Medical Negligence Solicitors in Walsall

Walsall Medical Negligence

Our health is one of the most important things to us and so when we are ill, we put our trust in the hands of the medical professionals. We expect those professionals to act in accordance with the standards that are required of them as professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and it is known that medical professionals do not always get things right. They can make mistakes when carrying out their role as a medical professional, which may ultimately lead to a breach of duty. Those negligent actions can have a catastrophic impact on person’s health, sometimes resulting in an individual suffering from further injury or passing away.

If a person has concerns regarding the care and treatment received by either themselves, a family member or friend, there are a number of options available to them. One option is for them to make a formal complaint and request that an investigation is carried out, looking at the care and treatment received. Another option is for the individual to request an apology from those involved. The option we will be considering is, pursuing a claim for medical negligence. Bringing a claim for medical negligence is not straightforward as there are certain requirements that must be met for a claim to be successful. 

In a medical negligence claim you must be able to establish the following;

  1. the standard of care received fell below that of a reasonably competent medical professional in that specific area of medicine
  2. as a result of the negligence, the individual suffered an injury or damage or, the negligence contributed to an existing condition.

As well as meeting the requirements as set out above, you must ensure that you bring your medical negligence claim within the limitation period. A person will have three years from the date of the negligence or from when they had knowledge of the negligence, to bring a claim. There are exceptions to the three year rules and they are as follows:

  • In cases where the negligent treatment relates to child, the child has three years to bring a claim from their 18th birthday.
  • In cases where an adult does not have mental capacity, the three years will not start to run until they gain capacity.

If you are considering a claim for medical negligence, it is important that you seek legal advice.

Types of Medical Negligence in Walsall

It may be perceived that medical negligence claims are only brought against local hospital or NHS Trusts. Although it is common for medical negligence claims to be brought against hospitals, a claim can be brought against any individual / organisation that offers medical treatment.

Below are some examples of how medical negligence may occur.

Nursing Home

When our loved ones move into a care home, we expect them to receive the appropriate care and treatment to ensure that they are kept safe. We are reassured knowing that the members of staff owe a duty of care to our loved ones, and that they must provide them with the appropriate care when required.

It therefore comes as a shock to many families when they are told that their loved ones have suffered from an illness or an injury, as a result of failings by the care home. Examples of medical negligence claims in a care home include:

  • Failure to carry out the appropriate risk assessments. Adequate risk assessments should be carried out whilst the individual is a resident at the care home. By failing to carry out the appropriate assessments, preventive measures may not be put in place which may result in the individual sustaining an injury, which could otherwise have been avoided.
  • Failure in the nursing care. A common injury seen as a result of negligent nursing care in a residential care home is pressure wounds.  Many of the residents in a care home have limited mobility. It is therefore important that the nursing staff ensure that the residents are mobilising on a regular basis. If there is a failure to mobilise residents then they may develop a pressure wound which is likely to result in the resident developing further health conditions, with the most likely one being an infection in the wound.

GP Negligence

When we have concerns regarding your health, our GP is the first medical professional we seek advice from. It is therefore important that the GP acts appropriately and takes reasonable steps to diagnose and / or treat the condition.

This is not always the case. In some circumstances a GP may act negligently, therefore breaching the duty of care owed by them to their patient. That individual may pursue a claim for medical GP negligence. Examples of medical negligence claims against a GP include:

  • Cases when there has been a missed or delayed diagnosis. This may happen if the GP fails to fully investigate the symptoms the individual is presenting with. There may be a failure to refer a patient for further tests or investigations or a failure to appropriately follow up a patient. As a result of a missed or delayed diagnosis, the individual’s condition may continue to deteriorate as they may not be receiving the appropriate treatment. This may mean that the individual suffers from a further injury or damage as a result of the negligence.
  • Cases where there has been a prescription error. Incorrectly prescribing medication to a patient is likely to be a breach of duty. In cases where that individual has gone on to take the medication, they may develop symptoms which are worse than those they were originally seeking medical attention for.

This is not an exhaustive list of negligence claims against a GP and if you have concerns regarding the treatment you have received, it is important that you seek legal advice.

Dental Negligence

Many individuals have a fear of going to their dentist. You may be reassured by the fact that your dentist owes you a duty of care when carrying out your dental treatment. However, there are cases when the dentist has got something wrong and the treatment provided is negligent. This may result in the individual suffering from a further injury and /or damage. In those circumstances the individual may be successful in bringing a claim for medical negligence. Examples of dental negligence claims include:

  • Undergoing an incorrect procedure. An example of this would be if during a procedure to remove an infected tooth, the wrong tooth is extracted. In this case, not only has the individual had a tooth removed unnecessarily, they will also continue to suffer from the pain and discomfort they were originally seeking dental treatment for.
  • Cases involving a misdiagnosis. This may be the case if on carrying out an examination, the dentist incorrectly diagnosed the individual. This can result in a delay in the correct diagnosis being made and also a delay in them receiving the appropriate treatment.

If you have suffered an injury or damage as a result of negligent treatment by your dentist, it is important you seek legal advice.

Choosing a Medical Negligence Solicitor near Me

Bringing a claim for medical negligence is likely to be a difficult and emotional journey for you and your family. It is therefore important that you receive the support and assistance that you require, both on a personal and professional level.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing which firm to instruct when bringing your claim. One of those factors may be location. Although it is not necessary for you to instruct a solicitor that is local to you, and with COVID-19 pushing us to rely on technology a lot more than we would have done previously, location may be something that you still consider when making your decision. There may be times when you simply need to come by the office to sign documentation, provide identification or simply meet with your solicitor face-to-face. Here in Walsall there are a number of firms that offer medical negligence advice.

Walsall is the home to one of Waldrons’ six offices. Located in the busy town centre, it is easy for our clients to get to our Walsall office with the accessible transport links. If you wish to speak with our Medical Negligence Department, please contact us today on 01384 811 811.

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Dudley, Kingswinford & Merry Hill: 01384 811 811 | Worcester: 01905 900 900 | Walsall: 01922 311 100 | Cheltenham: 01242 375 100

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