Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional falls below the standard of care expected of them in providing care to their patient. If a claim is successful, then the defendant may be ordered to pay compensation, known as “damages” to the claimant. The overriding objective of this compensation is to put the claimant back in the position they would have been in if the negligence had not occurred. There are industry-wide guidelines that solicitors and judges use to quantify medical negligence claims. The Judicial Studies Board update these annually to ensure fairness and consistency across all claims and also ensure that compensation is correctly aligned with inflation.
There are options for how compensation can be received, including single lump sum payments and periodical payments. There are pros and cons to both. For example, a lump-sum payment can seem attractive, especially to help with start-up costs involved with care or adapting to the injury. However, if life expectancy for the claimant is long or unknown, there is a risk of running out of funds over time. Lump sums require careful financial management to preserve them for the rest of the claimant’s life. Periodical payments, on the other hand, offer certainty that money will not run out. They can also be staggered and increase over time as care needs may increase (for example, as a child may grow older and want to live independently) and will continue until the claimant’s life ends. However, at times of increased expense in the claimants’ life, such as moving house, an increase in care needs, going on holiday or buying a specially adapted car, the periodic payments would have to be managed carefully to account for this, as the whole fund would not be available.
At Ackroyd, we recognise that no amount of money can make up for the harm you have suffered when undergoing medical treatment. However, we will help you every step of the way to get the compensation you deserve to allow you to get on with the rest of your life. Get in touch with our team of solicitors today.