General Advice – May 2022

General Advice – May 2022

How to Succeed with a Negligence Claim

Don’t expect to read about any tricks. There are none.

Instead, careful scrutiny of all of the records and radiographs, separation of complications from under-performance, a careful analysis of the current state and the garnering of at least one objective expert report should form the mainstay of the process.

Contemporary literature reviews are useful although in reality, not many Orthopaedic Surgeons regularly review the modern literature. Trainees or those about to sit their Fellowship exam will be the most avid visitors to published literature. The interest is often maintained for a year or two, or maybe a decade. Thereafter, many Orthopaedic Surgeons “fly by the seat of their pants” and add only incrementally to their current literature knowledge. Many do attend Journal Clubs and so-called “Grand Rounds” but often, nothing more than the surface is scratched.

Experts producing a report often cite the literature. In those instances, it is important that the published literature does not postdate the sentinel event and that the publication is freely available to all and sundry. Review articles are also preferred to those that delve into minutiae or matters that are esoteric.

As a requesting Solicitor, I would advise you to seek copies of the papers that are being referred to and attempt to make your own judgement.