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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?

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?

Whether or not you want to claim compensation, there are steps you can take if you want to make sure that the same mistake is not repeated. You may be mainly concerned about:

  • a doctor or other healthcare professional involved in your treatment; or
  • the clinic or other organisation where you were treated.

See 'What if I want to complain about a professional's behaviour?' if you want to complain about a doctor or other healthcare professional.

If you are concerned about a clinic, hospital or other healthcare organisation, you can contact one of the bodies responsible for improving and monitoring the quality of care.

  • If the organisation is in England, contact the Healthcare Commission.
  • If the organisation is in Wales, contact the Healthcare Inspectorate for Wales.

Another body, the National Patient Safety Agency, collects information on medical accidents through a confidential reporting system so that future accidents can be prevented.  If you or a relative have had a medical accident, you can report this to the National Patient Safety Agency. This will help it to identify if your experience is a common problem that could be prevented. However, the agency does not investigate individual complaints.

See 'Further help' for details of these organisations.

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regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.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