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'Medical Negligence' Category Archives

February 19th, 2020

Care home negligence claims

Gavel, stethoscope and justice scalesAccording to a 2017 gov.uk report, there are about 11,300 care homes for the elderly in the UK. We believe the numbers would have increased by now as we have an ageing population.

The CQC (Care Quality Commission) regulates all care homes in England. Whether they are for-profit or voluntary organisations, NHS or local-health authorities, all care homes are regularly checked by CQC inspectors to ensure that standards are met. In other words, all care homes should provide a safe and comfortable environment for their residents.

As CQC can take actions against care homes that fail to reach expected standards, in theory, all care homes should offer the best levels of service to their residents and patients. But in reality, inadequate staff can fail the trust that you and your family put upon them. Negligence happens more often than we would like to think, resulting in residents or patients suffering serious injuries or even death. When neglect happens, residents and their family members can take action against the care home involved and claim compensation.

In this article, our professional medical negligence solicitors in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire explain how negligence can arise in care homes, how to spot the signs of care home negligence, what evidence to gather, how to make a claim, and what the compensation will cover.

What are common negligence claims in a care home?

Negligence in a care home can arise when the care given to its residents (often elderly and vulnerable) breaches the expected duty of care, leading to serious injuries, health issues or even death.

Common negligence in care home claims can include but not limited to:

  • Medical neglect, anything from dosage errors to failure to treat bedsores
  • Physical abuse
  • Mental or emotional abuse
  • Basic needs neglects including patient hygiene
  • Catheter mistakes
  • Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of hazards
  • Lack of supervision

In cases involving physical and emotional abuse, the Crown Prosecution may step in to launch criminal charges against the perpetrators while residents (and their family members) may launch civil negligence proceedings against the company.

What are the signs of care home negligence?

When you suspect that your loved one or residents in a care home have been neglected either intentionally or unintentionally, the first step is to look for signs, which may include but not limited to:

  • Bedsores
  • Regular infections
  • Bruising, cuts, and/or broken bones
  • Lack of cleanliness
  • Unusual changes in mental health and behaviour
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Becoming reclusive
  • The presence of hazardous equipment or furniture

Gathering evidence to prove a care home negligence case

A few years ago, the BBC Panorama secretly filmed a nurse giving morphine to a resident “to shut her up” – the footage shocked the nation when aired. Since then, undercover reporters and family members have shared a string of abuse and neglect incidents from various care homes, anything from malnourished residents to patients left sitting for a day in wet and soiled incontinence pads.

They gathered the evidence through CCTV, hidden cameras, hidden voice recordings, medical records, social service documents, as well as eyewitness reports from other residents, visitors and staff.

The moment you notice that something is wrong and you believe negligence is present, start gathering evidence and also seek legal advice from one of our medical negligence solicitors.

How do you claim for care home negligence?

The resident or patient who suffers does not usually seek help due to several reasons. For instance, they may be afraid of the perpetrators, they may believe that neglect is normal, they are simply embarrassed, or their illnesses may prevent them from speaking out.

This means a large number of care home negligence cases are initiated by the family members instead. If you have a loved one who suffers in a care home, give us a call to discuss the case. In order to prove negligence, we will work with you to establish:

  • A duty of care exists between the resident and the defendant (the care home in this case)
  • A beach of that duty has occurred
  • The negligence has caused the resident to suffer

The wellbeing of your loved ones should also be the top priority. In theory, when you make a claim against the care home, your loved one should continue to live there without discrimination. But if the care home has breached the duty of care, it may not be safe for your loved one to continue living there. Most family members either transfer the resident to another care home immediately to avoid further harm or step in to provide care.

What will the compensation cover?

In cases of negligence in care homes, the most common compensation is money, which aims to rectify the harm done to the quality of life to the residents who have suffered unnecessarily.

Compensation helps to:

  • Pay for private medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of earnings from family members who have to step in and provide care
  • Home care help
  • Other related expenses

Start your care home negligence compensation claim today

Once you start proceedings against the care home, a few things may happen. The ideal scenario is that the care home agrees with the claim and pays you the full compensation you have asked for. However, in most cases they will negotiate for a reduced amount.

Also, the care home may disagree with the claim. In this instance, we will discuss options like mediation and reaching an out-of-court settlement with you. If it goes to court, we will work relentlessly to represent you.

