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Medical Negligence – What Can I Claim Compensation For?
5 June 2019
The standard of medical care in the UK is generally of an excellent standard, however occasionally mistakes do happen leaving patients with life changing injuries. Medical negligence is the term used to describe mistakes, accidents and poor care administered by medical staff, both NHS and private. If you have suffered due to medical negligence you may be able to make a claim for compensation. You can claim for a multitude of things from financial losses from being unable to work, ongoing care costs to medical equipment and adaptions to your home.
Personal injury compensation specialists TRUE Solicitors LLP investigate what exactly you can make a claim for if you have been a victim of clinical negligence.
Loss of Earnings
Aside from the pain and suffering caused through the injuries or further illness, caused due to negligent medical treatment, victims can also face significant financial losses. You could be left in a position in which you are no longer able to work, or mean that you can only work part time. This can leave yourself and your family out of pocket. In some cases facing great financial hardship – especially if the person effected is the main breadwinner.
You can make a loss of earnings claim to cover the income lost during your recovery period and for any potential future income losses.
If you are no longer able to work in the same capacity as beforehand, it is not only your loss of earnings that are affected, but also your ability to make contributions towards your pension. Such losses will be calculated as part of your compensation claim.
Care and Assistance
To help aid your recovery you may require specialist care and assistance following your treatment. If your injuries are serious and you are not likely to make a full recovery as a result, you may need round the clock care – which over a lifetime can cost hundreds of thousands.
The amount of compensation that you can claim for care and assistance varies depending on who provides the care. If a professional carer is looking after you then you could claim up to around £15 per hour. If a family member is caring for you, you may be able to claim up to two-thirds of the value of a paid carer.
Pain and Suffering for Physical Injuries
If you have suffered injuries or a further illness as result of the mistakes made by a medical professional, which has directly caused you further pain and suffering, you can be financially compensated.
If your quality of life has been compromised by your injuries or illness, for example you are left unable to carry on doing the same hobbies or activities as beforehand, you can also be compensated for this.
It is not uncommon for victims of negligent treatment to also suffer from psychiatric issues such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression.
Being no longer able to do things that they used to can lead to victims feeling angry and frustrated. People can also suffer from nightmares, flashbacks and lack of sleep due to their injuries.
To be eligible for compensation any psychiatric injuries must be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Home adaptations and medical equipment
Your injuries may mean that you need to make home adaptations or need to use specialist medical equipment to carry out day-to-day tasks. If your injuries have affected your mobility you may need to install ramps, grab handles, a stair lift and make adjustments to widen door frames. You may also need to install a wet room to make bathing more accessible.
A wheelchair or mobility scooter may be needed to help you to get around in public. If you use a car as your main method of transport you would need to have this specially adapted to continue driving.
Prosthetics and other medical equipment may need to be purchased to help aid your ability to live as normal life as possible.
Any home adaptations and medical equipment required can be expensive to purchase and to maintain. All of which will be taken into consideration when quantifying your claim.
You are likely be required to attend an increase in medical appointments as a result of your injuries or illness. Travel to and from appointments is costly in terms of paying for petrol, public transport, taxis and parking. Such expenses incurred can be used to form the total compensation settlement.
Submitting a medical negligence claim
When submitting a claim it is important to consult a law firm who are experienced in the complex nature of clinical negligence cases. TRUE Solicitors medical negligence lawyers will assess your case and scrutinise your associated losses to work out a fair and realistic compensation amount.
Claims must be submitted within three years of receiving the negligent treatment, or within 3 years of you being made aware that your illness or injury was made worse due to negligence. In some cases in interim payments will be made at an earlier stage to ease financial difficulties, especially in cases where the victim has been left unable to work.
Read our guide how to make a medical negligence claim for more information on how the claims process works.