Medical negligence is a grave matter that can have devastating consequences for patients. When a healthcare professional fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, it is known as medical negligence or breach of duty. This comprehensive guide will explore the concept of medical negligence breaches in the UK. We will provide real-life examples to help you understand the impact of medical negligence on patients and their families. Additionally, we will discuss the legal implications of medical negligence breaches and how they can be proven in court.
What is Medical Negligence Breach of Duty?
Medical negligence breach of duty occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide a reasonable standard of care to a patient. In other words, if a healthcare professional provides care that falls below the expected standard, they may be considered negligent. This can occur in various circumstances, including misdiagnosis, surgical and medication errors.
To prove medical negligence breach, it must be shown that the healthcare professional had a duty of care towards the patient, that this obligation was penetrated, and that the break caused the patient harm. The harm suffered can be physical, emotional, or financial. More about Medical Negligence Solicitors in Manchester
One example of medical negligence breach of duty occurred in 2015 when a patient named Elizabeth Dixon underwent a routine knee replacement surgery. During the surgery, a tourniquet was applied to her leg, which caused nerve damage. As a result, Dixon was left with permanent damage to her foot and a significant loss of mobility.
Dixon took legal action against the hospital, and it was found that the surgeon had breached his duty of care towards her. The hospital was ordered to pay her significant damages for the harm caused. For more about click here
Assuming a patient accepts that they have endured hurt due to medical negligence and breach of duty, they may be able to take legal action against the healthcare professional responsible. This can be done through a personal injury claim, which may result in financial compensation being awarded to the patient.
To prove medical negligence breach in court, the patient must demonstrate that the healthcare professional did not provide a reasonable standard of care and that this break hurt them. This process can be complex and challenging, often requiring expert testimony from medical professionals.
What types of damages can be claimed in medical negligence breach of duty cases?
In medical negligence cases, patients may be entitled to claim for a range of damages, including:
- General damages: compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the breach of duty
- Special damages: compensation for financial losses caused by the breach of duty, such as loss of earnings, medical expenses, and travel costs
- Future care costs: compensation for the cost of future medical treatment and care required as a result of the breach
- Punitive damages: awarded in exceptional cases where the healthcare professional’s conduct was particularly reckless or egregious
The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the case’s specific circumstances, and it is essential to seek legal advice to understand what damages may be available.
How common is a medical negligence breach of duty in the UK?
It is challenging to decide the specific pervasiveness of medical negligence breaches in the UK, as many cases go unreported. However, according to the NHS Litigation Authority, 10,686 new clinical negligence claims were made against the NHS in 2019/20.
In 2017, a man named Nicky Osborne went to the hospital to have a cyst removed from his spine. Following the surgery, he was left paralyzed from the waist down. It was found that the surgeon had failed to detect that Osborne’s spinal cord had been damaged during the operation.
Osborne took legal action against the hospital, and it was found that the surgeon had breached his duty of care towards him. The hospital was ordered to pay him significant damages for the harm caused. Do visit my blog
What is the difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice?
Medical negligence and medical malpractice are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Medical negligence refers to a healthcare professional failing to provide a reasonable standard of care, while medical malpractice refers to a healthcare professional intentionally harming a patient.
What sort of damage can be brought about by medical negligence or breach of duty?
The harm caused by medical negligence breach can be physical, emotional, or financial. For example, a patient may suffer physical harm from a surgical error, emotional harm from a misdiagnosis, or financial harm from paying for additional medical treatment.
What should I do if I accept I have been a victim of medical negligence or breach of duty?
If you believe you have been the prey of medical negligence or breach, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor. They can help you determine if you have a case and guide you through the legal process of making a claim. It is essential to act quickly, as there are strict time limits for making a claim.
How can medical negligence breach of duty be prevented?
Medical negligence or breach can be prevented by healthcare professionals taking steps to provide reasonable care to their patients. This includes keeping current with the latest medical knowledge, following established protocols and procedures, and communicating effectively with patients and their families.
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