Our medical negligence solicitors are here to advise, represent and also negotiate on behalf of you. So take advantage of our FREE initial consultation today. The aim of the consultation is to discuss your case and thereby allowing us to provide an honest assessment of your chances of success.

Our offices are:

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January 22nd, 2020

Medical negligence claims in England

shocked male doctor

Medical negligence (aka clinical negligence) happens when a medical professional, hospital or a medical facility fails to exercise an expected standard of care, resulting in injury, damage or loss.

Most doctors and nurses, either they are with the NHS or serving privately-run clinics and hospitals, exercise a high level of care to their patients. But inevitably, there are occasions when they make mistakes – and some of these mistakes can negatively affect your lives for many years to come.

Just look at the media and it is easy to find news relating to medical negligence. Some real and upsetting headlines include:

  • Another person died after ‘Brazilian butt lift’
  • Botox party mishap left woman housebound
  • Son left severely disabled after medical treatment went wrong
  • Boy sustained life-changing injuries during birth

Broadly speaking, medical negligence can include but not limited to:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to get informed consent to treatment
  • Failure to provide the appropriate treatment
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to warn patients about the risks of a particular treatment
  • Prescribing wrong medications
  • Incorrectly reporting on test results

The upshot of it is that when medical professionals provide care that falls below acceptable standards, patients suffer. If you are affected by medical negligence, talk to one of our medical negligence solicitors today, give us a chance to review your case and discuss your options with you.

To make a medical negligence claim, you must prove that:

  • There was negligent
  • The negligence caused an injury or harm that would not have occurred otherwise

The two points above can make or break a case. In other words, if you have not suffered physical, psychological and/or financial harm as a result of negligent treatment, you cannot make a medical negligence claim. For example, if the attending doctor had made a wrong diagnosis but corrected themselves two minutes later while you were still in the room, you cannot make a medical negligence claim because in this ‘medical accident’ or ‘patient safety incident’, you have not suffered any harm. If that has happened to you, the best option is to make a formal complaint to the management.

Why pursue a medical negligence claim

A medical mistake can leave you with life-altering injuries, limiting your ability to work and affecting your mental wellbeing. At Foys, we believe that no one should have to suffer and endure the repercussions of someone else’s negligence, which is why we take time to listen to you, review your case, and give you an honest preliminary assessment so you know if your case has the best chance of success. When you are ready to take things forward, we are here with you every step of the way, from engaging expert witness to discussing options (like mediation or an out-of-court settlement).

We work hard to secure you the compensation you deserve because the money will help to alleviate your suffering to a great extent by:

  • Paying for ongoing and future treatments
  • Paying for extra care or equipment that you may need
  • Paying for adapting your home
  • Compensation for the loss of earnings
  • Compensation for psychological damage
  • Compensation for physical limitations

If your compensation claim is successful, you may be offered two types of compensation and they are known as general damages and special damages.

General damages

General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering (physically and emotionally) that you have sustained as a result of the negligence. They can include:

  • Physical injury, pain and suffering (e.g. chronic pain, limited mobility, disability, etc.)
  • Mental pain and suffering (e.g. mental health problems, ongoing trauma, worsening of mental illnesses, etc.)
  • A loss in quality of life (e.g. physical and mental challenges affecting everyday life, career opportunities and hobbies)
  • A loss of career (if you had to change careers as a result of your injury, then you are entitled to damages for the loss of your unique career)
  • Employment issues (if you cannot get another job as a result of the negligence)
  • A loss of companionship (if a loved one suffered wrongful death as a result of negligence, you are entitled to make a claim)

Special damages

Special damages aim to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses. They can include:

  • Loss of income (e.g. if your salary was cut, you missed out on monetary bonuses or other special perks, etc.)
  • Short-term medical costs (e.g. hospital charges, consultation fees, medication, etc.)
  • Long-term medical costs (e.g. physiotherapy, specialist treatment, mobility aids, etc.)
  • Transportation fees (e.g. car costs, taxi fees, bus or train fares, etc.)
  • Loss of capacity for earning (if you are forced to take a lower-paying job as a result of the negligence, you can also make a special damages claim)

How do you prove medical negligence?

