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Medical negligence injuries compensation

Medical Negligence is where an injury or death was caused by the negligence of a medical professional.  Doctors, nurses, dentists are expected to act professionally and ethically at all times.   Sometimes however medical professionals, like anyone, make mistakes.  They may make poor judgments because of being tired and overworked or in a situation where they are under-qualified.

Whatever the reason if you or someone in your family have been injured or died by medical treatment then you may be entitled to compensation. To find out what compensation you could receive for your personal injuries please complete our no obligation, FREE online Injuries Compensation Enquiry Form.

Health care providers, doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical practitioners must provide treatment and advice that is in accordance with a reasonable standard of care. If your health care provider or general practitioner fails to take “reasonable care” then they have breached their duty of care to you. Failing to take reasonable care, in circumstances where the health care provider could or should have foreseen that their actions could injure you, is medical negligence. If you have suffered from medical negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, disabilities, suffering and loss. Please complete our FREE online Injuries Compensation Enquiry Form, to discover the compensation you could be entitled to.

Examples of treatment which may be considered negligent (depending on the circumstances of the case):

  • failing to diagnose a condition;
  • failing to provide the appropriate treatment for the condition;
  • failing to refer to a specialist;
  • delay in diagnosis;
  • failing to advise of risks associated with treatment;
  • failing to perform surgery with reasonable care and skill;
  • failing to report correctly on test results;
  • failing to provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill.

What is required to establish medical negligence?

Generally speaking, to establish medical negligence, it must be proven that:

  1. The doctor owed the patient a duty of care;
  2. The doctor breached that duty of care by some act or omission;
  3. This act or omission has caused the patient physical and/or financial harm.

1. Duty of care. Because of the dependence upon the health care practitioner for physical and mental care and wellbeing of the patient, the law has established that he/she owes the patient a "duty of care". This is based on the principle that a person must take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which would be likely to harm any person they ought reasonably foresee as being so harmed. If they fail to do this, a healthcare or general practitioner may be liable in a civil action for negligence.

2. Breach of Duty of Care. In considering whether one has breached a duty of care, the courts look at the standard of care which would be reasonably expected from a person acting in the defendant's circumstances, in the capacity in which the defendant was acting (eg as a doctor, nurse, dentist etc).

Healthcare practitioners do not have to be perfect, but have only to exercise the skill that a reasonable practitioner professing the skills in question would be expected to exercise in the circumstances. To help the court make an assessment in this regard, expert witnesses (other healthcare practitioners experienced in the field) are called to give their opinion as to whether the actions in question were in fact reasonable under the circumstances.

It is impossible to set out a comprehensive explanation of what is a reasonable standard of care that covers every possible health care situation in one statement. Each case must be considered on its own merits. To find out what compensation you could receive for your personal injuries please complete our no obligation, FREE online Injuries Compensation Enquiry Form.

3. Damages. A plaintiff must show that he/she suffered from harm, and that the harm was caused by the defendant's act or omission. Just as one can cause harm to another, but will not be liable at law if he or she was not negligent, a person can be negligent, but not be liable at law if no damage as been caused.

In law, the amount of compensation granted as a result of a successful negligence action is referred to as "damages".

Damages may be awarded for:

  • medical expenses
  • cost of appliances or housing alterations for someone with a physical disability
  • cost of care and domestic assistance
  • loss of income
  • general damages for pain and suffering.
  • If you have suffered an injury, disability or a worse outcome as a result of:
  • medical error
  • poor medical treatment
  • delay in diagnosis
  • wrong diagnosis
  • wrong treatment and/or medication
  • loss of a chance at a better outcome
from a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital or other health professional, then you may be entitled to compensation. If you have lost a loved one as a result of medical error or medical neglect, you may also be entitled to compensation.

Do not delay in seeking legal advice as strict time limits apply to the making of compensation claims. To find out if you are entitled to compensation for your personal injuries, please complete our no obligation, FREE online Injuries Compensation Enquiry Form.

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