How is compensation for a claimant´s “loss of amenity” applied in claims for medical procedure errors compensation?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
In order to explain “loss of amenity” in the context of claims for medical procedure errors compensation, it is best to first explain what “loss of amenity” means and apply it to several examples where medical procedure errors have occurred.
In every claim for medical procedure errors compensation, there are four main constituents – general damages for the physical pain a claimant experiences which could have been avoided during and after the medical procedure, general damages for any quantifiable psychological injury which results from medical procedure errors and special damages to account for any financial expenses you have incurred which are attributable to medical procedure errors.
The fourth constituent of medical procedure errors compensation is general damages for “loss of amenity”. This term relates to the negative effect to your quality of life which is a direct result of medical procedure errors which have prevented you from being able to perform everyday activities (for example driving, caring for children or elderly relatives, household chores, etc.) or enjoying normal leisure and social pursuits.
How much “loss of amenity” compensation for medical procedure errors you may be entitled to recover in a medical procedure errors compensation claim is going to depend on your personal circumstances – for example a working mother would be expected to receive more “loss of amenity” compensation for medical procedure errors than an elderly retired gentleman if an error in a medical procedure results in the incapacity of an arm.
Not all medical procedure errors compensation claims are for such permanent injuries, and if – for example – you have been prescribed the wrong medicine which caused excessive tiredness and prevented you from driving or working, you could claim medical procedure errors compensation for your temporary “loss of amenity” until such time as the error was identified and the correct medication prescribed.
Not every claim for compensation for medical procedure errors is eligible for “loss of amenity” compensation. There are very few circumstances where your quality of life would deteriorate if the wrong tooth had been extracted and, if you have suffered no quantifiable loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to an error in a medical procedure, it is unlikely that you will be eligible to make medical procedure errors compensation claims at all.
There is such a broad range of consequences which can result from medical procedure errors that it would be advisable to discuss your personal situation with an experienced medical negligence solicitor. The solicitor will be able to assess whether you have a claim for compensation for medical procedure errors which is worth your while to pursue and then explain how compensation for “loss of amenity” would be applied in your specific circumstances.