For a medical negligence claim to result in compensation, you (the claimant) must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a duty of care was breached and that you have suffered injury, damage or loss because of this breach.

Here is an example of a successful medical negligence case – Claimant A underwent laser eye surgery to correct her vision problems. The procedure went terribly wrong and as a result, the patient developed complications. In this case, Claimant A could prove that the negligent procedure had taken place. As a result, Claimant A suffered damage to tear ducts and chronic eye inflammation – not an underlying eye condition, but something she would not have suffered if the laser eye surgery had not taken place. Claimant A proceeded to seek financial compensation and corrective treatment. The clinic agreed to pay and they reached an out-of-court settlement.

Having accurate and documented evidence is vital when it comes to making a medical negligence claim. Apart from you keeping good records of all the key events leading to and after the alleged negligence, your full medical records will also be submitted to independent medical experts who will review and provide a detailed report.

Additionally, you must also demonstrate any emotional (mental health issues, counselling, impacts of trauma) and financial (loss of income, medical costs, cost of medical equipment) impacts from the negligence. Working with you, our medical negligence solicitors are here to:

  • Discuss your case in detail
  • Assess if processional care of duty has been breached
  • Assess your chances of success
  • Request your full medical history
  • Engage independent medical experts to review your records
  • Obtain expert witness testimony
  • Prepare accurate events that led to you suffering the injury or worsening of a condition
  • Start proceedings

How long do you have to make a medical negligence claim?

In general, you have to take legal action within three years of the alleged negligence.

In some cases, when the effects of negligence are not known until years later, you may be able to make a claim three years on from the ‘date of knowledge’ (as specified in the Limitation Act 1980).

Can you bring proceedings against a doctor/clinic overseas?

With the rise of medical tourism, more and more Brits are now seeking treatment abroad. When the treatment went wrong, most people would sue in the country where the treatment had taken place. Having said that, they have been cases where patients could sue in England against a doctor or clinic overseas, provided that they had reasons to do so. As every case is unique, we should review your case before commenting.

Medical negligence solicitors in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire

If you are affected by medical negligence, you need some closure – it could be the attending medical professional provides corrective treatment free of charge or you are awarded compensation for the damage they have caused.

So gather your medical evidence and come to discuss it with one of our medical negligence solicitors. Doing so will allow us to review your case, give you an initial assessment and discuss your options with you. When you have all the information presented to you, you can make informed decisions accordingly. With years of experience handling a wide range of medical and health-related cases, we are well-positioned to advise, represent and also negotiate on behalf of you.

We can support you through a range of medical negligence issues, including:

  • Gynaecology/obstetrics/birth cases
  • Other hospital cases including orthopaedics and general surgery
  • GP, dental and optical cases
  • Claims relating to residential care
  • Fatal accidents
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Medical misdiagnosis

For an initial free consultation, contact your local Foys office today.

Alternatively, fill out our handy Online Form.

If you found this useful, take a look at:

January 8th, 2020

What is negligence?

Negligence on paper on clipboardNegligence can take many forms, but it always causes wide-ranging effects. The highly skilled and dependable solicitors at Foys are here to shed some light on what negligence is, offer advice on how to prove negligence and tell you how Foys Solicitors can help.

What is negligence

To be ‘negligent’ is to have failed to take reasonable care to avoid injury or loss to another person. The responsible party would normally have had a duty of care to the other person and did not meet the standards of that care. All workplaces, medical organisations and businesses have a legal obligation or duty of care to ensure that persons within their establishment are fully protected against physical or emotional harm. To have been a victim of negligence is to have suffered an injury or loss which they could not avoid, at no or little fault of their own.

If you have been involved in an accident, and it was the direct result of the negligent actions of someone else, you could claim compensation. The objective of the compensation is to alleviate your suffering and give you a chance to focus on recovery and rehabilitation. The compensation usually covers loss of income, payment for current and ongoing medical treatment, psychological damage and medical equipment. To receive compensation, you must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was directly responsible for any losses incurred.

Donoghue v. Stevenson – the original negligence case

Claims for compensation against doctors or businesses for negligence was all but unheard of before the early 20th century. But in 1932, a case appeared that defined negligence laws still applied in court today. The case in question was that of Donoghue v. Stevenson, and strangely enough, it was started by a bottle of ginger beer.

