12 Apr 2019
How is compensation calculated for medical negligence claims?
Calculating compensation for medical negligence claims is a complicated process. The amount depends on a variety of factors, including the type of injury, severity, the associated costs and the long-term impact of the injury.
The purpose of medical negligence compensation
From hospitals to dentists, clinical negligence can occur in a variety of medical environments. The effects of medical negligence can impact an individual both physically and socially. As a result, compensation from medical negligence is intended to give money in recognition of the medical and personal costs incurred due to injury. In the most serious cases, the awarded money includes compensation to recognise a lifetime of lost earnings and the cost of care. Not only that, it can also include the cost required to modify the injured party’s home, medical assistance from caregivers (including partners or family members who leave their job to take care of them) and new transport solutions, such as mobility scooters and adapted vehicles.
The difference between general damages and special damages
Calculating medical negligence compensation can be broken down into two categories – general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate the injured person for the pain and suffering caused and is based on the impact the injury has on the individual’s quality of life. Physical pain, emotional pain and physical and mental impairments are all covered by general damages. These are known as ‘pain and suffering and loss of amenity’ damages or PSLA.
Special damages compensate for out-of-pocket expenses due to the injury. This includes modifications to the individual’s home, medical expenses, private medical care, travel costs and rehabilitation. However, special damages are not limited to the costs you’ve already paid. Long-term expected costs such as lost wages, physical rehabilitation, wages for carers and future medical bills are also included. The cost of assistive devices or in-home health equipment also falls into this category.
Medical negligence compensation calculators
There is a variety of compensation calculators available online that can give you a general estimate of what you’d be owed based on the type of injury. However, it will not be accurate. This is because the courts require unbiased medical opinions in regards to the injury and its severity, and an individual may over-estimate the degree of the injury when entering the information into the calculator.
In medical negligence claims, compensation can range from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds for general damages. The amount awarded for special damages may be several times the amount awarded as general damages. Both are combined to provide the full amount of compensation.
At Speed Medical we have over 21 years’ experience in handling Clinical/Medical Negligence claims and we offer a truly bespoke service in providing quality medical evidence reports. To learn more about our medical Negligence service, please click here.