If your birth injury claim is successful, you will be awarded a sum of compensation. This settlement will include any money you have lost as a result of the negligence.
What are special damages?
When a medical negligence claim (such as a third or fourth degree tear claim) is successful, the Claimant will be awarded a sum of compensation. The Claimant is the person making the claim.
This sum of compensation is made up of two different elements: general damages and special damages.
Special damages reflect the actual financial loss that has been incurred because of the negligence. This can include a vast range of losses, both big and small. For example, many women awarded compensation for a birth injury claim will recover some or all of the following losses:
- Loss of past earnings – e.g. the Claimant unable to return to work after maternity leave
- Loss of future earnings – e.g. the Claimant will be unable to return to work in the future due to ongoing complications
- Loss of partner’s earnings – e.g. the Claimant’s partner/relative must take time off work to provide care
- Loss of pension
- Cost of medical treatment required because of the negligence
- Cost of travelling to receive medical treatment
- Travelling costs of relatives incurred when visiting the Claimant in hospital/caring for the Claimant
- Cost of equipment required because of the negligence – e.g. incontinence pads
- Cost of care and domestic assistance required because of the negligence
Calculating special damages
Your solicitor will calculate your special damages. Every loss you have incurred will be detailed in a document called a Schedule of Special Damages. It is therefore useful if you keep a record of any expenses incurred, keeping invoices and receipts as evidence.
Special damages are the quantifiable aspect of a compensation settlement. This is opposed to general damages, which reflect the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced by the patient. This is harder to put a figure on. Your solicitor will consider the extent of your injuries and compare them to judicial guidelines before suggesting an appropriate sum for general damages.
Compensation for a birth injury
If you would like to claim compensation for a birth injury, please get in touch with us today. Although legal action will not undo the injuries you have suffered, it will provide some form of redress. Moreover, being able to recover both past and future losses will give you considerable financial security, ensuring you are not left out of pocket as a result of medical error.