How is compensation calculated for medical negligence cases? It is somewhat complicated, depending on the type of injury, its severity, the associated costs and the long-term impact of the injury. We’ll provide a general overview regarding how compensation is calculated for medical negligence cases. We’ll also describe mistakes many people make when they try to run calculations for compensation in medical negligence cases themselves.
The Purpose of Medical Settlements
Compensation from medical settlements in medical negligence is intended to make the client whole again. It is intended to compensate them for the medical and personal costs incurred due to the injury.
In serious cases, the award includes compensation to offset a lifetime of lost earnings and the cost of care for the person. It can include the cost of modifying the client’s home to let them continue to live there, medical assistance from paid caregivers or a partner who quit a job to take care of them, and new vehicles that the disabled person can drive.
In some cases, compensation is given years after the incident, only after the claimant was able to gain back mental function after a negligence case. In a case where mental impairment was caused, additional damages may be claimed as well, to support the victim. This is also true when childbirth injuries occur or expectant mothers suffer from mistakes or negligence from staff or doctors or another party associated with the healthcare facility.
The General Formula for Medical Negligence Compensation
Medical negligence compensation is broken down into two components. The first is general damages. General damages are intended to compensate the person for the pain and suffering caused by the injury. It is based on the impact the injury has on quality of life. It can include physical pain, emotional pain, loss of reputation, impairments both physical and mental, and loss of reputation.
General damages are altogether called “pain and suffering and loss of amenity” or PSLA. Loss of amenity means the loss of the ability to enjoy life in some degree, such as losing your ability to see your loved one or no longer being able to enjoy meals because you can no longer smell it. Or maybe you have to deal with the consequence of the negligence through diminished physical or mental faculties, which could severely affect your quality of life as a result.
The second half of the equation is special damages. Special damages are there to compensate for out of pocket expenses due to the injury. Medical negligence claims UK should thus include a list of all out of pocket expenses like modifications to your home, out of pocket medical expenses, private medical care, travel costs, rehabilitation, and care. However, special damages are not limited to the costs you’ve already paid.
Medical negligence solicitors can help you submit a request for special damages to cover the long-term expected costs to care for the injured person, including lost wages, physical rehabilitation, wages for carers, and future medical bills. This is open to debate since the opponent may say you’re no longer able to do a physically demanding job but could re-train for a desk job. Another issue some overlook is when a stay at home parent is left disabled; the family can seek special damages for the cost of hiring someone to take care of the children in place of the stay at home parent, in addition to the cost of caring for the now disabled parent.
The cost of assistive devices or in-home health equipment fall into this category, and the total bill may be steep. However, there are limits on special damages to provable monetary losses to date and predictable future monetary losses due directly to the injury. There are also limits based on reasonableness. If the doctor recommends swimming as part of your physical therapy regimen, you’re not going to be able to install a heated pool in the back garden and get the cost of it paid for in the settlement.
Can a Compensation Calculator Tell Me What I’d Get?
Medical negligence payments may range from a thousand pounds plus free care provided by the medical establishment to correct the mistake, to hundreds of thousands of pounds to cover years of pain, suffering, lost wages and medical bills.
You can find compensation calculators that could give you a general estimate of what you’d be owed based on the type of injury you suffered. However, the courts require unbiased medical opinions as to the injury you received and its severity. A calculator may tell you that you’re owed X based on the drop-down menu selections you make and the costs you put into it.
This is prone to errors, such as when someone over-estimates the degree of brain damage, the victim suffered or under-estimates the degree of emotional damage. Some even fail to consider the fact that there are several types of injuries involved, and they end up refusing to file a claim because they don’t realise that they are eligible for a significant settlement. For example, a head injury causing minor brain damage is worth a modest sum, but if it impacts hearing, vision and emotional balance as well, you’re actually eligible for compensation on all of these accounts.
Even an injury case is compounded by chronic pain and PTSD, and these increase the amount you could receive in compensation. Note that these are just the general damages; provable special damages like a lifetime of lost earnings for someone permanently and severely disabled may be several times this much.
Each of these injuries is called a head of loss. There is no limit to the heads of loss that you can present in court, so you could claim a dozen. However, it will be necessary to have unbiased medical evidence to verify these claims.
The Medical Negligence Experts, experienced medical negligence lawyers, offer a patient claim line dedicated to medical malpractice victims and can give you a more accurate estimate of your likely compensation based on your particular situation. For example, you may be eligible for compensation due to a lost opportunity, whether it was missing a child’s wedding or missing out on a once in a lifetime sports competition.
If you arrange a no win no fee funding deal with your solicitor, the settlement will be negotiated so that the amount you receive still covers your expenses after legal fees are taken out. If you pay for legal advice out of your own pocket, this becomes a part of the special damages. If your medical negligence UK solicitor is paid for by charity or public services, it is unlikely you’ll need to take the legal bills into account as part of your compensation award.
Medical negligence compensation can range from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. That is only the range for general damages. Special damages include your out of pocket expenses for everything from medical bills to home modifications to a lifetime of lost wages; these damages may be several times the amount awarded as general damages. While you may try to estimate your compensation for medical negligence via an online calculator, it is better to consult with medical negligence solicitors to get a more accurate estimate.