Here’s our guide

Solicitors are often accused of not speaking in clear terms so the Clinical Negligence team at Paul Crowley & Co thought about the terms and phrases we as solicitors use in everyday cases, phrases that we take for granted but which are not necessarily understood by the lay person.

So here is our (hopefully) easy to follow guide to Clinical Negligence commonly used phrases.

Is the breach of a legal duty of care owed to one person by another which results in damage being caused to that person.

Medical negligence (often called clinical negligence), is concerned with claims against doctors and other healthcare professionals and their employers. It can be an act or failure to act by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. This can include misdiagnosis, mistakes made during surgery, failure to diagnose an illness, incorrectly prescribed medication and a failure to fully warn a patient of the risks of a surgical procedure.

This occurs when a person or organisation e.g. NHS/NHS professional has a duty of care toward another person, but fails to live up to that standard.

You must prove that the breach of duty on behalf of your treating clinician caused you to suffer an injury which you would not otherwise have suffered. In other words, you would not have suffered your injury if the clinician had provided the correct standard of care.

The legal responsibility for either a person’s actions or their failure to act.

A forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease or the patient’s chance of recovery.

This sets out the steps which both the Claimant (you) and the Defendant (the treating clinician) must take before proceedings are actually issued and pursued through the Court.

This is a letter that will be sent to the Defendant setting out the allegations of breach of duty and causation and giving as much detail as possible about the claim.

This is the payment you may receive in respect of the loss/injury you have suffered.

This is divided in to two types: General Damages and Special Damages, please see below.

This is compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of lifestyle which you have suffered as a result of your injury (your non-financial).

This is compensation for financial loss which you have incurred in the past or will incur in the future as a result of the negligence.

I hope that this has gone some way to explaining some of the terms used in clinical negligence cases.

It is however true that every day many people are treated by doctors, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals. Fortunately, the standard of healthcare in the UK is usually high and we can trust our healthcare professionals to provide good quality treatment.

Sadly though, people do not always have a positive outcome from medical treatment. Things can go wrong and the outcome of the treatment is not always what was expected.

There are times unfortunately when the treating clinicians make mistakes which result in a poor outcome and injury. This may cause patients to require further invasive treatment or may leave patients permanently injured.

It is scenarios like this that the help of a medical negligence solicitor, someone who specialises in claims for damages brought against the medical profession will prove invaluable.

Consult a specialist medical negligence solicitor

At Paul Crowley & Co solicitors we have a team of experienced clinical negligence lawyers who can assist and who can explain all of the processes in layman’s terms.

If you feel you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, then please contact a member of our Clinical Negligence team.


For a free initial consultation call our Clinical Negligence team now on 0151 264 7363 or email us