What a patient needs to know about clinical negligence

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Medical Malpractice on Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Formerly called medical negligence, clinical negligence is the court process a patient must follow in order to seek financial compensation from their medical attendants. It is important to note that, if a claimant is successful in proving negligence, any recompense will be purely financial. Proof must be provided of circumstances where the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, that they were managerially negligent in the provision of this care and that the patient suffered harm as a result.

In order to prove negligence, there are two areas to be considered: liability and causation. Liability may be found proven if it can be shown that no other similarly qualified professional would have acted in such a manner. Causation requires proof that the patient suffered harm that would not otherwise have been incurred and that the medical professional is more than 50 per cent likely to have been the cause. A claimant must prove both liability and causation to be successful in their claim for clinical negligence.

Should causation and liability be proven, any compensation will be awarded based on an assessment of the loss of future earnings, the loss of current income, any mental anguish that might have been suffered and any reduction to the quality of life experienced by the claimant. There is a standard limitation to the period of time within which a case must be brought, which is three years, or 36 months, from the knowledge of harm suffered.

Although the court has the discretion to override this limitation, the only exceptions to the rule are if the harm or injury occurred when the claimant was under the age of eighteen, in which case there is no limit, or if the harm or injury occurred when the patient was mentally ill. In such cases, the 3-year limitation period begins with their recovery.

Someone who believes they have been the victim of clinical negligence might speak with a solicitor concerning their injuries. A client may be able to seek compensation from any liable parties.

Source: Patient, “Clinical Negligence“, January 06, 2015

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