Four Elements of a Clinical Negligence Claim

by Georgina Mills on March 28, 2013

If you have become injured or ill as a result of seeing a doctor or visiting the hospital, you may be eligible to make a clinical negligence claim. This is a bit more complicated than just seeing a lawyer and suing that medical organisation. You will need to look at four individual considerations when filing these kinds of legal complaints and applying for compensation: balance of probability, source of funding, type of case, and expected results.

Balance of Probability

 When it comes to succeeding in your claim, you will need to prove two separate matters: negligence and causation. Negligence refers to care that falls well below medically accepted standards. Did your doctor make an improper diagnosis or prescribe the wrong medication? Did they fail to inform you about any risks or forget to obtain consent? If so, you may have a good case for negligence. Now, you’ll need to look at causation. Did the actions of your doctor directly result in the injuries or illnesses that you later succumbed to? After all, you’ll have to provide evidence that they were solely responsible for your pain and suffering.

 Sources of Funding

 When making a case for clinical negligence, you will also need to figure out how you are going to pay for the legal advice and actions that are necessary to win. Here, you have a few options at your disposal. Of course, depending on the legal agency you are working with, some may be more feasible than others. Whether you are hiring a lawyer through mintons.co.uk or some other firm, you will need to sit down and discuss the available alternatives. To give you a head start though, here are some of the most common funding options that you have at your disposal:

  • Private funding: If you have the spare cash, you can pay for all fees and costs on your own. Talk to your solicitor to find out the total amount.
  • Public funding: The government may offer assistance to those on low incomes who wish to file a claim. Here, you will need to investigate your current circumstances plus the likely compensation.
  • Trade union assistance: Those who are members of certain trade unions can also gain financial support when it comes to covering legal costs.
  • Insurance: You may have taken out legal expenses insurance prior to the accident. If this covers clinical negligence, the fees will be taken care of.
  • Solicitor deals: Some lawyers may have ‘no win no fee’ guarantees in which you pay nothing if you lose. Of course, some conditions may apply so discuss the matter with your solicitor beforehand.

Getting through the financial side of these claims is merely a matter of choosing your funding method and then commencing the proceedings.

 Type of Cases

 The length and complexity of the claim you make will depend on the compensation required, the intricacy of the circumstances, plus the willingness of your medical practitioner to comply with your demands. This basically leads to two outcomes: either reaching an informal settlement or taking the matter to court. The latter can involve higher fees and stretch the case on for months so you need to exhaust all other options before committing to this course of action.

 Expected Results

 Finally, you’ll need to look at the possible outcomes. While the most important aspect here is the compensation, there are also several other results that are likely. First, you may also receive a full explanation of the medical specialist’s prior actions and an apology for any inconvenience that you have suffered. You may also gain assurances that this situation won’t happen to you or anyone else in the future.

About the Author

 Mintons Solicitors is a specialist firm in Leeds offering legal services that help clinical negligence victims get needed compensation. More information about Mintons can be viewed at mintons.co.uk.

Georgina Mills

Georgina Mills

My name is Georgina Mills. I am a full-time mother of 2 lovely girls. I am married for 6 years already. While I'm at home, I make myself productive through writing meaningful articles from various topics. My dream is to write my own children's book someday.
Georgina Mills

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