When you visit the doctor for a checkup or treatment, you expect they will listen to your symptoms, diagnose you appropriately and prescribe the correct medication. However, doctor burnout is rising at a high rate, causing some medical practitioners to make mistakes as they tend to their patients. A negligent doctor can cause pain, damage, injuries, and even death in more severe cases. If your loved one falls victim to a negligent doctor, it is only natural to seek justice so that they can receive adequate compensation. However, there are various steps you need to follow for your medical negligence case to be viable. Here are a few pointers that should help you learn all you spot and take action against a negligent doctor.
Definition of doctor negligence
Doctor negligence can be defined as substandard care by a medical practitioner that causes the patient’s condition. Now, medical negligence can also cause severe injuries or damage the patient cannot quickly recover. According to the law, doctors, physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, and dentists can be liable for medical malpractice.
Types of medical negligence
In some cases, the doctor might not be in a position to diagnose your condition due to its severity and complexity correctly. However, there are times when your injuries could have been avoidable had the doctor acted differently. The various types of medical negligence include prescribing the wrong medication, misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, unnecessary surgery or invasive procedures, or failure to conduct further tests.
How to report a negligent doctor
If you are convinced that your doctor treated you negligently, it would be best to repost them to the General Medical Council or the rather, the relevant body in your area. As you report the doctor, ensure you include their name, the medical facility’s name, the nature of your concerns, and any evidence to support your claims. The GMC will then look into your situation and determine whether they will restrict the doctor or have them stop practicing.
Why you need to hire an attorney
Once you are convinced that your doctor acted negligently towards you, the best course of action would be to take matters to court. However, you might come across complicated legal terms that you are unfamiliar with and be bombarded with lots of confusing paperwork. Since you cannot navigate a medical negligence claim on your own, it would be best to work with a medical malpractice attorney who will explain all the terminologies and help you through the entire process. When sourcing the right attorney to hire, ensure you find proof of credentials and skim through their website to read the customer reviews and testimonials.
Evidence you need to provide
Once you have presented your case to your attorney, they will ask you to provide valid evidence to support your claim. Ensure you provide documentary evidence such as test results, the original medical note, and a statement indicating your version of the events. It would be best if you also recorded statements from witnesses who were on-site when the negligence happened. Other medics, such as nurses who were present at the time, also need to provide an account of what happened. The GMC will then collect and review your evidence to determine whether the doctor was negligent.
Steps taken against offending doctors
The investigation results will determine what course of action the medical board will take against the offending doctor. If there is a lack of evidence to support the medical negligence claims, no action will be taken against the doctor. The doctor could also be pardoned if they show efforts to ensure they will not repeat their previous mistakes. The negligent doctor could also receive a sanction where the GMC supervises them to provide a significant improvement in their work ethics. Last but not least, in more severe cases, the doctor could receive a hearing where the GMC refers them to the MPTS for the final verdict.
The time limit to file a case
Time is of the essence when filing a medical negligence claim against a negligent doctor. Similar to a personal injury claim, a specific time limit applies after which your case is declared null and void. Ideally, you have three years to file a lawsuit against the offending doctor, starting from the date you found out about the harm the negligence caused you.
Medical negligence is an offense that should not be taken lightly due to the severity of the harm it causes to innocent patients. We hope our comprehensive guide will help you know your way around seeking justice for cases of medical negligence.