Clinical negligence should never cost your pocket!
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Having to go into a hospital or a medical facility for any kind of treatment can be frightening enough. When you come out in worst condition than when you entered, or suffer from a serious injury or illness it can be even more frightening and frustrating.
With our advanced medicine and skilled doctors today, it seems as though nobody should have to suffer from a clinical mishap. Yet, unfortunately, many people are victims of clinical negligence. The National Health Service (NHS) estimates that in 2010/2011 there were 8,655 claims. This is a 30.1 percent increase from 2009/2010. They say misery loves company, so maybe these staggering figures are somewhat comforting, but in reality, if doctors, health care practitioners and specialists were doing their jobs properly, these numbers would not be so high.
What is Clinical Negligence?
Clinical negligence is defined as any act or omission by a health care professional that is sub-standard and causes direct harm to a patient. The term health care professional is all-encompassing and includes hospital doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, health visitors, registered opticians, pharmacists, Medical professionals who can ambulance personnel, laboratory staff and members of professions that are allies to dentistry and medicine.
Causes of Clinical Negligence
Although most doctors and health care practitioners only want to provide the best care and treatment, mistakes are inevitable. Clinical negligence can result from numerous reasons. Typically, negligence is defined as the action or inaction of a health care professional. This means that any misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, incorrect treatment or failure to treat, unnecessary surgery and surgical errors, premature discharge, poor aftercare, failure to order diagnostic tests or to read them properly and failure to recognise symptoms. Clinical negligence can also result from visiting an unsanitary facility. On the other hand, there are cases in which deliberate harm is caused. These, are more apparent and are often easier to win in court.
Consequences of Clinical Negligence
The effects of clinical negligence vary widely and can significantly change a person’s quality of life. A patient may suffer from a mild injury or illness to severe, life-threatening complications. Negligence can also result in the death of a patient. Depending on the harm caused, victims may be left unable to work for an extended period of time, may experience prolonged or permanent disability. In addition to the physical damage, there may be various psychological effects. It is very common for those who endure traumatic events to experience severe depression, stress and anxiety. Recovering from a clinical wrongdoing can take long time. Furthermore, chances are the harm caused and subsequent consequences affect family members and friends. They may have to adjust their schedule, work salary and other areas of their life to accommodate the victim’s needs. It can also take an emotional toll on them.
Why File for Compensation?
Some patients express trepidation when it comes to suing their doctors. However, it is a health care practitioner’s obligation by law to provide utmost care. Filing a claim will ensure that the practitioner’s act does not go unnoticed and hopefully prevent him or her from committing it again. Claiming compensation will also provide some justice as most victims receive enough money to cover remedial medical bills, ongoing treatment and therapy, loss of income and any pain or emotional suffering they may have endured.
How to File
Filing a claim is easier than many think. In order to claim negligence a victim and his or her lawyer must prove that there was an error in the treatment and that specific error caused the harm. To substantiate a case, it is necessary to provide all supporting documents and evidence. There are many well established medical negligence solicitors with proven track records who can asses a case and help fight for justice. All it takes is some courage to fight and a phone call, and soon enough you will have the restitution you seek.