If you were injured during an operation, or had to face invasive treatment because your GP had failed to diagnose your cancer symptoms, what would you want to happen next? For someone to acknowledge what happened? An apology? Compensation?
From our experience, someone whose life has changed as a result of a medical accident or negligent treatment should have access to all of the above.
More than compensation
According to the many clients we have represented who have suffered in this way, they need help to deal with the consequences. Often, they have tried but failed to get satisfactory answers from those who were responsible for their care.
They want to know what happened and why and for someone to take responsibility; this is a vital part of helping them rebuild their lives and cope with the consequences of someone else’s mistake.
Notably, if their claim is successful, it can highlight important improvements that need to be made in order to reduce the chances of the same thing happening again. This can include advancements in technique, training and monitoring and making changes to procedures to improve safety.
The financial consequences of medical negligence
Medical errors can have life-long consequences that are expensive; hence many can face significant financial hardship because of their injuries. They may have to change how they work, take time off – or give up work completely. They may need to pay for care or, in some cases, require specialist equipment or modifications to their home to cope with their disability. Financial compensation can help ease this burden.
Compensation is there to help people cope with the impact of the medical mistake
People don’t pursue a claim to get a cash windfall and compensation payouts vary considerably as each case is unique. If a claim is successful, the money that is awarded will have been calculated based on a number of factors including:
- which part of the body is injured
- the nature of the injury
- its severity and
- the extent to which it has impacted on your life
Compensation is also awarded for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and expenses.
It also includes provision for some of their legal costs as the law recognises that the complexities involved in proving medical negligence are such that a claimant will need a lawyer to help them fight their case.
Accidents can happen in any healthcare setting
From hospitals (both NHS and those in the private sector) to care homes, dental surgeries and cosmetic surgery clinics, people are millions of people are undergoing medical treatment every day. For the vast majority, they proceed without incident.
However – not least because of innovations in medicine and surgical techniques – on occasion, accidents and mistakes do (and will continue to) happen. It is important that there is transparency regarding such mistakes and that the people on the receiving end are able to receive compensation.
If you, or someone you love, have been injured as a result of your medical treatment, you may have a claim for compensation. Please contact us on 0800 321 3112 and speak to one of our medically qualified advisers or email us here to make an enquiry.
See here for a selection of our medical negligence case studies
Posted 29th January 2015 | Posted in News,Uncategorised