‘Res ipsa loquitur’ in medical negligence legal practice

doctor errorWhen the harm is made (physiological or non-pecuniary damage) and the claim is filed, as a rule the claimants are pursuing the goal of getting compensation. To win the case the claimant must prove that there was negligence on the part of the doctor. And this is a tough mission when the doctor is a recognised professional in the business. In this case the courts adjudicating on such claims often refer to ‘res ipsa loquitur’ doctrine, assuming that there was an episode of negligence in the accused party actions. If the defendant can not deny this fact, it is considered that the plaintiff had proved his innocence. The doctrine is widely used in the jurisprudence of the European countries: let’s recollect one of the most resonant cases, pure medical negligence solicitors clashes – Lindsay v. Mid Western Health Board. (more…)

The concept of medical errors in the modern healthcare systems

medical-diagnosisThe majority of patients treatment begins and ends outside the hospital, so the analysis and study of the subject of medical errors should primarily focus on hospitals. Defects of medical care provided by physicians in clinics are found in approximately in 30% of cases. More often errors happen in collecting history, using basic methods of medical examination of the patient and prevention recommendations. The frequency of diagnoses mismatch when in case of a referral to hospital examination and during the visit, according to different authors, varies in the range of 10-40%. According to various sources, the discrepancy between clinical and sectional diagnoses in hospitals of mixed type for adults balances around 11% (according to independent surveys among medical negligence solicitors), and the unrecognised rare diseases in this index are not significantly reflected. The majority of diagnoses with discrepancies account for serious conditions – mostly lung and gastric cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia, atherosclerosis and its complications. (more…)

Clinical negligence in the high developed economies: the legal standpoint and numbers

Medical-Malpractice-compensationInsurance companies work with the patients who suffered medical errors in the United States for more than one hundred years. Insurance payment is automatically included in the insurance program, and the amount of payment depends on the nature and consequences of medical errors and by court decisions. The relevant section of the law called the medical malpractice. It provides an analysis of what may be a medical error and what mistakes are punishable under criminal law. So, doctors are subjected to criminal liability have made errors which ‘led to dysfunction of the human body or death’. This is where we can recollect the case of Michael Jackson and his doctor allegedly prescribed the wrong dose of medication. This dose provoked Jackson’s death, and the doctor was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison. Adopted in 2010, the amendments to the Medical Malpractice require all hospitals of the country to report medical errors committed by these institutions through the press. ‘Our people need to know exactly what happened. Each case is a disaster’, said Robert Galvin, the head of a law commission on medical mistakes of Connecticut Department of Public Health. According to statistics, every year the US courts receives 1,500+ complaints about medical errors, and three-quarters of these cases are satisfied by the courts. The average amount of compensation to the affected patients in recent years ranged between $313,000 and $521,000. Now doctors are lobbying for the introduction of new rules that would limit the size of such payments. (more…)

YouGOV: the most nutty facts from an in-depth research of UK legal sector

uk legal services researchYouGOV has recently shared a massive of data on the state of affairs around legal services in the UK. The research consisted of 25 pages covering various aspects of UK legal services consumption. And that seems to be one of the most all-round works conducted in the recent decade, touching the time period starting from 2011 to 2015. The research involved respondents from all the corners of the United Kingdom, while the work itself represented a set of questions (80+ questions) with predefined answers. The output was a bulky, yet thoroughly organised table reflecting statistical results in percent values. In our brief report we’ll focus on the most interesting data and statistics, so here we go.

The most frequently used legal service in the recent two years was conveyancing (for example, legal working involving buying selling or transfer of property) – 31% of respondents used it in 2015. Interestingly, the figure almost didn’t change since 2011. Will writing was the second popular legal service among UK citizens: 27% of respondents used it in 2011, and 25% used it in 2015. The research also included such services as legal processes of managing the estate of a deceased person, family matters, accident and injury claims, and many more. This way or the other, every field of services in the research remained in the fluctuations range of no more than 4% (as for the usage in focus groups), meaning that the demand for specific legal services didn’t dramatically change. Perhaps, the only result with a clear growth dynamics was ‘power of attorney’ service (the one that includes creating legal documents along with a person to act on behalf of another) – the increase in the interest to such service has risen from 12% in 2011 to 15% in 2015.

Solicitors were the largest services providers in 2011 with 77% mark of interesting among respondents; however, this number has decreased with years up to 62% in 2015. The share of barristers and licensed conveyancers is distributed evenly (although conveyances enjoy a twofold increase in interest among respondents – 5% in 2015). The year 2015 has become a turning point for many providers that stepped in the market: financial advisors, insurance companies and national or local charity organisations were listed in the report for the first time. All the aforementioned services providers have gained at least 1 percent of interest among the respondents in 2015.

legal aid ukHere is another interesting aspect of the study: the question regarding providing a full scope of services by the legal representative or firm. 62% of respondents have agreed to work on the basis that legal service provider will take care of all the works related to the job; and 19% of respondents admitted they were going to take up some tasks. The fact should be underlined the percentage proportion didn’t change in comparison with the year of 2014.

Also, 8% of respondents in 2014 and 6% of respondents in 2015 didn’t know how the work is going to be conducted when they have been signing an agreement – mostly clinical negligence cases. This fact has been recently confirmed in another, less detailed report carried out by solicitors.guru, an aspiring legal services aggregator focusing on medical negligence solicitors field as well; aiming at focusing on the importance of fair legal services provision and allowing you to find a solicitor in a matter of seconds.