Calculating compensation for medical negligence claims is somewhat complex. Medical negligence can have a range of consequences, ranging from minor injuries to fatalities. Factors such as the type of injury, its severity, the long-term impact and costs associated with the injury can play a big role in the compensation award you receive. This article provides a general overview as regards how compensation is calculated for medical negligence claims.
The Purpose of Compensation Awards for Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can impact an individual’s physical and social wellbeing. As a result, a financial settlement is intended to recognize the personal and medical costs incurred due to the injury and make the victim whole again. In serious cases, compensation for medical negligence helps to offset the cost of care and the loss of earnings incurred through the victim’s lifetime. It may also include the cost of home modification to allow the patient continue with their life, adapted vehicles or mobility scooters, as well as assistance from paid caregivers (including family members who quit their job to care for them).
In some cases, compensation is awarded years after the negligent treatment occurred, only after the negligence victim has regained mental capacity. In this case, the victim may be able to claim for additional damages; an example is a case involving expectant mothers when childbirth injuries occur.
The Formula for Calculating Medical Negligence Compensation
Compensation for medical negligence claims is made up of two key components – general damages and special damages.
This is intended to compensate the claimant for the pain and suffering caused by the illness or injury. The amount will depend on the impact of the injury on the person’s quality of life, and can include emotional pain, physical pain, mental and physical impairments and loss of reputation.
Altogether, general damages are known as PSLA (pain and suffering and loss of amenity). Loss of amenity here means that the person has lost the ability to live life the way they used to prior to the negligence, such as no longer being able to see your loved ones or enjoy meals because you have lost the sense of smell. Medical negligence may also impact your physical or mental faculties, which may severely affect your quality of life.
This is intended to compensate for out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury. Special damages are split into two categories: past losses and future losses.
Past losses: This compensation is calculated up to the trial date or the date when a settlement is reached. They are usually complex and required thorough evaluation. Past losses include loss of earnings due to inability to work, travel expenses for medical care, care and assistance (even if provided by a family member), and cost of treatment or aid.
Future losses: This is an estimated value of what your future needs due to your injury may be. These may include, but not limited to, future medical bills, cost of therapy and ongoing care, transportation, and future estimated earnings (if you are unable to continue work).
Can a Medical Negligence Claim Calculator Tell Me What to Expect?
There are a number of medical negligence calculators online designed to give claimants an idea of what they could receive based on the nature of their injury. However, its result will not be precise. This is because independent medical examinations will be conducted, as regards the negligent treatment you received and the severity of the injury.
A calculator is prone to errors. The value of a damage may be over-estimated or even under-estimated; what’s more, some calculators may even fail to factor in the different types of injuries the person suffered, causing the victim to decide against filing a claim since they do not believe they are entitled to receive significant compensation. For instance, the compensation award for a head injury causing brain damage is modest, but if the injury impacts vision, hearing and the person’s emotional wellbeing, such one will be entitled to compensation that considers all accounts.
It is always best to seek the advice and support of medical negligence experts who can give you a more accurate estimate of what you can expect based on your unique situation.
Will I Receive the Whole Compensation Award?
The amount you receive in the end will depend on the agreement you have with your medical negligence solicitor for funding your case. Medical Negligence Direct will offer a medical negligence No Win No Fee UK agreement which will cover the cost of your claim.
Ensure you carefully read your agreement and ask your solicitor any questions about how much you can expect at the conclusion of your case.
What Deductions Will There Be?
This is a percentage-based fee that is calculated by assessing the complexity of your case. The success fee reflects the level of risk involved in pursuing your claim, and may be up to 25% of the final compensation amount.
After the Event Insurance
A No Win No Fee agreement helps to protect you against any costs in the event that your claim is unsuccessful. However, you will have to pay experts’ fees and court fees if your claim is successful, which could be worth thousands of pounds. Having an insurance will insure your No Win No Fee agreement, and cover these fees if your case is unsuccessful or your abandon the case.
The type of funding agreement you have with your solicitor will have a major impact on the final compensation amount you receive for your illness or injury. Therefore, it is important that you fully understand the agreement you are going into from the outset so you can make an informed decision.
Contact Medical Negligence Direct
With many years of experience in handling medical negligence claims of different types, we offer a bespoke service that caters to the individual needs of our clients. Find out how much compensation you may be entitled by calling us on 0800 644 4240. One of our friendly Medical Negligence Solicitors will be happy to speak with you and walk you through the complex claims process.