Do you have a medical claim?

 

You may have a medical claim if the treatment you received from a medical or health professional was below a reasonable standard. A medical claim can be brought against a variety of different professionals. Some of the professionals that you could bring an action against include:

  • Doctors
  • Surgeons
  • Dentists

Examples of medical claims

There are different types of medical claims that you could bring against a medical professional. If you paid a professional for treatment, you may be able to bring a claim against them for breach of contract.

If you did not pay the professional, for example if you received treatment through the NHS, you may be able to bring a negligence claim against the professional. Negligence is a tortuous claim. Often, you may be able to bring a medical claim for breach of contract as well as negligence. Here's a brief example:

  • You pay a private dentist to check your teeth. They advise that you need root canal treatment and carry out the treatment
  • The treatment is carried out negligently and you suffer injuries to your teeth as a result of the treatment

You could bring a medical claim against the dentist for breach of contract. This is because it was implied into your agreement with the dentist that they would exercise reasonable care and skill when treating you. Clearly, they have breached this term.

You could also bring a claim for negligence. This is because the dentist’s negligent treatment fell below a reasonable standard. 

Documenting your case

Anyone that is preparing a lawsuit against a medical professional can enhance the chances of a successful outcome by ensuring their medical cases are well documented. Your clinical negligence solicitor can help you prepare your case, but it’s up to you to gather all the documents and other evidence you will need to support your claim for compensation.

Medical cases produce a great deal of documents. It is your right under the Data Protection and Access to Medical Records Acts to be given copies of your medical case files if you request these. The doctor or other medical professional you are taking to court must explain in full the medical cases that impact on your claim for compensation. They have a code of conduct with which they must comply.

The employer of the medical professional that you are claiming against must also co-operate with your requests for information about your medical cases. Most NHS Trusts have either:

  • A customer services representative you can contact
  • A Patient Advice and Liaison Officer that should be able to help you

If your medical cases are held with a private healthcare provider, they are also bound by the same acts as NHS Trusts and must give you access to all the medical cases you request information about.

The data controller that looks after the records that make up your medical history should respond to your request for information within 40 days. It is likely that you will also have to pay a fee to access your case and an additional cost if you want copies of any information your case contains.

For more advice on this area of law, see our information page about medical law.

Do you have a medical claim for negligence and want a solicitor to represent you in bringing a case forward for compensation? Contact Law works with expert medical lawyers who specialise in negligence and malpractice claims, and can give your case the best chance of success. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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