Important guide to clinical claims

Individuals should expect quality care from medical professionals during their times of need.  When medical treatment given to a patient is found to have fallen below a reasonable standard, however, this is considered to be a breach of duty on behalf of the doctor, nurse, medical person or institution deemed to be responsible for patient care.  If, as a direct result of this breach of duty, an individual sustains an injury or suffers a disability, then this establishes causation between the neglect and the subsequent illness or impairment.  A claim for compensation by the patient can then be made, usually for an amount of money that is deemed to be legally payable in damages.

Accidents

Sometimes people suffer ongoing injuries following a road accident – whiplash is one of the most common, for example, and frequently affects those whose vehicles have suffered an impact.  In all cases, a doctor or hospital medic will be consulted so that those making a whiplash claim have independent medical evidence of their injury.  Making a clinical claim is a complicated process, however, as it is easy to overlook important details.  It therefore makes sense to seek assistance from legal experts who specialise in medical claims, as they are aware of the specific criteria and conditions attached to them.

People do not always experience whiplash immediately on impact –  in fact, it can take several days after an accident before pain and muscle or joint seizure occur.  When an accident is serious, those involved should always take full advantage of available medical help, whether it is offered by a paramedic at the roadside, an accident and emergency department of a hospital or their general practitioner, with whom an appointment should be scheduled as soon as possible afterwards.

It is not advisable to admit liability for an accident at the roadside, even if it appears to be clear that one driver was at fault.  Instead, drivers should exchange contact details and information on their respective insurance companies and pass these on to the insurers, who will sort out the incident.

Keeping accurate records

Solicitors advising accident victims about whiplash compensation will recommend they obtain a medical report as soon as possible and that photographs of any visible injuries, such as bruising, are also taken.  This is because there is a time limit on claims, which varies from country to country.  If a vehicle accident happens and someone is injured whilst abroad, travellers should check what regulations apply in the country they are visiting.

When an accident happens and one party is adjudged to be 100 per cent responsible, that person, through their insurance company, will have to settle in full any successful claims made by the other driver and/or passengers for an injury such as whiplash.  Sometimes, passengers can make separate claims against the driver of the other vehicle or the driver of the car in which they were travelling.

Always take advice from the experts before attempting to make a clinical claim; in the end, professional advice is most likely to help the claim to succeed.