Can my father claim special damages in compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores after this left him unable to work for weeks?
If your father is considered to be entitled to claim compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores then he should be able to claim for special damages as part of this. It seems likely that your father does have a viable patient with pressure sores from a hospital claim. Hospitals owe all of their patients a duty of care when it comes to their wellbeing. This means that it is their responsibility to provide their patients with both a safe environment free from hazard as well as adequate healthcare that is sufficient for their individual needs.
Pressure sores are caused by leaving a patient lying in the same position for a prolonged period of time. While everyone may be prone to developing them some people are more prone than others due to underlying conditions such as diabetes. Your father should have been assessed for his likelihood of developing pressure sores and all possible care should have been taken by hospital staff to ensure prevention. Prevention can come in the form of providing special pillows or products that may prevent pressure sores from developing and these will also provide relief for a patient. Being given healthy food and receiving regular assistance, such as being turned, from hospital staff when necessary is also beneficial.
Special damages are the area of personal injury claims that account for the financial impact experienced as a result of a medical negligence injury. They are divided into two parts — incidental special damages and consequential special damages. Incidental special damages relate to the immediate ramifications of an injury. Therefore, if your father had to receive any immediate, expensive medical attention in the treatment of his pressure sores sustained in hospital then he could be compensated for it as part of incidental special damages. Consequential special damages relate to the more long term effects of a medical negligence injury. This would be the area where your father could claim for the financial losses he has endured from being unable to work. If he has had to make any renovations to his home as result, or make purchases such as special bedding and creams to deal with his pressure sores then this will also be taken into consideration. If your father has experienced any psychological trauma or if his quality of life has been affected in ways other than financially, this cannot be claimed for as part of special damages but it can be accounted for in the area of personal injury claims known as general damages. A solicitor will be able to explain this, and any other information that is relevant to your father’s patient with pressure sores from hospital claim, to your father upon meeting with him.
This is general advice with regards to your father potentially claiming for special damages as part of compensation for a hospital patient with pressure sores. It is by no means an alternative to the specific advice that a solicitor who has been informed of the severity of your father’s pressure sores sustained in a hospital will be able to provide, so he should make sure to contact one at the first possible moment.