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Rehabilitation Costs During Medical Negligence Claims

Rehabilitation Costs During Medical Negligence Claims

When you make a medical negligence claim, you will be awarded compensation. This sum can include the cost of your past, present and future needs known collectively as your rehabilitation costs.

What compensation will I get?

Compensation settlements are made up of general damages and special damages. These reflect the different types of injuries you have sustained.

General damages

General damages reflect the physical and emotional injuries you have suffered. This can also be known as your 'pain, suffering and loss of amenity' or 'PSLA'. Loss of amenity means the way in which your quality of life has been affected.

For example, you may have been left with ongoing physical discomfort and dysfunction. You may be experiencing ongoing psychological trauma as a result of the negligence, such as depression, flashbacks and anxiety.

Both these element may mean that you are no longer able to live your life as you once did. There may be difficulties carrying out everyday tasks such as cleaning and driving. You may also be suffering from social issues, finding it difficult to resume your hobbies, visit friends and family or even leave the house.

Special damages

Special damages reflect the actual financial loss you have suffered. This can cover both small and large losses. They will all be set out in a document called a Schedule of Special Damages which will be prepared by your solicitor.

Your special damages can include losses incurred by both you and your loved one. For instance, there may be travelling expenses associated with attending medical appointments or even visiting you while in hospital.

There can be a loss of earnings, a loss of pension and a handicap in the labour market (known as a Smith v Manchester award).

Special damages can also include the cost of your rehabilitation, which can incorporate factors such as the cost housing adaptations, specialist equipment and the cost of care.

This care can be provided by your loved ones and you might not actually be paying for it in the usual sense. However, your special damages intend to reflect the time and inconvenience you loved ones have experienced as a result of caring for you something which would not have been needed before the negligence happened.

Occupational therapist report

The cost of care and rehabilitation can sometimes make up a large part of a compensation settlement. This is particularly true of orthopaedic claims, where something such as cauda equina syndrome or a missed fracture can seriously hinder a person's ability to care for themselves. Additionally housing adaptations may be required, as well as specialist equipment, just for the individual to move safely around their own home.

To fully appreciate the costs involved, your solicitor may ask an occupational therapist to write a report comprising a detailed introduction and evaluation of the claim. The report can include a full explanation and list of costs covering the areas of care, transport, aids/equipment and miscellaneous items. It can also comment on the suitability of housing, and the costing any relevant equipment or adaptations.

Contents of the report

A typical report will be begin with a detailed explanation of following sections:

  • Family/support
  • Accommodation surroundings
  • Changes in occupational status
  • Holiday/leisure activities
  • Physical/psychological restrictions
  • Implications for daily living activities

The report will explore these areas, comparing the Claimant's situation before and after the negligence in each case.

Subsequently the report will calculate the costs of a Claimant's present and future needs. This can be broken down into:

  • Care past, present and future
  • Therapies e.g. psychological and occupational therapies
  • Transport
  • Aids and equipment
  • Miscellaneous e.g. home decoration, gardening, holidays
  • Housing

Costs

The costs calculated by the occupational therapist will of course depend upon the individual and their set of circumstances.

By way of example, a Claimant may require care from their spouse. If the care provided totals 28 hours per week for 365 days a year, at a rate of £8.96 per hour, it will total £13,081.06.

If the Claimant has psychological problems because of the negligence, psychological therapy can be claimed at £60 per session for, say, 12 sessions. This will amount to £720.

Housing adaptations may be required to enable the Claimant to continue living in their own home. However, their injuries may mean that he/she is unable to climb the stairs or get into the shower. Costs can be claimed for these adaptations. For instance, the cost of changing the bathroom into a wet room and installing a stair lift.

When added up, the total claim can be substantial. Your solicitor will work hard to ensure these costs are included into your compensation settlement, meaning you will not be left out of pocket as a result of your injuries.

Start a claim today

If your life has been adversely affected because of medical errors, do not suffer in silence. You could be entitled to claim compensation for the damages you have endured. Although this will not reverse your injuries, it can provide the funds needed to help you live as normal a life as possible. Simply having the money to adapt your house can be a huge help as you can move around your home independently.

To begin a claim, you simply need to talk to a medical negligence (clinical negligence) solicitor. During an initial telephone conversation, you will be asked about the care you received and the injuries you have sustained. Afterwards you will be told whether you are eligible to claim compensation.

If so, your solicitor can pursue the claim on your behalf, working to get all the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today

It is important to bear in mind that medical negligence claims must be brought within three years of the event. Therefore early legal advice is essential, or you may run out of time to make a claim.

To talk to a solicitor, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors. We are a specialist firm of clinical negligence lawyers and will be able to advise you further.

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We offer everyone a free, no obligation enquiry. This means you can talk to a solicitor completely free of charge. After this consultation you will be given expert legal advice, during which you will be told whether you have grounds to make a claim.

Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Testimonials

"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

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