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14 Medical Accidents
3. What should I do if I have suffered a medical accident?
If you have been injured during treatment, you must first make sure you are getting the right treatment to try and correct the injury. You may need to get a second opinion or ask your doctor to refer you to another hospital or clinic.
You may be feeling distressed and confused about what has happened, and may want advice and support. This could be from friends, family or from specialist support groups. You could also talk to your doctor to see if they can help, if you think they will be understanding about it.
If you cannot work because of the accident, you should get advice about claiming benefits and how to deal with any debts that have built up. You should also get advice about benefits if your partner contributes to the household income but cannot work because of a medical accident. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau is a good place to start. There are also two CLS Direct leaflets that could help:
What action can I take?
It is important to understand that taking legal action is only about getting compensation. If an apology or the safety of other patients is more important to you, you should think about the other types of action you can take. See 'What if I want to complain about a professional's behaviour?' and 'What if I want to make sure that the same mistake is not repeated?'
Whatever you want to happen, you can get advice from a solicitor, but they will usually be better able to advise you about your claim if you have first made some enquiries about what happened to you. Once you start a legal claim, you may not be able to take another course of action.
This 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regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.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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