Medical Negligence; What Are Your Rights?

It is the right of every individual to get the best medical care and treatment. Patients usually have unquestioned trust on their doctors. However, sometime, things may go wrong, and negligence of doctors brings suffering to the gullible patients. Their negligence may result in mental, physical, and financial harm. It arises due to the intentional or unintentional deviation from the basic standards of health service.

However, some of the people have made this profession a money minting machine. They are running after money and the fame in their circle of professionals. In this effort, they often neglect their patients or do not follow the procedures that should be ethically followed.

The victims of medical negligence can gain help under the law. You have the right to ask the doctor for explanation. He/she has to explain the causes behind the medical accident. The victim and the family members owe the right to take legal action against the medical practitioner, or claim for some compensation money. For obtaining legal help, the victim has to prove the irresponsible act of the medical practitioner.

If you feel that any of these circumstances have occurred to you or to a relative of yours, you may be angered and confused about the course of action to take. You can seek a second opinion or talk to your doctor and tell him or her, what is wrong. Before you decide to take any legal action you must decide what are you seeking? Do you want an apology? Do you want to ensure that the mistake is not repeated? Or do you want compensation?

In the first two cases you should talk to your doctor and try to resolve it. In case you are seeking compensation, the procedure will be more complex. As a first step you will need to get all your medical records from the clinic or hospital where you were treated. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a right to seek these records although you may be charged a small fee plus photocopying charges for it.

It is necessary to present your case in a strong manner. Here, the role of the lawyer is very important. He/she is the man that represents you during the entire investigation process. He/she is responsible for gathering clues and witnesses in order to prove the inability of the doctor or other health service providers. Based on the circumstances, the victim can ask for court, or out-of-court settlement. In both the cases, the lawyer negotiates with the hospital administration to admit their mistake, and grant the rights of the victim.

If you want compensation, you will need to hire a solicitor who is experienced in handling such cases. The solicitor will study your case, get a legal opinion on it and then tell you if you can get compensation. Remember, all medical professionals have insurance and your solicitor will be defending your case against them. He or she will need to get help from experienced medical practitioners to help in the case. Filing a case for clinical negligence will be a long drawn process and can take up to ten years to get a verdict.

If the relatives find something wrong behind the death, they can ask for the post-mortem. After the investigation, they can claim for the compensation money. If the doctor, nurse, or the medical practitioner disputes the claim, or the settlement proposals, you have the right to take your case to the court. The doctors who do not take their profession seriously do not have the right to practice medicine. You have the right to complaint about the malpractice, and get their licenses cancelled. It is necessary to ensure that others may not suffer due to their negligence.

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