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Medical Negligence

GP Negligence Claims

People can be concerned about pursuing a negligence claim against their GP. This can be through loyalty or worries about future treatment. However, GP malpractice can have devastating consequences like all types of medical negligence. If you or a loved one has experienced sub-standard care, our solicitors can help you claim medical negligence compensation.

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What is GP negligence?

GPs (general practitioners) follow a set of guidelines put in place by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). When these guidelines are not followed, this can result in negligence.

Examples of negligent treatment are:

  • Failure to:
    • investigate your symptoms
    • conduct a physical examination
    • arrange the right tests
    • make a diagnosis
    • prescribe the correct medication
    • properly consider your relevant medical history
    • refer you to a specialist within a reasonable period based on your symptoms
    • follow up on your medical treatment and re-assess your condition
  • Misinterpretation of test results
  • Misdiagnosis

Your GP has a duty of care towards you, and if this care is below standard, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

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A medical negligence claim (also known as clinical negligence) requires four elements to be established:

  • Duty of care – The GP clearly owes a duty of care to the patient.
  • Breach of duty – This includes misdiagnoses, delayed diagnosis, errors with treatment and causing illness due to poor working practices.
  • Causation of injury – It is necessary to prove that as a direct result of the negligence or breach of duty, an injury has been suffered whereby there is a direct link between the action or inaction of the GP causing the injury or, in some instances death.
  • No legal defence – There is a legal defence to a medical negligence claim which is known as the Bolam test. This is where a doctor is not liable if a substantial body of reasonably skilled doctors in the same field of medicine presented with the same information and situation would have acted in the same way.

Medical negligence claims are complex, in relation to which our specialist solicitors at Davisons will gather and assess evidence to determine whether it is likely there has been negligence, and a compensation claim can be pursued.

Evidence could include:

  • Medical records (with your permission)
  • A report from an independent medical expert
  • Witness statements from you, your family and friends about how your life has been impacted
  • Documentary evidence of financial losses you have suffered and will suffer in the future

If negligence has resulted in the death of a loved one, a copy of the death certificate, the Will or Grant of Probate, the post-mortem report, and details of an inquest (if relevant) will be needed.

What can you expect if you make a claim?

Once the evidence has been gathered, your solicitor will submit a Letter of Claim to the Defendant with details of the allegations against them. They have four months to respond to this claim, accept or deny liability, or request further evidence.

If the Defendant accepts liability, your solicitor will then negotiate compensation with them. If they do not accept liability or agree to a fair level of compensation, then your case may be pursued by a claim to court.

Most GP negligence claims are resolved out of court. Even when court proceedings are pursued, negotiations usually continue outside court where there is a reasonable claim. The aim is often to settle cases quickly and fairly so the affected person can start the process of moving on with their life.

Does a time limit apply to GP negligence claims?

You normally have three years from the time of the incident to make a GP negligence claim. For those under 18 years old at the time of the incident, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday.

Why choose Davisons?

Our specialist team at Davisons have many years of experience successfully pursuing GP negligence claims. We pride ourselves in achieving the best possible outcome for our clients and managing every case with the utmost care and sensitivity.

We know that money cannot change what has happened. However, compensation is a way of seeking justice, and it can make a substantial difference to the quality of your life.

Most medical negligence claims are pursued under a no win no fee agreement with the benefit of Insurance to cover expenses such as medical expert fees, subject to assessment and approval.

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help