensated after doctors incorrectly told him he was dying of cancer, or Neal Allen, whose doctors failed to heed repeated warnings from paramedics who told them of a pre-existing medical condition that meant Mr Allen was susceptible to suffering strokes. Unfortunately, that is what happened, and Mr Allen claimed £2 million to cover the cost of the care he will now need for the rest of his life.
Public liability injury
This is more commonly referred to as ‘slip, trip or fall’ and covers scenarios where a member of the public has an accident through a failing of a public body that is responsible for ensuring maximum public safety at all times.
Someone who trips on an uneven paving stone or falls in a pothole could claim from the local authority charged with the upkeep of the road or pathway.
Someone walking down a set of outdoor steps that falls when the banister gives way and they overbalance, or someone who bangs their head and hurts themselves on a low branch, could all make a claim.
These rules apply to businesses as well. They have separate responsibility for their employees, as we covered earlier in the week, but they also owe a duty of care to anyone on their premises.
Therefore, if you slip on an unmarked spillage in your local supermarket, or trip on a piece of uncleared debris and suffer injury, you may have a claim where you thought you didn’t.