What is a medical accident?
A medical accident is a non-desirable and non-desired event, a complication, potentially detrimental to the patient, happening during or following the delivery of health services with a diagnostic or therapeutic finality. In the latter case scenario, that is a therapeutic hazard, meaning a complication without there being any mistake from the care provider.
The law from the 31.03.2010 opens the possibility of the granting of an indemnity to some victims of medical accidents, occurring in the context of a health care delivery, without there being any medical mistake and without the professional responsibility of the care deliverer being involved.
It is the Medical Accidents Funds (FAM: Fonds des Accidents Médicaux) that will be in charge of determining whether the responsibility of the health care deliverer is or not engaged, and in the negative case, it will have to grant an indemnity to the victim after an evaluation of the gravity of his/her damage.
In order to do so, the FAM, which is an integral part of the INAMI, will start by designating a medical expert, to perform a medical expertise, whose cost will completely be taken in charge by the Federal State Social Security budget. However, it is not provided that the plaintiff be systematically and mandatorily defended; which often results in a situation in which the latter finds himself alone and without any assistance, to face the expert and the medical advisors of the adverse incriminated parties (care deliverers and insurance companies in medical professional responsibility).
Furthermore, for the victims of accidents that did not occur because of a mistake, the law does only provide an indemnity of the “heavier” cases, responding to one of the following gravity criterions:
A permanent invalidity of at least 25%,
A temporary complete work incapacity for 6 month, consecutive or not, on a period of 12 month,
Particularly severe economic troubles