Medical Negligence - The True Cost

The EDP of the 16th January 2018 highlighted that compensation payments for clinical negligence claims rose to £28 million in 2017 over the seven hospital trusts across Norfolk and North Suffolk - a 50% increase on the previous year and nearly double that in 2015. The claims are not limited to hospitals with those against the Ambulance Service showing a near 300% increase over the past three years.

However, what is not mentioned is how many cases were brought and how many were settled which is a better indicator as to whether there has been an increase in the number of claims. Whilst one large claim, such as a birth injury, may run into many millions this is not some kind of lottery win for the family but represents fair compensation for years of past and future nursing and care costs together with the cost of specialist adaptations to the family home or even the need to move to a new property - all of which stems from the original negligent act.

The report also sets out the costs of bringing and defending such claims noting that at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital over the previous five years a total of £23 million was paid in damages with £2.3 million in hospital legal costs and £7.9 million in claimant legal costs. Whilst legal costs may seem high, they include not only Solicitor's fees but also Medical Expert fees, Barrister's fees, court fees and VAT.

Commenting on the report Steve Green, Head of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence at Fosters said "although the numbers and cost of claims may seem high, these figures will include claims brought over the past three to five years and, in the most serious cases, even longer. For many claimants seeking compensation is a last resort but if you have suffered injury or loss as the result of another person's mistakes it is only right and fair that you are compensated. It must also be remembered that compensation is not automatic - every person bringing a claim has to prove fault i.e. the hospital has accepted or the Court has found that there has been negligence".

If you have suffered injury or loss as the result of the actions or in-actions of a Doctor or other Medical Professional you may be able to pursue a claim. For an initial no obligation chat contact Fosters on 01603 620508 or email us using our enquiry form and one of our Personal Injury Solicitors will be in contact with you soon.