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Professional negligence claims relating to the medical profession are becoming more common, but it’s unclear whether that is because more mistakes are being made or that victims are more aware of their legal rights to compensation if they have been mistreated.
Doctors in the UK are highly trained, and anyone undertaking the training has to be committed and dedicated or they will not complete the many years of training. It includes:
- A medical degree which takes four to six years;
- Foundation school for medicine for two years;
- For GPs, further training of three years; and
- For specialists, further training of five to eight years.
This is a minimum of nine years of training to become a GP, and a maximum of sixteen years if they want to specialise in one particular area of medicine. With 64 medical specialities in the UK, there are a lot for them to choose from.
Mistakes that cause professional negligence claims
In spite of all the training they undertake, and no matter how dedicated they are, all medical professionals are human as well, so sometimes they can make mistakes.
The consequences of a medical error can be dire for the victim. It can delay your recovery from an injury or illness, or may mean it is too late to treat and leave permanent damage for the victim, if it is not life-threatening.
It is not just doctors against whom professional negligence claims are made
Professional negligence claims are made against a variety of different healthcare providers, including:
- Care homes;
- Anaesthetists; and
Whether your doctor misdiagnoses your illness, your optician gets your laser eye surgery wrong, a nurse takes a test incorrectly, or there is any other medical mistreatment, if it makes your injury or illness worse then you are entitled to claim compensation.
Professional indemnity insurance
All medical professionals should have professional indemnity insurance in case any claims are made against them. This insurance settles any claim, providing that the victim can prove there is at least a 50% chance that the treatment they received made them worse or created a new problem. This is usually achieved by obtaining reports from specialists in the area of your illness or injury, to see if they would have treated you in the same way.
If they have done this, there may be no case for your medical professional to answer, but if the specialist says the way in which you were treated was wrong then you may have a strong case against whoever treated you.
Claiming your compensation
Medical negligence claims are among the most complicated of all personal injury claims, but for us here at Accident Advice Helpline that is not a problem.
Call our freephone helpline on 0800 180 4123 and one of our friendly advisers will guide you through what needs to be done to start your claim.
As we work on a no win no fee* basis, you do not have to worry about funding your claim, as we will not be asking for money for the work to be started or if the claim is not won.