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Lawyers for Medical Neglect

When to Seek Legal Guidance for Medical Neglect

Apart from the inconvenience and discomfort caused as the result of unnecessary medical treatment, the after effects of medical negligence lead to over 190 000 human deaths or medical injuries every year in the USA. The figure is certainly not as high in South Africa, but the increase in demand for the services offered by lawyers for medical neglect indicates that patients in the country are also at risk of injury or death as the result of medical malpractice.

Lawyers for medical neglect are approached to assist in taking legal steps against hospitals and medical practitioners for injuries caused – ranging from disfigurement to chronic pain, birth defects, permanent disability and infertility. Victims of such malpractice often also suffer damages related to loss of employment and opportunities, public embarrassment, ongoing medical expenses and aftercare costs directly related to medical negligence.

Though it may be difficult to understand that one injury can lead to so many after effects, consider how a single surgical procedure can permanently change the life quality of a patient. The patient, for instance, undergoes surgery for a minor condition, but as the result of incorrect procedure or negligence in the form of wrong blood transfusion, a scissor left in the patient or amputation of a perfectly healthy limb, they sustain severe injury. The inability to return to work after negligence (not an acknowledged complication) as the result of the injury causes the patient to lose their income. In addition, the patient has to undergo additional medical treatment to rectify the mistake where possible or live with the condition for the rest of their life.

Many a parent has gone through the tremendous trauma of expecting a healthy baby with no reason to suspect that their child will be mentally or physically disabled. Complications during the birthing process and mistakes made by the medical team can lead to permanent injury to the child. Such injury may not immediately become apparent, but after a week or more the parent(s) realise that something is wrong. They face the possibility of enormously high medical and care costs associated with the injury and caring for the child for the rest of their lives.

In any such circumstances the patient or parents of the patient must have the right to take legal steps against the practitioner or medical institution in seeking compensation for physical, mental, emotional and financial damages suffered. In this regard, the expertise of experience malpractice lawyers becomes extremely valuable.

Proving negligence and damages experienced as the result of such negligence may not be easy and can become a costly endeavour. However, given the consequences of the negligence, it is imperative that the patient has access to experienced medical law attorneys who can assess the probability of a successful outcome from such legal steps.

They review the circumstances, time that has passed since the incidence, and the damages suffered by the patient. Should there be sufficient evidence to take legal steps against the practitioner, they advise the patient accordingly. In many instances out-of-court settlements can be reached which minimise the legal costs to gain compensation.

We recommend seeking legal guidance if you suspect medical malpractice and have suffered injury as the result of such negligence in South Africa.


Note that the information in this article is for information purposes only and should not be seen as an attempt to provide legal advice. We strongly recommend that you contact us at Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.

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