Advice if you or a Family Member Has Been Affected by Medical Negligence

Medical negligence might sound like something drastic, a horror story you couldn’t even imagine would happen to you or a family member. Despite advancements in medical care there are more cases now than ever before. Mistakes happen; even by the most experienced and skilful carers.

The first thing to consider when you think you have suffered from medical negligence is to seek advice from a professional. There are a number of solicitors out there that can help and websites that give you a step by step guide and explain the process extremely well. It can be anything from misdiagnosis, poor care, medical mistakes or lack of action. The affects could drastically affect recovery time from an illness/accident or have adverse effects following surgery. In some extreme cases, it can even lead to death.

The process can be long and daunting but there are a lot of people who are out there willing to help. Firstly, have a look online; there are 100’s of sites with blogs, articles and news on the subject available. Most of these are by people who have been through the process or are solicitors who are willing to represent you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. While it seems daunting, it’s a very reasonable option as can cuts costs down to an absolute minimum. Legal experts devote a substantial portion of their work time with clients to determine what factors have come into play while in care and if it has fallen below the expected standard you should have received.

Medical Negligence

Time is an important factor (there is a time limit of up to 3 years from when the incident happened) when deciding on if you are going to go through with a claim. This is an important factor not only because following the time limit – the government is planning on capping lawyers’ fees which could lead to a lot more cases going to trial sooner. It seems now is the perfect time to seek advice should you think you have suffered but as yet there has been no set date for the caps but the consultation closes in May 2017.

Andrew Foster, Chief Executive at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The introduction of a fixed recoverable cost for lower value claims would support more proportionate payment to claimant lawyers – which alongside improvements to the system should make things quicker and better for patients.”

Getting in contact with a solicitor might seem like a huge step but to put it simply – they are the experts and handle these cases on a daily basis. With the potential capping of lawyers’ fees – these sorts of claims will see a smoother process from start to finish with your claim.

All of this should make a prospective claimant think carefully about the serious condition they may have suffered, and whether or not there is any way that their quality of life can be improved. If it’s proven that such complications arose as a result of medical error then the ball is in your court and you should seek advice immediately.

Negligence of elderly patients

Stories about negligence of elderly patients regularly appear in the media, but there are also many events that don’t make the headlines. Well-known figures are constantly debating ways to improve how we care for elderly patients.

Problems can arise when patients feel unable to air their concerns about health issues. They may have complicated medical histories, which means that they may not get the care they need, leading to them feeling voiceless.

One way to combat this problem is to ensure communication between the people caring for them and their doctors is of the highest quality. Elderly people should be encouraged to express any concerns they have about the treatment they are getting and any problems they may be experiencing.

negligenceAbuse of the elderly can be defined as single or repeated acts that cause harm to patients by people that are tasked with caring for them. Some studies claim that around 1 in 25 elderly people suffer from abuse or negligence during the later years of their lives.

Has negligence occurred?

Examples of negligence might include elderly people not being bathed or fed when they need to be, not being given the right medication at the right time or not being helped to the toilet. Abuse may involve elderly people being taken advantage of, threatened or being sworn at. Some elderly people are not able to see, think or hear as well as they once could, which can leave them open to abuse or medical negligence.

There are many reputable companies that can assist you if you or a loved one have experienced abuse or neglect as an elderly person. The best legal professionals always fight tirelessly to ensure elderly people can get justice and compensation for any poor treatment they have received. It’s wise to report any abuse or neglect of an elderly person to the police. Abuse and neglect can occur in and out of care homes and hospitals. It can even occur within the home, and many family members have been found guilty of mistreating their elderly relatives. You or your loved one could be entitled to clinical negligence compensation if abuse or neglect has taken place.

Work with the right legal team

Legal professionals can provide you with in-depth if you or a loved one have been subjected to poor treatment. If you’re not sure which company to opt for, it could be wise to speak to three or four firms in depth so you can come to an informed decision and find out how much experience they have in the field of negligence and abuse.
Some law firms have vast experience in dealing with hospital and care home-based personal injury, neglect and abuse claims. Neglect can lead to malnutrition, slips, broken bones, dehydration, falls and pressure sores to give just a few examples. It can even lead to death.
Whilst the vast majority of care homes and hospitals have a good reputation, various examples of abuse and neglect have appeared in the national news over recent years, with many documentaries exposing the poor treatment some elderly people are being subjected to.
Elderly people should be encouraged to speak up if they have been treated badly, so if you suspect a loved one may have been treated poorly behind closed doors, try to make them feel relaxed about expressing themselves.

Has someone failed in their duty of care?

Elderly people may take much longer to recover from slips, trips and falls than younger people. This helps to emphasise the importance of high-quality care. Accidents can cause existing conditions to be exacerbated too. If you think someone has failed in their legal duty of care to an elderly person, it could be wise to take action as soon as possible. By taking action, you could be helping other elderly people to avoid being treated badly.

If you need to speak to a specialist to see if you have a case for compensation, Kent Compensation based in Maidstone Kent are specialist personal injury lawyers providing advice and information to clients who have been the victim of medical and clinical negligence. For more information about the services offered by the personal injury lawyers visit the Kent Compensation website.

“Negligence of elderly patients is unacceptable and legal proceedings, if necessary, should be pursued to deter this”