Medical treatment doesn’t come with cast iron guarantees. Sometimes, with the best will and care in the world, treatments simply aren’t effective. The medical profession doesn’t walk on water. You will only be entitled to compensation where the treatment which you have received is sub-standard.
Many medical procedures involve known risks and complications. Drugs can have noted side-effects. Provided that these have been properly explained and you consented to treatment in the full knowledge of them, and your treatment has otherwise been of a reasonable standard, then you probably won’t be entitled to compensation.
Even where the care which you received wasn’t up to scratch, that doesn’t necessarily entitle you to any more than an apology. You will only be entitled to compensation where your health has deteriorated or you have been injured in consequence of the sub-standard care, rather than as a natural progression of your illness or condition. Lawyers call this “adverse outcome”. That is a matter of medical evidence, rather than subjective opinion.
Where the adverse outcome is minor or short-lived, it is highly unlikely that any lawyer will take on your claim under the Law Society’s Conditional Fee Agreement, as the small amount of compensation which you may be entitled to wouldn’t justify the cost and expense of bringing a claim. Your lawyer will not even recover your costs from the other side where you receive under £1,000 in compensation.
Where you have suffered a significant adverse outcome, the requirement of a reasonable standard of care may give rise to liability, in respect of:
- Birth injuries/defect claims
- Missed or defective diagnosis
- Failure to treat/ substantial delays in treatment
- Accidents on health premises/ in vehicles
- Poor or sub-standard dental treatments
- Defective or injurious cosmetic treatments
- Surgical errors or omissions