There are a multitude of things to consider when thinking of taking a Medical Negligence claim. Legal action, the cost of a solicitor, expert fees etc, can be expensive and there is really no guarantee that you will win the case or that the amount you are seeking will be granted if you win the case. The court will not listen to your gut feeling unfortunately so one major thing you must have to succeed in a claim for medical negligence is your evidence. Medical negligence can only be established in court on the basis of very accurate medical information and evidence that you and most people may not understand.
One of the major reasons many cases fail is because amazingly the wrong person was sued. Most people sue the hospital whenever there is a wrong committed against them amounting to negligence. Very often the consultant or the surgeon is not an employee of the hospital so the claim fails. You must also consider your treatments assuming you are still taking treatment in the same hospital or even in a different hospital. There have been many cases where people complained that doctors and hospital staff acted differently towards them because they knew that they were suing. Revenge is sweet!
A claim of Medical negligence is a tough case to prove and this necessitates the need for an expert. You will need a Personal Injury Solicitor that has a track record in this type of cases, because it is an extremely specialised area. Knowing when to commence legal action is also a very vital consideration. There are few things more painful than being denied your rights simply because you have been caught off by time. Remember, not every poor medical result is a result of Medical Negligence.
As a client, you must be prepared to see the issue through, including a trial if necessary, and agree to have your case prepared properly from the beginning. The initial retainer will involve your Medical Negligence Solicitor obtaining an opinion on the viability of your case. This will involve getting a detailed medical history and all relevant medical records, including your family doctor’s notes and records, consultations, hospital and operative records. These records will then be reviewed in detail to determine that all of the records have been produced and to identify possible medical issues.
A lawsuit against a medical professional is generally a complex and risky matter. Doctors, Consultants, Dentists, Surgeons, in particular, have unlimited funds and resources to defend themselves and their reputations. Any consideration to sue them must be canvassed thoroughly with your Medical Negligence Solicitor. The Medical Negligence Solicitor you choose is very important unless you want to waste your time and money prosecuting a poorly prepared or presented case. In most cases, Medical Negligence Solicitor who does this work will require a monetary retainer.
This should be discussed at the first meeting with the solicitor you consult. This retainer is used to cover some of the costs involved in getting the medical records and a preliminary opinion. The medical records will then have to be made available to a medical expert or, in some cases, to several medical experts, to comment on consent to treatment issues, issues of substandard care, misdiagnosis, and causation. These opinions should be obtained, if possible, before proceeding with an action against a doctor and/or a hospital. Without such opinions supporting your case, in most cases, your claim will fail and you could incur significant costs. In some medical legal cases, these preliminary opinions can cost in excess of € 2,000.00. These are costs that will have to be incurred if you are serious about pursuing an action against a doctor or hospital.
The Medical Negligence Solicitor you choose should have an understanding of medical issues and an ability to retain the necessary experts to establish both liability and to prove damages. Deciding to proceed with medical negligence case should be taken very seriously and not without extensive consultation. Often, you will have to put aside your anger with the medical professional to make cost-benefit analysis of not only the merits of your case but the quantum of damages that could be recovered if successful.
A qualified Medical Negligence Solicitor should discuss this with you very early in your legal relationship and perhaps before he or she is retained. You should always ask about your downside. A qualified Medical Negligence Solicitor will understand this and often provide their initial advice to you and not charge you a fee. Finally, it is important that you be forthright with your Medical Negligence Solicitor. What you tell him or her is privileged and thus confidential. Both your solicitor and experts must have all the facts in order to provide an opinion that will withstand the scrutiny of the defense and be accepted by the court.