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Medical Negligence Claim

Three Medical Negligence Claim Mistakes to Avoid

You can submit a medical negligence claim against a person or institution whose actions or lack thereof in medically treating you have led to physical injury and damages. However, there are mistakes to avoid if you hope to get a successful outcome on your medical negligence or malpractice claim, of which three are briefly discussed below.

Not Submitting a Claim within the Allowable Timeframe

Don’t procrastinate on the issue. If you are a victim of medical negligence, get immediate legal assistance in determining the merits and the potential of an outcome in your favour. There is a three-year window of opportunity which you must use from date when the damages occurred. If you issue summons after this period, the court might rule that the debt due has prescribed. The period starts from the date of incidence and thus when the debt became due or when you became aware of the debt due. This is a complex issue and best discussed with an attorney to help you determine the relevant timeframe for your particular claim.

If the victim of medical negligence is a minor, however, the three-year period commences from their 18th birthday if the parents didn’t take any legal action against the practitioner or institute involved. It is highly recommended that you speak to a medical law attorney if you suspect medical negligence as soon as possible to help you determine whether your claim can be submitted within the allowable period and, if not, whether the conditions surrounding such will be considered by a court of law.

Failure to Disclose Vital Information

The lawyer must have all available and relevant information to make an informed decision. If you fail to disclose important information about your medical history, you will jeopardise the success of legal steps against the practitioner or institution. Something may seem irrelevant to you at the initial meeting, but the specific piece of information may very well have a direct influence on the outcome of the lawsuit or the claim’s success.

If you have, for instance, suffered from asthma in the past, it will be important. Every condition treated and every type of treatment received must be disclosed. This information will be important in determining whether the standard of care given was sufficient or not. If your attorney is kept in the dark, then they cannot notify or find relevant expert witnesses to help determine the standard of care given.

Failure to Keep Receipts and Records

Apart from having to ensure that you have proof of expenditures for tax purposes, it is always recommended to keep all payment receipts, invoices, statements and even pharmacy statements related to medical care. If you suspect medical negligence, write down the dates you visited the practitioner, the treatments received and details of witnesses. You will need to request your medical files from the relevant practitioner. Understandably, this can be a difficult task and this is where the help of a medical lawyer will be beneficial.

What You Can Do

The first step to take if you believe you have a valid medical negligence claim is to gather all available documents, receipts and information. The next step is to make an appointment with Adele van der Walt Incorporated for professional legal advice.


Information in this article is not intended as legal advice and is only for informational purposes. Please seek legal guidance from Adele van der Walt before relying on this information to make any legal decisions.

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