Should I Accept The First Compensation Offer For Medical Negligence?

Making a medical negligence claim can seem complex, and you might have questions like, “Should I accept the first compensation offer I receive?” Or “How do I know I’m getting what I deserve?”

In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of accepting an early compensation offer, and when such an offer could be made.

Medical negligence can have uniquely severe consequences, and we’ll discuss how these long-lasting consequences could affect when you accept a settlement offer.

Under-settling is a common drawback of accepting an offer early on in the claims process. We’ll explain what under-settling is, and how accepting early could lead to you losing out on compensation.

We’ll also discuss how compensation can be calculated in medical negligence claims, and what your final award could be made up of.

Finally, our guide will explore the benefits of working with a legal professional, and how they could help you negotiate the best possible compensation for your case.

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  1. Should I Accept The First Compensation Offer For Medical Negligence?
  2. At What Stage Could I Be Offered Compensation?
  3. What Is The Under Settlement Of Medical Negligence Claims?
  4. How Much Compensation Will I Get For Medical Negligence?
  5. Can I Use No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors?
  6. Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Resources

Should I Accept The First Compensation Offer For Medical Negligence?

If you are making a medical negligence claim, you might be wondering, “Should I accept the first compensation offer?”

Compensation offers made early on in the claims process can seem tempting. For many people, the thought of a claim going to court or taking longer than expected can seem daunting. But there are risks to accepting compensation too early on, and early offers aren’t always made in the best interests of the claimant.

There are many examples of medical negligence, ranging from medical misdiagnosis to prescribing the wrong medication, and each can have unique and long-lasting consequences.

Before accepting any kind of compensation, we recommend that you seek legal advice. To find out how one of the solicitors from our panel could help you negotiate the right settlement for you, contact our team today. Or, read on to learn more about when you could be offered compensation.

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At What Stage Could I Be Offered Compensation?

So, when could you be offered compensation? There are multiple different points throughout the claims process where you could be offered compensation, but as we’ve already mentioned, you don’t need to accept the first offer you receive.

Early-stage offers and settlements are presented in the early stages of making a claim. One of the benefits of taking this kind of settlement is that they are usually offered before the claim goes to court. That said, only a very small percentage of claims will need to go to court, and most medical negligence claims will settle before this time.

However, the risks of taking an early-stage offer might include:

  • If you have suffered harm due to medical negligence, this can have a long-lasting effect on your physical and mental well-being. If you settle too early before you know whether or not your injuries will recover, you will be awarded less compensation. This is because part of your settlement will take into account your prognosis.
  • In the early stages, you may not know what effect the medical negligence will have on your finances, for example, whether you will be able to return to work. If you accept an offer before you know whether or not you can work to your normal capacity, you could lose out on claiming future loss of earnings which could be a very large part of a medical negligence settlement. This can also apply to whether or not you will need future care or medical treatment.

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What Is The Under Settlement Of Medical Negligence Claims?

Under-settlement happens when you accept compensation that is lower than you deserve. Not all early-stage settlement offers will result in your claim being under-settled, but it’s important to know what your claim is worth and ensure that all your losses are covered.

Because of this, it can be a good idea to work with a solicitor. Your solicitor can arrange for you to undergo an independent medical assessment and can catalogue your financial losses alongside your medical negligence compensation.

Contact our team of advisors today, who could connect you to an expert medical negligence solicitor who could advise on whether you should accept the first compensation offer by valuing your claim for you.

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How Much Compensation Will I Get For Medical Negligence?

When you make a medical negligence claim, there are up to two heads of compensation that you can pursue. The first is general damages, and this covers the harm you’ve endured and the effect that it has had on your life.

When this head is valued, those calculating your settlement may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document is often referred to, as it provides a number of compensation brackets for illnesses and injuries of varying severities.

It’s important to note that these figures are only guidelines. Even if the compensation you are offered doesn’t match, that doesn’t mean you are being undersettled. The first entry in the table below was not taken from the JCG.

InjuryCompensation BracketNotes
Multiple Instances Of Very Severe Harm And Special DamagesUp to £1,000,000+Different types of very severe harm caused by medical negligence alongside financial losses, which can include lost earnings.
Very Severe Brain Damage (a)£344,150 to £493,000A need for full time nursing care with little or no meaningful environmental awareness.
Less Severe Brain Damage (d)£18,700 to £52,550The claimant will have made a good recovery and is able to return to work and have a normal social life.
Severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (a)£73,050 to £122,850All aspects of life are badly affected by severe symptoms.
Total Blindness (b)Up to £327,940Total loss of sight
Total Loss Of Taste And Smell (a)In the region of £47,810Total loss of taste and smell.
Female Reproductive System (d)£21,920 to £44,840Infertility that causes no sexual dysfunction and no medical complications.
Bowel Injuries (a)Up to £183,190A dependence on a colostomy bag due to a total loss of natural function.

Expenses You Could Claim For 

The second head of compensation is called special damages, and it addresses the financial losses you endured because of the medical negligence. You can claim for special damages if you receive general damages.

Special damages can help you cover the cost of:

  • Prescriptions
  • Counselling
  • Childcare
  • Travel
  • Housekeeping
  • Professional care

Very importantly, special damages reimburse you for past, present, and future loss of earnings. If you settle a medical negligence claim early, it may not be clear just how much earnings you may lose in the future. Compensation for lost earnings can be a very large part of your settlement, sometimes even more than what is awarded for general damages.

To have your medical negligence compensation claim valued or to find out, should you accept the first compensation offer, contact our team today.

A solicitor helping a client answer the question, "Should I accept the first compensation offer?"

Could I Use No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Solicitors?

Working with a medical negligence expert can help you answer the question, “Should I accept the first compensation offer?” But, it can also come with further benefits.

For example, an expert solicitor can help you negotiate a settlement offer that reflects the harm you’ve suffered, physically and financially, and how this harm will affect you in the future. A medical negligence solicitor can also help you collect evidence to prove your claim.

Plus, one of the benefits of working with our panel of solicitors is that they work on a No Win No Fee basis. Before they start to work on your case, they’ll ask you to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This allows you to benefit from their services without taking any upfront fees, and it means you don’t need to pay for their services if your claim fails.

If the claim does succeed, then a success fee will be paid to the solicitor. This is taken as a percentage of your compensation which is capped at 25%, but will be discussed with you beforehand.

Speak To Our Team Today

Our team of helpful advisors are here to help. They can offer you a free consultation, during which they can answer your questions and tell you whether or not you have a valid claim. If you do, then they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel.

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We hope we’ve answered the question, “Should I accept the first compensation offer?” If you need any further help at all, please do not hesitate to contact our team of advisors.