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14 Medical Accidents

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1. Introduction

2. What is a medical accident?

3. What should I do if I have suffered a medical accident?

4. How do I find out more about what happened to me?

5. What if I want to complain about a professional's behaviour?

6. When can I claim compensation?

7. How do I claim compensation?

8. How do I decide whether to take legal action?

9. What if I can't afford to pay for a solicitor?

10. What do I have to prove to claim compensation?

11. What can I claim compensation for?

12. What can I do if my treatment was private?

13. What if a relative has died as a result of a medical accident?

If a relative has died, you can take the same steps you would take if you were injured during medical treatment, but you should also arrange to contact the local coroner.

Coroners are responsible for investigating any death where someone has not died from natural causes. You should tell the coroner about your concerns as soon as you can, because they will normally ask for a post- mortem examination. The coroner will carry out a first inquiry to decide whether an inquest should be held. An inquest is a public hearing to find out the cause of someone's death. For more information about inquest, contact the charity INQUEST -see 'Further help'.

If you can, get advice from AvMA or a clinical negligence solicitor with experience of inquests as soon as possible. The solicitor can contact the coroner and explain why there should be an inquest. The solicitor can also arrange for a second post-mortem if it is needed. If an inquest is held, your solicitor can arrange for a legal representative to ask questions for you.

If you do not have a solicitor, you can contact the coroner yourself. Even if you plan to use a solicitor to help you with your case, you do not have to wait until you find a suitible one before contacting the coroner. The local coroner should be listed in the phone book.

If you cannot afford a solicitor, you may be able to get Community Legal Service funding to pay for any legal help you may need for the inquest. See 'Further help' for more information.


14. What if my injury was caused by faulty medical equipment?

15. What if I want to make sure that the same mistake is not repeated?

16. Further help

17. About this leaflet

Logo of AVMAThis leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Action Against Medical Accidents.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: June 2019


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