Ask the Expert: How Much Could You Claim?

No matter what the Minister for Health would like you to believe, the aim of a medical negligence solicitor is not to bleed the NHS dry. Rather, our job is to represent victims who've had their lives turned upside down - in many instances permanently.

The Medical Negligence Experts work with solicitors to obtain for victims the necessary legal and financial recognition for unfair and harmful medical care. That way, victims can move forward with their lives without being held back by their injuries.

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How Much Could You Claim?

How much could you claim with an NHS medical negligence case? First, let’s analyse where you’re compensation goes.

News of NHS financial woes is actually an almost daily occurrence. Either the government blames external influences for their deficit, or the opposition blames the government for financial mismanagement. One of the areas highlighted as a growing cause of concern for the NHS is the amount of money spent on medical negligence claims.

Understandably, the government sees this as an area which needs to improve. However, they don’t tend to look internally at their policies and procedures which cause harm. Instead, they blame victims for having the nerve to seek retribution for injuries they should never suffer.

How is this fair?

No matter what the Minister for Health would like you to believe, the aim of a medical negligence solicitor is not to bleed the NHS dry. Rather, our job is to represent victims who’ve had their lives turned upside down – in many instances permanently.

We obtain legal and financial recognition for unfair and harmful medical care. That way, victims can move forward with their lives without being held back by their injuries.

How Much Compensation for Medical Negligence?

One of the first questions people want to be answered is “how much could my medical claim be worth?” While it’s hard to answer, it’s also vital to ask. You need to know whether making a claim is the right action for you. As hard as your medical negligence lawyer will work to limit the impact an ongoing claim has on your life, the process of claiming compensation can be intrusive, particularly if your injury is serious and ongoing.

Before they can tell you how much to expect, your solicitor must gather evidence to prove:

  • the nature of negligence, and;
  • the impact your injury has had on your life.

In general, you divide compensation payments into two parts and calculate each one separately.

General Damages

General damages look at the physical implication of your injury, and the pain and suffering you have endured. There are industry guidelines solicitors and judges use to tabulate compensation amounts for different types of injuries. Tabulation of these figures come annually from the Judicial Studies Board (JSB).

As a general rule: the more severe your injury and worse the long-term implications, the more compensation you’ll receive.

Special damages

Special damages compensate you for any financial harm done to you as the result of the injury. In their most basic form, special damages can reimburse the cost of reasonable private medical treatment.

For example, say you need to see a physiotherapist or plastic surgeon. Or you need to have a nurse come to your house to change your dressings while you’re recovering. Your medical negligence solicitor can also claim special damages if the accident affects your earning power. Either in the:

  • short term if there is a shortfall between statutory sick pay and your normal salary, or;
  • if you have to reduce your working hours or even change your career completely due to your injury.

An example of this is a catering woman in her 60s. She had to retire early after a knee operation fail. The surgeon’s negligence left her unable to stand for long periods without suffering significant pain. It made working in her current field impossible. Her successful suit for compensation covers her:

  • loss of earnings, but also;
  • the shortfall in her pension, because early retirement meant she could no longer make several years of contributions.

We treat every compensation claim on an individual basis to ensure each victim receives appropriate payment for their circumstances.

Hip Replacement Compensation Amounts

Joint replacement surgery is a common medical procedure in the UK. Figures from The National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man (NJR) show that from April 2003 until December 2016, more than 860,000 hip replacement operations were carried out in the UK.

Of these, over 24,000 needed a second operation directly because of the primary operation. Meanwhile, 3,500 require more than one secondary operation. Combine those numbers, and it shows an average of more than 2,100 hip replacement operations in the UK every year.

As with all claims, hip replacement compensation amounts depend on the nature and effect of an injury. You should seek legal advice for an accurate estimate of what is a reasonable award for you.

As an initial estimate, JSB guidelines indicate:

  • Severe injuries with lasting significant effect. For instance, they result in hip deformity and affect a victim’s ability to walk without aid. Or even have a vaginal birth. These can receive an award of between £51,500 to £86,000.
  • Moderate injuries where there is no lasting damage. Moreover, there is a very low risk that it may cause future issues to a patient’s health or mobility. These are typically worth payments of between £17,500 to £25,750.
  • Temporarily severe injuries, such as negligent hip replacement surgery, can warrant between £8,250 and £17,500.
  • Lesser injuries which cause no residual pain or disability can receive awards of between £2,600 and £8,250.

These figures show that the bands are very broad in nature. All to be able to accommodate the extreme variations between one victim’s injury and another’s. These payments are only for general damages and do not address any financial (or special) damages incurred by a victim.

What is Hip Replacement Negligence?

When done correctly, hip replacement surgery is a straightforward process that takes between an hour and 90-minutes. Most replacement hip joints use a metal ball in a plastic socket.

However, the ball and socket in younger patients are often ceramic: it lasts longer than plastic. The new joint pieces solidify to the healthy bone with a type of acrylic glue.

In some instances, no glue is necessary. Instead, you roughen the surface of the replacement joint. Then you place it in a way that encourages the bone to grow and attach itself to the new part.

So, what can go wrong?

Hip replacement negligence can take several forms.

