Latest insights from our experts

Posted 2 October 2018
by Stuart Bramley

Over £19million to teenager who suffered catastrophic injuries

Hammer in a court

With reference to the Daily Mail’s article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6228091/NHS-pays-20million-teenager-starved-oxygen-baby-suffered-brain-injuries.html

Stuart Bramley, Medical Claims Specialist observes:

“This may initially seem like an excessive sum to be paying out to an injured patient, particularly at a time when the NHS is thought by many to be severely underfunded. The figure almost reflects awards granted in the U.S. where jurors give multi-million dollar figures as punitive damages. However, this is entirely different. In Britain, we do not have juries in civil cases, only experienced judges; nor punitive damages, designed to ensure that the wrongdoer will avoid causing similar injuries. So although compensation appears in Press reports as some sort of windfall bonus for the individual receiving it, in reality, it is carefully calculated and vigorously argued over with experienced Health Service lawyers.

Behind every newspaper report of injury awards, however, is an individual with very real, daily needs and for many these are lifelong. The reason that almost 90% of the damages were here paid out as annual instalments is precisely so that however long the patient survives, there will always be enough to fund care needs.

The best way to reduce the financial repercussions on the NHS is not to cut compensation so that those needs remain un-met but rather to take steps to ensure that where a tragedy of this nature occurs, lessons are learned by clinicians so the same thing does not recur. I commend the bravery and resilience of the teenager involved and congratulate her legal team on their success”.

If you need any advice regarding a matter similar to this, then please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of medical negligence solicitors.

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About the author

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor with over 25 years' experience of medical claims and inquests