In order to claim compensation for an error during an operation, two criteria have to be fulfilled. You must have received a standard of care that was below that accepted by the general medical community, and you must have sustained a loss, an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition as a result.
Not every claim for medical negligence during an operation is successful. This is because a claim has to show that the error was avoidable “at the time and in the circumstances”, and that you would not have suffered an injury if an alternative course of action had been taken. There are also some circumstances in which medical negligence has undoubtedly occurred during an operation, but no injury has been sustained.
To get practical and impartial advice about claiming compensation for an error during an operation, you are invited to contact our Medical negligence Advice Bureau, and discuss the nature of the medical negligence you experienced, the injury you sustained and the consequence it has made to your quality of life with an experienced medical negligence solicitor.
Making a Claim for Medical Negligence during an Operation
Once you have spoken with a solicitor, he or she will request access to your medical records. Your medical records will then be reviewed by an independent medical expert to establish that you sustained an avoidable injury due to medical negligence. You may have to also undergo a medical examination to establish the extent of your injury and whether revision surgery is an option to repair any damage.
Your solicitor will use the evidence of negligence collected by the medical expert to support a “Letter of Claim” to the NHS Trust responsible for your care. The NHS Trust has ninety days in which to conduct its own investigation and acknowledge liability for your injury. If liability is denied, this does not necessarily mean you will have to go through the trauma of a court hearing.
NHS Trusts have an unfortunate habit of denying liability until the eleventh hour, but – provided your solicitor has compiled a sufficiently strong claim for medical negligence during an operation – the likely outcome is that the NHS Trust will admit to you receiving a standard of care below that accepted by the general medical community, and your solicitor will negotiate a settlement of compensation for an error during an operation with the NHS Litigation Authority.
How Much Compensation for an Error during an Operation?
How much compensation for an error during an operation you will be entitled to will depend on the nature and extent of your injury and the impact it has on your quality of life. Errors during surgery can result in fairly minor consequences to life-threatening injuries, and your solicitor will consult the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for general damages in personal injury cases to calculate how much compensation for an error during an operation you are entitled to for your pain and suffering.
However, there are several other factors that should also be taken into account when making a claim for medical negligence during an operation, and it may be the case that you are entitled to a substantial compensation for your “loss of amenity” – the impact that an injury has on your quality of life – or for a psychological trauma if, for example, the error during your procedure was that you experienced anaesthetic awareness.
Any costs you have incurred or any loss of income you have experienced can also be recovered in your claim for medical negligence during an operation. Again, the values for this element can vary significantly depending on your age (if it is unlikely that you will be able to work again), and your general state of health before undergoing the surgical procedure in which the error was made.
Further Information about Surgical Negligence
As there are many variable factors to consider in a claim for medical negligence during an operation, it is important that you are fully informed of your rights and options. For this reason we invite you to call our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau and seek individual information about claiming compensation for an error during an operation which is specific to your particular situation.
Our solicitors will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about claiming compensation for an error during an operation, and expand on the process for making a claim. All calls to our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau are completely confidential and – by using our advice service – you are not committing to making a claim for medical negligence during an operation or using any of our legal services.