There is no magic formula for determining the exact damages you have suffered as the result of medical negligence. It is sufficient to say that for financial compensation you will need to put a price tag on the suffering. If the claim is for more than R100 000, the case will be litigated in the High Court and for such, you look at a period of three or more years to get a final reward. That being said, in many instances, favourable settlements are reached without ever having to litigate the matter in court. It is dangerous to accept the first offer simply because you don’t want a lengthy and expensive court case to follow, but be assured that our attorneys will act in your best interest.
The calculation of damages in South Africa is done in two parts. The first being the Special Damages Claim, which includes your past medical expenses associated with the particular medical negligence incident or incidents, future expected medical expenses, financial earnings losses in the past and your future financial earnings losses, or your loss of support if the person who died because of the medical negligence was responsible for your financial support.
The Special Damages Claim is normally straightforward to calculate. Our attorneys consult with relevant experts to determine the expenses and loss of income to arrive at a reasonable settlement figure.
General Damages is the second part of the medical negligence claim and covers the suffering or pain experienced as a result of the medical negligence. This part of the claim is most certainly more subjective when it comes to calculations. The court will review similar cases to determine the right amount to award for General Damages. Factors such as life expectancy based on statistics are considered to determine the suffering that will be endured and the expected period for such suffering.
Contact us to help you determine damages suffered because of medical negligence.