When should you consider taking legal action against your doctor?

Healthcare standards are meant to be rigorous and all healthcare providers are bound by oath to deliver the highest possible level of care to you as a patient. Unfortunately, there are many cases where this doesn’t happen and injury or death occurs as a result.

These kinds of cases will sometimes require legal action, if the official channels of complaint don’t work out for you. This article goes over some of the factors you need to take into account when considering legal action against your doctor.

What you need to take legal action

Medical negligence claims often require you to prove a certain set of facts. The fact that your doctor owes you a duty of care is indisputable, but you must prove that the doctor breached this duty and, as a result, you were injured. It is up to you to present evidence of this breach.

Any damage, physical or psychological, that has occurred to you through negligence will entitle you to claim compensation, as long as you can prove it.

When to take action

Bear in mind that the aim of these proceedings is purely to compensate you for the damage you’ve suffered. You cannot aim to punish a doctor or change the way a hospital works.

You can also claim compensation if the negligence doesn’t directly stem from a doctor’s actions. Health visitors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, osteopaths and even the ambulance service, can cause you harm.

Note that it probably isn’t worth seeking compensation if the injury caused is minor, or if you don’t lose a lot of money because of it.

Consulting with your solicitor

If your solicitor advises you that you do have grounds for a legal claim against your doctor, you must then make the decision whether to go ahead with the proceedings. Be warned, it can be an immensely stressful process.

It will take a lot of time and you will have to go over what happened to you again and again, which is potentially traumatic, especially if the injury itself was particularly bad. It is advised that you bring the case forward with a solicitor – medical negligence cases are very complicated. It will be advantageous to have a professional who is experienced in dealing with such cases on your side.

They will be aware of all the laws and regulations involved and will have experience in presenting medical evidence, which in itself is quite complicated.