  • Surgical errors, including poor post-surgery care that leads to infection or blood clots.
  • Using the wrong material or size for the replacement joint.
  • Incorrect placement of the socket or ball.
  • Faulty replacement joints.

A typical example of hip replacement negligence relates to a man in his 70s. Installation of the replacement hip joint was at the wrong angle, causing pain. That pain lasts longer than the usual recovery time.

His consultant advises it was normal for patients to experience such discomfort for up to two years. After two years, the pain was still present, and he again sought medical advice.

An x-ray shows that the rubbing of the incorrectly placed hip causes further deterioration of his natural hip. A full hip-replacement was necessary to fix the issue, alleviate the pain and restore normal mobility.

Not all subsequent treatment related to a hip-replacement is due to negligence. However, you can pursue a claim when:

  • better procedures could be in use;
  • adequate quality control procedures could be in place, or;
  • the medical professional had simply not made a mistake.

 Maternity Negligence Compensation Claims

Maternity negligence compensation payments account for over a quarter of compensation paid by the NHS since 2012. This is due in part because these claims can take years to resolve. Furthermore, the extent and impact of damage are not always obvious until a child develops.

For example, one of the most frequent conditions resulting from medical negligence is cerebral palsy. The signs can go without notice until a child misses development milestones between their third and fifth birthdays.

It can take a long time to identify and assess the extent of maternity injuries. So it makes sense that this type of claim can take the longest to resolve.

Injuries you notice quickly and get treatment without leaving lasting health issues are faster to resolve. It will benefit you significantly to instruct a medical negligence solicitor with proven success in handling claims similar to yours. Their specialist experience and negotiation skills ensure you receive maximum compensation in the shortest possible time.

Compensation Claim Processing Times

To give your compensation claim the best chance of success, get advice from an expert medical negligence solicitor as soon as you suspect your injury was due to negligence and avoidance.

There’s a time limit, too (three years from the date of the injury or when it connects with negligence). But it’s always easier to evidence a fault when you can conduct an investigation right away. As the claimant, the duty to prove negligence is yours. The sooner your legal team asks relevant questions and collects evidence, the more positive the outcome is likely to be.

If there’s doubt about the influence negligence has on your injury, you may not receive the maximum compensation.

The average compensation claim for medical negligence takes between 15 and 18 months to resolve, so start today by arranging for a free, no-obligation discussion with a medical negligence expert about your circumstances.

How to Claim Compensation for Medical Negligence

The first step in a successful compensation claim for medical negligence is to contact a specialist solicitor to determine whether you have the legal right to request it. They will help to ascertain whether negligence was the cause of a contributing factor in your injury.

Evidence must prove negligence causes your injury. Also, it must show the impact it has on your life both physically and financially. Your solicitor will notify the other party of your intention to request payment of compensation. For NHS compensation claims, all requests go to the NHS Litigation Authority. In short, NHSLA resolves around 98% of all claims without the need for litigation and court.

How much could you claim? Our approach to your case

Your solicitor will negotiate with the lawyers representing the other party. The goal is to reach an agreement on a fair and appropriate amount of compensation.

If the other party denies liability or refuses to compensate you appropriately, you can submit your claim to a court. The judge will review the evidence from both sides and make a legally binding ruling.

When you accept an offer of compensation, you also agree that you cannot seek further compensation. For instance, if, in future, it becomes apparent the impact of your injury was worse than you thought. Or, if you had a chance to receive more money.

Therefore, it’s imperative that you always talk to a medical negligence solicitor before you accept any offer of compensation. Especially if they make it directly to you and not through your lawyer. As with the amount of compensation you receive, the tax you pay also depends on individual circumstances.

Start your successful compensation claim for medical negligence today by talking to The Medical Negligence Experts. They can arrange for you to have a free consultation with a legal advisor. In turn, they can answer your queries and give you the information you need to decide how to proceed.

The majority of claims The Medical Negligence Experts handle are done on a No Win No Fee* basis, so get in touch and find out more.

  • No Win No Fee*
  • Maximum Compensation
  • Speedy Response

Here’s what you can expect to determine how much you could claim

Step 1

Once you have determined that you may have a claim, you can contact our friendly specialists by calling our freephone number, request a callback via a contact form, or use our live chat function.

Step 2

One of our trained legal advisors will assess the details of your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. If you wish, they will then connect you with a suitable solicitor who will discuss the facts of your case and how it has affected you.

Step 3

Your solicitor will gather all evidence and will notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will either win the compensation you deserve, or lose and pay nothing as per our No Win No Fee guarantee.

How much could you claim? Even more with us!

No Win No Fee

We assess all claims on a No Win No Fee basis, then we can determine how successful a claim is likely to be.
We assess each claim on its merits with the information provide, which aids us determine its likely success rate.

Expert Solicitors

Our dedicated panel are experts in securing compensation no matter the injury.
Our personal injury lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you while providing expert support every step of the way.

Personal Dedicated Solicitors

Each client is provided with their own Medical Negligence lawyer who will work on the case from start to finish, being there every step of the way. The client will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of the lawyer.

  • No Win No Fee*
  • Maximum Compensation
  • Speedy Response