Clinical negligence used to be known as medical negligence, but the principles are much the same: it involves a patient taking their medical attendants to civil court for compensation. This is the first key detail that one should know about clinical negligence claims: the only award that can be made is one of financial damages. A health professional cannot be disciplined or made to apologise as a result of a successful claim.
Nonetheless, medical professionals do have a legal duty of care towards the patient with regard to the standard of their treatment. However, there are several things that must be proved by the claimant if they are to be successful in securing damages.
Not only must it be proved that a duty was owed by the doctor or other healthcare professional to take care of the claimant without causing injury, but it must also be proven that there was a breach of that duty to take care. Furthermore, the claimant must prove that harm was caused to them by that breach of duty, and that such harm has caused damage or other losses.
Considering these four categories one by one, proving that the doctor or medical team with responsibility for treating a patient owed a duty to take care of that patient is not generally difficult. Then, there is the matter of whether the duty of care owed to a patient was actually breached by the doctor, which is based on whether they have failed to meet the standard of a reasonable body of other practitioners also skilled in that field. This is referred to as the ‘Bolam test’.
Working with the right clinical negligence solicitors such as those of Farani Taylor, should also enable the claimant to establish that the medical professional’s failure was a direct cause of the alleged injuries, or at least a significant contributor. This is often an especially difficult element of the claim to demonstrate.
Finally, having proven breach of duty and causation, the claimant will need to show that they have suffered damage that justifies a financial award. Such damage doesn’t necessarily just amount to physical injury, or even psychiatric injury – such financial damage as loss of earnings and the cost of future healthcare needs can also be accounted for.
There are many stages to a successful clinical negligence claim, which only makes it all the more crucial for prospective claimants to work with the right solicitor. Farani Taylor takes the risk out of bringing such a claim, thanks to its ‘no win, no fee’ service. We will happily assess your case at any cost, with our medical expert looking into your case and establishing precisely what your doctor or other healthcare professional did wrong.