Clinical Negligence Guide

What is clinical negligence?

Clinical negligence specifically refers to any injury, mental or physical harm sustained through the careless behaviour of a health care professional. It refers to cases in which better quality of care or more rigorous following of safety measures would have led to this harm or injury being avoided. Examples of clinical negligence include failure to diagnose a condition or an incorrect diagnosis, mistakes during a procedure or operation, administering the wrong drug, failing to obtain consent for treatment or failing to warn of the risks of a particular treatment. It isn’t always easy to tell what counts as negligence, so it’s always a good idea to talk through your situation with an expert in the field to see whether or not you have a case.

I think I have been a victim of clinical negligence. What can I do next?

You should contact the health care provider responsible for the negligent care as you deserve a full explanation of what has gone on and an apology where appropriate. It may also be reassuring to you to know that steps are being put in place to ensure that the problems you had do not affect other patients in their care. If you are not satisfied with the response of the health care provider, there should be formal complaints systems in place which you can try next. If after this process you still feel as if you are not happy with the care received, and especially if you feel that your life has been affected as a result of your experiences, you can contact a specialist clinical negligence claim solicitor and discuss your case with them. Each case is different, but they will be better placed to decide whether or not your situation counts as negligence.

When can I claim?

You will need to claim within three years of the incident for your claim to be valid. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if the person involved is under 18 when the incident occurs, in which case they can claim at any time before they are 21, or someone else can claim on their behalf. Likewise, if someone is unable to claim because of any kind of disability preventing them from fully understanding what has happened to them, it is possible that someone else can make a claim on their behalf. To discuss this matter further, please give the Simply Lawyers team a call and they will be happy to help.

What will happen if I decide to claim?

Clinical negligence cases rarely end up in court, so it is unlikely that you will have to attend any kind of hearing. Most of your input will be providing your side of the story and explaining the specific details of your case to professionals over the phone. You may need to provide other evidence if you have it, such as documents or photographs, but this is not always necessary. Your solicitor will then deal with the case on your behalf, so it is unlikely you will have to be involved in communicating with anyone else regarding the case.

What should I do next?

Contact the Simply Lawyers team to find out whether you are entitled to claim for your personal circumstances. Call us now on 0800 012 5880 or text ‘Simply’ to 07883504919.