General Damages is the negligence claim compensation that is paid for the pain and suffering caused as a result of the injury and loss of physical ability or ongoing pain and discomfort if there is a continuing disability. This figure is calculated by considering previous awards of compensation made by the courts and after consideration of guidelines set out in a government publication used in assessing damages called 'The Judicial Studies Guidelines'.
Any person who has sustained any kind/type of any Injury may be entitled to claim compensation, so long as there has been negligence on the part of another party, be it an employer, practitioner, land owner, landlord or motor vehicle driver to name but a few. Compensation for medical negligence may include loss of past and future income, care for the past and care for the future, medical expenses and prescriptions, pain and suffering including psychological damage, loss of amenities of life, reduced employment prospects and legal expenses.
In general terms a legal claim for medical negligence compensation must be settled or ongoing legal proceedings must have been issued within three years of the injury having been sustained. Failure to comply with this rule usually means that legal action will become statute barred and it will not be possible to obtain compensation for the injury however there are some exceptions to this rule. In claims for minors, that is those under the age of 18 years, the three year limitation period does not start running until the claimant's eighteenth birthday which means that the time limit runs until the eve of the claimants twenty first birthday. For people who have mental incapacity the time often never starts to run and negligence claims can be made for compensation for injury throughout that person's life even if the injury occurred many years ago.
In clinical negligence claim cases the limitation period begins to run from the date when the injury was first discovered which may be many years after the negligent act by the healthcare provider. Judges have discretion to override the time limits in appropriate circumstances. The circumstances in which this discretion is exercised are rare however if a claim is outside the normal limitation period consideration should be given to the criteria necessary for an application to the court to extend the period. In law, in order to establish negligence, three conditions must be met: The person who is being held responsible for the negligence must owe the victim a "duty of care". That duty of care must have been breached. This means that the person responsible failed to provide a standard of education that would have been expected of him or her. As a result of that breach, the victim has suffered identifiable loss.
Despite the fact that negligence claims are notoriously harder to win as opposed to road accidents or accidents at work there are many legal firms that actually specialize in these types of litigation. We are not generally ones to give hard advice on this site but I feel confident saying to you "shop around" when it comes to clinical negligence claims. If you don't feel that the person you are speaking to have a good background in your type of case then move on to someone else.