How do I prove medical negligence in South Africa?

Asked by: Mrs. Susan Mante  |  Last update: September 5, 2022
Score: 4.8/5 (25 votes)

For a medical negligence claim to succeed, it must be shown that:
  1. the hospital or healthcare provider undertook a legal duty of care in respect of the patient.
  2. the legal obligation of the healthcare provider or hospital to provide a certain level of care and treatment was breached.

What evidence do you need for medical negligence?

In order to succeed in a Medical Negligence Claim, your solicitor will seek evidence to establish whether on the balance of probabilities, the treatment that you received was negligent, that you have suffered injury, loss or damage, and whether your injury, loss or damage would have been avoided had the negligent ...

What three tests are needed to prove negligence?

What is the three-part test?
  • The medical practitioner owed a duty of care to the patient, and;
  • That duty of care was breached, and;
  • The patient suffered harm as a result of the breach.

What is the average payout for medical negligence in South Africa?

the average value paid out per claim was R138,010. R826,007 was the average pay-out for loss of earnings. R482,291 was the average pay-out for general damages. R18,568 was the average pay-out for medical expenses.

Where do I report medical negligence in South Africa?

If you feel that an alternative healthcare practitioner acted negligently or unethically, report to the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA)to investigate the complaint.

Medical Negligence in South Africa -

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How long does a medical negligence case take in South Africa?

One can expect a minimum of 3 – 4 years from the date of instituting a claim against a medical practitioner/hospital to date of finalisation of the claim.

How do I lodge a complaint against a doctor in South Africa?

Lodge complaints with the Health Ombud through our Complaints Call Centre
  1. Toll-Free Number: 080 911 6472.
  2. Fax: 086 560 4157.
  3. Email:
  4. Post: Private Bag X 21, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0007.
  5. Walk-in: OHSC Offices, 79 Steve Biko Road, Prinshof, Pretoria.

How do I start a medical negligence claim?

Steps to making a medical negligence claim
  1. Contact us. The first step to making a medical negligence claim is to get in touch with us. ...
  2. Make a complaint. ...
  3. Gather evidence to prove medical negligence in a case. ...
  4. The case is taken to court.

How long does a medical negligence claim take to be settled?

The length of time a medical negligence claim takes to settle can vary significantly, simple cases where liability is admitted can be settled in around 12 months or so. Large, more complex, high value cases can take longer to settle.

How long after medical negligence can you sue?

What is the time limit for medical negligence claims? For adults who have capacity, the time limit for medical negligence claims is three years from date the negligence occurred, or the date you became aware of it. That is because symptoms or related illnesses can sometimes take time to present themselves.

What is the most difficult element of negligence to prove?

Many articles discuss what negligence is and how to prove it, but the least understood element among these four is causation. Additionally, out of these four elements, causation is typically the most difficult to prove, especially in medical malpractice cases.

What are the 4 types of negligence?

Different Types of Negligence. While seemingly straightforward, the concept of negligence itself can also be broken down into four types of negligence: gross negligence, comparative negligence, contributory negligence, and vicarious negligence or vicarious liability.

What are some examples of negligence?

Examples of negligence include:
  • A driver who runs a stop sign causing an injury crash.
  • A store owner who fails to put up a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign after mopping up a spill.
  • A property owner who fails to replace rotten steps on a wooden porch that collapses and injures visiting guests.

How successful are medical negligence claims?

It is authoritatively shown that around 10 to 11 % of hospital admissions each year end in an 'adverse outcome' due to a medical incident.

What is classed as medical negligence?

Medical negligence is substandard care that's been provided by a medical professional to a patient, which has directly caused injury or caused an existing condition to get worse. There's a number of ways that medical negligence can happen such as misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or surgical mistakes.

Is medical negligence a criminal case?

Is Medical Malpractice Civil or Criminal? Medical malpractice is a civil case. The victim initiates it on their own behalf. In some cases, for very severe misconduct, the party responsible for medical malpractice may also face charges for criminal negligence.

Do medical negligence claims go to court?

Many people are put off making a medical negligence claim as they feel daunted by the idea of having to appear in court. However, very few clinical negligence claims go to trial. In fact, most claims are settled before trial during a process of negotiation even if court proceedings are required.

What kind of mistakes can result in medical malpractice?

Misreading or ignoring laboratory results, Premature discharge from a hospital, Prescribing improper medication or dosage, or. Failing to account for a patient's health history.

How is medical negligence compensation worked?

The courts determine the amount of compensation you should receive for your medical negligence claim if you are unable to negotiate. The compensation amount is broken down into two categories, general damages which includes injuries, and special damages, which represents financial losses.

Can I sue hospital for negligence?

If a doctor or hospital staff makes a medical error the hospital is still responsible and a patient can sue them. Hospital negligence occurs directly by the hospital or indirectly by its employees.

How do I make a medical claim?

When a claim arises you should inform the insurance company as per procedures required. After hospitalisation, you have to ensure that you obtain and keep ready documents such as claim form, discharge summary, prescriptions and bills that you should submit for a claim.

Do I need a solicitor to claim compensation?

There is no legal requirement to instruct a solicitor to handle your claim. Legally you are perfectly entitled to act on your own behalf and pursue your claim without the assistance of a solicitor.

How do I complain about hospital negligence?

You can telephone the team on 0330 024 0330 or send an email

Where can I report the hospital negligence?

They must lodge their complaints with the complaints manager or the office of the hospital chief executive officer. Alternatively they can call the following hotline numbers 0800 233 886 or 011 488 4366.

How do I lodge a complaint with the Council of Medical Schemes?

The CMS can be contacted via email: Customer care centre: 0861 123 267/ website: Please go through these steps: Familiarise yourself with the Disputes investigation process below. Fill in with black ink and print clearly, or complete the form digitally.