There are a number of important issues you need to establish before proceeding with a medical negligence claim against a healthcare provider. First, it’s necessary to prove that the treatment of the claimant has fallen below the minimum standard of acceptable treatment by a clinician in that particular area of medicine.
Once this has been established the next issue on the list is to prove that the healthcare provider was responsible for the patient’s care and health. In most cases a standard doctor/patient relationship would be sufficient.
In addition to this the claimant must be able to provide evidence that it was the clinical negligence that caused the actual injury or harm. The best practice to accomplish this is to establish the natural development of the illness and the likely outcome if correct treatment had been given. The result should then be compared the outcome following the negligent treatment. There may be slight variations in patient’s reaction to the same treatment which must be taken into consideration when making this comparison.
Compensation can be claimed for items such as:
• Pain & Suffering
• Change of Lifestyle
• Loss of Past & Future Earnings
• Prescription Charges & Medical Fees
• Costs of Assistance for Household Chores
• Travelling Expenses
• Special Care Aids & Equipment
• Cost of Care & Assistance
• Adapted Accommodation & Transportation
• Out-of-Pocket Expenses
The primary limitation period for England and Wales for medical negligence claims is three years from the date of the clinical mistreatment or from the date when it is realised or should be realised that a significant injury has been suffered as the result of the negligent treatment. However, this may be extended in the following cases:
• Mental Disabilities: In the event of the patient suffering from mental disabilities the limitation period does not start until mental capacity has returned.
• Minors: For those under the age of 18 years the three year limitation period does not start until the18th birthday. If the claim has not been settled or Court proceedings issued by the claimants 21st birthday the opportunity to claim compensation will have been lost.
• Court Discretion: A Court has the power to alter the time limits but rarely is this discretion exercised.