What is the process of making a claim for an item left inside during an operation?
If you wish to make a claim for an item left inside during an operation, it is advisable that you contact a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment. Medical negligence claims can be complicated, so the assistance of a solicitor who understands your situation will be vital if you wish to have a successful claim for an item left in a body during surgery.
In order to claim compensation for an item inside a body after an operation, you will have to have suffered an illness, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition as a result; that is, some manner of medical consequence. Even if medical negligence appears to be all but clear, a claim will not be successful unless a medical consequence has been suffered. After you inform the solicitor of your particular situation, the circumstances in which an item was left inside you and how this affected your life resultantly, he or she will be able to advise you on the likely strength of your claim and how best to proceed.
If your solicitor believes your potential claim for an item left inside during an operation could be sufficiently strong, they will contact the medical professionals involved in your operation. It is not always necessarily the main surgeon who is at fault for such instances of medical negligence, so it is important that everyone is contacted so the negligent party (or parties) can be established. No blame will be assigned at this point- your solicitor will merely be obtaining any relevant medical notes from them. These notes will then be presented to an independent medical expert whose role will be to examine roles of the individuals and to determine who was responsible for the item left in a body during surgery.
Your solicitor will then be in a better position to advise you whether or not to proceed with your claim based on what the medical expert concludes. If you decide that your claim is worth pursuing, your solicitor will send a letter of claim to the negligent party informing them that you are pursuing a claim for an item inside a body after an operation. If the negligent party admits liability, then your solicitor will enter into negotiations to secure the maximum amount of compensation settlement that you should be entitled to. If they do not admit liability, then your claim may have to be settled in court and your solicitor will guide you through the procedures and potential costs of court action before you make the decision whether to proceed with litigation.
Your settlement will be calculated by taking into account various factors. A base value for your claim will first be taken from The Book of Quantum, which lists a multitude of injuries and their claim values, depending on their extent and permanency. This value will then be altered when the solicitor accounts for your age, sex, health prior to the item being left inside you, the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the medical negligence, and any costs that have been incurred – or may be incurred in the future if further medical treatment or surgery is necessary.
The information provided here regarding the process of making a claim for an item left inside during an operation, establishing negligence and how your claim may be calculated is a general guide. It is by no means a substitute for the specific legal advice that you will be able to obtain from a solicitor who is informed of your particular situation. Therefore it is advisable that you contact a medical negligence claims solicitor at the first possible moment to discuss your potential claim and the possible options for proceeding.