This week in Northern Ireland the Department of Health has announced that it will be reviewing any medical negligence cases that have been going on for more than 15 years. You would think that the number would be relatively few. In fact it is more than 50 cases.Though a case taking this long causes both the victim and professionals involved a huge amount of stress and anxiety, what is more worrying is that some cases simply never get resolved. One case in Northern Ireland has recently been closed without a settlement being agreed. It lasted nearly 30 years.So why do these cases take so long? Why can’t they be resolved? To understand it you need to look at how medical negligence cases differ from normal compensation claims. The main reason for medical negligence cases taking so long is the complex nature of the medical profession. If someone makes an accident at work claim against their employer for being negligent, then the process is fairly straightforward. Usually, simply asking the opinion of a number of witnesses a court is able to decide who caused the accident. It is easy to decide whether the appropriate safety measures were taken or whether more could have been done. For this reason accident at work claims are often resolved relatively quickly. In comparison, gathering evidence for medical negligence cases is a lot more complicated. Birth Injury Claims
A medical negligence case is not simply a case of you accusing a doctor of negligence. It has to be proven. Negligence can take any number of different forms. The most common types are misdiagnosis or symptoms being missed. In both these cases there needs to be clear evidence of the missed symptoms and that they were there for the doctors to see at the time. Proving something like this can be very difficult. In order to prove something like this an advanced understanding of the medical profession is required. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many expert witnesses or how many members of medical staff you speak to, proving that negligence took place is sometimes impossible.Medical negligence cases are often the most complicated type of compensation case. This is nearly always down to the complexity of the work that doctors do on a daily basis. That said, when things do go wrong, the effects can be disastrous. If you genuinely feel that you have suffered due to negligence then it is imperative that you find a highly specialised medical negligence solicitor to give you advice. If your solicitor decides that your case is worth pursuing, then having an expert on board will make the whole process a lot easier and, hopefully, quicker.