Clinical Negligence

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When you receive treatment by someone in the medical profession (be it a Surgeon, Dentist, GP etc) that healthcare professional is legally bound to attend to your needs to the best of his or her ability. Unfortunately, however, there are instances when people suffer from negligence at the hands of the medical profession.

What action can I take if I suspect that I have been a victim of Clinical Negligence?

It is highly recommended that you seek professional advice from a Solicitor specialising in this area of law to advise you on the correct action to take.

At William Graham Law we have a very experienced team of Clinical Negligence solicitors.

How long do I have to commence a claim?

There are strict time limits for Clinical Negligence claims in England and Wales. A claim must be issued in court within 3 years of the date of injury or within the date of knowledge of that injury having been caused by the alleged clinical negligence. For Claimants under 18 the three year limitation period does not commence until their 18th birthday.

How do I know whether I have suffered from Clinical Negligence?

In order to establish a case, the following conditions must be met:

  • That the duty of care of the healthcare professional has been breached because of the low standard of treatment that you have received.
  • That as a direct consequence of the low standard of treatment that you have received, you have suffered what is known as avoidable harm. Avoidable harm includes pain, discomfort or complications which are above and beyond those which you would have suffered from had you been treated correctly.
  • It is important to understand what is known as the Bolam test. This test follows the ruling in the case of Bolam and it is the typical rule used for assessing the appropriate standard of reasonable care in clinical negligence cases. The Bolam test expects standards which must be in accordance with a responsible body of opinion of similar professionals. This test was somewhat modified by the 1997 case of Bolitho which basically states that the court should not accept a Defence argument as being reasonable or responsible without first assessing whether such opinion can be established by logical analysis.

What Should I Do if I Want to Take Legal Action?

By its very nature and because of point 3 numbered above, clinical negligence is one of the most complex fields of personal injury law and for that reason it is strongly recommended that any potential claimant seeks legal advice.

Our Clinical Negligence team is highly skilled and have access to medical experts who will be able to provide professional opinions on the merits of the case.