Advances in medical science and improved standard of living in the UK mean that the average lifespan is now more than ever before. While this is a great thing, it comes with its own peculiarities. As the country’s population continues to age, many have made the decision to move themselves or their loved ones to a care home facility. Here, they expect to receive quality care in a safe and secure environment. So, it can be really upsetting when you or your loved one suffer an injury due to medical negligence in a care home facility.
The decision to move to a care home facility is very personal, and even sometimes painful, that it can be devastating to learn that the standard of care is not only below-par, but negligent, and potentially life-threatening. If the level of care you or your loved one received at a care home was substandard, and injury was incurred as a result, you can make care home negligence claims and seek compensation.
Making Care Home Negligence Claims
The UK government has set standards that care homes must comply with to ensure the health of its residents. If failure to adhere to these standards results in an injury to a resident, then there may be a valid case for a medical negligence claim and you may be entitled to receive care home compensation.
At Medical Negligence Direct, our panel of friendly solicitors can assist you in securing maximum compensation if you or your loved one have been a victim of negligence in a care home facility. This article discusses some of the most common injuries residents suffer in care homes and how you can make a claim.
- Making Claims for Slip or Fall
Slipping, tripping or falling is the single most common accident that causes injuries in a care home facility. Out of reach equipment, slippery floors or misplaced objects can result in injury and potential grounds for care home negligence claims.Under the UK health and safety guidelines, every care home facility management must maintain a safe environment for both residents and employees. This means keeping the floors clean and tidy, ensuring all walkways and pavements are free of obstructions, and providing as much assistance as possible.Failure to comply with these guidelines, directly causing an accident that results in an injury to a resident or employee of a care home facility, will give the victim a valid reason to make a claim against the care home.
- Making Claims for Incorrect Medicines
Medication errors can have fatal consequences, especially when an elderly person is involved. It is the duty of care home management to ensure detailed procedures are in place so correct medicines are administered, and to the right residents. There is no excuse for administering wrong medication. If you or your loved one have been a victim of medication error, you may be able to make claims for care home neglect.
- Making Claims for Wrongful Death
All care home facilities have a duty of care towards their patients. They must strive to comply with best working practices to minimize the risk of harm residents may face when receiving care. If a care home resident has been a victim of wrongful death due to medical negligence, then the family members, dependents and estate of the deceased may have valid grounds for a compensation claim.Wrongful death claims are slightly different from personal injury claims in this case. When death happens due to negligence, damages such as funeral costs and ongoing support of dependents will be added to the claim.
- Making Claims for Poor Infection Control
Elderly residents in care home facilities are particularly vulnerable to infection. When contracted, there is a high risk of fatality. Thus, care homes must adopt a very strict hygiene regimen to protect its residents.
If you or a loved one have fallen ill as a result of poor infection control in a care home facility, you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence.
Can I Make Claims Against the NHS for Care Home Injury?
The NHS does not take the provision of care lightly. Although the number of NHS care homes pale in comparison to privately managed ones, the existing facilities often offer the highest level of care. Therefore, making medical negligence NHS claims is a very serious matter.
In care home negligence claims made against the NHS, the care worker, if found guilty of negligent treatment, will lose their job. They will also be unable to work in the medical sector in future. For a claim that can effectively end the prestigious careers of medical professionals, it is a serious matter.
Therefore, when making a negligence claim against a care worker at the NHS, you are under obligation to prove that the negligent treatment caused you harm. In this case, the support of care home claims solicitors will be invaluable.
Can I Make Claims Against a Care Home as a Care Worker?
As discussed earlier, the UK government regulates every care home facility to ensure they comply with laid down health and safety standards. Under these regulations, all care home facilities must ensure a safe working environment is maintained for every member of staff. This includes making sure that every employee receives full training in aspects of their role that involves these health and safety standards.
If you have suffered an injury as a care home worker, either due to an unsafe working environment or inadequate training on how to safely discharge your duties, then you may be entitled to a compensation claim.
Who Can Make Claims for Accidents in a Care Home?
Depending on the nature and severity of injury sustained in a care home facility, the following entities can make care home negligence claims:
- Injured victim: In the majority of cases, the person who sustained the injury will make the negligence claim against the care home.
- Dependents of the victim: In cases where the victim is unable to make their own claim due to the injury they suffered, or if the injury ultimately resulted in the death of the victim, the dependents can make a claim for compensation.
- Estate: As above, in cases where the victim is unable to make their own claim, the estate of the victim can sue on their behalf.
If you are yet to make a decision about pursuing a claim or are unsure about how valid your case is, get in touch with us.
What Can I Do if I or a Loved One is a Victim of Care Home Negligence?
If you or your loved one have suffered an injury due to negligent treatment at a care home, we recommend that you prepare for your claim with the following:
- Gather evidence: This could include taking pictures of the environment where the incident took place, and noting the names of the care workers involved.
- Detailed Financial Costs: This includes loss of earnings you have incurred due to the injury, as well as out of pocket expenses such as medical and travel costs.
- Medical opinion: An independent medical expert will assess your medical records and provide a report that could help you make a successful claim.
What Can I Claim for if I Have Suffered a Care Home Negligence?
You will generally be able to make claims for:
- General Damages: This is aimed at covering all physical and obvious aspects of the injury you suffered in a care home facility. General damages include pain, psychological trauma, as well as any long-term or permanent medical conditions caused by the injury.
- Special Damages: This includes all tangible and non-tangible financial costs incurred as a result of the injury. Special damages may include loss of earnings, medical costs, travel costs, care costs and, in extreme cases, funeral costs.
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No Win No Fee Care Home Negligence Claims
At Medical Negligence Direct, the majority of the claims we handle are made on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that we provide legal representation for you without any upfront fees. What’s more, if we fail in our quest to secure compensation for the injury you suffered, you wouldn’t need to pay us any fees. We will only take a fee if we successfully help you secure your compensation award.
Why Choose Medical Negligence Direct?
We have a proven track record when it comes to medical negligence claims against care home facilities in the UK. We handle every case as a unique one, with individual circumstances. In providing legal advice and starting a claim on your behalf, we strive to help you secure the maximum amount of compensation possible, without compromising your chance of being awarded a compensation.