You may bring a claim for compensation against the NHS Trust responsible for the hospital rather than the individual doctors or a individual doctor if you received substandard medical care from a doctor, nurse, dentist or other medical professional .
Under English law, you can only claim compensation for injuries and associated financial losses if you can show that the proposed Defendant was ‘negligent’ and that this caused loss or damage to you. Negligence means making a mistake, which would not have been made by any reasonably competent professional in the relevant field. If some reasonably competent professional would have done the same thing, the claim will fail.
This means that we need to show that there was a breach of duty by the medical or nursing professional and thereafter and that this breach of duty caused you to suffer injury and losses. There is a test which needs to be met before we can prove breach of duty and we have to obtain copies of your medical records and send these to an independent medical expert who will review the records and advise as to whether or not you have a claim. The expert may also be able to comment on the causal link between your substandard medical care and your injury or we may need another expert if you case is complex.
You can claim compensation for your injuries themselves (called ‘general damages’) and for any financial losses caused by the negligence (called ‘special damages’).
- General Damages
This is compensation for the pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life that resulted from the negligence. Without a medical report on the full effects of your injuries, we cannot estimate the value of that element of the claim. It is always better to have a medical report before agreeing compensation, so that everything is taken into account. We will also need to prepare witness statements from you and if necessary friends and family commenting on your difficulties.
- Special Damages
In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for ‘special damages’, which may include medical fees, travel expenses, loss of earnings, care costs, and all other incidental expenses following the negligence.
Sometimes if a claim is disputed, the Defendant will offer reduced compensation as a compromise. If it happens, I will advise you on whether the reduced sum should be accepted, rather than going to Court and risking the possibility of losing.
There is a time limit for pursuing a claim for clinical negligence and this is 3 years from the date of the injury or 3 years from the date that you became aware that your injury was due to another person’s negligence.
To speak with our lawyers contact us on 0207 485 8811 or fill in an online enquiry form.