GPs are usually the first port of call for anyone who feels unwell, and therefore are the healthcare profession’s frontline.
As such, they need to understand a wide range of medicine and form a view upon appropriate treatment in a short space of time. Sadly, it is inevitable that mistakes will happen on occasion.
What are the common types of negligence claims against GPs?
The common types of mistakes which may lead to negligence include:
- Delays in diagnosis of cancer
- Failure to act on test results
- Failure to refer for urgent treatment for meningitis, eyesight resulting in blindness, or Achilles tendon injuries
- Prescription errors
- Incorrect treatment
- Making wrong medical diagnoses
How to make a claim against your GP
To bring a claim for GP negligence, you must prove that
- Your GP owed you a duty of care;
- Your GP breached that duty of care; and
- As a result of that breach, you suffered injury and damage.
All practicing GPs owe their patients a duty of care. However, the legal test required to establish negligence is to prove that the treatment provided to you fell below the medically acceptable standard as determined by a reasonable body of medical practitioners within the relevant field – in this case, a GP will need to comment on whether a reasonably competent GP at the relevant time faced with the same circumstances would have acted in the same way.
If this can be established you will need to show that the injuries or symptoms you suffer from were caused by the alleged negligence.
There is a three-year limitation period in which to bring a claim. The limitation period begins from the date of the alleged negligence or the date that you knew or should have known that the injury you suffered was attributable to the negligence.
If the injured party is a child, then the limitation clock commences from the date that child turns 18.
If a person bringing a claim does not have the capacity, then the limitation clock only starts if or when that person is deemed to have the capacity to bring legal proceedings against the alleged GP.
Clinical Negligence claims, particularly against GPs are both medically and legally complex. Our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team are well established within this field and are able to guide you through your enquiry and determine whether a claim can be brought.
How much does it cost to make a claim against your GP?
We understand that affordability is a concern for anyone needing the services of a lawyer. The costs of bringing a claim against a GP can vary depending upon a number of factors including the nature and complexity of your case. However, we offer a number of different funding options depending on the type of case.
We are approved by the Legal Aid Agency to act in medical negligence cases with legal aid, where clients are financially eligible. Where clients do not qualify for legal aid or where legal aid is not available, we may be able to act on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, and/or to arrange forms of legal expenses insurance to protect you from cost risks. Please see our funding page for further details, or alternatively, contact us on 020 7833 4433.
Find out more
Find out more by visiting our Medical Mondays hub, designed to provide up-to-date information on the different injuries, accidents, and claims that are commonly encountered by our team.