Medical negligence claims fall within three main areas of claim:
FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE A CONDITION
Often relates to a cancer diagnosis and the evidence can be finely balanced. The medical records and discussions that took place will be carefully checked before any claim is recommended.
FAILURE TO WARN OF RISKS
This type of case will require clear evidence that what was not advised would have made a critical difference as to whether to pursue that treatment.
FAILURE TO PROPERLY CARRY OUT A PROCEDURE
This is a frequent complaint. The practice of medicine is not an exact science and a margin of adverse outcomes is usually warned about for most medical procedures. The important steps to examine what advice was given, what the expected outcome was, what action was taken and what the consequences were. An example of a procedure gone wrong is where keyhole surgery takes place but the device being used punctures a vital organ or a medical prosthesis is incorrectly placed or does not resolve the patient's condition. The failure of medical devices and medication can often be thought to be medical negligence but are really a product liability case. A doctor may have been acting appropriately but then let down by the product. In that case, it is not the medical practitioner who bears responsibility but the manufacturer of that product.