Medical negligence is not recognized as a particular type of civil wrong in its own right. Medical negligence refers to the general rules of the tort of negligence applied to medical accidents. A patient can bring a claim in negligence if he suffers an injury in course of his treatment under the National Health Service. The expression medical negligence is also referred to as clinical negligence and it describes a mistake made by a medical professional that no reasonably qualified professional would make which may cause a problem. Medical negligence may also involve a failure to explain the possible consequences of a particular procedure or the failure to obtain informed consent to a particular treatment. Negligence is deemed to arise when one person breaches a duty which he owes to another and a reasonably predictable harm arises as a result of that breach. Failure of a health care provider to treat and care for a patient with a reasonable degree of skill and care would amount to medical negligence. There may be a medical negligence if a doctor was careless, lacked proper skills or disregarded established rules of the hospital. In order to bring a claim of compensation the claimant must meet the following requirement set out by the House of Lords:
1. The defendant owed the claimant a duty of care;
2. The defendant broke that duty of care; and
3. The defendantís breach of duty caused the damage to the claimant.
In case of negligence on the part of the employees, including doctors, nurses and technicians, hospitals can be made liable to pay compensation. According to the Medical negligence law, legal claims for compensation must be settled or legal proceedings must be issued within three years of the event which caused the injury failing which any legal action for compensation would be barred. However there are some exceptions to this rule. Medical negligence compensation includes General Damages, Special Damages and Interest State Benefits.