The first stage is to consult a solicitor, who should help you to:
get access to medical records
get independent and unbiased expert medical opinions about the causes
establish whether you have a potential claim for negligence and the possibility of an award of compensation
If you cannot establish a negligence claim, this basic investigation should give you a better understanding of what may and may not have caused your or your child's condition.
The Law Society and Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA) both have panels of accredited specialist solicitors. If you need a recommendation, you can look on their websites for a recommended local specialist.
Compensation is awarded to compensate for the injury and to pay for support, such as care and expenses that arise because of additional needs.
Compensation aims to place the person in the position they would have been in had the negligence not happened. But this is impossible for someone whose impairment will affect every aspect of daily living for the rest of their life.
Tips to help with your claim
To help with your claim, try to keep :
receipts for the extra costs of disability, such as equipment and other bills
letters from the hospital or medical professionals
a copy of the hospital’s internal review into the care, usually called a serious untoward incident report
any complaints documentation where you have already raised concerns about the hospital’s care
How is compensation calculated?
Future expenses specific to the individual’s need are calculated following advice from a range of experts such as:
employment and rehabilitation consultants
The amount awarded should reflect:
the additional cost of accommodation adapted to meet the person's needs
the cost of providing adequate care and specialist equipment
loss of earnings where employment potential is compromised
transport and mobility aids
social and leisure pursuits
other factors such as the cost of continuing education, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy
costs involved with administering the award in the Court of Protection
An award of compensation can be split into:
a lump sum designed to meet past expenses and immediate future expenses
annual payments made in advance to provide a guaranteed index-linked, tax-free income to meet future predicted costs, such as care and case management
What happens to the money awarded?
The Court will hold the money awarded in compensation until a child is 18. After that, it can pay this into that person’s control, often with the support of a case manager.
If the individual is incapable of making their own decisions, a deputy can oversee their affairs.