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Medical Accidents Happen - What Can You Do?

May 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 205

To err is human. Random accidents and mistakes are very much a part of life just that it is quite difficult to come to terms with them especially on the medical front. Doctors and other healthcare or medical professionals are expected to be examples of perfection, offering only the very best of their services to patients; however, they too are prone to making mistakes. Patients and their families often do not even realise the mistake or notice the lack of service or adequate advice, until the consequences begin to manifest. Impact of gross medical negligence usually is instantaneous with dire results.

Anyone affected by medical negligence should first assess the situation to decide how they would like to handle the matter. Most people simply look for an explanation, a reason, or probably a simple apology to help them cope with the sudden loss of a loved one or other less severe consequences. Victims of medical accidents are too deeply drowned in sorrow to think about claiming compensations for the damage caused. Depending on the extent of the damage, patients or their families may also opt to file a formal medical negligence claims.

Possible Course of Action

It is important to decide what aspect of service or advice lacked quality and is to be contested. Once that is clear, the affected party should approach the concerned hospital, doctor or healthcare staff to make sure of the exact reasons or conditions that led to the error. Patients or their families can also approach local health authorities, Patient Advice and Liaison Services, or the Independent Complaints Advocacy Services for further clarifications or explanations on their complaint.

Gross medical negligence leading to loss of human life or severe impairment of health conditions is liable for compensation and punitive measures, and such cases can be addressed with the help of professional no-win no-fee medical negligence solicitors, who are well-versed in the nuances of claims and compensations. However, all claims may not justify compensation, but the process can be funded by securing legal aid.

Registering a formal complaint with the hospital or NHS trust before or along with the claim is advisable. Filing a claim also requires sufficient proof for lack of quality service or negligence, and any mental or physical impact arising out of the situation. Despite all causes and proofs, it is to be noted that not all claims are successful, even when handled by legal experts.

Medical negligence is not easily definable unless explicitly and authoritatively proved. Illness does not follow any pre-set theoretical pattern, with unexpected developments expected any time during the treatment. The same illness may have a totally different effect on another human, subject to his/ her physical condition and medical history, and may require a different approach to address the condition.

Universally, doctors work to the advantage of the patients, offering their best services. Negligence only surfaces under conditions of extreme stress faced by the staff, and it permanently mars the career record of those involved. But that is no excuse for the case to go unnoticed as the victim too undergoes mental and physical impact as a result, and this impact is certainly worth an explanation or apology or a fair compensation.

Ben Greenwood is writing on behalf of Pearson Hinchliffe, medical negligence solicitors and specialists in medical negligence compensation claims.

Source: EzineArticles
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