To prove Medical Negligence, you must show that your medical professional breached their ‘duty of care’ to you. This means they did not take reasonable care for your safety, and you were injured as a result. Importantly, Medical Negligence includes both physical and psychological injuries.
You’ll need strong evidence, such as medical reports, expert testimony, and witness statements, to make a successful claim.
In this article, we take you through the requirements for duty of care. You’ll also learn what types of evidence to use and how to get the right experts to support your claim.
You must meet 4 requirements to prove that your doctor, dentist, or other medical professional breached their duty of care.
‘Duty of care’ is a special legal relationship that requires your medical professional to act with reasonable regard for your safety. It exists because medical professionals are highly skilled and trusted in society. If a registered medical practitioner treated you, they likely owed you a duty of care.
Cosmetic therapists, however, do not owe you a duty of care. This includes beauty therapists or tattoo artists performing body modification procedures. Instead of a Medical Negligence claim, you may make a public liability claim for their ‘provision of service’.
Once you’ve established a duty of care, you must prove that the medical professional breached the duty. This could be through a ‘negligent act’ or a ‘failure to act’.
A negligent act is where your doctor does something careless or irresponsible, like an error during surgery. In contrast, a failure to act occurs if the medical professional doesn’t do something expected of them. For example, a GP fails to investigate your symptoms appropriately.
The ‘reasonable standard of care’ test is used to determine whether a breach of duty of care has occurred. That is, would another medical practitioner in their field have acted (or failed to act) as they did?
You must show that the medical professional’s breach caused your injury or illness. That is, there is a ‘direct link’ between your current health condition and the treatment provided by the medical professional. This involves proof that:
‘Reasonably foreseeable’ means that another similar medical professional would have expected your injury to happen.
Finally, you must prove that the injury or illness caused you ‘loss’. This includes economic losses such as lost income, medical expenses and ongoing care costs. You’re also entitled to claim for non-economic losses like pain, suffering and loss of opportunity.
Jenny visited her GP numerous times over several months, complaining of severe headaches. The GP tells Jenny to take Panadol and does not further investigate the headaches. Jenny then suffers from a cerebral aneurysm which results in major surgery and lifelong complications.
In this scenario, we need an expert GP to comment on Jenny’s treatment and care. They would also provide an opinion on whether or not that care fell below the standard expected of a GP. If it did, Jenny would be entitled to substantial compensation.
You must provide evidence of your injury and its impact on your life. This includes whether you’re unable to work, need domestic help, or require ongoing medical treatment. You must also provide evidence that your medical professional was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
Generally speaking, your claim should include the following evidence:
An experienced lawyer uses specialist knowledge and detailed evidence to prove Medical Negligence.
Our strong background in both law and medicine will ensure your claim meets all duty of care requirements. At the same time, we use our national network of doctors, psychologists, and other medical experts to provide compelling evidence for your claim. Their testimony also helps us challenge the evidence your medical professional and their insurer present.
As a bonus, we cover the upfront cost of all evidence. This means you get the support of leading experts without breaking the bank.
Contact our Medical Negligence team today to learn more about what we can do for your claim.