GP Negligence Claims
One of the benefits of our health and legal systems is that we are able to enjoy protection from the law with regards to the receipt of treatments and medical examinations. This means that we are able to place our faith in both systems to ensure that we are safe and receive the best care when we are unwell. Unfortunately, as in all professions, GPs occasionally make mistakes, and their negligence can have devastating impacts on patients.
If you have not received an acceptable level of care from your GP and your health has suffered as a result, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Experienced medical negligence solicitors provide a free case assessment service, so finding out if you have a valid claim for compensation is completely free and without any obligation.
What is GP negligence?
GP negligence refers to failures on the part of a GP to diagnoses and treat patients appropriately. There are a number of ways in which a GP can be considered as having been negligent, including:
- Failure to associate symptoms with the underlying cause
- Diagnosing an illness late
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- Failure to refer a patient for appropriate tests and investigations
- Misinterpreting test results
- Failure to provide appropriate and prompt treatment
Such mistakes can potentially be considered as a breach of the legal duty of care that a GP has to each of their patients and the results can be devastating, particularly for those whose condition impacts the length of their life.
What should victims of GP negligence do?
If you have suffered any physical or psychological damage due to the negligent behaviour of your GP, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. With the support of a specialised solicitor, an investigation can be carried out to determine the failures of the GP and confirm the impact that this has had on you.
The solicitor will gather evidence including copies of your medical records, results of medical assessments and reports from doctors with regards to the impact that the negligence has had on your injury, illness or prognosis. Once this information is gathered, the solicitor can begin negotiations for a settlement. Ideally, this will be done without the need for a court case, but should the claim progress to that stage, the solicitor will present the case and guide you through court procedures.
In some instances, the neglectful acts of a GP may have impacted on a family member who is not able to pursue a claim independently. In the worst of such cases, this may be because the results of the negligence were fatal. In these situations, it may be possible to make a claim on their behalf. Your solicitor will provide advice and support on whether you are eligible to make a claim and how to pursue compensation on behalf of another.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
Your solicitor will aim to achieve the highest possible settlement award on your behalf, though the amount will greatly depend upon your individual situation.
A GP who fails to diagnose or treat a serious illness such as cancer can put a patient’s life at significant risk and may cause irreversible damage to potential treatment plans. These types of cases will warrant higher settlement sums than those which do not interfere with a patient’s overall prognosis.
Your solicitor will aim to demonstrate the level of suffering that you have experienced in order to secure the highest possible award. Compensation may not be able to repair your suffering, but it will help support you through the costs of recovery and provide some financial security following a potentially traumatic experience.