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What is clinical negligence or medical malpractice?

Accidents happen, but when does an unavoidable accident turn into negligence and, in turn, when might that negligence give rise to a claim for compensation?

Every medical professional owes his or her patients a duty of care. If the doctor’s actions or omissions are such that they would not be supported by a responsible body of doctors, then that doctor is negligent in the eyes of the law.

Negligence or malpractice can occur in a wide range of situations

Negligence or malpractice can occur in a wide range of situations, including botched operations, the failure to diagnose a condition or disease, inappropriate treatment or the failure to properly monitor a patient during or after treatment. All can have devastating effects on the patient and his or her family.

Can you make a claim?

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    You may be due compensation

    If a medical professional, or institution, has been negligent, then the victim of that negligent deed, or his or her family, may be due compensation for the distress and injuries caused and/or to replace lost earnings or to pay for any ongoing care that may be needed as a result of that negligence. To see how much you could claim, please see our medical negligence claims calculator here.

    In the context of a specific incident, expert medical negligence legal advice is essential if the negligence is to be proved and the correct levels of compensation paid. If you or a member of your family has been affected by a medical error, it is also important that you seek legal advice quickly as cases can take a while to put together and strict medical negligence time limits will usually apply.

    Can I sue the NHS?

    Before making a claim it is worth taking note of the following point.

    Check that your medical issues are grounds for negligence, and not a simple complaint procedure. Complaints about procedure dissatisfaction, or seeking an apology / admission for lack of care / treatment should go to PALS. Read more about suing the nhs.

    When you might have a claim

    Injury, continuous pain or loss due to the act of a practitioner or general lack of care at the NHS is an entirely different matter. You might very well have a claim. The duty of care might have been breached meaning the health care professional/s did not provide the expected level of care. If you believe you deserve compensation you may have a medical negligence claim. Read more about how to claim against the NHS here.