How to Prove Medical Negligence

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How to Prove Medical Negligence

How to Prove Medical Negligence

If you have experienced medical negligence, making a claim for compensation is often the best way of securing justice. A medical negligence claim can help you to recover financial losses and ensure that those responsible for your negligent treatment are held to account.

However, if you have never made a clinical negligence claim before, the process might seem daunting. You may not understand how to prove a medical negligence case, or know what your rights are in this situation, leaving you unsure of how to proceed.

At JMW Solicitors, we know that proving medical negligence, or making a medical negligence claim, can seem difficult and complicated. Our solicitors are here to make the process as straightforward as possible for you, explaining any potentially complicated jargon and ensuring that you understand what needs to be done at every stage of the process.

Here, we break down how to prove that medical negligence occurred, how to obtain evidence to make a successful claim, and how your legal team can play an instrumental role in helping you successfully fight your case. If you have a question about making a medical negligence claim, call us on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online contact form to request a call back about our no win, no fee services. 

When Am I Entitled to Make a Medical Negligence Claim?

Medical negligence is the term used to describe substandard care provided by a medical professional that has directly caused an injury, or caused a pre-existing condition to worsen. There are many examples of how negligence can occur in a medical setting, such as:

  • An incorrect prescription or medication being administered
  • Delayed scans or diagnosis of illnesses leading to avoidable harm, or the wrong treatment
  • Failure to recognise the signs of a serious injury, leading to the condition deteriorating
  • Injuries sustained during or after surgery
  • Birth injuries, including harm to both mother and child during or after childbirth

Any medical professional working in the NHS and private sector has a duty of care, meaning they have a responsibility to deliver treatment and care to a high professional standard. If you have suffered an injury caused by medical negligence, you will be able to make a case that this duty of care has not been met.

In order to make a successful medical negligence claim, it is important to prove that the injury or illness you have suffered was a consequence of substandard care. When medical professionals breach their duty of care and act in a way that is harmful to their patient, a medical negligence investigation can help to prove this, allowing the affected patient to receive compensation.

Although no amount of money can fully make up for the consequences of serious medical negligence, winning a medical negligence claim represents an acknowledgment of the pain and suffering caused, and will ensure that those responsible are accountable for their actions. This, in turn, will help to make sure that these mistakes are not repeated in future.

The success of your claim, and the value of the compensation settlement, will depend on the specific consequences of your case. The following factors can all affect the compensation total: 

  • The severity of the injury
  • Long-term health problems
  • The need for ongoing care and support
  • Financial loss due to the recovery time
  • Inability to work for an extended period
  • Additional costs associated with your injury and treatment, such as travel expenses

When calculating medical negligence compensation, your legal team will also take into account the financial impact of your medical condition on you and those closest to you. If you are now dependent on a family member or loved one for financial support, transportation and general day-to-day care as a result of clinical negligence, this can also be compensated for.

How Difficult Is It to Prove Medical Negligence?

How hard it is to prove medical negligence will depend on the circumstances of your case. In order to make a successful compensation claim, your legal representatives will need to gather evidence to demonstrate that the medical professionals responsible for your care were guilty of clinical negligence. This means establishing that no reasonable doctor would have treated you in the way you were treated and that this caused you significant harm.

This is why it is important to speak to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case. The solicitors at JMW will be able to provide free legal advice about your eligibility to make a claim, reviewing the details of your case to offer guidance on how likely your claim is to succeed.

How to Prove a Medical Negligence Case

The success of any medical negligence claim depends on whether it is possible to obtain sufficient evidence to prove that you suffered medical negligence and this directly caused an injury or a condition to worsen.

This means obtaining:

  • Reviewing your medical records
  • Obtaining a supportive opinion from an independent medical expert
  • Records of expenses that demonstrate what you have lost as a result of the clinical negligence

Our expert medical negligence solicitors at JMW will be able to guide you through each stage of the claims process, advising you on what will be needed to prove medical negligence, and what you will need to contribute to facilitate this process.

Medical records

Obtaining a copy of your medical records from the place where you received treatment, whether this is a hospital or a GP surgery, is vital to helping your legal representatives prove medical negligence. Your records will include information on all aspects of how your medical care was provided, including notes from any specialists you have been referred to after your initial examination, including physiotherapists or nurses.

In cases where a doctor fails to uphold their duty of care, the evidence taken from your medical records can often be instrumental in highlighting what may have gone wrong, and who was responsible.

Opinions from independent medical experts

In most medical negligence cases, your medical negligence solicitor will seek a report from an independent medical expert on your behalf. These experts will provide an impartial medical assessment of the quality of care provided. Based on this assessment, they will produce a report containing their opinion.

If this review of the medical evidence supports the case, your solicitor can then pass on these substantiated allegations of negligence to the legal representatives for the healthcare organisation concerned. If the expert believes the care provided by the medical professional was reasonable, you will likely be advised not to pursue the case any further.

Records of Expenses

Receipts, bank statements, etc. will be required once your solicitor reaches the point of investigating the financial settlement needed to cover past and future expenses arising from your injury - these may include lost income due to an inability to return to work, or costs associated with ongoing medical care and travel expenses for attending regular medical appointments.

Witness statements

Your solicitor will need a detailed statement from you about your experiences with your healthcare provider. In some instances, family members may also be asked to provide witness statements about what happened. This may be particularly important during times of impaired consciousness due to a procedure you underwent or medication you were prescribed, or if the mental capacity of the patient themselves has been otherwise impaired.

Often, it can be difficult to remember all of the details that took place when you experience medical negligence, so collating a number of witness statements to build a complete picture of your medical treatment can help to support your claim.

How can working with a solicitor help you prove medical negligence?

When you enlist the support of a specialist solicitor to gather this information on your behalf, the process of proving your medical negligence claim becomes significantly easier. The specialist team of medical negligence solicitors at JMW is ideally placed to assess all of the details of your case and make an informed judgement on whether you are eligible to make a claim, while also making you aware of your rights.

Once the claims process is underway, we are able to request your medical records on your behalf, and have access to a network of leading independent medical experts to provide second opinions and guidance. We have a strong track record of winning medical negligence claims, and will know exactly what to look for to put forward the strongest possible case.

By getting in touch with JMW today, we will be able to advise you on any time limits that may apply to your case, and guide you through the entire process from beginning to end. As a highly respected law firm that is fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, you can place your trust in us to provide the best possible advice at each stage of the claim.

We will work with you on a no win, no fee basis, also known as a conditional fee agreement. This means that legal fees will only need to be paid if the claim is successful. Legal aid is also available for those who qualify.

Get in touch today

If you have received substandard care from a medical professional and want to make a medical negligence compensation claim on a no win, no fee basis, the expert team at JMW Solicitors is here to help. Call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our online contact form to request a call back.

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