Clinical / Medical Negligence
Were mistakes made whilst on the operating table? We may be able to help.
No-one expects to leave hospital worse off than when they came – and whilst we all appreciate and understand the stresses and strains our doctors are placed under, medical negligence is never an acceptable conclusion to a medical procedure. Fortunately, we are here to help.
Between 2016-2017 there were 17,338 claims of medical negligence brought to light in the NHS, of which 9675 of them resulted in money being awarded in damages to patients. With the demand for NHS services on the rise, it is becoming increasingly evident that a small budget is having to be stretched to its limits with staff continuously overworked. Unfortunately, these statistics only continue to rise every year and sadly often don’t include those who have not reported negligence and are now suffering from emotional, physical and financial burdens.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, happens when a medical professional whether that be a doctor, nurse etc. does something or fails to do something that meets the accepted standard of care. This then means that by failing to meet this standard of care the patient has received an injury or come to harm in this process. It is this standard of care which will be used in a legal capacity to ascertain whether or not the medical professional committed malpractice by comparing their actions to how a qualified professional in their situation should have acted.
How do you know if you have been a victim of negligence?
When trying to establish whether negligence has occurred it often begins with the patient or the patient’s family. Medical professionals will not be forthcoming when it comes to admitting wrongdoing on their part, so it falls to the patient or their loved ones to understand what happened and determine if it deviates from the accepted standard of care. It can often be that the patient feels something went wrong or something occurred that they feel should not have happened. Equally the patient’s family may have experienced something that has caused them concern whether it be witnessing something first hand or overhearing that something is wrong. It is these moments that the patient and their family should write down in case the patient then sustains an injury or comes to harm.
These are matters we review on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Michael Wafer to discuss in greater depth to see if we may be able to assist.
Unfortunately, since 2012 sweeping changes have been made to the legal system. Costs are fixed so that we are only entitled to a set amount of money for the work that we do and this is very low. This, therefore, means that we are forced, as are other solicitors, to deduct part of your compensation in part payment of our costs and at the moment this is set at a maximum of 25% of your compensation. If you are to receive £4,000.00 in compensation we would deduct £1,000.00. There is obviously an incentive for us to secure for you the best possible deal –something that is, of course, mutually beneficial.
Prior to 2012 if a case was taken to Court and lost the defendant’s costs would have to be paid by the loser, either you or us. However, since the introduction of Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting – also known as QOCS – if a case proceeds to trial and is lost there is no responsibility on you or us to pay the opposition’s costs but there is one significant exception to this rule which is that if the Court decides, however, that if you have behaved fraudulently the protection is removed and you will be personally liable to pay the opposition’s fees. The Government are keen to stop what it sees as widespread fraud and deception (the actual reality is another matter) in regard to car crash claims and it is because of this perception that changes have been made and continue to be made to the legal system.
WE ARE STILL A NO WIN, NO FEE FIRM