While the UK’s healthcare system is regarded as one of the greatest in the world, thanks in part to the high level of expertise of our healthcare workers, this does not guarantee that things will not go wrong at times. Medical negligence lawsuits have become far less common in the United Kingdom, although concerns such as a lack of medical skill, human mistake, and understaffed or underfunded medical institutions can all contribute to problems that tragically affect patients.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a difficult procedure, and doing so for a minor may make things even more difficult. When your child is harmed, it might be tough to stay calm and think clearly, but if you want to make the best decisions for your child, you must resist impulsive emotions.
If your kid has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, they have the right to file a medical malpractice claim and get compensation for their injuries. While the procedure can be intimidating for both the kid and the parents, a legal professional can assist in making the process less difficult to navigate.
Because each medical malpractice claim is unique, what works for one person may not be a feasible option for another. However, to help you understand and manage the process, we’ve collected a number of questions and answers that you can read below. Hopefully, this clarifies what you can or should do if your child has been injured as a result of medical malpractice.
Can Children File A Medical Negligence Compensation Claim?
A claim for compensation can be filed by anybody who has been the victim of medical negligence, whether they are a minor or not. Examples of instances that count as medical negligence include:
- Improper or failed to diagnose
- Trauma and injuries
- Erroneous surgical procedures
- Ignoring or misinterpreting test results
- Prescribing or administering inappropriate medication
- Improper or lack of aftercare following a treatment
- Ignoring the patient’s medical history
Furthermore, children can seek compensation for birth-related damage to themselves or their mothers. Depriving a kid of oxygen in the initial moments of life, for example, might result in cerebral palsy and other disorders for which compensation can be sought.
Because a youngster may not always know what is best for them, they need a Litigation Friend to be able to make a claim. Usually, this is one of their parents. The Litigation Friend will speak with the attorney and ensure the case is handled in the best interests of the child.
Who Are These Claims Made Against?
One of the biggest reasons parents fear filing medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of their children is a lack of knowledge about who to sue. As experts from Medical Negligence Law explain, everyone who owes the kid a medical duty of care, such as hospitals, physicians, surgeons, nurses, and mental health specialists, can have a claim made against them if they failed to provide proper care.
In these types of situations, the most important thing is to make sure the claim is genuine, which means proving the medical expert did not offer accurate treatment or therapy and caused an injury to the kid.
Is There A Timeframe To File The Claim?
Victims of medical malpractice in England and Wales have three years to file a claim. This is referred to as a “limitation period.” When it comes to minors, however, the restriction period does not begin until they reach 18 years of age, when they gain adult mental capacity.
Even at the age of 18, if it is established that the kid lacks the mental ability to manage a claim, the limitation period does not begin, meaning they can file a claim at any time. If the person’s mental ability improves in the future, this changes.
Still, time is of the essence when it comes to filing a medical claim. Over time, valuable evidence that might aid the case can be lost, making the case more difficult to win. Experts urge that you take action as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.
What Will Happen To Compensation Received By A Minor?
If the child receives compensation, the Court is compelled to safeguard the funds on their behalf. They will be able to access it after they attain adult mental capability, which normally occurs when the kid reaches the age of 18. If required, applications can be made to access a portion of these funds before the kid reaches the age of 18, but it needs to be demonstrated that the money will be utilized for the child’s well-being.
A Professional Deputy will be appointed to administer these funds if the youngster does not gain mental capacity as an adult. The Professional Deputy is responsible for making payments to satisfy the child’s requirements, such as housing, professional caretakers, and proper treatment.
Should I Contact A Medical Negligence Lawyer?
Getting expert assistance from a lawyer who specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice can be extremely useful to your case. Lawyers that specialize in this field have a lot of expertise with applying for compensation and can provide you with good advice on how to proceed.
When dealing with medical negligence, especially with a kid involved, there are many delicate issues to consider, and only a professional can properly manage these issues. In most circumstances, the Litigation Friend is one of the parents, and it can be difficult to assess things objectively and make the best judgments when your kid has been hurt. A qualified lawyer can offer assistance and relieve some of the family’s worries in this situation.
How Expensive Is It To File A Compensation Claim?
This is perhaps the most pressing issue for most parents, but even if costs rise significantly, there are solutions to consider. Most medical negligence attorneys work on a No Win No Fee basis – officially known as a Conditional Fee Agreement – which allows the victim to make little to no financial efforts.
Your lawyer will examine the case to see if it is strong enough to prosecute a claim, and if it is, they will do so. If your lawsuit is successful, the defendant will be responsible for covering the legal fees.