Can I Sue A Doctor for Misdiagnosis?
The concept of vicarious liability applies to all NHS Trusts across the country and means that any NHS Trust will become vicariously liable for mistakes performed by any medical practitioners, in the course of their employment, who work within that NHS Trust. This means that any claim against a medical practitioner or hospital will be pursued against their institutional health provider.
With regard to private medical establishments, doctors providing private medical healthcare will be pursued individually and they will be covered by Medical Indemnity Insurance. For claims against the general practice of the hospital or the support staff, this will be pursued against the hospital itself.
Claims against a GP will also be pursued against them individually and funds will be covered by their own Medical Indemnity Insurance.
What must be proved?
In order to sue a medical practitioner or an institutional health provider, there are three things that you will have to prove in order to establish a successful claim:
1. They owed you a duty of care;
A doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical practitioner clearly owes a duty to their patients and this is rarely disputed. An institutional health provider, such as an NHS Trust, is vicariously liable for actions of its employees and therefore owes a duty of care to its patients to provide doctors of sufficient skill and experience.
2. They breached that duty of care; and
A bad result from treatment does not automatically mean that a practitioner has been negligent. In order to show breach of duty, it must be proved that the doctor has followed a course of action which is not supported by a reasonable body (10%) of medical opinion. An institutional health provider will be in breach of duty if it fails to provide medical practitioners of the required level of skill and experience for the treatment provided.
3. That breach caused a detrimental effect upon you as a patient;
It must be shown that the breach of duty caused the detrimental damage. This damage can be in the form of an unexpected illness or injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, a failure to recover from that condition or a diminishment of recovery. This will also account for death by negligent treatment. This is measured on the balance of probabilities that ‘but for’ the breach of duty, the damage would not have occurred. This area of causation in medical negligence litigation is often hotly disputed.
How to Sue a Doctor for misdiagnosis
Negligence can take many forms; You can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis or a wrong diagnosis or for not diagnosing a condition at all and substandard care or neglect. If any such form of negligence has resulted in an injury, illness, condition, delayed recovery, failure to recover or fatality then you may have a claim for compensation.
Our team of expert medical negligence solicitors are well-equipped with the required knowledge and experience to handle help you sue your doctor and to help bring these difficult claim to a successful conclusion. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with one of our national leading experts.