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Medical Malpractice Liability

Medical malpractice liability is a confusing term in the world of medical law, which is why this article is designed to explain what the term means and how it can affect you in a medical malpractice case.

How can medical practitioners be liable for your suffering ?

Physicians and medical practitioners are traditionally liable under a medical negligence rule of liability. The primary function of the medical malpractice liability is to prevent injury or harm to the patient, via a deterrence method. That is, with a negligence rule in place, this creates incentives for efficient care, hence there should be limited levels of negligent action on behalf of the medical practitioner and no demand for liability insurance or claims.

In practice, the occurrence of varying forms of medical malpractice is estimated to be as high as one case per hundred hospital admissions, with around one in seven physicians sued every year. These discrepancies between the theoretical and practical implementation of the malpractice system are thought to arise due to imperfect information on the parts of the patients, doctors, courts and insurers in a medical malpractice claim.

How do i know if i am covered by medical malpractice in the UK?

Fortunately for you, the United Kingdom has laws and regulations in place to ensure you have rights should anything go wrong during a medical procedure. The medical malpractice liability covers all National Health Service (NHS) staff, with negligence claims against NHS employees bringing into effect the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, which addresses any claims by the individual. This program is funded through monetary contributions by various NHS Trusts, funding the legal bill for claims out of any money it manages to raise.

The main focus of medical malpractice liability in the UK is under the law of tort, and more specifically of negligent action. In general practice it is the authorities in charge that may be sued by an individual, such as the National Health Service Trusts rather than individual clinicians or nurses. All staff in the NHS however for example could still be seen as liable for negligence, including nurses, doctors and clinicians. This medical malpractice liability arises from the 'duty of care' that the National Health Service trusts should give to their patients on a day-to-day basis.

Private healthcare experts are also required to have medical malpractice liability and pay to be insured against any claims for negligence that may be brought to legal proceedings.

Are there any additional ways for me to be covered?

You can take out medical malpractice insurance, which gives you a specific level of 'protection' should anything go wrong during or following a medical consultation. Although the NHS for example is liable should anything go wrong in a medical procedure.

Due to the high costs associated with taking a medical malpractice case to court, sometimes this insurance is recommended to protect your from negligence in any shape or form. It is estimated that the costs from legal proceedings can outweigh the financial compensation in medical malpractice claims by 1.5:1, which is why additional insurance may be recommended.

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