Medical Negligence Claims – How do I Know I am Eligible?

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If being hospitalised due to an illness or injury was not traumatic enough, matters are only made worse when hospital staff fail to provide the standard of care you are entitled to. Fortunately this doesn’t happen very often. Most of the time patients leave hospital grateful for the help of the doctors and nurses who cared for them. However, occasionally this doesn’t happen and mistakes are made. Although doctors and nurses are only human, they are responsible for your well-being whilst you are in their care and if they are negligent, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

If your treatment was not up to the standard you would expect for a hospital, you may be entitled to claim for medical negligence.

If your treatment was not up to the standard you would expect for a hospital, you may be entitled to claim for medical negligence.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence covers a wide spectrum of mistakes and wrong doings such as mis-diagnosis, failure to spot an illness, surgical mistakes, failure to warn about the risks of treatment and incorrectly prescribed medication. Whether you were a NHS or private patient, you are still entitled to make a medical negligence claim if your treatment was below the standard of what you would reasonably expect.

Making a claim

In order to make a claim you first need to prove that the practitioner in question owed you a duty of care. If they took you on as a patient then the promise of care was made, therefore making this very easy to prove. You also need to be able to prove that your practitioner’s negligence was what directly caused your illness or injury to worsen. The more information you can provide regarding your case, the stronger your claim will be.

Providing evidence to back up your claim

In order to make a strong claim for medical negligence you will need to be able to provide your solicitor with evidence that backs up your claim. This means it is important to keep hold of everything from permission forms and waivers to medical notes and prescriptions. It is also a good idea to keep hold of the bottles and packaging of the medication you were prescribed. Photographs of your injuries will also help to strengthen your case. The more evidence you can give to your lawyer to use, the better chance you stand at a successful claim.

Witnesses also play an important role in the claims process. Make sure that you get the full names and contact details of your witnesses. These can be family members, friends, other patients and other hospital staff. Although many people believe hospital staff will not testify against their peers, if a wrong-doing has occurred, it is their best interest to tell the truth.

Solicitor evaluation

Once your solicitor has been presented with all of the information regarding your claim, along with the evidence and witness accounts, they will need to carry out an evaluation. If your solicitor believes you have a strong case they will move it on to the next stage. Most medical negligence claims are taken on a no win no fee basis. This means that you will only pay your solicitor if they win your case.

Time limit

If you believe you have a medical negligence claim then it is essential to file it as soon as possible. According to the law, all medical negligence claims must be filed within three years of the individual noticing that they have suffered as a result of medical negligence.

Keep hold of the bottles of the medication you were prescribed as you may need to use it as evidence.

Keep hold of the bottles of the medication you were prescribed as you may need to use it as evidence.

Conclusion

If you think that you have suffered from medical negligence then you may be entitled to compensation. In order to make a strong claim it is essential that you provide your solicitor with as much information and evidence as possible. In order for your claim to be successful you need to prove that your injury or illness was made worst due to the negligence of your practitioner. Make sure you hire a reputable medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible, so you stand the best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.

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