What You Need To Know About Clinical Negligence Claims

At some point in your medical career, chances are that you will be involved in a clinical negligence claim. Whether you a just a witness in an ongoing claim, or are the treating doctor whose care is subject to criticism or allegation, you shouldn’t worry much because claims are part and parcel of the current climate in the medical world. What you should do is seek medico legal services Perth. Here are some things you need to know about clinical negligence claims.

Who pays?

In most cases, it is not you.
As a trained and licensed medical practitioner, you are expected to work in an environment that is approved for practicing in. This means that you will be covered by the medical board in case of anything. So in case of a claim, it is the medical board that is being sued, rather than you as an individual. Therefore, if there are any compensation payments awarded by the court, it is the board that will be responsible for setting them.

But if you are a private practitioner or a general practitioner, the case is different. In your case, you will be personally sued.

What is the law for negligence?

The law requires the patient to prove:

– The doctor breached duty. In other words, the doctor’s standard of care was below the level set by the medical, or what is expected from responsible medical doctors.

– The medical practitioner owes him or her (patient) a duty of care.

– Causation, which means that the mistakes or lack of proper care by the doctor directly caused or materially contributed to the injuries or outcome experienced by the patient.

This means that the burden of proof lies on the patient, whereby, he or she has to establish breach and causation to the set standard of proof.

How is a claim started?

In most cases, a general practitioner or hospital is notified of a claim being investigated when a lawyer representing a patient request for the medical records of that patient and advises that it is for use in a clinical negligence claim. A patient or his or her lawyer might have also made a complaint before issuing a notice to the complaints department of the hospital. If a patient makes a general practice complaint, it might be dealt with by a nominated complaints partner or the practice manager.

A Letter of Claim should be provided by the patient or their solicitor once they have investigates the claim. A Letter of Response should then be provided by the medical board within a period of four months.

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