Burden of proof - In certain situations a "duty of care" will be owed between the parties. Such a principle is well established in English law.
In terms of medical negligence the relationship between a doctor (or other health professional) and the patient is one that involves a clearly defined duty of care. So the question one must ask when assessing claims of this nature is whether the doctor provided a "reasonable" standard of care which is measured against the standard that you might expect from any other competent and reasonable medical professional.
This means that whilst the standard of care provided does not need to be of the very highest possible, it must not fall below what a reasonable doctor would have provided in the same circumstances.
It can be difficult to establish what "reasonable" actually means and this is why clinical negligence claims can be complex and lengthy.
The burden of proof in this area of law is entirely upon the claimant. To pursue a claim you must show that the standard of care fell below a reasonable standard. The next issue to consider is one of causation.
Why not make an enquiry today:
- GP Negligence
- NHS complaints
- Consultant negligence
- Doctor / nursing staff errors
- Dental mistakes
- Physiotherapist negligence
- Chiropractor / Osteopath
Very often it can take time to properly establish liability. This is because most cases are usually complex in nature and initial investigations need to be carried out in many cases. These investigations can involve reviewing the claimants medical records (GP notes etc) and asking the claimant to undergo a medical examination.
In order to win the case you must show that a "standard of care" was owed to the claimant by the defendant (medical professional) and that this standard was breached.
If it becomes clear that a claim will not proceed because of legal constraints or limited prospects of success, it may still be possible for a person to complain. We can help you with general advice on the complaints process if we are unable to proceed with a formal claim.