Although the NHS does strive to deliver high service levels and an excellent quality of care, it does sometimes make mistakes. Nowadays, the NHS is more open about what patients should expect from it as a service provider, which means that if something goes wrong, more people decide to sue the NHS. Whilst some claims are 'nuisance claims', inspired by more awareness of the ability to make a claim for compensation, many claims are genuine. Amongst these claims there are a rising number of medical negligence compensation claims.
One victim of medical negligence was driving at around 45 miles per hour when he rolled into a verge. After the accident he was taken to hospital and diagnosed as suffering from whiplash. The doctor that treated him prescribed him painkillers and an ibuprofen gel and sent him home without an x-ray. It is said that the pain was so excruciating that later that day, whilst applying the ibuprofen gel, the victim passed out. He returned to the hospital and the doctor repeated the initial diagnosis and sent him home again.
Several weeks later, and still in a great deal of pain, the victim visited an osteopath in the hope that some of the pain could be alleviated. The osteopath was concerned and, when hearing that the victim hadn not had an x-ray, referred him immediately. Upon having the x-ray it was revealed that the victim had a broken neck. The victim went into surgery and had pins and bolts inserted into his neck, as well as a bone grafted from his hip. The victim, who was a student studying sports science at university, was also told to refrain from sports for a year, impacting both on his life and his studies.
Although an extreme example of medical negligence, this story does go to show that mistakes do happen. Luckily the NHS uses such incidents to learn from and to help improve their level of service and quality of care. If you intend to sue the NHS, there are certain things that you need to do. In the first instance, you will need to approach a specialist company that deals with such claims. The laws surrounding cases related to the NHS are extremely complex and a specialist solicitor is a necessity. Not only will they know how to proceed with such cases, but they will also be aware of similar cases that could have a bearing on your own.
You will also need to gather as much information as you can to use as evidence and validate your claim. You will need to keep a record of all pertinent dates and make notes as to what happened at all appointments. You will need to collect the names of any doctors and the addresses of surgeries or GPs that you visited regarding your injury. Finally, you will need to give your own personal details and a statement detailing the nature of the medical negligence you have suffered will be prepared by your solicitor. Once you have all of this information then you will be in a more stable position to sue the NHS. Your solicitor will then be able to advise you on how you should proceed, as well as help you to find appropriate funding options.
About the AuthorWe deal in a range of claims, including medical negligence and compensation.
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