Reporting a Doctor for Negligence
When we’re under the care of a doctor, we expect them to act in our best interests. It’s expected that they’ll assess us, listen to us when we explain our symptoms and diagnose us. This is because doctors have a duty of care, meaning that they’ll follow the correct procedures to treat their patients.
In the vast majority of cases, the doctor who takes on your care will be highly professional and take all the appropriate steps. But it is possible for their standards to fall short and you suffer pain, damage, loss, or injury as a result. In this case, your doctor may have failed in their duty of care to you and this could mean that they behaved negligently.
If this sounds familiar, we at Been Let Down can help you to report a doctor for negligence. We are trusted medical negligence solicitors with a track record of excellence in this field and are passionate about providing the best service to all our clients.
How do I know if my doctor has been negligent?
If it can be proven that your doctor failed in their duty of care to you, and that you’ve been injured, experienced a loss, or you’re in pain because of their failings, they may have been negligent in how they handled your care. This means you may have cause to pursue a claim for medical negligence.
That said, it’s not easy to know how to approach negligence claims against doctors. Medical professionals such as doctors hold a position of respect, value, and authority in our society. So, when they have failed to achieve the high standards expected of them, and the health and wellbeing of you or a loved one has been affected, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
In this case where you have a complaint about your doctor and the things that have happened under their care, it’s worth knowing how to distinguish between negligence and a mistake.
Medical negligence or an unfortunate mistake?
Without having any medical knowledge, you might find it’s difficult to know whether the problems you’ve had were unavoidable or whether they can be classified as negligent.
When it comes to medical knowledge, most of us have a limited understanding of what can contribute to a harmful reaction or medical condition. To get a better understanding of how you might want to report your doctor for negligence and potentially pursue a claim, take a look at these common examples of medical negligence:
- A clinical misdiagnosis resulting in additional pain and suffering
- A long delay in diagnosis
- Inaccurate or unnecessary amputation
- Failures in surgery due to negligence
- Loss of life of a loved one due to medical negligence
- Incorrect prescribing of medication
Any of these areas could classify as negligent practice. If it can be shown these actions caused identifiable loss, damage, pain, or injury to you, there may well be a case to report a doctor for negligence to the General Medical Council (GMC).
You should also check whether the hospital has a Patient Liaison and Advisory Service (PALS). If they do, you can complain directly to them. They will investigate and provide a decision on whether your complaint is justified.
PALS will not, however, provide legal advice as to whether the actions or omissions of the doctor were negligent, but they may be able to give you more information about your treatment. If you are considering a legal case the team at Been Let Down can help you. Please give us a call on 0800 234 3234 and we will discuss your options with you.
If the doctor is a GP, you can complain to the GP’s practice manager. If the complaint is not resolved by the practice manager, they should explain to you how you can go further with your complaint. Again, you can speak to us if you’re thinking of pursuing a claim against your GP for compensation.
How do I prove a medical negligence claim against my doctor?
If you wish to pursue a claim against your doctor for negligence, it needs to be proven the doctor behaved negligently. It also needs to be proven that their negligence caused or contributed to a negative outcome for you, such as pain, injury, or loss.
It is our job to find the evidence showing the link between your doctor’s negligent behaviour and the damage this caused. We will work with independent medical experts to establish this.
Why make a negligence claim against your doctor?
You might have already made a formal complaint about your doctor, following the procedures outlined above. However, doctors have a duty of care. So, when they behaved negligently towards you, they failed in their duty of care to you and put you at risk.
Their actions may have caused you physical pain, led to your condition worsening, or caused you to experience an injury as a result of how they have behaved – or, if they’ve missed something, how they failed to behave. This means you’ve suffered unnecessarily, or you’ve had prolonged pain or had to have additional treatments that were preventable.
You might be feeling the effects of what happened on an emotional level too. You may be mentally impacted by the way your doctor was negligent and you might mistrust medical professionals now, which is understandable.
Perhaps you’ve missed work while you’ve been recovering. Even if you’ve launched a complaint about your doctor for negligence, this can’t help you with money you’ve lost as a result of being out of work and potentially paying for medical treatment. Seeking compensation for the money you’ve lost can be crucial as it can help both your financial and mental wellbeing. It can help to get your life back on track.
There is also the possibility of obtaining an apology from the doctor or Hospital Trust and a promise that they will change their practices to make sure that what happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else.
The Been Let Down team is here for you if you want to pursue a claim. We understand that you’ve already been through a lot and we are experienced in bringing negligence claims against doctors. When you speak to us, you’ll be carefully guided through the process, and you can decide if you feel ready to make a claim.
How do I make a claim?
If you are considering a medical negligence claim and you’re thinking of contacting Been Let Down to discuss your claim, we would start by arranging a consultation over the phone. This initial call is free, and there is no obligation to proceed once you’ve spoken to us.
During this phase of the claims process, we will take the time to listen to the details of your claim in detail. This is to establish if we think you have a claim that could be successful. It’s important that you answer all our questions fully and truthfully, as any missing or incorrect information given could severely reduce the chances of you winning your case or securing the maximum compensation.
Is there a time limit for making a doctor negligence claim?
When you make any type of claim, including negligence claims against doctors, time limits apply. You usually have three years from the negligence, or knowledge of the negligence to seek compensation, so speak to our experts as soon as you can after the incident. This will give you enough time to put your claim forward and for you to win the money you’re entitled to.
What are the costs involved with making a claim?
Understandably, many people are wary of the financial implications of making a legal claim. Our expert medical negligence solicitors can discuss funding options with you further, but most of our cases are run on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This is also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, or CFA.
There are other funding methods available to fund your claim explained here on our funding page (No Win No Fee).
Why choose Been Let Down for my doctor negligence claim?
You’ve been through so much already. Choosing Been Let Down means that you’ll receive the highest quality service from a team of experts. We’re skilled in successfully bringing negligence claims against doctors and we’re here to help you.
This is why we are a good choice:
- Fully regulated
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA set the professional standards that solicitors need to adhere to in England and Wales.
- We’re experts in our field
We’re experienced in handling claims like yours and our solicitors are ready and waiting to offer you advice about the negligence you’ve experienced. We have solicitors who are personally recommended by The Law Society and various regulatory bodies and charities as experts in this complex field.
- A proven record of success
We’re a successful team and have high success rates. This means that if we think your case could have the potential to win, it probably will.
- Supporting you at all times
We are a compassionate, supportive team. We’ll carefully guide you through every stage of the process and listen to your input.
Contact us today
If you are looking to move along with the process of making a negligence claim against your doctor and want to find out if Been Let Down are the right medical negligence solicitors for you, get in touch today.
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