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What is Medical Negligence?

By Kimberley Nightingale, a medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell

I recently teamed up with Max Herberg at LegalTea to discuss the range of career paths one can take to enter law, as well as what a career in law might look like including a closer look at my own career in medical negligence. 

The podcast, which is now available, covers what medical negligence is for those looking to get into law, what skills are required and current trends in the industry.

My medical negligence journey

It was really interesting to talk to Max about the challenges law students and non-law student’s face when starting out in law; the reality is that there are so many different areas of law that you can practice in that it can be difficult to know which one is the right one for you.  

I spoke about my journey into medical negligence and how to a large extent, I was lucky to have ‘fell into it’ as it wasn’t an area of law widely discussed during my legal studies.

Making a real difference to people's lives

One of the reasons I enjoy working in medical negligence is that it combines science and law; requiring me to demonstrate a knowledge of medical injuries, illnesses and how the body works, alongside the law. I also enjoy that I work with a broad range of clients and that every case is different. I find working in medical negligence allows me the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives and it is often an incredibly humbling experience.

Medical negligence: Current trends

It was interesting to talk to Max about the current trends in the legal sector and the impact that Covid-19 has had on many areas of law. In the medical negligence sector, we have started to see concerns being raised by patients that arise from the practices and procedures put in place due to Covid-19. 

For example, patients raising concerns about not having received face to face appointments with their GP and complaints that treatments and rehabilitation have been delayed. 

It will be interesting over the coming years to see whether these cases proceed to trial and if so, what the court’s view on these cases will be.

Securing support and rehabilitation for clients

One of the most enjoyable elements of my job is when I am able to tell a client that they can access the much needed help and support that they have longed for. 

This often allows the client to make great progress with their rehabilitation and their recovery. That said, I often find it is one of the most poignant moments in a case as it can often cause clients to reflect on what their life may have been like had things not gone wrong.  

I really hope that this episode in Max’s podcast gives an insight to students about my role as a medical negligence lawyer and some of the work we do and how rewarding this area of law is.

You can listen to a recording of the podcast at the Legal Tea website.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and their families following care issues at at our dedicated medical negligence section.

In the episode we discuss what medical negligence is, deconstruct the ambulance chaser myth behind lawyers in this arena, and how covid may cause a spike in medical negligence litigation in the long-term.