We can’t tell you whether you should, or should not pursue a claim for medical negligence. But if you feel that medical neglect or medical malpractice has caused you pain, suffering, distress or a loss of income, then medical negligence compensation might go some way to helping you to improve your circumstances. No amount of money can fix what you might have endured, but it may make your life, and perhaps that of your loved ones, a little bit easier.
You may be worrying about the view, often put forward by the media, and possibly friends and colleagues, that medical malpractice claims are crippling the NHS and are in fact increasing the chances of accidents and injuries occurring. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it’s worth knowing that of all the patients handled by the NHS, as few as 0.005% make a claim against them. And of that small minority, the NHSLA has boasted in its’ annual report that 64% of the clinical cases they took to trial were successfully defended resulting in savings of £41.6million.
Despite continued legal action against them, things don’t seem to be improving. In the NHSLA’s last statement, they said that: ‘Last year we paid over £1.1 billion to patients who suffered harm and their legal representatives, this coming year it will be £1.4 billion.’
Across a huge organisation that employs over 1.5 million people, putting the NHS in the top five of the world’s largest workforces, you need to consider for yourself whether your claim, to help protect you and your family from financial insecurity, really makes a material difference to them.
If you’re left coping with the outcome of mistakes that were made during your care and treatment, often with financial consequences, then one underlying fact remains true. You have suffered, and you shouldn’t be left to pay for someone else’s mistake for the rest of your life.
It’s worth remembering however that whoever you intend to make your medical negligence claim against, they will be covered with indemnity insurance against such claims as detailed in The Health Care and Associated Professions (Indemnity Arrangements) Order 2014. So you do not need to worry about a doctor losing their savings or their home, as the insurance premium will pay for the associated costs and damages if the claim is successful.