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Also known as medical negligence, this occurs as a result of an error when a person has had to visit a doctor or consultant, required surgery or needed nursing care. In the vast majority of situations the treatment that a person is given is satisfactory. But there are times when errors are made and medical accidents occur. If the person involved is injured as a result of the mistake, clinical negligence could have occurred and they may be entitled to compensation.
There are many types of medical negligence claim - these include treatment for a gynaecological condition, orthopedic surgery, cosmetic surgery and a birth brain injury – Cerebral Palsy.
Medical accidents can occur in a variety of circumstances; this includes when something goes wrong during an operation or problems during a birth resulting in an injury to the baby or to the mother. Other situations where negligence can occur are when the wrong medication or dosage is given. Another example is when a medical professional fails to diagnose or incorrectly diagnoses a condition (such as cancer) that then may remain untreated.
In order to for an individual to prove they suffered a medical accident the claim process requires evidence about what happened, what the results of the negligence were and who is accountable for the mistake. The process also includes asking for financial compensation.
Who can a clinical negligence claim be made against?
- Medical accident claims can be pursued against a clinic, hospital or specific medical professional. The latter could be a hospital doctor, midwife, local GP or a nurse but also includes an optician, psychiatrist, dentist, osteopath, physiotherapist or psychologist.
- The vast majority of medical professionals are insured against medical accident claims. Claims involving medical staff working in an NHS hospital would be made against the relevant NHS Hospital Trust.
- A successful claim against an individual doctor would result in their insurance company paying the agreed compensation to the person that suffered as a result of the accident.
What amount of compensation will the person making a claim receive?
The amount of compensation awarded will depend upon factors including the pain and distress that person has suffered and how the results of the negligence affected their capacity to resume a normal life (including their career and social life). In addition any financial losses experienced or cost may be likely to have to pay in the future as a consequence of their injury. These costs can include paying for specialist care or equipment required in the future.
CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE UPDATES FROM CN LAWYERS ON LEGALLYBETTER
An explanation of the claims process and what is involved comes from Bakers Personal Injury Solicitors: