Everybody makes mistakes occasionally, but when a medical professional makes a mistake it can have a devastating effect on the life of a patient. It often falls on the courts to examine whether the malpractice of a medical professional resulted in poor quality of care or harm to a patient.
Medical negligence cases have hit an all time high, with the Telegraph reporting this month that NHS hospitals have recorded a record number of ‘never events’. These never events range from swabs left inside the body, to surgery being performed on the wrong patient. Former England Rugby captain Matt Dawson was also left seriously ill after his GP failed to detect Lyme Disease following a tick bite.
Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence, comes in many forms. Claims are often made when a medical professional failed to diagnose a condition or made an incorrect diagnosis, when surgical errors and anaesthetic blunders occur, and in instances of birth injuries and clinical neglect. Mistakes like these can cause life changing complications for patients or even death. It is better to prevent these accidents in the first place, but with increasing pressures on the NHS, clinical professionals might experience a lapse in judgement which leads to mistakes, and it is the role of the court to identify whether the medical professional was at fault.
The role of a medical negligence claim is not to punish the NHS or the individual clinical professional accused of malpractice, but to award compensation to the victim. The amount awarded to the patient, if any, is largely dependent on the quality of the expert opinion presented to the court. The report of a very specialised expert witness will be considered more credible in court, and can mean the patient receives a larger compensation award. Compensation amounts may also take into account the individual needs of the patient, for example, to cover loss of earnings or the costs of additional care needed.
In a medical malpractice claim, patients or relatives of a deceased patient must prove that a clinical professional breached their duty of care, and that breach caused damage to the patient. It is the patient’s responsibility to prove their case, and consulting a medical negligence expert can persuade the court that the treatment provided was negligent. To be an expert witness in the case of medical malpractice, the clinical specialist must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in their field to demonstrate their skill and expertise. They use their in depth clinical knowledge to prepare a conclusive report of whether harm to the patient came about through medical negligence.
Our medical negligence expert witnesses are clinical professionals from many specialisms who examine the patient and the evidence presented to give an expert opinion on whether harm to the patient was caused by medical malpractice. We supply medical negligence experts for court cases nationwide, so contact Foresight for access to an exhaustive range of specialists to reinforce your medical negligence claim.