What is Clinical Negligence?

The term ‘Clinical Negligence’ is often and far more widely known as ‘Medical Negligence or Malpractice.’ The term refers to the breach of medical practice standards, which result in a patient being harmed in any way, shape, or form. The breach of legal duty or care by a medical practitioner is an extremely serious offence and is not taken lightly, especially not in the UK.

However, with this being said, the court and medical negligence solicitors may successfully extract a level of compensation, more often than not at an adequate level, to your injury or trauma. But they cannot make a medical practice, hospital, or clinic alter its standards of practice in any way, they cannot make a medical practitioner apologise or show any remorse if that is not the intent, and they can also not improve any standard of medical practice at all.

Clinical negligence is dealt with by solicitors such as The Medical Negligence Experts, who like many other companies offer services on a no win no fee basis. The process is based, for accepted cases, on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy. Consultations and overviews are estimated as to a success rating in or out of court, and most cases never even see the inside of a courtroom. The level of harm and injury caused can vary from something which was or is temporary and can be rectified by further proper medical treatment, to a case which has lifelong implications to the patient/victim in question, as well as their family. In some other cases, it is a fatality and the family who is left behind will take on the case.

The UK has seen a frightening climb in medical negligence claims UK in the past few years, with the NHS Resolution estimating a doubling in claims by the year 2023. There are various levels that must be covered before any claim of medical negligence in the UK can pass through successfully to a point where any compensation is granted. The levels are extensive and rigorous, and this is another reason that your case will first be thoroughly examined by medical negligence lawyers before even taking the case any further than a consultation. These rigorous steps are as follows:

Breach of Duty or Adequate Duty of Care

After your case has been taken on by a medical negligence claim solicitor, the first step is to prove that the level of negligence was in fact malpractice at all. This is done through what is known as the ‘Bolam test’. The test involves a group of medical practitioners in the same field to be present in a unanimous agreement as to whether the doctor, nurse, or other medical staff was indeed in breach of their duty towards the patient.

In recent years, with the steady rise in claims against medical practitioners, the state has forced not only the medical practitioner in question to be of sound mind but also the very practitioners who are partaking in the ‘Bolam test.’ This step alone can take months to obtain the necessary restructuring of the incident, as well as the adequate paperwork involved to prove such a claim.

Causation

After the ‘Bolam test’ has been passed as successful and the necessary paperwork and witnesses have been collected, it is then necessary to prove causation. Causation is a very important step and is sometimes the one step where many patients lose their claim with a simple apology from the medically negligent practitioner in question.

Causation and damage are often believed to be the same thing. However, they are not. Causation is proving whether the medical malpractice actually led to the damage incurred, if any, by the patient in question. Proving causation is a far lengthier and more costly process than proving breach of duty or breach of duty of care.

Damage

This step is one of the last and it is usually in this step or just before where the best medical negligence solicitors gain the first level of compensation for their clients. This step involves showing the level of damage incurred, either physically or mentally, to the client and/or their family. It can include an entire array of costs. One of the most common is an inability to continue working in their specific field and as a result an inability to support their family or dependants.

All medical negligence UK cases are taken very seriously. However, when there is a case proven against a minor, or by default a mother in birth, then there are usually very few steps and a level of compensation is reached out of court and with an almost immediate effect after a breach of duty or a duty of care has been established. Medical practitioners have a high standard to uphold in the UK. The fact that the statistics of medical negligence are so high is a troubling fact, but the UK still remains one of the lowest in the world in terms of medical malpractice claims.

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