The healthcare industry is undoubtedly controversial, as there is so much uncertainty involved in any medical procedure. It's hardly surprising that things can go wrong and that people can feel aggrieved as a consequence. On a daily basis, this leads to a large number of new cases that claim medical negligence, and a number of different "tests" have been established in the legal system to determine how they are able to proceed. If you're considering compensation in your case, what do you need to know about these tests?
Was Care Exercised?
The first test establishes a duty of care by the practitioner. Essentially, the individual must ensure that they cause no harm to the patient, either directly or as a subsequent result of their actions. The system will require you to prove that the individual could "reasonably foresee" that harm would be caused, and this applies not just to the practitioner, but to the facility where you received the care, as well.
Was There a Breach of Duty?
Did the practitioner comply with a standard of care that any reasonable person would expect them to give? If their behaviour did not comply or if they made an error or omission of some kind, then you can claim that they breached this duty. Certain elements of case law are established within the justice system to set out standards that practitioners have to comply with. Usually, this case law is built through detailed consultation with expert practitioners in the various fields.
If you have reached this point, the next task is to prove that any negligent treatment directly contributed to the injury sustained. It can be quite challenging to prove this in a court of law, as the defence will undoubtedly try to show that your injury could have come about in any case, whether the practitioner was acting in a negligent manner or not.
The Level of Damages
The amount of damages will be determined during the fourth test, and the courts will dictate whether the outcome could have been reasonably expected in the circumstances. Typically, a court will use basic common sense to determine their ruling, and it's often up to their discretion.
Why You Have To Present a Strong Case
You will have to put forward a strong case and be very clear when it comes to each of the aforementioned four tests. You can expect a robust defence by the insurers involved, and you should only work with a competent lawyer, who specialises in negotiating compensation due to medical negligence.