Solihull Clinical Negligence or Medical Compensation Claims.
Clinical negligence, which has also been referred to as “medical negligence” in the past, occurs when a patient takes his medical caregivers to civil court in hopes to be awarded compensation. Clinical negligence does not pertain to terms of service or professional conduct. Clinical negligence can be proven if and when the Claimant—which will usually be the patient—demonstrates that the healthcare provider breach a duty of care to the patient due to lack of management, and that the patient suffered as a direct result. It is incumbent upon the Claimant to prove liability and causation before compensation will be awarded.
Claimant must prove clinical negligence liability by demonstrating that the nurse or doctor acted in a way that none of there peers would have.
To show causation in a clinical negligence case, it needs to be shown that harm resulted that otherwise would not have occurred losses are assessed in mathematic terms such as lost income, mental anguish, and worsened quality of life, and the award is money.
Bolam and Bolitho: A Test of Liability
The Bolam Test was recognised under the direction of McNair J. to the jurors in Bolam v. Friern Hospital Management Committee. If the doctor has acted according to practices accepted by a responsible organisation of skilled medical professionals in his field, he is not guilty of negligence. Similarly, the doctor is not negligent if he has acted in compliance with such guidelines just because others might take the opposite view. As it pertains to those in primary care, the implications are that the standards to which one is held are by one’s peers — not the smartest and most cautious doctor and not the hospital worker who might recklessly give an opinion on management in a general practice. Likewise, the people giving evidence to the Court regarding standards of general practice shall only be those general practitioners that were practising during the case.
This standard is not one of the wisest doctor or that of a professor of general practice, but that of a responsible general practitioner who is competent and responsible.
The House of Lords effectively decided that, in the case of Bolitho, if management by dependable doctors was not clearly reasonable, it would qualify as a defence. In the case that professional opinion requested to sustain a defence was not able to endure rational analysis, the court is entitled to establish that this body of opinion was not in fact responsible or reasonable. Put another way, the clinical negligence case cannot be defend on the basis of an existing practice which is not rational nor reasonable.
The Litigation Process
A letter of claim must be sent when claim of clinical negligence is made. Several weeks are then allowed so that information can be gathered and prepared as a defence to the claim. Should the Claimant proceed, they are required to give proceedings with the “particulars of clinical negligence” and “particulars of claim.”
The Defence then give their formal rebuttal and evidence or statements as support.
Each side then provides expert testimony, prepared reports, and this information is at some point to be exchanged. Should the case proceed, the judge will order a congregation of specialists to try to establish the exact terms of the disagreement. Last, it will go to trial if no other alternatives are left. The process of trial is long and taxing for everyone involved, which is why it is best avoided.
A clinical negligence case needs be brought within 3 years of awareness of injury suffered. In other words, a patient has 36 months in which to file a claim if they think they have received negligent treatment. The exceptions to this rule are below:
If at the time of the injury, the claimant was younger than 18 years old, there is no time limit.
If the claimant was mentally ill when the injury occurred, the limitation period begins only once they have recovered.
A judge can use their own discretion to decide if a clinical negligence case that is out of time should proceed.