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The Top Myths Surrounding Medical Negligence

The Top Myths Surrounding Medical Negligence

It’s hard to quantify the true size of the medical negligence claim market in the UK, but some £2 billion was paid out in such cases through 2019/20. This represents huge business in the UK, although the market’s value doesn’t describe the total value of outstanding claims or those that are ultimately settled out of court.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the major myths and misconceptions that surround medical negligence, while exploring the truth that exists behind them.

Most Medical Negligence Claims are Frivolous

While some medical negligence claims may seem frivolous, it’s important to note that many aren’t. Certainly, those that reach court are demonstrably serious, as cases will need to meet certain criteria before progressing to this stage.

This is largely thanks to the efforts of expert medical negligence solicitors, who talk clients through the claims process and help them both demonstrate liability and prove the causation of their injuries or subsequent loss of earnings.

Medical negligence claims also include so-called “never events”, which refer to mistakes or errors that are so egregious that they should never occur. However, NHS data shows that some 2,272 such events have occurred in the UK over the course of the last five years, highlighting the serious nature of many medical negligence cases.

Medical Negligence Claims Result in a Huge Payout

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s a tendency to overestimate the potential scope in medical negligence cases, with most settled out of court and many others resulting in modest and negotiated settlements.

So, there’s absolutely no guarantee that your claim will result in the receipt of a life-changing sum of money, as this will depend largely on the extent of the negligence, the strength of the case in question, and the physical or financial impact on the claimant.

Remember, the cases that do result in the biggest payouts tend to refer to devastating examples of negligence such as never events, which may have resulted in the death of a loved one or serious and permanent injury.

Medical Negligence Cases Are Only Really Filed for Money

We close with another myth, as compensation isn’t always the sole or dominant reason for pursuing a medical negligence claim. Of course, there are instances where patients pursue claims to recoup lost earnings in the event of an injury, but even this is the result of need rather than greed or a desire to make a quick buck.

In some cases, however, people make claims from a point of principle, as they’ve been wronged by a trusted professional and seen a licensed practitioner fail in their crucial duty of care. At the same time, they may want to raise awareness or ensure that a negligent practitioner is punished, so that others don’t experience the same fate in the future.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.