Incidences of medical negligence in Pretoria are on the increase. Medical negligence refers to the disregard of the set medical standards in which the caregiver provides substandard treatment that results in harm, injury or even death to the patient.
Back in 2013, a young girl Kerri Mel O’Loughlin was awarded R25m after suffering brain damage as a result of botched operations. According to the Sunday Times, the girl was left brain damaged after a series of operations carried out by neurosurgeon Dr. Minette du Preez at the Life Bay View Private Hospital in Mossel Bay.
The report further stated that the doctor advised the parents that the girl needed a couple of operations to stop the bleed to the brain. The first operation was successful and the doctor further went on to perform three other operations. It later emerged that the first two operations had led to the brain damage. Subsequently, she had cognitive, speech, memory and mobility issues. The matter was later settled when the father lodged a claim against the doctor.
Elements Of Medical Negligence In Pretoria
- Doctor-patient relationship
The first step in proving medical malpractice is to show the existence of doctor-patient relationship. According to the law, this shows that the physician was in a place to provide you with competent care based on the situation. Supposing the doctor treated you for some disease, then the doctor-patient relationship is easy to prove.
- Breach of set standards
When it comes to filing any case of medical negligence in Pretoria, you have to prove that the doctor never acted with skill and care when offering treatment. In order to determine if the doctor acted in accordance with the medical standard of care, their actions will be compared to similar professionals in similar situations.
In most cases, witnesses will have to testify about what a skilled doctor would have done in similar circumstances. Both the plaintiff and defendant present their testimony regarding the doctor’s competency based on the standards of medical practice.
The expert witness then applies the medical standard of care to your case and points out how the doctor failed to provide care according to the law.
- Injury suffered as a result of the negligence
For any case of medical negligence in Pretoria to count, you have to have sustained an injury as a result of the negligence and not other underlying medical conditions.
- Damages suffered
The final step requires you to provide details of the actual harm you suffered as a result of negligence. The damages may include the cost of extra treatment and the income you may have lost for being unable to work. Damages for pain and suffering are also recoverable if proven by the plaintiff.
Proving medical negligence in Pretoria can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, hiring an experienced lawyer will help you decide if the case is worth pursuing. Contact Paul du Plessis Attorneys in Pretoria today.