People today have an almost undying faith towards Doctors. They trust Doctors for an ailment as minor (seemingly) as a headache to something as big a disease as Cancer. They think that the Doctors have a magic wand which makes sure that everything is bought back to normal.
Can you blindly follow the Doctor’s advice?
There have been many medical negligence cases when the Doctors have been negligent by giving wrong advice to the patients. This has often resulted in people losing their lives; at best incurring minor complications with a health issue. We have medical solicitors to fall back on who help us in every possible way to sue the other party. The victim has to prove that the injury caused was due to the negligent or inattentiveness of the Doctor. The victim also has to prove that the Doctor owed a ‘duty of care’. There are two components that need to be proved in the court of law in order to pursue a claim for compensation pay-out.
Liability – The victim has to prove the inability of the Doctor or the assistant in performing a task. The victim also needs to reinstate the fact the quality of treatment provided to him was not expected from an average professional coming from the same field.
Causation – The victim has to prove that the injury after the treatment is only because of the treatment given by the Doctor. There are no other reasons for the injuries caused. The lawyer needs to make sure that the negligence of the Doctor or his staff is ascertained for the injury caused.
It is to foresee the loss of income in the present and the future. The medical negligence might have resulted in the loss of income, emotional and mental harassment, change in outlook and attitude. These factors cumulatively fall under ‘quantum’. To prove that the Doctor is at fault, solicitors tend to take references from two previously awarded compensation cases. The 1957 Bolam Vs Friern Hospital Management Committee says that the physician will not be deemed negligent if he has followed all the standard norms and practices and vice versa. The second reference used is Bolitho Vs City and Hackney Health Authority 1997. It also acts as framework, which says that if the management of the hospital has deemed to be negligent, the body has acted irresponsibly. These two medical negligence cases have helped the lawyers in an incredible way to prove the negligence of the Doctors time and again.
Medical Negligence lawsuit process
The solicitors need to follow a predefined set of rules in order to file a lawsuit against the other party. The very first step would be to send a ‘Letter of Claim’ to the hospital or the Doctor under whom the claimant had been undergoing the treatment. The letter needs to describe the nature of the fault of the Doctor and also the particulars of the claim. Next, it will be the turn of the defendant who, after receiving the documents will try to defend with the help of a lawyer as well. Finally, the court will hear stories of both the parties and rule a judgment based on the factual evidences.