Medical Negligence Compensation - What Can I Claim For?4th Aug 2017
Physical Injuries: Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity
You can claim damages if your quality of life has suffered as a result of medical negligence by NHS clinicians or other health professionals.
You deserve to be compensated if a medical error stops you from doing the things you love – your hobbies, your sports.
You may claim damages for the additional ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ due to medical negligence – where the injuries are supported by expert medical evidence.
Physical injuries caused by medical negligence are bad enough – but some victims also suffer psychiatric injuries such as nightmares or flashbacks. They endure dreadful recurring memories they can’t forget.
Some victims suffer from mood swings or continued anxiety and are unable to sleep properly following their injuries.
Post traumatic stress disorder, depression and an ‘adjustment disorder’ are all recognised psychiatric injuries and merit compensation.
Psychiatric injuries must be diagnosed by a medical expert if the victim is to qualify for compensation.
It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter if you already had a history of depression.
If a medical expert can prove that your recent psychiatric symptoms were due to a medical negligence injury then you can claim compensation.
Loss Of Earnings
Serious injuries can stop you from working or force you to work part-time – with a severe and possibly permanent impact on your finances.
What if you lose your job? Your injuries could make it much harder to find another one. What if you’re the main breadwinner? How will you provide for your loved ones?
You can claim compensation for loss of earnings while you were off work – and also for loss of potential future earnings.
Loss Of Pension
Your loss of earnings will have a direct impact on your pension. If you’re no longer able to work, you can’t save for your pension. And you will lose out on potential interest.
Remember – pensions are like any other long term savings plan. It’s not just about how much money you save (or would have saved). The length of the investment is also crucial because interest compounds year after year.
An injury and consequent loss of earnings can have a huge impact on the final size of your pension and any payouts you receive from it. So you deserve to be compensated.
Care And Assistance
How much you can claim in compensation will depend of who provides the care: if it is a professional carer then you could claim around £9.60/hour; if a member of the family then you may recover around two-thirds of that.
Medical Equipment, Adaptions To Your Home
You may require a wheelchair, a mobility scooter, prosthetics or other medical equipment.
In the case of equipment, in addition to the purchase costs, we will factor in the cost of servicing and maintaining this equipment – taking into account how long it is likely to last before it needs replacing.
Your injury may mean that your car has to be specially adapted.
You may need to adapt your home with a stairlift, grab handles, ramps, wider doors, a wet room instead of a conventional bathroom.
You may even have to move house – from a property with stairs to a bungalow better suited to someone with mobility difficulties. Moving house will involve conveyancing and estate agent fees, stamp duty and removal costs.
You can claim compensation for all these extra costs you’re forced to incur.
Private Medical Care
Patients who’ve suffered at the hands of the NHS are understandably nervous or fearful about going back to a state hospital or GP. They want private care.
Sometimes it is a private doctor who spots the medical error when the patient goes for a second opinion after becoming dissatisfied with treatment they received elsewhere.
You can claim compensation if you need private medical care following medical negligence.
Travel And Parking
Anyone who goes to hospital regularly will tell you that the cost of parking soon mounts up.
Or you may have to travel long distances to see a medical specialist. That can mean a lot of petrol on top of your parking changes – especially if you have to make repeated visits.
You can claim for travel expenses and parking.
Is Compensation Taxable? Will It Affect My Benefits?
Medical negligence compensation is not taxable but it may well affect your entitlement to any means-tested benefits.
If so, we recommend you consider a Personal Injury Trust to safeguard your damages.
Any benefits you receive that are not means tested will not be affected by your compensation.
Anyone who gets ‘over-enthusiastic’ when claiming compensation will come badly unstuck.
If the judge decides that any one part of their claim is dishonest – no matter how small – then he or she could throw out the entire claim and impose cost penalties.
For More Information
Find out more about claiming compensation. Contact Coles Miller Partner David Simpson, head of our medical negligence team, 01202 355695.