How Much Compensation Can You Get For Medical Negligence?
What is medical negligence?
Medical negligence is the broad term used to describe mistakes, accidents and poor care administered by medical staff, in both the NHS and private healthcare practices. It includes any medical treatment whether it is provided at hospitals, GP surgeries, health centres or even at home.
Common types of negligence include medical misdiagnosis, surgical errors and prescribing patients with incorrect medication or administering the wrong treatment. All of these issues can contribute to making an existing illness or injury worse.
How is medical negligence compensation calculated?
If your claim for clinical negligence is successful you will be entitled to damages to compensate you for any losses directly attributable to the negligent treatment. Medical negligence compensation is broken down into two categories – general and special damages:
General Damages: These are awarded to the victim to compensate them for the pain and suffering that they have experienced due to the negligent treatment received.
The level of general damages depends upon the extent of the victim’s injuries or illness, and the impact this has had on their quality of life.
Medical records and independent medical expert evidence will be used to determine the extent of the victim’s injuries and their prognosis. This will enable general damages to be assessed.
Special Damages: These are awarded to compensate for any out of pocket expenses that have been incurred as a result of the negligence. This includes losses which have been sustained from the date in which the negligent treatment took place, and extend to also include any future financial losses that you are likely to suffer.
Special damages can include:
- Medication and rehabilitation
- Current and future financial losses i.e. through not being able to work or to the same capacity as before the incident.
- Current and future care costs.
- Travel costs to and from medical appointments.
- Home and vehicle adaptations.
- Mobility aids.
Special damages which cover past losses will need to be proven through receipts and payslips or annual tax returns to show the loss of earnings or expenses incurred. Future losses will be calculated following consideration of independent expert evidence assessing the future impact of the injuries suffered.
What is the average payout for a medical negligence claim?
Medical negligence settlements vary dramatically. The level of compensation can be anything from around £1,000 upwards. In some extreme cases multi-million pound settlements have been agreed. It is therefore difficult to say how much money you could get for your claim, as each and every case is unique.
How long will it take for my claim to settle?
The time it will take for your claim to settle depends on the individual circumstances of your case. Factors which influence the time it will take for your claim to settle include:
- If the healthcare trust or medical professional accepts liability.
- The extent of your illness or injuries caused or made worse by negligent treatment.
On average claims tend to take:
- 18 months – 2 years: For simple cases were liability is accepted.
- Up to 5 years: If court proceedings are needed.
- In excess of 5 years: If the case is complex, liability is denied and the injuries are significant and ongoing.
Whilst clinical negligence claims can take some time to settle, if liability has been admitted it is possible to request interim payments, where a proportion of the likely overall damages are paid to you in advance, before a full and initial settlement can be agreed.
How much will it cost me to make a claim?
Most medical negligence claims are handled on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that you only need to pay legal fees if your case is successful.
If your clinical negligence case is won you will pay us what is known as a ‘success fee’. This is limited to a maximum of 25% of the compensation amount obtained.
As we represent Clients on a No Win, No Fee basis, please note that True Solicitors will only take on your case if we believe that it has good prospects of success. If we do not consider this to be the case we will inform you of the reasons why and advise you that we would not be able to represent you.
Read our guide on how personal injury claims are funded for more information.
How do I make a medical negligence claim?
If you believe you have suffered an illness or injury that was caused or made worse by negligent medical treatment, administered within the last three years, you could be entitled to make a claim.
Starting a claim is easy. Call our team of medical negligence solicitors today on 0344 854 7000 or fill in the enquiry form below and we will call you back to discuss your case.
Read our how to make a medical negligence claim guide for further information.