This post is about knowing your rights, making the right decision and not against any medical professional nor the NHS.
What is medical negligence?
So, now that that’s clear, let’s talk about medical negligence. It’s essentially a civil claim, against medical practitioners or providers. Things can go wrong, and mistakes can happen. Any misdiagnosis, mistreatment, mistakes during medical procedure or even failing to warn about risks – they all fall into the medical negligence category. This can happen either happen with the NHS provider or private health providers as well, including nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, GP services or dental practices. When filing for medical negligence the most important thing is the time frame we have to keep an eye on: the rule is that the claim should be submitted within three years of the injury (or discovery or in some cases unfortunately date of the death).
How to seek help?
Even if you are unsure, it’s worth to get opinions. We all know someone who has a story about medical negligence and the truth is, that when it happens to us – as much as we respect our health professionals and providers – we would definitely feel different than just sorry. In some cases, it would also mean struggling to cope with the changed, more difficult circumstances, through no fault of our own. And that is normal human reaction. Apart from that, the financial aid often really needed to help to cope. In some cases it means coping with a new disability, unemployment, sickness related debt and so on. You can find medical solicitors specialising in medical negligence.
Medical negligence stories
As I mentioned, we all know someone who has a story about medical negligence. I’ve collected a couple of opinions and stories from a few of my blogger friends, to show how different opinions and stories. My aim is with this to raise awareness and know your rights better. My question was to them:
Has anyone had any case when thought about seeking legal help with medical negligence?
Liz from The Hart Of The Munchkin Patch
“I nearly did, twice. But couldn’t bring myself to both times because of our struggling NHS (although know many that have gone through with it and were completely justified in doing so) I nearly did after having my middle baby (because I nearly died due to them not listening to me and silencing me with drugs instead of examining me) and again with Charlie as they failed to detect his severe tongue tie, meaning he didn’t feed properly for weeks and I was denied my final opportunity to breast feed. Instead of suing them, I was invited to meet with the NHS board of Directors to help put a scheme in place to ensure all Paediatric staff were fully trained to ensure these cases were less common. Felt that was far more productive that suing or going down the legal road. I know I had every right to take things further, but I didn’t want their money. It wouldn’t have made the situation better for either party. But making sure I prevented someone else from going through the same was much more productive and a much less angry process.”
Terri from The Strawberry Fountain
“I worked with a client whose partner was left needing constant care after an operation went wrong due to negligence. She fought for about a year, going through the complaints procedures and even got a specialist lawyer but in the end she gave up because she said she didn’t have the strength to fight them anymore and the paper work was so hard and she had numerous meetings and interviews and at the end of the day nothing was going to fix her husband. It was so heartbreaking to watch as their lives changed so dramatically.”
Victoria from The Growing Mum
I almost did after the birth of my first but decided that it wouldn’t change much for me. It seemed more productive to try to get things in place to prevent it happening to others so I settled for a formal complaint/chat with the head of midwives.
These stories only to prove that we can only make conscious choices if you educate yourself and know your rights – after that it’s entirely up to you which way you go down.
This is a collaborative post.