Why bring a medical negligence claim?
Every day in the UK, hundreds of us visit GP’s surgeries, dental practices, clinics and hospitals. We go there expecting to receive expert treatment and a high standard of care. Most of the time, this is the case, but, sometimes mistakes can happen.
If your care had fallen below medically acceptable standards, and it’s resulted in an injury or caused an existing condition to worsen, you can bring a claim of medical negligence against the organisation or individual responsible.
As well as potentially getting compensation for your suffering, there are other significant benefits to bringing a medical negligence claim:
You can access rehabilitation and support
No matter the injury you sustained or suffering you experienced due to negligence, you’ll have the best chance of recovery if you have access to the best treatment, rehabilitation, therapy and equipment as early as possible. Access to these services will help you adjust to any permanent injuries better, improving your long-term prospects. You may also need further surgery, physical or speech therapy, psychological assistance, or rehabilitation for the workplace.
A medical negligence compensation claim can cover the cost of accessing these services, but you may be at a disadvantage if you wait to start any treatment until after your claim is complete. That’s why our solicitors will put you in touch with the right services at the earliest opportunity – getting some of your compensation payment early on so you don’t have to put your life and recovery on hold.
You can get justice for what has happened
A medical negligence claim can help shine a light on the mistakes that have been made and bring it into the public eye. In turn, this may encourage other people who have suffered similar circumstances to come forward and get justice for what has happened to them. This added attention may also put pressure on the relevant authorities to ensure the people responsible are dealt with appropriately.
It could help in preventing medical negligence in the future
Sometimes medical negligence is not a one-of-a-kind error, but part of a repeated pattern of mistakes or a culture of negligent care. When you bring a claim of medical negligence, it forces the healthcare provider to examine what went wrong. The process can pinpoint where and why mistakes happened, and could lead to them highlighting a problem area in their service, a negligent clinician, or other major issue. Hopefully, through this process, lessons can be learned, procedures can be improved and repeats of the same mistake can be avoided. These steps could help in preventing medical negligence in the future, so that no one else will have to go through what you and your loved ones have.
You might be able to get answers
When addressing a medical negligence claim, the healthcare provider will have to thoroughly investigate what has happened to you. Specialist medical experts are asked to give their opinions as to whether what happened was, in their opinion, reasonable, or whether a different course of action could or should have been taken in the circumstances.
These investigations and reports will give you and your loved ones a clearer and thorough understanding of what has gone on – something which can be otherwise hard to ascertain. This will usually be more in-depth than if they were responding to an official complaint you raised about what happened to you. The investigation will also be supported by independent views, ensuring fairer treatment for all parties involved. Answers as to why the mistakes occurred and who was responsible, or indeed the peace of mind of knowing there was no negligence, may help to give you some closure and allow you to look to the future and to your recovery.
How much can I claim for medical negligence?
The amount of compensation you can claim for medical negligence depends on the severity of your injury, how it affects your day-to-day life and the financial impact it has had or will have in the future.
Of course, no two medical negligence claims will be the same, as, even if you’ve sustained the same injuries as someone else, the way it affects your lives could be vastly different. That said, compensation for medical negligence falls broadly into three categories:
- Damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity: Also known as general damages, this is compensation for your actual injury. The amount is based on guidelines published by the Judicial College and ranges from £1,000 to hundreds of thousands of pounds depending on the type and severity of your injury.
- Damages for past financial losses: this is compensation for any financial losses and expenses you incurred up to the date of the settlement. The types of things you can claim for include loss of earnings, private medical treatment, rehabilitation, care costs, special equipment, adaptations to your home and travel expenses.
- Damages for future losses and expenses: this is compensation intended to put you in the financial position you would’ve been if the negligence hadn’t occurred. If you’re no longer able to work or have had to change careers as a result of your injury, you can claim for loss of earnings, as well as loss of promotion prospects and pension rights. You can also claim for future treatment, care and equipment that you will need. If you have dependents, claims can also be made on their behalf. This part of your claim should provide you with peace of mind that your future needs will be taken care of. Both this and the past losses are known collectively as ‘special damages’.
If you’d like to know more about making a compensation claim for medical negligence, you can contact us for a no-obligation conversation. We have an expert team of solicitors with over 30 years’ of medical negligence experience, who can provide advice on whether you have a case.