Can I claim for Medical or Clinical Negligence?
Medical treatment in the UK is generally of a high standard. But when mistakes happen, the consequences can often be extremely serious.
Medical negligence can range from substandard surgery to a missed diagnosis, whether the treatment was on the NHS or private.
If you require further information or wish to discuss a possible claim, please contact one of our medical negligence solicitors without obligation on 0800 980 9390 or complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch.
To recover damages it’s necessary to prove that the medical treatment or care provided fell below the standard of a reasonably competent medical professional and that it was this treatment that caused the injury or loss.
Medical negligence claims can be complex. A doctor or other healthcare professional may not have been negligent if a responsible body of medical opinion, albeit a minority one, would have provided similar treatment. An unsatisfactory result or errors of judgment may not always, therefore, amount to negligence.
The issue of medical causation in clinical negligence claims is very important and can be notoriously difficult. The situation will often be complicated by the presence of an underlying illness or injury or pre-existing vulnerabilities. It’s essential that your solicitor has experience in clinical negligence and that the right medical experts are used to support your claim.
We’ve successfully acted for clients in a wide range of clinical negligence claims, recovering many millions of pounds.
We offer free initial advice free of charge and without obligation and will act on a No Win, No Fee basis.
Missed or Undiagnosed Fractures
Sometimes fractures are missed on x-rays or x-rays are not taken and a patient is diagnosed with a soft tissue injury instead and sent home.
Not all missed fractures will result in a clinical negligence claim, particularly if the fracture is picked up at a later appointment and can be properly treated at that stage. However, sometimes a missed fracture can have serious consequences with unnecessary pain and suffering and the need for more complicated treatment and sometimes resulting in long-term disability
Most surgical procedures are carried out to a high standard. Occasionally, however, mistakes are made due to poor technique from the surgeon or other clinicians involved, or the use of inappropriate equipment or components. Occasionally the risks of surgery are not properly explained or there is a failure to obtain the patient’s consent.
Most cerebral palsy cases are not due to clinical negligence, but some are due to the mismanagement of a baby’s birth, resulting in oxygen starvation and brain damage. Macks have successfully dealt with several cerebral palsy cases that have resulted in multi-million-pound compensation awards.
A failure to diagnose cancer by a medical practitioner can have devastating results. Some forms of cancer require early treatment and a failure or delay in diagnosis can result in considerable pain and suffering, reduced life expectancy or death.
A GP is usually the first port of call when a patient becomes ill. They are not specialists but are usually able to diagnose and treat basic illnesses, failing which further investigations should be carried out or a referral should be made to a hospital or specialist centre. A GP’s failure to diagnose a condition, or giving an incorrect diagnosis, can have severe consequences, with the patient failing to receive the treatment required in time or at all.
Serious problems can arise when a doctor or a pharmacist makes a mistake with a patient’s medication. When prescribing or dispensing medication, the wrong amount or the wrong type of medication can result in severe consequences. Medication often requires strict compliance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and it is, therefore, essential that doctors take the greatest of care.
Mistakes can include the wrong medication or dose or combinations of drugs being given that should not be taken at the same time. Patients may also be instructed to stop a course of medication prematurely or be prescribed medication for too long. In many cases, the mistake will be rectified before any damage is done, but some errors can have serious consequences for a patient’s health.
The nervous system consists of the central nervous system, which includes the brain and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, which includes the motor nerves controlling muscles and the sensory nerves that provide information about touch, pain and other sensations.
Significant nerve damage is uncommon during surgery but damage to the spinal cord can have very serious and usually permanent effects. Damage to the peripheral nervous system can result in numbness, tingling, pain and weakness or paralysis of muscles. These symptoms will often go away, but recovery is often slow and sometimes the symptoms can be permanent.
Nerve injuries can occur during surgery when nerves are cut, stretched or compressed, or as a result of an injection or the insertion of cannulas into veins or arteries.
Common nerve injuries are to the ulnar and radial nerves at the elbow, which are close to the skin, and to the common peroneal nerve on the outside of the leg below the knee.
Nerve damage is usually confirmed by tests such as nerve conduction studies, Magnet Residence Imaging (MRI) or Computed Tomography (CT) scanning. Treatment will usually involve physiotherapy, exercise and medication. Occasionally, surgery can be carried out to repair a damaged nerve or relieve pressure on a compressed or stretched nerve.