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What You Need To Know About Medical Negligence in Accident and Emergency

June 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 212

All of us have been to our local hospital's Accident and Emergency department at some point, be it for a spot of DIY gone wrong or a sporting accident. Cases in A&E are generally dealt with quite quickly and don't usually require any particularly long-term treatment beyond stitches, casting and slings.

The fact A&E units don't tend to deal with long-term cases coupled with the sheer amount of accidents the public get themselves into means that A&E departments get through quite a high volume of patients. Although care standards are generally high, this can lead to mistakes being made and things being missed. The implications of even the smallest misdiagnosis can be dire, with emotional and physical impacts on victims and their families.

So how do you know if you've been a victim of negligence in an Accident and Emergency department? Medical negligence on the whole is defined as any treatment from a medical professional which falls below a 'reasonable standard of care' due to negligent behaviour or incompetence. Medical negligence can lead to losses in the quality of your life, as well as financial losses from extra care or an inability to work, so any victim is entitled to compensation.

Negligence in A&E can be defined in a number of ways, reflective of the various treatments that take place in the department. Most involve a medical professional 'missing' something, such as a fracture, a torn tendon or a foreign object lodged in the body. Misdiagnosing someone or failing to refer them for further treatment when required also counts.

More or less anything that leads to treatment down the line that would have been otherwise unnecessary with proper care qualifies as medical negligence. This includes aspects you may not even considered, such as improper cleaning of a wound that leads to an infection or discharge from hospital at an inappropriate time.

Claiming compensation for medical negligence can seem daunting, but anyone who feels they've been a victim shouldn't be afraid to make a claim. The process is actually relatively simple, especially if you enlist the help of good medical negligence solicitors.

Medical negligence solicitors will help you through every step of the legal process, from gathering the documents that prove your care was insufficient and you suffered as a result to determining who you should be claiming your compensation from.Choosing a medical negligence specialist over regular solicitors is vitally important.

Medical negligence solicitors will have the clinical and medical knowledge needed to navigate the oft technical proceedings, and will make your claims process a lot easier to digest.

If the legal process itself doesn't put off potential claimants, then funding is another factor which can scare people away. Again, it's important not to worry and remember the benefits will outweigh costs.

Help for funding your case is available from a number of sources. Legal Aid is available through select solicitors if you can't afford to fund your case. Similarly, a lot of solicitors now offer 'no win, no fee' schemes. If you should lose your case, you can sign up for insurance which will cover your losses - sometimes, this is even covered in your home insurance.

Accidents do happen, and when they do it's important to remember that you have a right to compensation. Don't be afraid if you feel that you've been a victim of medical negligence; you will get what you are entitled to.

Christopher Joseph Smith is writing on behalf of Pearson Hinchliffe Solicitors, specialist medical negligence solicitors

Source: EzineArticles
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