What is medical negligence?
A medical negligence claims arise when the negligent treatment or omission of medical practitioners such as doctors or nurses, leads to a person suffering harm as a result thereof. A medical practitioner is considered to be negligent when the treatment they provide deviates from what is reasonably expected of a medical practitioner in those circumstances, and the harm it has caused was preventable. The outcome of the patient’s condition must be causally linked to the negligent actions of the medical practitioner.
Who can I claim from?
A medical negligence claim is instituted against the medical practitioner and/or medical institution who provided the negligent treatment or failed to provide the necessary treatment.
What can I claim?
If you are personally harmed by a medical practitioner and/or medical institution you could potentially claim the following:
- Past hospital and medical expenses – the expenses incurred from the date of the harm to the date that your case is finalised.
- Future hospital and medical expenses – the lifelong expenses that you will have to incur into the future for treatment as a result of the harm caused by the negligence.
- Past loss of earnings – income that has been lost from the date of the harm to the date that your case is finalised.
- Future loss of earnings and earning capacity – if you have been rendered unemployable or if your employability is severely impacted you can claim for these amounts.
- General damages – these are for the pain suffered, loss of amenities of life, disfigurement and loss of expectation of life. The magnitude of these awards is guided by previous similar cases that have been decided by a judge in court.
If the negligent treatment has resulted in the death of a breadwinner the dependants will have a claim for loss of support. The dependants will be able to potentially claim the following:
- Past hospital and medical expenses and funeral expenses which are claimable by the deceased’s estate.
- Past loss of support – the financial support that the dependants are deprived of from the time of the death of the breadwinner to the finalisation of the matter.
- Future loss of support – the financial support that the dependants are deprived of from the date that the matter is finalised to the date that the minor dependants gain independence or in the case of a spouse, until the retirement age of the deceased.
All of the above potentially claimable damages are dependent upon the facts of your particular case, and the ability to prove those facts. For professional assistance get in touch with our Medical Negligence Attorneys In Johannesburg.