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The Definition of Medical Negligence

Most doctors and other medical professionals maintain very high standards of practice, but with medical treatment there is often a risk involved, and thus mishaps do inevitably occur.

In all cases where you, your spouse or child has been injured after receiving medical treatment, you are entitled to an explanation as to what went wrong. The same entitlement applies to people who are children or dependants of a patient who passed away.

The key to winning more substantial compensation after shoddy medical treatment is duty of care. If a breach of this duty of care has taken place at any time during the injurious medical treatment then compensation may be claimed for medical negligence (also known as clinical negligence).

There is a myriad of types of medical treatment that medical negligence claims can relate to. These include:

  • Accident and emergency
  • Cancer treatment
  • General practice
  • Keyhole surgery
  • Mental health
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Plastic surgery
  • Radiology
  • Vascular surgery

What constitutes a breach of duty of care?

There are a number of medical misdemeanours that be classified as a breach of duty of care, which usually apply to doctors and surgeons but can also be applied to other professionals such as dentists, midwives and psychiatrists. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to give due warning of risks involved in treatment administered
  • Failure to obtain consent to perform an operation
  • Taking insufficient care in performing surgery
  • Delayed referral to specialists
  • Failed or delayed diagnosis of medical problems
  • Prescribing incorrect medication

Difference between personal injury and medical negligence claims

Clinical negligence claims differ from their personal injury counterparts in that instead of simply showing that somebody else was to blame for causing an injury, it must be proven through the evidence of specialist medical experts that there were serious errors in the treatment that a competent doctor would not have made, and that these errors played a part in the injury which is being claimed for.

If you believe you have suffered as the result of a breach of duty of care by a medical professional, you should immediately seek the advice of a medical negligence solicitor. Quality of service given by solicitors in this field is variable, so it’s important to find one you can trust.