The Rise of Medical Negligence Claims
Guest PostMaking a claim for compensation is not always based on securing what we feel we’re owed. Being injured in an accident at work or a road traffic accident can stop you from doing your job and lead to a loss of earnings, which compensation can help to cover. Furthermore, serious injuries can dramatically affect your life, requiring you to make modifications to your home and result in large bills for on-going health care.
We are fortunate enough to live in a culture where, if we are injured as a result of someone else’s recklessness or incompetence, we are able to obtain financial compensation.
Unfortunately, we also live in a society in which the institutions we rely on to keep us healthy and help us when we are injured, are actually often responsible for damage to our personal health and wellbeing.
Reports of under-staffed hospitals and surgeries ran by pressured medical staff continue to dominate news headlines, as does the threat this poses to the wellbeing of patients and incidents of people dying as a result of medical malpractice. Poor management and ineffective measures such as the NHS 111 Helpline have continued to put those most at risk in danger.
Writing for The Daily Mail, Sophie Borland highlights the dangers of the nation’s health service, including the 111 Helpline, stating: ”At least three patients may have died because of failings in the helpline. As well as the deaths, a further nineteen cases involving poor care are being investigated.“
Hospitals have become dangerous places where, unfortunately, medical staff are increasingly failing in their duty of care towards their patients. A BBC investigation revealed that between 2009 and 2012, more than 750 NHS patients suffered preventable mistakes, including instances where patients had the wrong limb amputated.
With standards of care continuing to fall and incidents of patient’s sustaining serious injuries and even dying, legal action against care providers is becoming as commonplace as claims for accidents at work and in public places.
In spite of the increasing number of incidents of medical negligence which are occurring in the UK, legislation has been introduced that has resulted in massive reductions to the public funding available for civil cases involving medical negligence. As of April 1st 2013, legal aid is only available for individuals who have suffered a brain injury at or around the time of their birth, meaning funding is unavailable for anyone who has been the victim of medical negligence.
For more information about relevant legislation, including the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012, click here.
What can be seen from these facts are that victims of medical negligence are reliant of the services of personal injury solicitors who have experience of medical malpractice claims and are able to offer the necessary support and advice. Firms such as Beecham Peacock offer assistance in pursuing medical negligence compensation as part of their services, highlighting the increasing necessity for people to seek legal advice in instances of medical malpractice.
With the withdrawal of funding, it appears that the government has initiated a war between a failing health service and individuals who are forced to seek legal advice to pursue compensation for the harm they have come to.
Though it is clear that the nation’s health service is in need of major improvement, in the way it is managed and the care that it exercises over patient’s wellbeing, with no solution to the failings of the health service in sight, it can be predicted that medical negligence claims will continue to be frequent.