Posted by Naomi Todd, Senior Associate
Compensation in a Clinical Negligence Claim
When a Claimant has suffered an injury as a result of negligent medical treatment, it is unfortunately often the case that they experience on-going symptoms even after their claim has settled and therefore may not have received adequate compensation.
It is very important that the future needs of the Claimant are considered and taken into account when assessing the value of a claim to ensure adequate compensation in a clinical negligence claim is received.
How is a claim valued?
Compensation in a clinical negligence claim is designed to put the Claimant back into the position they would have been in but for the negligence. Damages are awarded to compensate a victim for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as their financial loss.
Damages, (i.e. compensation) consists of 3 main strands:
1. General damages; this is an amount which is designed to compensate the Claimant for pain and suffering, known formally as “pain, suffering and loss of amenity”.
2. Special damages; this largely relates to past financial losses incurred from the accident to the date of the trial.
3. Future losses; these set out the losses that the Claimant is likely to incur in the future, as a result of the injury.
When is it an under-settlement?
When a claim is valued, it is important the Claimant’s prognosis is assessed, and consideration given to any on-going financial losses the Claimant might incur.
For example, in respect of future losses, if a Claimant has suffered an injury that has resulted in a need for care and assistance, it is likely that this need will continue for the foreseeable future, and long after the claim has settled.
Similarly, in respect of general damages, it may be the case that as a result of the injury sustained, the Claimant is likely to develop further debilitating complications in the future, or may be more susceptible to ailments and future problems.
A failure to consider these scenarios will inevitably lead to a failure to ensure that adequate compensation is obtained and this is turn will lead to a situation where the Claimant’s pain and suffering has not been properly valued, and in addition, the Claimant is unable to afford on-going expenses, which have arisen as a result of the negligence.
As specialist Clinical Negligence solicitors, who deal solely in clinical negligence claims, we have experience in dealing with all types of cases from small dental claims to very high value birth injury claims.
In every case, we ensure that we consider very carefully our client’s prognosis, and recognise the importance of considering our client’s needs not only during the case itself, but also after settlement and for the remainder of our clients’ lives.
If you believe you have been under compensated for a clinical negligence claim, please contact us now for specialist advice.