It may surprise you to know that each year as many as 30,000 people die in the UK as a result of medical negligence, and around 850,000 are injured. The cost to the NHS is rising, with around one fifth of the total NHS budget being currently dedicated to personal injury compensation payments. Just last year, a man under the care of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals starved to death, while there have been hundreds of payments to families whose children have been brain damaged due to poor care.
Why is the number of compensation claims rising?
Up until recently, many victims of poor NHS care were unaware that they were legally entitled to compensation. Experts believe that the standard of healthcare in the UK hasn’t changed, but the number of compensation claims has increased due to better awareness among patients and the increased provision of no win, no fee claims that allow patients who couldn’t otherwise afford legal help to take on a large organisation like the NHS.
I have been injured in hospital, should I try to claim compensation?
Not all injuries received in the course of medical treatment are due to malpractice. Sometimes even with the best of intentions and most competent professionals, patients can still be misdiagnosed or injured in the course of treatment. In order to assess whether or not your injury is due to malpractice, a court would look at the procedures used in your treatment in detail to decide whether or not doctors used ‘reasonable and competent’ judgement at all times.
Even if negligence can be established, in order to be eligible for personal injury compensation a court must also agree that your injuries are a direct result of this negligence and would not otherwise have happened (i.e. they are not simply part of your original illness). The sum you could receive depends on the pain and suffering you have experienced as well as the financial losses incurred by the injury.
Talk to the experts
To discuss your situation in detail and in confidence, call our expert advisers at Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500. We are a law firm which specialises in personal injury compensation and no win, no fee claims. We have been helping accident victims receive the compensation they are legally entitled to for over thirteen years, and are accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and Lexcel, the Law Society’s practice management standard. For a quick guide to your eligibility, take our 30-second online test.
Date Published: December 16, 2013
Author: David Brown