Any time that you entrust your medical care to a Doctor, you are entering a situation where you should be able to place trust in that Doctor to act in your best interests. The Doctor owes you a professional duty of care.
In the vast majority of cases, any Doctor who takes on your care will do so in a highly professional manner, but there may be occasions when they fall short of acceptable standards. If it can be shown that the Doctor was clearly failing in their duty of care in a manner that classes as negligent, and that you suffered some form of loss, damage, pain or injury as a result, you may have cause to pursue a claim for medical negligence.
That said, medical professionals such as Doctors rightly hold a position of respect, value and authority in our society, so when they have failed to fulfil the high standards expected of them, it can be difficult to know what to do. The health and wellbeing of you or a loved one may have been adversely affected, and without medical knowledge it can often be difficult to know whether the negative impacts suffered were unavoidable or whether they classify as negligent and you should report your Doctor.
With these factors in mind, we at BeenLetDown – Professional Negligence Solicitors have put together a guide to let you know how to report a Doctor should you suspect negligence or medical malpractice.
We are trusted medical negligence Solicitors with a track record of excellence in this field. We are passionate about providing a good service to all of our clients.
How Do I Know if My Doctor has Been Negligent?
It can be difficult to be sure about what classifies as negligence as opposed to unavoidable mistakes which are risks common to the condition or procedure which you are suffering from. When it comes to the medical conditions most of us have limited knowledge of what can contribute to an adverse reaction or medical condition. Examples of negligence in the context of medical negligence are actions which include:
- A clinical misdiagnosis
- A long delay in diagnosis
- Malpractice resulting in injury
- Inaccurate or unnecessary amputation
- Unsuccessful surgery due to negligence
- Loss of life to a loved one due to medical negligence
Any of these areas of conduct could classify as negligent practice, and if it can be shown that these actions caused identifiable loss, damage, pain or injury to you, then there may well be a case to report a negligent Doctor to the British Medical Association (BMA). You should also consider whether the hospital has a Patient Liaison and advisory service (PALS). If the hospital does have a PALS service, you can complain directly to them and they will investigate your complaint and provide a decision whether your complaint is justified. PALS will not provide legal advice whether the actions or omissions of the Doctor are negligent.
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.
One complicating factors that needs to be proved is whether the negligence as caused or contributed to an adverse outcome, which you may not have suffered but for the negligence. This can be very difficult to establish and independent expert evidence from a Doctor will need to be obtained.
Now that you know some of the areas that can classify as medical negligence and your options to possibly complain about a Doctor, you may be able to recognise some of your own situation and conduct you may have suffered. The previous list was not an exhaustive one, so it may also be that you suffered negligent behaviour that falls outside the conduct listed above.
How Do I Go About Making a Claim?
If you are considering a medical negligence claim and you are thinking of contacting BeenLetDown to discuss your claim, we would first arrange a consultation over the telephone, this initial call is free and there is no obligation to proceed. We will ask you about the claim and get to know the details of your case.
If at that stage we considered that your claim was worthy of further investigation, we will request your medical records.
It is also vitally important that you answer all our questions fully and truthfully, as any missing or incorrect information given could severely damage the chances of winning the case or securing appropriate compensation. It is also worth noting that there is a time limit of three years which applies to clinical negligence claims. We will discuss this with you during our initial telephone call to determine the best we can whether you are within time to bring the claim.
What are the Costs Involved with Making a Claim?
Many people are understandably wary of the financial implications of making a legal claim given the figures they hear quoted in the media. At BeenLetDown, we are actually able to offer the legal services for the vast majority of our cases on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. This is a model that releases clients from taking on a major financial burden in pursuing recognition for the negligence they’ve suffered.
The terms of the ‘No Win, No Fee’ will be discussed and explained to you before signing any documents. We will also discuss with you After the Event insurance.
We see a number of advantages in pursuing a clinical negligence claim on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. Firstly, it protects you from any financial risk, knowing that should there be no compensation secured, you will have no payment to make. Secondly, it protects all parties involved; displaying that we are not looking to take on any cases with no legitimate likelihood of being won, protecting our time and reputation, protecting your financial standing and also avoiding unnecessary harm to any medical professional who may have been accused.
A further benefit is that it defines very clear parameters for our arrangement throughout the duration of the case.
So What Do I Do Now?
If you are looking to move along with the process of making a claim and want to ascertain whether BeenLetDown are the right medical negligence Solicitors for you, we welcome you to contact us today. This can be done by phoning our office on 0151 5561839, or by visiting our website at www.beenletdown.co.uk to request a callback for a more suitable time, or to complete the claims form on our website. We can then look at arranging your initial consultation and working out how to best move forward with your case.