What is the difference between medical negligence, hospital negligence and clinical negligence?

It sounds like the first line of a joke, but if you or a loved one has sustained any form of injury or loss due to medical negligence, you will appreciate that it is no laughing matter. The fact that medical negligence is sometimes referred to as hospital negligence or clinical negligence makes no difference when you have received a poor professional performance from somebody who has a duty of care towards you.

The different titles given to medical negligence might serve some purpose to distinguish negligence by an individual as opposed to a health practice or health service in general but, legally, it makes no difference to how much medical negligence injury compensation you may be entitled to or the process for obtaining it.

Are medical negligence claims made against doctors or hospitals?

Whereas it is only in private practise that you might make a claim for medical negligence injury compensation against an individual doctor, claims for medical negligence are usually made against the practice, health centre or health service to which the doctor is attached. Dentists, chiropractors, midwives and plastic surgeons can also be liable parties in a medical negligence injury compensation claim when they have caused an injury or loss by a lack of skill or the failure to display that skill.

The process for making medical negligence compensation claims is very similar to that of any personal injury claim in the UK; however, your solicitor will require that you are examined by an expert in their medical field to determine that the injury or loss you sustained was “avoidable at the time it occurred and in the specific circumstances”.

Who pays medical negligence injury compensation settlements?

Every medical practitioner is independently insured against medical negligence by an insurance company, and hospitals themselves would settle against their public liability insurance if they were to be found liable in a medical negligence injury compensation claim. It is rare that such cases require litigation due to the strength of the case developed by your solicitor, and many claims for medical negligence injury compensation are settled “out of court” before a court appearance is necessary.

If you have any questions regarding medical negligence — whatever title it is given — it is always in your best interests to discuss your personal situation with an experienced solicitor, without obligation and with complete confidentiality, on our freephone injury compensation advice service.