What is and how to make a medical malpractice claim?

So, you have been a victim of medical malpractice? Medical malpractice can happen in many ways. More often than not though, doctors do not carry out and perform their duties as they should. It is known that a doctor might handle a patient whose condition can often be serious and cause more damage as a result of the treatment.

Not only doctors but any medical practitioner might come across cases where the patient needs utmost care to survive. The patient has to be looked after properly and correct diagnosis should be made to ensure the patient to recover. If the doctor or medical practitioner is not responsible with their duties, it can lead to potentially serious outcomes. Medical malpractice can happen, in legal terms, due to the breach of duty by the medical practitioner and in turn they can be sued for a medical negligence claim.

What is breach of duty, you ask?

Breach of duty is the negligence by the medical practitioner to someone to whom he/she owed a duty of care. Any patient whom a medical practitioner is treating has a duty of care to them. So how to go about it when you are sure that you had owed a duty of care and had been at the receiving end of medical malpractice?

How do you go about making a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim?

If it is a minor complaint and you have not really suffered a major injury you might consider writing to the doctor or medical practitioner about the incident. Remember to keep a copy of the letter. The doctor could invite you to an informal meeting where the queries and questions would be resolved. The doctor if required, might even tend you an apology. It is to be remembered though that an apology is not an admission of guilt and cannot be construed as a valid medical negligence claim.

Is it more serious?

If you feel it the case is more serious, firstly, you need to find a good lawyer or solicitor to handle your case. The solicitor or lawyer would look at your case and judge it on its merits, consult a medical expert and then tell you about how you can proceed.  You can then decide on the claim amount as well as note down all your grievances.

The third party gets three months to respond to your allegations after your solicitor or lawyer sends a ‘Letter of claim’ to them. After the Third Party responds, you can take the case from there. It is always better to opt for out of court settlements if possible. If the situation states otherwise, your lawyer or solicitor would look at all the factors and bring the settlement case to the court.

Generally, medical malpractice claims, if strong and valid, can be decided upon in only a few weeks or months. A lawyer or solicitor would only need to prove that the essentials of medical malpractice have been fulfilled and if the opposition cannot come out with a good defence, the case would be decided in your favour.

It is to be remembered that some hospitals have their own medical negligence dispute resolution centre, so you might try to approach the hospital authorities first.

Author Bio- Ali Asjad is a freelance writer and blogger and has more than 10 years of experience working as a legal assistant. His writing has been invaluable as an aid to patients and/or families making a medical negligence claim.

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