Lawyer Monthly - January 2024

the care you received amounted to medical negligence. If our independent medical experts agree that your treatment was negligent, we will set out your case to those responsible to see if they accept liability. If they do, we will try to secure compensation for you in the interim, which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. We always try to negotiate settlements out of court as this is the most efficient and cost-effective way of pursuing your claim, and it is usually less stressful. But if your opponent does not accept responsibility, agree with the compensation amount or engage in alternative resolution, we will start court proceedings on your behalf. It is rare for a medical negligence claim to reach a trial, but if it does, we will be there to help you every step of the way. What do lawyers need to prove in a clinical negligence claim? Medical professionals - whether within the NHS or private sector - have a duty of care to act in accordance with acceptable standards and to do no harm. To make a successful claim, we must demonstrate you more likely than not suffered an injury or illness or that your condition worsened due to a breach of duty of care. We also have to establish that the negligent medical treatment caused or contributed to your injury. There can be many wide-reaching consequences and the impact of a medical mistake doesn’t just rest with immediate worsening of the condition. Depending on the severity, there may be financial implications if you are unable to work or emotional distress and the development of mental health complications. How serious does an injury have to be to pursue a clinical negligence claim? The seriousness of the injury is a crucial factor, but it’s not the only consideration. 18 LAWYER MONTHLY JANUARY 2024 Even relatively minor injuries can lead to a successful clinical negligence claim if other elements are present. The key elements include: 1. Duty of care: The healthcare professional must owe a duty of care to the patient. 2. Breach of duty: It must be demonstrated that the healthcare professional breached the standard of care expected in their field. 3. Causation: There must be a direct link between the breach of duty and the injury suffered. It must be shown that the negligent actions directly caused harm. 4. Damages: There must be quantifiable damages or harm suffered as a result of the breach of duty. This can include physical injury, emotional distress, additional medical expenses, loss of income, or other related losses. We have helped and supported thousands of clients and their families secure compensation for the consequences of medical negligence and substandard care.

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