Where a health care professional fails to exercise an accepted standard of care that results in injury or even death, there may be a potential claim for negligence against them by the patient or the family of the deceased.
Medical negligence can arise in a few ways, be it in the form of a diagnosis, giving medical advice and/or treatment.
Typically, the time limit for making a claim is three years from the time the patient comes to know of the medical negligence, and a claim must be brought within those three years. Once the limitation kicks in, you will be time barred to claim for medical negligence.
For better understanding, we have set out common concerns and our answers :-
1. What kind of mistakes can happen in the medical setting
There are many different mistakes that can happen across the vast areas of medical practice.A few e.gs are
- Wrong diagnosis of condition
- Giving wrong medication
- Failing to do due diligence on the patient (For example: Allergies, pre-existing /hereditary conditions)
- Failing to administer the medication properly
- Performed a wrong operation/operated on wrong body parts
- Did not anticipate/foresee a problem which they reasonably should have
2. Do I have to make a complaint to the respective authorities first?
Not necessarily, but the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) is responsible for the regulation of medical professionals in Singapore and they will conduct the necessary investigations based on complaints. The SMC, however is quite restricted in getting patients the recourse and compensation they seek so, litigation may be necessary.
3. Who can I sue?
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Chiropractors, Doctors, Hospitals, Nurses, Specialists Therapists, Psychologists ,Dentists, Lab Technicians, Anesthesiologist, Surgeons, Any other medical professionals that performed below the medical standard of care expected of them, Pharmaceutical companies.
4. What can I claim and how much can I claim for the injuries suffered as a result of medical negligence?
Depending on the injury suffered and the severity, which our lawyers will assess and explain to you during your preliminary meeting with us:
- Pain & suffering
- Loss of earning capacity (if applicable)
- Loss of Earnings
- Future medical expenses
- Further procedures
5. Can I opt for an out of court settlement or will I have to go to court?
Majority of medical negligence claims will reach a successful settlement without the need for litigation, bearing in mind that each case varies from the other. In instances where parties could not reach a settlement, it would be necessary to present the claim before the court. Alternatively, parties may opt for mediation.
6. How do I tell if I have a case against the doctors/hospitals?
When you suffer injury as a result of an a doctor/hospital staff’s act or omission that fell below the standard required of them.
Come speak with one of our lawyers so that we can assess the strength and merits of your matter.
7. If I signed a consent form, does that mean I waived my rights to sue for medical negligence?
Just because you signed a consent form does not mean that you have absolved your claim for medical negligence. A patient may have given consent for medical procedures to be performed on them, but it does not mean that they consent to be subjected to medically negligent treatment.
8. What should I bring for my consultation with the lawyers for a potential medical negligence claim?
All relevant medical reports, medical history any correspondence between the patient and the doctor/ hospital or referral letters (if any)
9. What if I don’t have any reports or evidence to support my claim?
You need not worry about evidence or lack thereof. Come speak with one of our lawyers to see how we can build your claim.
It is best that you obtain specialist legal advice for any medical negligence. Advox Law LLC is specialised in this area so come speak to us and we will help you !