98% of the population are not the “type of people to sue”. However, when you or your loved one has been injured through the negligence of another person, you have basic responsibilities to ensure that medical bills are paid, lost wages are recovered, future medical expenses are paid – and if there is a physical disability, you must ensure that you or your loved one is compensated for the dramatic change in your life.

In the past, a lawyer acting for a wronged patient might have advised his or her client first to report the matter to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the professional body mandated to register health professionals and ensure practitioners are fit to practise, before proceeding with a civil case in the courts. Even though the HPCSA does not have the power to arbitrate on compensation, the rationale was that an HPCSA ruling and censure of the doctors concerned would improve the chances of a patient succeeding in a civil case.


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