Healthcare is a vast and complex industry, and one that’s built on the promise of adequate care standards and the commitment of medical professionals to safeguard their patients.
When healthcare providers fail in this regard, medical negligence claims can ensue, with the number of such claims brought against the NHS having increased by more than 133% since the beginning of 2006.
In this post, we’ll explore the four types of medical negligence, while asking what sets these apart from one another.
All types of healthcare professional, including general practitioners, nurses and surgeons, owe a specific duty of care to the patients that they treat.
Of course, how this duty is upheld depends on their precise role and the type of treatment that they’re asked to provide, but the key is that they commit to offering an adequate standard of care to individual patients.
The duty of care also applies to specific circumstances in which there’s an established relationship between a healthcare provider and their patient, or the context dictates that the latter can reasonably expect a physician to provide care.
#2. Deviation from the Standard of Care
Similarly, the so-called “standard of care” refers to the type and quality of care that a patient would reasonably expect to receive from a healthcare professional, based on their knowledge, qualifications and the exact circumstances.
Deviation from this standard is a common trigger for medical negligence claims, especially in instances where a relationship can be demonstrated and healthcare professionals have clearly failed to treat their patients to the negligent standards.
#3. Damages and Cost Recovery
Another aspect of medical negligence is the desire to recover costs and damages pertaining to treatment, which will vary depending on your condition and the actions carried out by practitioners.
Some of the most common types of damages include the future medical costs that arise from the ongoing treatment of the lasting effects of negligence, alongside general hospital bills and compensation for any pain or suffering that you may have incurred.
Similarly, you can also make a claim for compensation that represents any loss of earnings associated with a practitioner’s negligence.
Once again, you’ll need to demonstrate a link between these consequences and the negligence of a particular healthcare professional, but a qualified solicitor and legal expert can help in this regard.
#4. Direct Cause
Finally, you’ll have to demonstrate direct cause and that your symptoms and ailments as a patient are the demonstrable result of a healthcare provider’s negligence.
This is often the hardest aspect of any medical negligence claim, as while proving complete or partial fault is one thing, it’s quite another to demonstrate the link between a physician’s actions and your subsequent medical conditions or costs.
You may need help in this respect, which is where a qualified and specialist legal services provider can prove to be worth their weight in gold.