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Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims aren’t quite as American as one may think; indeed, it is a very common misconception that they are not widespread in the UK, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Even though claiming and suing for various causes is not as common in the UK as on the other side of the pond, medical malpractice claims are and have for a long time been an important part of our legal system and patient rights.

Why Make a Medical Malpractice Claim?

As with virtually anything, there are good reasons and bad reasons to make a medical malpractice claim, and different people will have different views. There was a case that made media headlines a couple of years ago where a man sued the doctor who had diagnosed him with lethal cancer and given him an estimated 6 months to live; upon receiving his diagnosis, the man proceeded to live life as though it was about to end – he spent most of his money, said goodbye to his friends and family, and prepared himself for death.

As it turned out, the doctor had given him an incorrect diagnosis and the man didn’t have lethal cancer. He would live a full life. As a result of this, he sued his doctor. This illustrates the moral point of medical malpractice beautifully: some argue that the man is utterly immoral for suing the doctor who was merely doing his job, and he should be grateful to have decades of life ahead of him rather than months. Others side with the patient, pointing to the emotional suffering he and his friends and family went through as a result of the misdiagnosis, as well as the substantial financial losses he suffered.

Both sides, most would agree, present valid points. Which side you take is up to you, but the point of the story is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to medical malpractice claims. So long as a lawyer believes you to have a valid case, you have no reason to feel bad about exercising your legal rights. At the end of the day, your claim is only legal if you have suffered unduly in one way or another.

What Can You Claim For?

Compiling an exhaustive list on what can be claimed for would border on the impossible. Not only would one have to summarise all previously successful cases, but indeed envisage any possible future claim that may not yet have been made; such a list would not only be absurdly difficult to create, but tedious to read. The best way to find out whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim is to contact a medical malpractice law firm and give them the details of your case. Many will provide free advice. Generally speaking your claim is valid if:

  • your doctor failed to diagnose your correctly within a reasonable timeframe;
  • an incorrect diagnosis or treatment lead to undue suffering or loss of income;
  • you weren’t told about the risks associated with a treatment; or
  • you were injured during treatment.