It’s a terrifying thought: the doctor who is supposed to be caring for you or your loved one is the one who makes a mistake that leads to an injury. Medical negligence is a major blow for anyone, and the consequences can be significant and far-reaching. It can happen during surgery, through the use of prescription medication, or even when receiving prenatal care.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they don’t know what to do after an experience with a medical mistake, and this is because it’s hard to know who you should turn to in your time of need when something like this happens. This article will discuss what you can do if your loved one or you are injured by a medical mistake.
What Is A Medical Negligence Claim?
A medical negligence claim is when you or your loved one takes a medical professional, a hospital, or, in some cases, both to court as a result of substandard care that leads to injury or for existing conditions to get worse. There are many ways medical negligence can occur, including surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, and incorrect treatments.
Whether you or your loved one was the patient affected by the medical negligence, a claim will help you receive compensation that can assist during the recovery period or help make changes to your life to deal with the long-term effects of the medical mistake. Furthermore, a claim can lead to changes in how medical professionals work, which will help to prevent this type of mistake from occurring in the future, saving other people from having to suffer.
Finding A Solicitor
The first step in claiming is finding a solicitor, and when it comes to medical negligence, in order to ensure you have the best chance of winning, you will need a solicitor that specialises in this type of case. Medical negligence solicitors will guide you every step of the way and help you make your case against the medical professional or hospital. If you or your loved one has been a victim of a medical mistake and need more information, you can read more about medical negligence and how to claim on the Gadsby Wicks website.
Time Limits To Claim
When you experience medical negligence, your first thought isn’t typically about making a claim but how to deal with the impact on your life. However, it’s vital that you make a claim within three years of when you first become aware of the medical negligence, which is usually when the incident occurred. But, in some cases, this can be later in life when it begins to impact your life negatively.
Additionally, there are exceptions to the rule of three years, such as the patient being under 18 when the mistake happened or if they don’t have the mental capacity to understand that negligence has occurred. In these instances, a judge will rule on the expectations, and your solicitor can talk you through the process of getting an exception.
Keep Records And Proof
As with any legal case, if you don’t have proof that the negligence occurred, you will be unlikely to succeed, which is why it is vital to keep hold of everything you have in regards to the case, even if it seems unimportant as it can all be used to help your case. When it comes to the proof, you will need to get hold of your medical records and any correspondence you had, as well as expert medical opinions on the symptoms you are experiencing as a result of the negligence. Don’t worry about getting all the evidence on your own, as your solicitor can help you understand what you need and how to get it, which will take some of the stress away from the situation. Your solicitor will also request any additional records or medical notes from the hospital or medical professional that you are claiming against, which will provide you with further evidence to help your claim.
How Long Might It Take?
Every case is different, and depending on the complexity of the medical negligence you experienced, your case could take between 18 months and three years before it is closed, with some cases taking longer. Some cases are still experiencing delays as a result of the unfortunate time during 2020, but your solicitor can advise if this will impact your case.
Will It Go To Court?
In most cases, no, your case probably won’t go to court and will be settled before it reaches trial. It is common for the defendant and their legal representative to come forward with an offer for settlement, which your solicitor can advise you on, and whether you accept or reject the offer is up to you. However, while most cases don’t make it to court, you should always be prepared for the possibility as each case is different, but your solicitor will be able to guide you through the steps and will keep you updated on where your claim is up to so you can be ready if it looks like it will go to court.