The case

In 1932, Mrs Donoghue visited a café where her friend bought her a ginger beer in a dark, opaque bottle. They had no reason to suspect that the bottle contained anything other than the said ginger beer. Donoghue had consumed most of the contents of the bottle before noticing a snail, in a state of decomposition, floating in the bottle. In consequence, Donoghue suffered considerable shock and nausea, as well as serve gastro-enteritis.

Donoghue sought to claim against the beverage manufacturer, Mr Stevenson, and asserted that the defender should have exercised the greatest care in ensuring the ginger beer was safe for human consumption. It also stated that it was an obvious duty of the manufacturer to provide clear coloured ginger beer bottles to facilitate inspection. Stevenson pleaded that Donoghue’s claims were insufficient due to the fact that the drink had been bought for her by her friend.

This case, deceptively simple, was a benchmark in modern negligence law, prompting the establishment of three things you need to legally prove negligence. They are as follows:

  • That you were owed a legal duty of care under the circumstances
  • That the defendant breached this duty of care by failing to uphold certain standards
  • That you were harmed or injured as a direct result of that breach

Though the case never went to court, Donoghue was found to fit into all of these requirements and was paid £200 in compensation.

Types of negligence

Negligence can take many forms and go through many avenues of law. Common forms of negligence include but not limited to:

  • Medical negligence (or clinical negligence) – substandard care from a medical professional that resulted in injury or worsening of an existing condition.
  • Legal negligence – poor legal representation or incorrect legal advice.
  • Accountant negligence – negligent behaviour of an accountant or financial advisor that resulted in loss of finances or income.
  • Architectural negligence – failure of architect, engineer or firm to adhere to regulations, to provide accurate architectural advice or to properly oversee a project.
  • Real estate agents or surveyors negligence – failure to provide accurate reports that form the basis of property transfer.

How do you prove negligence?

For a negligence claim to succeed and result in compensation, it is necessary to establish that a duty of care was breached and that the claimant’s (person making a claim) loss was caused directly by this breach.

When it comes to claiming for compensation as a result of negligence, having accurate and documented evidence is vital. Let’s take medical negligence (one of the most common claims) for example. If you are seeking a medical negligence claim, we will work with you to:

  • Discuss your case in detail
  • Assess if professional care of duty has been breached
  • Assess your chances of success
  • Request your full medical history
  • Engage independent medical experts to review your records
  • Obtain expert witness testimony
  • Prepare accurate events that led to you suffering the injury or worsening of a condition
  • Start proceedings

During the process, our medical negligence solicitors will work with you every step of the way so you are fully informed. No matter the circumstances, we can help you understand the process of medical negligence compensation claims. Our supportive and efficient solicitors also work to ensure the best chance of success.

Another factor that influences a compensation claim is the financial effects negligence has upon you and your family. Financial loss such as missed work and loss of business should be considered when making a compensation claim, as well as any long-standing health effects (ongoing counselling, rehabilitation, mental health issues, to name but a few).

Types of compensation

If your case is successful and the involved parties come to a decision, you should be paid compensation. There are two types of compensation – General (compensation related to direct effects of the negligence) and special (compensation related to any out-of-pocket expenses).

For more information on the types of compensation you could receive, take a look at our informative Professional Medical Negligence Solicitors page. If you have suffered an injury at work or in a public area which was not your fault, contact our highly skilled personal injury solicitors for more information on the best route to compensation.

How much compensation you receive depends on a multitude of factors. We caution our clients to be wary of solicitors promising astronomical figures because it is impossible to predict an exact figure without having a qualified solicitor reviewing the ins-and-outs of your case. So contact one of our solicitors as soon as possible, give us a chance to review, advise and guide you on the best route possible to get the compensation you deserve.

Time limits for making a negligence claim

It is essential that you start the claims process the moment you know an incident has taken place. This is because you have three years to file professional negligence claims. Additionally, when things are fresh in your mind, it is easier to gather the necessary evidence.

Having said that, sometimes the effects of the negligence are not realised until years later. In this instance, you may start your case from the ‘date of knowledge’ as specified in Limitation Act 1980.

How long will a negligence case take?

It depends on how complex your case is. In some cases, we seek to resolve the case through mediation (and thereby saving your time and money) or work to reach an out-of-court settlement. If the case goes to court, it could take anything from 12 to 36 months.

