Skip to main content

What is Clinical/Medical Negligence?


Doctors and nurses are generally regarded as providing excellent, caring service for their patients. Nevertheless, if you, your spouse or child, have been injured, or if you are the dependant or child of a patient who died, as a result of medical treatment you are, at the very least, entitled to an explanation. A treating doctor, in fact, is required by his governing body, the General Medical Council to inform a patient when that treatment has gone wrong.

Where the injury or death was caused or contributed to by the breach of a duty of care committed in the course of the provision of clinical or medical services, including dental or nursing services, you and/or your child may be entitled to financial compensation for what is termed "clinical negligence", formerly – and often still – described as “medical negligence”.

Personal injuries, including brain damage and psychological injury such as nervous shock, or death can occur in all clinical specialities.

Medical claims can arise out of, for example, accident and emergency, anaesthetics, cancer treatment, cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, gastroenterology, general practice, keyhole surgery, mental health, neurosurgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, plastic surgery, psychiatry, radiology, sterilisation, urology, vascular surgery and many more.

Doctors have been found in breach of a duty of care for, among other things, failed or delayed diagnosis, failure to warn of risks in treatment, failure to obtain proper consent to treatment, medication errors, careless surgical procedures, delayed referral to specialists. Negligence can also arise out of system errors in the hospital where the treatment took place. Most cases concern registered medical practitioners (doctors and surgeons). But similar principles apply to dentists, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

New issues are constantly arising, for example, the retention of organs and tissues following post-mortems, use of unsterilised instruments, early failure of replacement hips, misinterpreted breast screening and cervical smear testing, liability for hospital-acquired infections. Clinical negligence can overlap with another area where litigation has expanded in the last two decades: consumer safety involving product liability for drugs and vaccines, for example, where a general practitioner is accused of administering an inoculation despite contra-indications.

A claim against a medical professional for injuries arising out of a medical accident is completely different from a claim for personal injuries caused in, say, a road traffic accident. In the latter case it is usually straightforward to establish whether or not somebody was at fault and whether any injuries were suffered as a result. But to succeed in a clinical negligence claim you must prove, through the evidence of medical experts qualified in the speciality concerned, that, on a balance of probabilities (ie, it was more probable than not)

(1) that there were serious errors in your medical treatment which no competent doctor would have made; and

(2) that those errors caused, or materially contributed to, the injury you are complaining of.

At MJP we have experts who can help and advise in this field. We have over 30 years of experience in handling cases of this type.  We will be happy to provide a FREE initial consultation. Call Sara on 01603877000 or email Sara at sarawestwood@m-j-p.co.uk

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Party Wall Act Costs - Protecting the building owner from the Highwayman

Introduction
One of the most worrying aspects of entering the Party Wall Act 1996 (Act) arena is the uncertainty surroundingfees, or as they are referred to within the Act -‘costs’.
If you are fortunate enough ( or some might say lucky enough) to have at your side a competent party wall surveyor, and one with a moral compass, the chances are you will derive a certain degree of protection.However, there is still no guarantee you will not need to set aside a considerable sum of money to cover the cost of becoming trapped within the Act.This applies equally to both building owner and adjoining owner, and one must not forget that if an adjoining owner’s surveyor does not recover all of his costs from the building owner, there is every possibility the adjoining owner may be left to meet the remaining liability.
The problem of high, unreasonable and unpredictable costs is caused, in part, by a piece of malfunctioning legislation, and patly as a result of certain unconscionable conduct on the p…

Building Regulations and moving home

Do I have supply evidence of Building Regulation Approval in respect of works carried out to my property when I look to sell my property?
If you have the approval then of course supply it – it will help to ensure your sale moves quickly.
If you have carried out works and approval was required and sought and you no longer have a certificate then call the issuing council and ask for a duplicate.
If you have carried out work, and the work required building regulation approval, but this was not sought then you need to consider with your solicitor when the work was carried out and what to do in response to your buyer’s request for sight of the approval.
The following may help.
Check that work carried out actually required building regulation approval as not all work attracts the requirement.
If the building work was carried out before November 1985 it would not require building regulation approval. There is no need therefore to supply it or offer indemnity insurance.
If work was carried out af…

Do not purchase a New Build Property without first reading this....

Buying a property which has yet to be built, or which is newly constructed should be approached with care and here are some tips which will help:
Remember those friendly and helpful people within the sales offices are sales people and are no different from those people who you would find in car and double-glazing showrooms.  They are paid on results and work under the pressure of targets.   Once they have you signed up they will be your best friend and be in regular, sometimes daily, contact until they have collected all of you money.   There are many instances when this shadowing could be conceived as harassment.At the outset you will be asked about whether you have a mortgage and a solicitor to undertake the legal work.   You will be steered towards making use of the developers preferred brokers and solicitors.  These are ‘partners’ who have been chosen to work with the developer as the developer expects those partners to report to them regularly and to do all they can to ensure the …