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Proving a medical negligence claim

  • Published: Friday February 18, 2022
  • Category: Claims Support
  • Tags: claims,

Although each case is investigated and looked into based on the individual experiences that you or your loved one has been through, in order to be successful in bringing a medical negligence claim, all claims have to fit within the structures of the law.

Breach of Duty

You will hear your lawyer talk about liability and whether there has been a ‘breach of duty’. In investigating your claim, we will need to prove, backed up with medical evidence, that the clinicians involved in your care breached their duty of care which they owe to all of their patients. Crucially though, it is not enough to simply say that we are not happy with their care generally; we have to be able to prove that the level of care which they provided, or the clinical decisions that they made, failed to meet the standard of a reasonable body of other practitioners in that area of medicine.

Causation

Furthermore, if we have established that there has potentially been a breach of duty in your care, to proceed further in our investigations, we have to then go on to show that there is what is referred to in legal terms as ‘causation’. By this, we mean to say that as a direct result of that breach of duty that we have proved with evidence has occurred, you have gone on to suffer harm or damage. Importantly, we have to show that if that breach of duty had not have happened, you would not have gone on to suffer the damage that you now have.

It is only when we have proved both of these components that we can look at sending our allegations to the Defendant and look into settlement negotiations.

Medical negligence cases are known for being complex, and it takes time to get to each stage of our investigations, from requesting and reviewing your medical records at the very beginning of your claim, through to instructing and obtaining independent expert medical evidence to look at proving breach of duty and causation, and evaluating the prospects of success in your claim at every stage. Generally, successful claims can take approximately 2-3 years, but this is all entirely dependent on the individual facts of the case – with some claims taking less time and others requiring more time.

Your lawyers will always try to keep you updated, and a member of the team will always try to and answer any questions or queries you have at every step of the way.