Medical negligence claims - frequently asked questions
Taking legal action after medical negligence can be complicated, so we've put together some answers to our most common questions. If you or a loved one has suffered from medical negligence while receiving an NHS service or private healthcare and you’re thinking about seeking compensation, get in touch today.
What is medical negligence?
The phrase ‘medical negligence’ best describes an incident in which a person has suffered harm or injury at the hands of a medical professional. This term is used for people who have received poor levels of care or a substandard service from a doctor or medical professional.
Medical negligence cases arise when patients have suffered harm that could have been avoided. In many cases, this could be due to a neglectful or poorly trained healthcare professional, misdiagnosis or the prescription of the wrong medication.
Other cases of medical negligence can include poor dental treatment, operations or surgery that have been performed badly as well as the failure to refer a patient to see a specialist doctor, when required.
Poor treatment or advice and substandard service by medical professionals can result in patients suffering further illness or even stress as a result. If a medical professional has neglected their responsibilities, or caused harm to a patient that could have otherwise been avoided, it counts as medical negligence.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of substandard care from a healthcare professional, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
Compensation claims for cases of medical negligence can be made under our No Win No Fee agreement. Medical negligence cases can be a very complex process, which is why we have experts on hand, who are experienced in making claims in this area, to help you through the process.
Am I entitled to make a medical negligence claim?
Yes, if you have been let down by a healthcare professional, or have suffered as a result of substandard care, then you could make a claim for medical negligence and be compensated for the poor level of care you have received. What’s more, by making a claim, you’re bringing those responsible to justice, and could prevent someone else from receiving similarly poor care in the future.
Medical negligence can be defined as:
- Poor care received in a hospital
- Misdiagnosis of an illness or injury
- Substandard operations
- Being given the wrong prescription medicine
However it happens, medical negligence can be serious and in some cases, even traumatic. If you’ve received substandard medical care and are unsure if you have a case to make a claim, you can speak to one of our legal experts, who will advise you on whether or not you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation.
I've been the victim of medical negligence. What should I do?
If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, it’s important to act as soon as possible to prevent your illness or injury from getting worse over time. Additionally, it’s important to be compensated for your injuries and your claim could bring those responsible to justice, preventing similar substandard care from affecting someone else.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence, our experts are on hand to advise you on what to do next:
- You should seek medical advice from a trustworthy medical practitioner and have your injury or illness assessed to determine if you are receiving the right treatment to recover
- Contact a legal expert with a background in medical negligence cases. One of our fully-qualified and pre-screened solicitors will assess your case and advise if you are able to make a claim or not
- Identify who is at fault for medical negligence. In the vast majority of cases, healthcare professionals, such as GPs, doctors and surgeons, are responsible for your health and wellbeing, so if anything goes wrong under their care, then they are at fault
Recovering from surgery after an illness or injury can be stressful, and we don’t believe that you should suffer further as a result of ill-advice and poor care. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical negligence, then our experts will give you the advice you need to take your case forward.
Whatever the circumstances, you’re within your rights to know for sure if you can make a compensation claim. We will do our very best to take you through the claiming process, so you can concentrate on making a full recovery.
Can I claim against my GP?
Claiming against your General Practitioner (GP) is classed as medical negligence. In medical negligence cases, claims can be made in two different ways: either against the GP responsible, or on their insurance.
Common causes for claims made against GPs include misdiagnosis, poor care and errors with prescription medicine. Additionally, you can make a claim against GPs who work in either NHS or private practices.
If you feel that you have received substandard care from your GP, if you’ve been misdiagnosed or you’ve received incorrect prescription medicine, then you could be entitled to claim compensation. Speak to our experts – they’ve dealt with thousands of medical negligence claims and will advise you accordingly.
Need more answers? Find more information on our GP or NHS negligence page.
How do I make a claim for medical negligence?
If you decide to proceed with your claim, you’ll need to be able to prove who was responsible for your treatment and that they had a duty of care. You’ll also need to have proof of the injuries or illness caused by the substandard medical care you received.
At First4Lawyers, we will always refer your case to solicitors who are experts in dealing with medical negligence claims. Your solicitor will advise you throughout the process, keeping you updated as the case progresses and working with you to reach the best possible conclusion.