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If you’re hoping to receive compensation and/or justice for an instance of medical negligence (otherwise known as clinical negligence), there are a few things that you need to know, before you take the legal plunge.
Medical Negligence: Know What Qualifies
Medical negligence has certain legal parameters, so you need to fully understand the concrete definition, before you make a claim. You need to be able to prove that the standard of care drastically dropped below what would be considered “reasonable competence”, and that the treatment you received adversely affected you in ways that worsened or deteriorated your condition. It needs to have been damage that would not have otherwise occurred.
There is a window of time, within which you can make a claim. If it has been more than 3 years since the incident took place, you probably won’t be able to make your claim for medical negligence, unless it’s a specific exception that allows for a greater time limit, such as the patient being a child or mentally unwell at the time.
It’s unlikely that you will go to court. You will probably come to a settlement before it gets to that stage. Here, you can barter for compensation and ask for an apology. This is often far more preferable than going to court, as it’s over more quickly, amicably, and you don’t have to waste extra time and money fighting your case.
Do you have the funds to carry you through the legal process? This can be an expensive venture. You may be able to win back legal costs, but it’s still a lot of cash that is leaving your pocket. Can you afford it?
Be sure to collate as much solid evidence as you can. This will, of course, include medical records, but you can also take pictures and document your difficulties over time, so your claim is stronger and you can show the full extent of the damage that has occurred.
A Lengthy Process
Are you prepared for a long battle? Most medical negligence claims last between 18 months and 3 years. You need to be ready to go the distance. It can be an extremely stressful and upsetting process, so you must be mentally prepared before you embark on a claim.
Medical witnesses will be asked to represent an unbiased opinion on whether or not you have been unfairly cared for, which has resulted in poor health. By looking at the evidence, and your medical records, a professional witness will always be called upon for your claim.
Your Solicitor Will Dictate Your Success
Choosing a fantastic solicitor can make the difference between a small settlement, and something that you feel fairly represents the damages that you have had to endure. They should also be sensitive to your situation and someone who you can get on well with – you will be spending a lot of time with them in the future!