What is the process for making a claim for a perforated bowel during an operation against the NHS?
To make a claim for a perforated bowel during an operation against the NHS it would be in your best interest to contact a claims solicitor and inform them of the particular circumstances of your situation. He or she will be able to guide you through all of your options for pursuing a perforated bowel medical negligence claim and advise you on whether or not your claim is worth pursuing. A solicitor will also be able provide you with more specific, relevant advice than the information that will be provided here. It is advisable that you do this at the first possible moment as a letter of complaint will have to be sent to the NHS within one year of your bowel being perforated. It is always best to have a solicitor’s assistance when writing such a letter as how it is worded may affect the strength of your claim.
To make a claim against the NHS, not only does a medical consequence have to have occurred as a result of negligence, but it will have to be established that the same consequence would not have occurred had another medical professional been performing the operation. To try establishing this, your solicitor will contact every medical professional involved in your operation where the bowel was perforated. The main surgeon may not always be the liable party in such a claim, mistakes can be made and accidents can occur in a multitude of other instances, for example if the wrong medical information was provided due to an administrational error. Your solicitor will obtain relevant medical notes from the medical team and present this to an independent medical expert who will determine whether or not negligence took place.
If the medical expert considers any of the medical professionals involved to have demonstrated negligence, your solicitor will send a letter of claim to the responsible individual(s) informing them that you intend to pursue a claim for a perforated bowel during an operation against them. The negligent party will have twenty one days to acknowledge receipt of the letter and a further ninety days to inform your solicitor of whether or not they admit liability in your operation where the bowel was perforated. If they do admit liability then negotiations for the amount of compensation you are entitled to will begin. If not, your claim may proceed to court, although this generally only happens in the case of catastrophic injuries.
The value of your perforated bowel medical negligence claim will be calculated based on a value derived from the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages, which is a book that lists a variety of injuries and their compensation values. The figure obtained from this book will then be adjusted to account for your age, sex, pain and suffering experienced due to your operation where the bowel was perforated and the affect it has had on your life subsequently financially and psychologically.
The information provided here is a general overview of the process for making a medical negligence claim against the NHS and how the amount of compensation you could receive may be calculated. It is no alternative to the professional legal advice a solicitor who has knowledge of your information will be able to give you. Therefore you should make an appointment with your solicitor to discuss your claim for a perforated bowel during an operation at the first viable opportunity.