Clinical Negligence: What You Need to Know


Clinical negligence, once known as medical negligence, is defined as negligence by a medical professional that results in injury to a patient. This form of negligence requires the plaintiff to prove four elements including the medical professional’s duty of care owed to the plaintiff and his breach of that duty. The breach should be proven to be proximate and the cause of an injury that resulted in damages to the plaintiff.

A Higher Duty of Care

When you can demonstrate these elements, you can win your case. It is necessary to focus on a medical professional’s standard of care. When lawyers, such as those at Mintons, review a clinical negligence case, they analyse several behaviours. The medical professional must have breached his duty of care that he owed the victim. Unlike conventional negligence cases, the medical professional is supposed to be held to a far higher duty of care, a medical professional standard – one that is national in scope.

Following the Rules

It does not matter if an operation is performed one way in London and another way in different part of the country, the medical professional is considered competent and is expected to follow the generally accepted practices of the medical profession throughout the UK. This includes following the practices and rules formulated by the medical community including generally accepted practices.

Clinical Negligence

If a doctor performs a procedure that is considered out-of-date in most of the country but is still accepted in his geographic area, he can still be subject to clinical negligence if the outdated practice ends up causing an injury.

Actual and Proximate Cause

As stated, to prove clinical negligence, the plaintiff must prove actual and proximate cause of injury. Actual cause means that the injury would not have happened without the physician’s intervention. For instance, “but for the medical professional leaving a sponge inside a patient,” the patient could not have developed an infection. Along with actual cause, the plaintiff should also show proximate cause. This refers to the medical professional’s actions being the cause superseding an injury. For example, if a sponge was left inside a patient after a patient was involved in an accident, then proximate cause is demonstrated to the jurists in a case.

Partner with the Right Law Firm

As a result, damages must also be shown by a plaintiff. Both economic and noneconomic damages must be demonstrated. The patient must show that he was affected both personally and financially by a physician’s misconduct. Pain and suffering are considered to be non-economic damages.

Clinical negligence can have fatal or catastrophic results on a person’s life and affect his family. That is why it is essential that you contact a lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of clinical negligence. Partner with a firm that can ably prove your case. When you know the basics, you can receive the financial help you deserve.

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