Claim Compensation for a Hospital Patient with Pressure Sores

Can I claim compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores on behalf of my father, or must the personal injury claim be made by him personally?

You may be able to claim compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores on behalf of your father, although this is usually only possible if the person who sustained the injury is incapable of making the claim personally; such as if they lack the mental capacity to do so.

To make the injury claim for pressure sores you must first receive authorisation to act as a ‘litigation friend’ on behalf of your father from a judge, so an application will need to be made to the courts. Provided that a judge is satisfied that the claim is valid, you are acting in the best interests of your father and you are prepared to accept all financial responsibility for taking legal action, authorisation should be granted.

Before the application is made, it is important that you seek legal advice about claiming compensation for pressure sores in hospital from a personal injury solicitor with experience in pursuing medical negligence claims. Although your father has suffered a personal injury while in hospital, it does not necessarily mean that the pressure sores could have been prevented and the nurses were at fault for his injuries. A claim for an injury sustained in a hospital is only possible if it has resulted from a failure in a duty of care and negligence of the hospital staff.

The first step that a solicitor will take will be to start an investigation into the case to establish how your father was allowed to develop pressure sores, and to establish if the hospital staff was at fault. If your chosen solicitor establishes that your father developed pressure sores due to failings in the nursing care provided to him while in hospital, he should be eligible to claim pressure sores injury compensation against the hospital’s liability insurance policy.

A solicitor will then calculate how much compensation for pressure sores in hospital can be claimed. Although it may be possible to make an injury claim for pressure sores, it is important that you find out the amount of damages which can be recovered before you decide to proceed with legal action against the hospital. It may not be worth your while to claim compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores on behalf of your father if there is little to be gained by doing so.

In addition to speaking with a solicitor, it is important that an official complaint is made to the HSE to ensure that an internal investigation is conducted; so if you have not yet made a complaint in writing on behalf of your father you should do so as soon as possible. If no complaint is made and the HSE is unaware of the injuries sustained by your father, a claim for pressure sores injury compensation may not be possible or its resolution may be considerably delayed.