What about personal injury?

Negligence can also occur at work, on the road and in various places, resulting in personal injury. For example, you slipped and fell at work or in a supermarket, or you suffer from an injury caused by faulty goods. The upshot of it is that you can claim compensation. For more information, please visit our personal injury page.

Foys Solicitors can help

At Foys, we understand how frustrating and upsetting negligence can be, both for yourself and your family.

If you have a medical negligence case or a personal injury case, contact us today. Our solicitors approach every case with the highest respect and work relentlessly to represent you and help you attain the compensation you deserve.

Our medical negligence solicitors can help in:

  • Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Birth Cases
  • Hospital cases
  • GP/dental/optical
  • Claims related to residential care
  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Fatal accidents

Our personal injury solicitors can help in:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slips and trips
  • Serious injuries and fatal injuries
  • Neglect and abuse claims
  • Criminal injuries
  • Injuries caused by faulty goods

We’ll do everything in our power to help you win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. For an initial free consultation, contact your local Foys office today.

We can begin to understand your case and offer some advice on the likelihood of its success. Alternatively, fill out our handy Online Form.

If you found this useful, take a look at:

October 23rd, 2019

Medical negligence solicitors

With the assistance of our experienced medical negligence law solicitors, you can depend on us for expert advice and support if you are looking to pursue a compensation claim regarding medical negligence.

The impacts of medical negligence (also referred to as clinical negligence) can cause far-ranging and often irreversible changes to a person’s life. As a victim of medical negligence, it is often hard to know where to start with making a claim for compensation. A good understanding of and support throughout the process can ensure that you’re able to make the best decisions for your case.

The medical negligence team at Foys Solicitors is here to help victims of medical negligence claim this compensation. Our dedication for helping those on the receiving end of such negligence has led us to update our medical negligence law solicitors page with trustworthy and useful information.

On the page, you’ll find out how we can help you with:

  • Gynaecology/Obstetrics/Birth Cases
  • Hospital cases including orthopaedics and general surgery
  • GP, dental and optical cases
  • Claims relating to residential care
  • Fatal accidents
  • Private cosmetic surgery
  • Medical misdiagnosis

Contact Foys Solicitors’ medical negligence team today

No matter the circumstances, our solicitors and services are here to help you. For a free initial consultation on what we can offer, call us on 01302 327136, email us at enquiries@foys.co.uk or complete our Contact Form.

For those wanting more information on medical negligence, see How is medical negligence established?

November 28th, 2018

How is medical negligence established?

Medical negligence
Medical negligence is a tricky thing to prove. Due to the crossover with medical malpractice, the law surrounding medical negligence is surprisingly complicated and tricky to unravel. Fortunately, we have a dedicated team of medical negligence solicitors that are here to show you exactly what constitutes a case such as this.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or medical professional performs their job but does not follow the standard accepted medical standard of care. More often than not, the negligence involves failing to do something, such as failing to take due care in your treatment and forgetting or omitting processes that have directly or indirectly been detrimental to you.

Note that medical negligence does not necessarily have to end in injury. For example, simply performing the job incorrectly and taking longer could be grounds for a claim of negligence. However, if there was no injury at the end of it, then it is unlikely to form the basis of a case for medical malpractice, and so the chances of compensation are lower.

Medical malpractice

When you make a claim for medical negligence, what you are doing is using negligence as a factor in deciding a medical malpractice case. Malpractice is like negligence but with the added factors of damages and compensation, as it can only be realistically engaged if you have been injured as a result of the medical professional’s negligence.

Cases of medical malpractice can vary immensely, as any deviation from standard practice that causes injury is enough for a viable case. More recently, claims based on informed consent have been accepted, where patients argue that they were not fully informed of the risks. These can be filed even if there was no actual mistake from the doctor.

Compensation for medical malpractice varies depending on the damage caused. In most cases, it falls to personal injury lawyers like us to try and define how much the malpractice will affect your life both now and in the future, and calculate a figure based on the severity of the effects.

Foys can help with your medical negligence claim

At Foys, our medical negligence team have experience in both negligence and malpractice, and they are waiting to help you piece your life back together again.

For more information on how we can assist your medical negligence or medical malpractice claim, fill out our Online Form or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

Before you go, take a look at some of our other articles: