Clients claiming for medical negligence need to remember that to sue someone you need to be able to prove in Court that the injury, damage or incapacity was definitely caused by the negligence.
There are several different types of medical negligence cases:-
1º) damages caused directly by acts of doctors or medical centres
2º) lack of information in relation to potential damages associated with an operation (misinformation)
3º) damages caused for delays in diagnosis or operation (lack of opportunity)
4º) damages caused as consequence of not doing the necessary tests
5º) damages caused by defective medical material
Clients need to be aware that damages in Spain may not reach the levels that might be obtained in the UK, Ireland or USA for example.
Although damages can still be significant when there is a proven case.
Please note that we can only assist with cases in the Valencia or Murcia regions.
Public Hospitals – Medical negligence claims against Public Hospitals are more complex than most other cases. An official complaint needs to be put to the hospital first. Only after an answer has been given on that can a private claim be considered.
Private Hospitals – We have had many successful medical negligence claims against Private Hospitals. Either against the doctor involved or the hospital itself.
Dental Surgeries – Again, we have had cases against Dental Surgeries or Clinics and won for our clients.
Cosmetic Surgery Clinics – Unfortunately, at times cosmetic surgery can go wrong. It is important that we are informed at the beginning regarding any disclaimer signed. We do see a number of cases where cosmetic surgery has not been carried out properly.
Please also bear in mind that with all of these cases you will have to pay for an expert doctor’s report before we can advise for sure if there is a valid case.
It is very important that you start a claim quickly as the time limitations can be quite short.
– 5 years in case of a contract with a doctor or medical centre or dentist
– 1 year in any other case
Time limitation starts when the injuries caused by the negligence are stable.
With medical negligence an expert doctor report is always required, not only to prove the negligence but also to evaluate economically the injuries.
Judges are not doctors, so we need always a report to explain to the Judge the negligence. It is not until we have this report that we can estimate accurately the potential damages. Until then we can only advise our feeling on a case and a rough estimate.
It is important that we have copies of all of the medical records relating to the case. One of the most important things we need to see is any disclaimer signed.
Depending on the wording of the disclaimer, and the language used, this could negate the possibility of a case.
We may need to see medical reports, photographs, proof of complaints, official receipts of expenses and other paperwork.
It can be difficult to prove negligence.
Compensation in Spain is based on a points system for the injury, number of days incapacitated plus financial losses, so there needs to be proof of related expenses and loss of income.
Compensation may be granted for mental distress, however this is rare and difficult to prove, and not at compensatory levels seen in some other countries.
At times, the blame or negligence is very clear. We are able to assist clients in taking their case forward with the relevant parties, usually starting with a doctor’s report and then an official legal letter. If you have a case of this nature please contact us with the history.
Please remember that there are time limitations so it is best to contact us with the circumstances of your case with us without delay. We simply need a brief email with the story to start with and advice of what paperwork you have.