Professional Negligence or Medical Malpractice

Medical Negligence is a field of personal injury which is often more difficult to prove than others, but one where our firm can offer our expertise.

So if your face is left scarred after undergoing a face and forehead lift, do you remain content with the outcome of the op, and grin and bear it or do you sue the doctor?

More and more South Africans are heading for the courts. But how many of these claims are successful?

Should I sue a Health Professional?

Options for a patient would be to either complain to the HPCSA, or one could make a civil case and take the doctor to court himself and sue for damages.

Unless the patient or medical scheme has a very obvious case, lawyers frequently discourage patients from going to court with medical malpractice suits.

This doesn’t mean no one succeeds in taking a doctor to court. Many claims do succeed.

We advise that there needs to be four elements present, in order for a patient to consider suing for medical malpractice:

  • A duty of care was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or a health provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
  • A duty was breached: Where the healthcare provider failed to conform to the relevant standard of care required.
  • The breach causes an injury to the patient: the breach of duty was a direct cause and approximate cause of the injury suffered by the patient.
  • The injury leads to a series of losses, either financially or emotionally.

Common Medical Negligence Claims

  • Anaesthesia Malpractice
  • Dental Malpractice
  • Errors in the prescription of medication
  • Hospital or Emergency Room negligence
  • Inappropriate intervention to address complications of labour and birth;
  • Misread X-Rays or Mammograms
  • Negligence in diagnosing or treating breast cancer

Thus a Medical Practitioner who has failed to foresee the possibility of harm being suffered by his patient in circumstances where another reasonable practitioner in the same position would have foreseen the possibility of harm occurring and would have taken the necessary steps to avoid or prevent it, they are guilty of Medical Negligence.

So whether your claim is against a Doctor who acted negligently or a Hospital, we can help you claim compensation for your matter.

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