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How do I prove medical negligence?
In order to be successful with a medical negligence claim, it must be proven that there was a breach of duty in respect of the treatment you received, and that the breach of duty directly caused you to suffer a loss.
What evidence do I need to prove medical negligence?
In order to support your claim, your solicitor will request the following as evidence:
- Medical records: Your solicitor will request copies of your records on your behalf.
- Photographs: To show evidence of any physical injury or scarring.
- Statement: A written statement from the victim or guardian of the person who has been affected by the medical negligence. This should include details of exactly what happened, a timeline of the treatment received and how the treatment has affected you.
- Witness statements: Statements from family or friends who have witnessed how the negligent treatment has impacted upon your life and who provide you with care and assistance to help you manage with your injuries or ongoing symptoms.
- Letter of complaint to the NHS: Include copies of your original complaint to the NHS service. This can include copies of correspondence between yourself and the health service, along with any meeting notes.
- Independent medical report: An independent medical expert will be consulted to review your case. They will prepare a report outlining the treatment that you received and the illness or injury that you experienced as a result. They will give their opinion on whether the treatment you received was negligent, and if it was more likely than not that your injury or illness was caused by the treatment.
If the findings from the medical report indicate that negligent treatment did take place, your solicitor will arrange for you to see the medical expert in person. This is so that they can report on your current condition and estimate the likely time it will take for you to recover.
What evidence do I need to help quantify my claim?
In order to help your solicitor quantify your claim, you should keep evidence of any out of pocket expenses or loss of earnings you have incurred such as:
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments.
- Evidence of past and current payslips to prove loss of earnings. For those who are employed, your solicitor will ask you to provide copies of payslips dated 3 months before the negligent treatment took place and for the current period. For people who are self-employed, your solicitor will ask for evidence in the form the last 2-3 years tax returns.
- Invoices and receipts from private treatment and therapy – such as counselling, psychotherapy and physiotherapy.
- Invoices and receipts from equipment or mobility aids that you have needed to buy to help you in the home or to get out in public. Such as grab rails, walking sticks or a wheelchair.
Will you need to view my entire medical history?
In most cases, your solicitor will need to access your entire medical history when assessing your case. This is because they will need to be able to identify any previous injuries or illnesses that may have contributed to your current condition.
For example, if you are claiming for a knee injury, your solicitor will look for any relevant past mentions of knee complaints, treatments or operations in your medical history, which will be used in the medical report. A previous knee injury may have left you at a higher risk to consequent injuries, which would be a contributing material factor in the medical evidence. This will be evaluated by the independent medical expert and it may or may not affect the amount of compensation that you receive.
It is important to note that your medical records will be treated with complete confidentiality by your solicitor. Any of your personal information cannot be disclosed without your consent.
What evidence do I need if the negligence resulted in death?
If you’re making a claim on behalf of someone who has sadly passed away, you will need to provide evidence in the form of:
- A copy of the Death Certificate.
- A copy of the Post Mortem Report – if one was undertaken.
- Details of any Inquest.
- A copy of the Will/Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration.
How to start a medical negligence claim?
If you have been affected by medical negligence in the last 3 years, you could be eligible to make a claim. Contact True Solicitors today for a free, no-obligation assessment of your case. A member of our friendly team will ask you a series of questions to outline the details of your case which will help us to determine if you’re likely to have a successful claim.