Clinical negligence claims


Clinical negligence claims can arise in many different scenarios. There are a broad range of injuries which, if suffered due to negligent treatment by a medical professional, may give rise to clinical negligence claims.

Below is a summary of some of the main types of injuries relevant to clinical negligence law:

Injuries arising out of surgical errors

Individuals can suffer a whole range of injuries if the surgeon operating on them carried out the surgery negligently. Examples of the types of negligent surgery that have given rise to clinical negligence claims include:

  • Laser eye-correction surgery
  • Keyhole surgery
  • Cosmetic surgery

Injuries arising out of hospital infections

This arises when at a hospital you suffer an injury due to it being transferred to you by someone or something. Hospitals have alcohol gel located throughout their wards to help guard against this. However, if a hospital has not prevented you from acquiring an injury whilst at that hospital, you may have a claim against them.

Injuries arising out of cases in which the patient consents to treatment:

If you sign a form which gives your doctor consent to carry out the treatment, you may still have a claim against them if the treatment is administered negligently. Just because you signed the consent form does not mean the doctor is absolved of all liability if he carries out the treatment incompetently.

How to bring a claim

When bringing a clinical negligence claim, UK Civil Procedural rules must be complied with. The Civil Procedure Rules came into force on 26 April 1999. The reforms came in to help revamp and reform the civil justice system in the UK.

The overriding objective of the Civil Procedural Rules is to enable the courts to deal with cases justly. When bringing a civil claim, including a clinical negligence claim, UK courts:

  • Encourage the parties to co-operate
  • Encourage the parties to be pro-active
  • Encourage the parties, if possible, to arrive at a settlement without court action

In truth, one of the main objectives of the Civil Procedural Rules is to keep as many cases out of court as possible.

Mediation and conciliation

In a clinical negligence claim, alternative dispute resolution should always be considered as a method of settling the claim. In clinical negligence cases there are various different types of dispute resolution that lawyers can engage in.

A mediator helps the two parties to highlight the main areas of dispute in the clinical negligence matter. They will also help them come to some sort of constructive solution. For example, during a ‘mini-trial’:

  • An independent chairman is appointed to listen to the dispute. Both parties should be represented by senior legal representatives who should have the authority to negotiate a compromise on their client’s behalf

If you have a clinical negligence claim, you should consider instructing a solicitor to engage in alternative dispute resolution on your behalf.

For more information on what kind of disputes mediation is suitable for, see our page on mediation disputes.

Do you want to sue a healthcare professional for negligent treatment whilst you, or someone you know, was in hospital? Contact Law works with a number of specialist clinical negligence solicitors who can help you bring a claim forward for compensation. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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