If you have suffered an injury because of clinical negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Claims are complicated. They involve complex evidence and strict time scales. In this article, we set out the key requirements that indicate whether you may have a claim.

You must have suffered an injury

A claim for clinical negligence can only be made if you have suffered an injury because of the negligent actions of a medical professional. This involves proving both ‘breach of duty’ and ‘causation’.

Your health care professional must breach their duty of care

All healthcare providers have a duty of care towards their patients. This means they must carry out their work to the standard of a competent medical practitioner. There are many scenarios which may give rise to a breach of duty of care. These include when:

  • Diagnosis is delayed, or not made
  • There is a delay in taking appropriate action, care, or investigating symptoms
  • Test results are not considered
  • Previous medical history is ignored
  • Inadequate care is taken when operating
  • There is a failure of communication
  • A patient is discharged prematurely from hospital care
  • There is a failure to obtain informed consent

This list is not exhaustive. It gives an indication as to the typical claims that are brought against medical professionals.

The health care professional’s breach of duty must cause your injury

Establishing that the medical professional breached their duty of care is not enough. You must also prove ‘causation’. This involves proving that the breach of duty caused your injury.

For example, when a medical professional makes a mistake, but this does not impact your health in any way, it is unlikely you would be able to bring a claim. The exception is where a medical professional carries out a course of treatment without proper consent.

Time limits

The time limits for bringing a clinical negligence claim are strict.  It is important to act quickly. Generally, you must bring your claim within three years of the date of your injury. There are exceptions to this rule, but only in very limited circumstances.

Led by Steve Webb our specialist Clinical Negligence team has had years of experience and is recommended by the Legal 500 and ranked as one of the top firms in Essex in this practice area. To contact our Personal Injury team call 01206 574431 or by e-mail at info@tsplegal.com