Legal matters related to medical negligence


Oct 18, 2012
Medical negligence, also called as clinical negligence is a process where a patient takes a medical practitioner to court for compensation. To receive the compensation or prove the negligence the complainant should show that the doctor was negligent in his duty of caring for the patient which led to the patient to suffer harm or even death. The complainant should have success in liability and causation. Liability shows that the doctor acted in a certain way which they should not have. Causation is the harm that caused the patient due to the medical negligence. Quantum is the loss suffered by the patient or the complainant in the process. The Bolam test and the Bolitho test are the two tests of liability used in cases of medical negligence. There are certain civil procedural rules to be followed in cases of medical negligence. The Civil Procedure Rules have the rules to conduct a civil case. The witnesses involved should advise the court and not take sides of either party. It is important for them to be impartial. The complainant can be given compensatory and punitive damage. Compensatory damage includes economic loss, loss of earning capacity, life care and other medical negligence expenses. All past and future losses are included. They can also include non economic damages like injury, pain, loss of certain functions of the body like blindness or deafness and the emotional distress. Punitive damages are approved only if the defendant is guilty of the medical negligence on purpose. Punitive damages may include punishment to the defendant and excess compensation to the complainant. Some of the characteristics of medical negligence includes  The health care practitioner fails to provide basic health care facility to the patient. There are certain standards of medical practice which the doctor has to adhere to. An injury to the patient due to negligence by the doctor. The patient has to prove that the injury would not have occurred if the hospital or doctor was careful. The injury caused led to more serious consequences like permanent loss of ability or even death. Considerable damage has to be done in order to succeed in getting compensation due to medical negligence. In order to avoid litigation and survive the case mentally in cases related to medical negligence you have to: Keep important notes, Maintain a record of patient contacts, Record DNA information, Keep a record of follow up advice, Use computer software to keep records, Check for abnormal results and take measures and Pay attention to serious cases. Litigations not only harm the doctor but also the patient. Some patients just require an apology from the doctor for their medical negligence . Don’t feel ashamed to apologize. An apology can save a lot of trouble for you and the patient. Examine the complaint carefully. Consult the experts when necessary, the experts are the medical insurance companies. Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t take it too seriously and worry about it unnecessarily. Just see to it that proper measures are taken to avoid such medical Negligence in the future.