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If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury due to an avoidable medical mistake then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
We have the expertise to assist you and your loved one through what can be a very difficult time. We understand majority of the health professionals are diligent but avoidable medical mistakes do happen.
Our lawyers are sensitive and caring. It matters to us that our clients feel supported in their time of need.
So what are the impacts of a brain injury to the victim and their families?
A brain injury caused through medical negligence by a health professional has the potential of causing devastating and catastrophic consequences for the patient and their families. The impact can cause life changing injuries which in turn can leave the patient totally dependent on others to care for their day to day needs.
Trauma to the brain can lead to loss of speech, loss of movement and sensory impairment. The brain is one of the most sensitive and important parts of the human body. It controls body function, mood as well as emotions. The severity of an injury can vary from patient to patient leaving the patient with physical and mental disabilities as well as memory loss.
Types of brain injury medical negligence claims
Babies with brain injury could go on to develop cerebral palsy. This can be devastating in some case as the child may need 24 hours care due to their inability to walk or talk. This injury is caused when the brain is starved of oxygen to a new born baby. If the damage was caused due to an error at birth which was preventable or due to poor medical care then it is vital to seek justice as these children often require specialist care for the rest of their lives.
A misdiagnosed or delayed diagnosed stroke can also leave the patient with long term disabilities. Some patients are left with vision impairment as well as speech and physical disability. The families and the patient are then left with quite possibly insufficient care and support from others. If the damage was caused through medical negligence then it is vital a claim is pursued not just to get answers but also to get the financial support to help the patient live the rest of their life with dignity and proper support.
This is the most sensitive part of the human body. Any injury or damage to the head can leave the patient with long term symptoms and disabilities.
- Constant headaches
- Convulsion and seizures
- Repeated vomiting and nausea
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in arms and legs
- Agitation, anger and personality change
- Loss of coordination
- Inability to walk
A head injury will warrant immediate investigation and it is usual for the victim to have a CT scan as the failure to investigate can leave the victim with cognitive disorder after a traumatic brain trauma.
Acquired brain injury
This can happen when the injury is caused by pressure on the brain, whether through a tumour or a neurological illness.
Traumatic brain injury
This is an external injury caused by an external blow to the head. If there is a failure to diagnose and treat a brain injury in a timely manner the patient could be left with lifelong physical and psychological disabilities.
Congenital brain injury
This is where the injury is caused during either birth trauma or due to genetic causes but the consequences can be equally devastating.
A brain aneurysm also known as a cerebral aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of the artery that supplies blood to the brain. In some cases the brain aneurysm can release blood into the skull causing a stroke. If this is caused due to a preventable medical error then it is vital the patient seeks justice. Often patients are left with speech and mobility issues as well as other complications which may need long term care and support.
This is a serious condition where blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain. It’s usually caused by a head injury. Symptoms of a subdural haematoma can include: a headache that keeps getting worse. If there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment the consequences can be fatal.
Delayed diagnosis of an infection
Patients can sometimes acquire infections that have nothing to do with the condition for which the patient was originally admitted for. Many hospital infections can be preventable such as MRSA, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. These are generally caused due to poor hygiene and poor use of intravenous catheters or lack of compliance of best practice.
Bacterial and viral meningitis can happen to anyone regardless of their age and this can be fatal if not treated correctly and promptly. At least 1 in 3 patients will be left with long term complications. If there is a delay in diagnosing meningitis in a child the child can be left with permanent cognitive, behavioural, speech and physical impairment. The parents are left with a child which would otherwise have had a happy and healthy life requiring 24/7 care.
Sub- arachnoid haemorrhage
This is an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It’s a very serious condition and can be fatal. Subarachnoid haemorrhages account for around 1 in every 20 strokes in the UK. If left untreated or diagnosed in a timely manner this can leave the patient with lifelong impairment.
Head and Spinal injuries
Damage to the back can result in paraplegia and damage to the neck can result in tetraplegia. Any trauma to this most sensitive part of the body can leave the victim with loss of function on multiple levels. Where this is caused through a medical mistake then it is vital the victim takes legal advice as compensation of life changing injuries can be substantial and the monies will help fund the costs of care and support.
So what compensation can the patient claim?
There are two types of damages that can be claim if the injury was caused through an avoidable medical mistake/ clinical negligence.
General damages– these are damages for pain and suffering. This can include damages for the physical and psychological injury.
Special damages– these are loss that can include loss of income, care and assistance, travelling expenses, treatment costs. These losses can be past as well as future losses. So for an injured adult who is unable to work due to a medical error he or she can claim their loss of income up to the date of their retirement.
Will rehabilitation be offered?
Regardless of whether the trauma was caused by negligence or not the patient and their families are left to cope with the devastating after effects. Often the patient will need support from the following specialists-
- Occupational Therapist
- Speech and language Therapist
- Accommodation Expert
- Care and nursing experts
- Psychiatric experts
If the injury is caused through an avoidable medical mistake then it is crucial for the patient to seek legal advice. If they are successful then the damages they recover would help them fund the costs of the care and support they will need for the rest of their lives.
What support is available for victims of brain injury?
There are charities and organisations who offer support and advice to victims of a brain injury. Patients of complex injury will often need:-
- Care plans
- Rehabilitation aids and support
- Transport support
- Emotional and physical support
Caring for someone who has had a serious brain injury requires expert advice and the funds to pay for the support required. Where the injury was caused through medical negligence if compensation is recovered this will go some way to helping the victim and their family manage the consequences of the mistake.
So what are the time limits?
The law allows the claimant three years within which to make a claim. This is either three years from the date of the negligent incident or from the date of knowledge from when the claimant became aware of the negligence. If the claimant is not able to confirm the date of knowledge then it is best to assume that the three year period runs from the date of the incident so as to ensure the claim is made within the limitation period otherwise the claim could be out of time.
There are exceptions to this time limit.
- For a child claimant who is under the age of 18 then the 3 year period does not start to run until their 18th birthday so if a settlement is not achieved then any Court proceedings must be issued before their 21st
- Where a claimant does not have mental capacity
- Where a claimant suffers a temporary mental disability then the time does not run until mental capacity returns.
So how can we help?
Our Personal Injury and Clinical Injury lawyers have a huge amount of expertise in winning substantial compensation for this type of catastrophic injuries that have devastating consequences on the victims and their families.
We work with independent medical experts to gather the evidence and to prove your case.
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury which you believe was caused due to a medical error then contact us. At Ridley & Hall Solicitors we pride ourselves in providing the best client care to our clients.
If you would like to have an informal chat with our Clinical Negligence experts in complete confidence to see if you have a viable claim then please complete the contact form and we will gladly call you back at a time convenient to you or please call Daxa Patel, Medical Negligence Partner and Solicitor on 01484 538421 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help in any way we can.