Hospital Negligence Claims

Learning that you or a loved one has been the victim of hospital negligence can be a terrifying experience. The impact of such a discovery can have damaging consequences to your physical and emotional health, and may influence your quality of life for the foreseeable future. Once the initial shock has abated, your first priority must be to deal with any health issues you can. Thereafter, you should speak with a solicitor about your entitlement to make hospital negligence claims. However, before you do so, it may be advisable to browse through our Hospital Negligence Claims Guide.

Hospital Negligence v Medical Negligence. Is There a Difference?

The first area that needs addressing in our Hospital Negligence Claims Guide is what actually constitutes hospital negligence. There are many terms which are used to refer to “a breach in the duty of care” by a medical practitioner or their support staff – hospital negligence/medical negligence/clinical negligence/medical malpractice – but in the eyes of the law they are essentially the same.

Hospital negligence is defined as “A medical professional, who owed you a duty of care, showed a poor professional performance which resulted in an injury or loss that could have been avoided at the time and in those circumstances.”

An Injury or a Near Miss

Inasmuch as it may not be in doubt that hospital negligence has occurred, hospital negligence claims have to also demonstrate that an injury or loss has actually been sustained. If an error in diagnosis has been made for example, but you have suffered no ill-effects as a result of this mistake, there are no grounds for hospital negligence claims.

Was the Injury or Loss Avoidable?

Hospital negligence claims also have to show that the injury or loss was avoidable at the time and in the circumstances in which they occurred. For example, if a mother sustains a perineal tear during the delivery of her baby because of an obstetric emergency (such as shoulder dystocia), provided that “on the balance of probability· the injury was unavoidable in the circumstances, there are no grounds for making hospital negligence claims.

Who Determines Negligence?

In many cases, negligence is determined by a medical expert who your solicitor will retain to support hospital negligence claims. This may mean that you or a loved one will have to undergo a further medical examination, which we understand may be distressing, but which is necessary to establish that “on the balance of probability” an injury has occurred due to a poor professional performance. In hospital negligence claims where a hospital-acquired infection has caused the injury (such as MRSA), a further examination may not be required provided that the hospital has maintained adequate records.

Who Gets Sued? The Hospital? The Doctor? The Nurse?

Hospital negligence claims are possibly the most complex type of personal injury claim. It has been calculated that there are more than a dozen processes involved in administering a single dose of medication to a patient, and an error in any link of the chain can lead to an injury and claims for hospital negligence. Unless liability in hospital negligence claims is immediately apparent, an investigation will be launched to determine if hospital negligence has indeed occurred and, if so, where.

Medical Negligence Claims and Insurance Companies

By law, all medical practitioners and the hospitals they work in have to carry professional indemnity insurance. When hospital negligence claims are made against their clients, the insurance company providing the indemnity insurance may approach you directly with an offer of early settlement. Frequently, these offers occur soon after hospital negligence has been acknowledged and possibly while you are still suffering both a physical and psychological trauma because of your recently discovered injury. More often than not they are inappropriate for the level of injury you have sustained and the consequences of the injury, and should be referred to a solicitor straight away.

A Solicitor is the Ultimate Hospital Negligence Claims Guide

Although there is plenty of general information available on the Internet, and plenty of advice available for well-meaning family and friends, there is no substitute for speaking with an experienced hospital negligence claims solicitor. A solicitor will be able to assess your claim to see if you have a case which is worth your while to pursue, provide you with valuable and practical advice about the process involved in making hospital negligence claims and represent you in litigation and negotiation if required.

Free Hospital Negligence Claims Advice

One of the key benefits of speaking with a solicitor who has experience in hospital negligence claims is that he will understand the emotional trauma that you may be experiencing, and provide you with information which is relevant to your own personal circumstances. If you, or somebody close to you, has suffered an injury or loss which you believe is attributable to hospital negligence, you are invited to call our free injury claims advice service and discuss your claim with a solicitor in complete confidence and with no obligation on you to proceed with a hospital negligence claim.

Speak to a medical negligence solicitor about your claim