What is medical negligence?

Have you been in an accident which wasn’t your fault?
Have you been in car crash in the last 3 years?
These are statements I’m sure we’re all familiar with, and which we may automatically think of when we hear the words “personal injury”.
But, what if you suffered injury, not through an accident at all, but because of the actions of a doctor or treatment provider? This is a different type of personal injury claim, commonly known as medical negligence.

Do I have a claim for medical negligence?

A medical negligence claim will arise when there has been poor care by a health care professional which causes you injury or exacerbates an existing condition, which in turn causes you a loss. If this is the case, you may be able to make a claim for compensation for your injuries against the medical professional or his employing hospital or surgery.

Who is classed as a medical professional?

Medical professionals can include:

  • GPs
  • Nurses
  • Hospital doctors
  • Private doctors
  • Dentists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Laser hair removal specialists
What sort of issues can lead to medical negligence?

Medical negligence claims can arise for a number of reasons, but for example can include:

  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Incorrect treatment
  • Substandard treatment
  • Errors during surgery
Recognised risk

An important factor to bear in mind is whether or not the injuries you sustain are a “recognised risk”. If you suffer an adverse side-effect to surgery, for instance, but this side-effect was always a risk in the type of surgery you were undergoing, there may not have been any negligence – it may just be unfortunate. It would only be negligent if you either were not warned of that risk, or if the quality of the surgery increased the risk beyond reasonable levels.

Time limits to bring a claim

As with all personal injury claims, there is a strict time limit of three years from the date of the injury to issue a claim. However, with medical negligence claims, you may not realise that you have suffered injury until months or years later as is often the case with misdiagnosis claims. In these situations, the time limit runs from the date when you became aware that your injury may be because of negligence by the medic.

There are different rules where the injury is to a child or where the patient is disabled by reason of a lack of capacity.

If you have been injured as a result of the conduct of a medical professional and wish to discuss issuing a claim, please contact our John James, our specialist solicitor on 01924 692125 or for more information visit our medical negligence page 

medical negligence