What to Expect When Claiming Medical Negligence

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If you believe you have a case to claim compensation for medical negligence then take a look at this guide which explains exactly how the procedure works.

Under the current system, those who believe their GP or the doctor who handled their case did not make the right decisions due to negligence are urged to make a complaint to the actual doctor or surgery itself.

An informal letter is probably the best way to handle your complaint or query; you may want your doctor to either explain or apologise if relevant for something you think hindered your treatment, and consequently, your recovery.

Keep a copy of this letter, so if you need to resort to legal action you can prove you went down the relevant routes first.

If you are not satisfied with the reply you receive – whether you do not think the explanation was not good enough, or you feel an apology is simply not enough when the situation is so serious, then you will possibly at this point start to consider other avenues, possibly to receive compensation, or to warn others of the poor practice of the doctor in question.

When pursuing a legal complaint your solicitor will take a look at all the evidence so they can see who the defendant will be, so you pursue your legal claim against the relevant people.  This can be quite tricky in hospitals, for example, where often more than one doctor will treat the same patient.  So it is important you have a professional who can guide you to make the right decisions.

If you are making a claim against your GP then you will usually be required to sue the practice if it is NHS run, and as a result the Medical Protection Society will defend them. However, this changes when concerning private treatment, as the doctor who was at fault is in charge of your treatment personally and they usually are not an employee of the hospital.

Claiming compensation for medical negligence is a long and difficult procedure, and if you decide to go down this route you should be prepared to battle it out until the end.  It is a hard area to fight, as doctors are human and therefore cannot be perfect when diagnosing patients all the time, however, this should not deter you from seeking what you believe is fair when you have suffered due to someone else’s negligence.