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Most of us realize that members of our medical profession sometimes operate under difficult conditions However where medical negligence is clear and damages are suffered as a result of that negligence a patient may sue the negligent doctor andor the hospital A medical negligence action is usually based on a contract between the hospital or doctor and the patient This contract implies that reasonable skill and care will be exercised in the medical treatment A patient in order to win with the claim would have to prove among other things that the doctor or health worker was negligent and damages were suffered as a direct result of that negligence The courts ultimately decide whether the doctor has been negligent or not They often rely on the expert evidence of qualified medical professionals What may seem to you to be gross negligence may well be viewed differently by the courts and by medical professionals What damages can be claimed First a patient can claim hospital and medical expenses both past and future which resulted directly from the doctors negligence Second if income is lost as a direct result of negligence the loss of earnings can be claimed Finally the patient can claim pain and suffering emotional shock disability disfigurement and the loss of the amenities of life These damages are known as general damages Should the negligence result in the patients death the executor of the deceaseds estate can claim reimbursement of funeral expenses Where the deceased had been financially supporting dependents prior to his or her death those dependents may have a claim for loss of support Failure to perform C-section and failure to recognize and treat seizures in the period following the birth Cerebral Palsy and brain damage which were caused by the failure of the obstetrician to perform a Cesarean Section and the misuse of forceps in the delivery of a newborn The fetus was in obvious distress and the obstetrician allowed the
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