Should I feel guilty about suing my doctor for medical negligence?

In a word, No.

It is not uncommon for potential clients in medical negligence cases to question whether it is morally acceptable to sue their doctor, especially when the doctor works for the NHS. The feeling of guilt most often stems from the long-held view that the NHS is untouchable and any mistakes that it makes should be forgiven because…..well simply because it is the NHS and has been around for so long. 

The first point to make is that the clinicians involved with your treatment did not set out to injure you on purpose. That said, you can rest assured that it will be you and your loved ones who have to cope with the consequences of the negligent treatment that caused your injuries, and not the doctor or other medical professional concerned. 

These injuries which may well have had and continue to have a significant impact on your daily life as well as that of your immediate family.  You may require treatment to assist you with your recovery. Even if that treatment is available under the NHS you may have to wait weeks for it to start, and even then the treatment is unlikely to be as frequent as would ideally be the case. Who is going to have to pay for private treatment therefore? You again.  

You may well have suffered loss of earnings as a result of having to take time off work to recover from your injuries. Is the hospital/doctor/dentist whose poor treatment led to you suffering this loss going to reimburse you? Probably not, or at least not without a fight. It is therefore only right that if you have suffered injury and loss as a result of someone else’s error, you should be adequately compensated as a result.  

Please also remember that if you suffered injury as a result of negligent medical treatment at an NHS hospital, you will not be directly suing the doctor or nurse, but rather the NHS Trust that employs that doctor or nurse. In fact even if you make a compensation claim against an individual clinician (which happens in claims against GPs; dentists or when the negligence was caused by a doctor at a private hospital), the day to day handling of the claim will not involve that particular clinician at all. Remember that they will not be taking it personally, and neither should you. 

If you would like to discuss this article with a member of our medical negligence team, or if you would simply like to talk about the possibility of making a medical negligence claim, then please contact us today on 0117 239 8012, email or by complete our online enquiry form.

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