Need some helpful tips for medical negligence claims and what it’s all about?
In short, millions of us undergo treatment at the doctors, dentist or a hospital every year. Moreover, the risks of suffering a medical negligence error are ever-increasing. In fact, statistics from the NHS Litigation Authority stated that in 2016-17, over 17,300 claims arose from various forms of medical negligence .
NHS Resolution 2019-20 reveals the most recent figures regarding the number of claims. In 2019/20, the NHS reports receiving 11,682 claims, a 9% increase from 2018/19.
Moreover, 15,550 claims found settlement in 2019/20, with just 0.6% went to court. Please turn to page 23 in the link in this paragraph to see for yourself.
Our team at The Medical Negligence Experts speak to a number of customers every day. These customers suffer due to poor treatment or a medical mistake by a healthcare professional. Some of these medical negligence cases are completely unforeseen by both parties.
Meanwhile, with the application of best practice, you can conceivably avoid other cases. Therefore, outline the best ways to protect yourself in the event of negligence or even prevent it before it happens.
1. Consent Forms
If you’re undergoing a surgical procedure (minor or major), you should receive a consent form that details the risks. Be sure to read the details of the consent form very carefully. Don’t succumb to pressure to sign it unless you are completely comfortable.
If there is something you do not understand ask for an explanation from the person carrying out the procedure. Then, if there is something you are really not comfortable with it might be best to weigh up the situation. For example, if the procedure is minor and purely for cosmetic reasons, is it worth taking the risk?
We sometimes don’t have any choice but to trust the word of a doctor or health professional on a diagnosis. But you’re also well within your right to question their opinion. Ask them for a clear explanation of your diagnosis and why exactly they have diagnosed you with it.
The risk of misdiagnosis ties in closely with a prescription for the wrong medication.
If you receive a misdiagnosis then it is likely you’ll receive the wrong treatment. This can lead to further issues or complications. If you are still not entirely sure of your diagnosis, seek a second opinion.
3. Keeping Records
Here’s another set of critical tips for medical negligence claims. In the event you want to sue, it’s always advisable to keep a copy of any:
- consent forms you sign or;
- medical appointment cards.
If you sustain any physical, visible injuries then it is best to take pictures which adds weight to your case. If you have made a formal complaint, keep a copy of your letter and any response that you receive.
4. PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
If you’ve been a victim of medical negligence, make a formal complaint to the NHS PALS. This is the starting point for most solicitors in a medical negligence claim. They’ll want to see the responses you receive and if negligent parties acknowledge a mistake.
PALS will guide you through the complaints procedure until you instruct a solicitor to take charge. Moreover, PALS will be your point of contact in dealing with the medical negligence complaint. More information about PALS can be found here.
5. Time Limits
Every medical negligence case is different and has to be assessed on their own individual merits by our legal team. However, one thing that’s true in all cases is the time you have to bring a claim when negligence occurs.
You usually have 3 years to make a claim from when officials link your injury to the negligence. We understand that any form of medical negligence can be very traumatic. But it’s in your best interests to pursue a claim as soon as you can.
Especially once you identify the existence of negligence. With special damages and more at stake, lawyers offering no win, no fee agreements can put you in a position to get back to normal. Because negligence from a medical professional can mean pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other damages.
6. Be Consistent
When bringing a claim, you should expect some questioning about the details of treatment and what exactly happened
However, to get the right paperwork in order a solicitor may ask you what happened on a few different occasions. It’s very important to try and stick to your version of events as best as possible. Regarding the treatment you receive, it can be particularly useful to gain access to your medical records, too. This can reveal your consistency, possibly even clear up any holes in your memory.
Your solicitor knows you can forget the odd fact or bit of information. And, indeed, you’ve most likely been through a traumatic event. But do know that changing your story completely could mean the case fails.
7. Instruct a Specialist Medical Negligence Solicitor
Now for the final legal advice tips for medical negligence claims in England and Wales.
Given the complex nature of medical negligence cases, speak with an expert solicitor with experience in dealing with such cases. Less than 2% of clinical negligence cases involving the NHS go to trial .
Therefore, a good solicitor can reduce these odds further – achieving a settlement before the case gets to court. The Medical Negligence Experts work with some of the best medical negligence solicitors in the country. Moreover, we can make sure our case is in safe hands if you are looking to pursue a claim.
Additional Tips for medical negligence
Much of the legal aid we work with can work with you depending on the nature of your case. Our approach is simple: when we talk with you, we want to determine if you have a decent shot at certain amounts of compensation.
If you have suffered due to medical negligence, we may be able to help you with claiming compensation. You can reach us today for a free initial chat on 0808 274 0714 or we can call you back at a time that suits you by filling in our contact form. We work with law firms authorised and regulated with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
 NHS reveals latest Clinical Negligence claims stats