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Claiming compensation for medical negligence

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First4Lawyers, October 29, 2019

Compensation for medical negligence is often a secondary consideration – with the wish to hold people to account a more pressing concern for many.

However, a successful medical negligence claim will usually see compensation awarded. This is intended to help you get back to the position you were in before the event or to make life more comfortable if that is not possible. It can therefore be a hugely important factor that contributes to your recovery.

What is medical negligence?

Also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice, medical negligence is when a medical professional provides substandard care or treatment, causing you harm. When your healthcare provider has failed in their duty of care to you, it is likely to be considered medical negligence.

It can take many forms, including:

These examples can all have significant effects on your health, so you are within your rights to claim compensation for medical negligence.

How much can I claim?

Each experience of medical negligence is different. This means that the compensation you’re awarded will depend on your specific situation and what has happened to you.

However, there are some general guidelines on what you may expect to be awarded. After an experience of care home negligence, you could be entitled to up to £93,500, while childbirth negligence could see compensation of up to £121,000 awarded. For a rough idea on what you may be entitled to, visit our compensation calculator.

According to NHS Resolution, £2.4 billion was paid out for clinical claims in 2018/19. Obviously, this does not include the amount of compensation paid to patients who suffered negligence in private hospitals.

Compensation comes in two parts:

  • General damages: This is awarded to compensate for the pain and suffering you have been through after an incident of medical negligence. General damages cover any lifestyle changes you have suffered, such as an inability to take part in your favourite hobbies.
  • Special damages: This part is awarded to cover any financial impact the negligence has caused to your life, such as a loss of earnings if you’ve been unable to work. It also covers any care equipment you require after your experience.

Who do I claim medical negligence compensation from?

In most cases of NHS negligence, NHS Resolution will pay compensation in successful claims. This means that you’re not claiming directly against the healthcare professional who treated you.

Meanwhile, if you are claiming against a private provider, their insurer will pay the compensation. This is why it’s required that these healthcare practitioners take out these insurance policies.

What evidence do I need to make a claim?

In order to give yourself the best chance at a successful claim for compensation after medical negligence, you will need evidence to support your case. This will include medical reports and witness statements.

This is why it’s so important to ensure you keep hold of all medical records relating to your experience of negligence. You should also make a note of everyone who was involved in your treatment, as well as dates and times you were seen.

Your solicitor will also ask if you’ve had to pay for any expenses relating to your case, including travel to and from medical appointments, and if you’ve suffered a loss of earnings. Ensuring you have all of this information ready to provide to your solicitor will help speed up the process of making your claim.

How do I claim compensation for medical negligence?

After you’ve suffered from medical negligence, you may find that you don’t know where to turn. But you don’t have to go through this experience alone.

You may first decide to lodge a formal complaint against the organisation or individual responsible for the negligence you have suffered. If you want to complain about the NHS, you have six months to do so after the date of the incident. See our guides to complaining about NHS treatment and complaining about private healthcare for more information.

If your complaint does not bring about the resolution you were looking for, you should contact First4Lawyers. Our team of friendly and understanding advisors will help you work out what the right next steps for you are. Just request a call back at the top of the screen, give us a call or start your claim online here.

Our specialist medical negligence solicitors will then take over the management of your case, working to secure the maximum compensation to help secure your future.

Get in touch today - we can help with your claim 08005677866