Hospital Negligence Following A Car Crash On The Motorway
Find out in a site visitor Q&A whether you should attempt to claim for hospital negligence when you are already claiming for all of your injuries in a car crash claim?
Car crash and hospital negligence victim question
Earlier this year I was on the M1 travelling towards London. The traffic was slowing and came to a stop due to an accident ahead. I stopped behind a wagon in front of me and a few moments later my car was hit from behind by a van.
My car was written off and the ambulance and police attended. The van driver was found to be on a mobile and had not noticed the traffic stopping.
I was taken to a hospital in an ambulance, but at hospital I was not checked properly, no x-rays were taken and I was sent home.
I had a terrible back pain and returned to the hospital later in the week, but again I was sent home with paracetamol.
A few days later I literally couldn’t get out of bed due to my back pain. My wife called an ambulance and this time I was x-rayed and I was found to have a fractured vertebra in the lower spine.
I have contacted a solicitor who is making a car accident claim for me, liability is accepted by the van driver’s insurers and the medical expert report obtained by my solicitor supports all of my injuries and ongoing symptoms being as a result of the car crash. No mention is made of hospital negligence.
Clearly the hospital should have x-rayed me when I attended and I am wondering if I have a claim for hospital negligence?
Medical negligence and car accident solicitor response
That said – it seems clear that your car crash is being attributed as the cause of all of your injuries, including the fractured spinal vertebra,
UK law generally does not permit double recovery – in other words you cannot claim for your fractured back in the car accident and in a hospital negligence matter. Double recovery is typically not permitted.
It is important that you discuss this point with your solicitor as it is likely that your solicitor has decided that, as the medical evidence supports the assertion, that the van driver was at fault for all of your injuries – you should focus your efforts on the car crash claim.
In any event – to make a claim against the hospital you would need to show not only that the hospital was negligent, but also that this negligence caused your injury.
In other words –as your fractured spine was caused by your motorway accident. You could only argue that the recovery and ongoing problems were made worse by the hospital failing to x-ray you.
From your description – the medical expert for the road accident claim seems to attribute all symptoms to be as a result of the road accident, so it would be unlikely that you could show hospital negligence caused further problems that you are not already being compensated for.
It is best to discuss this point with your solicitor and also whether a patient complaint might alert the van insurers to a potential argument that medical negligence, as compared to the motorway accident, caused some of your problems.