Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence

Medical Negligence

E. Rex Makin & Co has a specialised experienced team of solicitors dealing exclusively with medical negligence work. In order to recover compensation for medical mistakes the complex law and facts need to be expertly considered. We handle such claims in a sympathetic way. We give free initial consideration to your situation.

If you have had medical treatment that has gone wrong or you are unhappy about the outcome then our clinical negligence team, which has both a medical as well as a specialist legal background, are here to assist you. It is vital that you take legal advice from specialists at the outset.

The senior solicitor dealing with your case will:

  • Be approachable ,
  • Friendly and sympathetic;
  • Work hard to get you the maximum compensation; and
  • Attempt to obtain an early interim payment to meet your on-going needs.
  • We offer a service covering the whole spectrum of clinical negligence cases from the most complex multi-million pound cases to the more straight forward ones.

The following are examples of some of the types of claims that we deal with:

A&E Claims

Patients visit A&E departments because their injuries or illnesses require urgent treatment. This is a stressful and traumatic time for any patient.

Delay in treatment or negligent treatment from a medical professional in the A&E Department can make the injury worse or even result in the death of a patient. A&E departments are sometimes stretched to capacity but the medical professionals in attendance have a duty to prioritise injuries and you are entitled to an acceptable standard of care. In cases where this care falls short and it can be proved that you have suffered an additional injury or illness you may be able to claim compensation.

Our team of expert solicitors at E. Rex Makin & Co. have the expertise to deal with all kinds of A&E claims.

We have identified from our experience common trends in these A&E claims as follows:-

1. Misdiagnosis.

Some A&E mistakes occur due to failures, errors or delays in making a diagnosis including :-

  • Mistakes or failure to take a patient’s history
  • Failure to carry out a proper examination or any examination at all
  • Failure to carry out the necessary investigations
  • Discharging a patient which should have been referred on for treatment
  • Misinterpreting results including failing to read X-ray scans correctly
  • Missing a life threatening condition
  • Sending the patient home with life threatening conditions such as cancer or meningitis

2. Treatment.

  • Inadequate treatment
  • Failure to prescribe appropriate treatment
  • Mistakes relating to type or dosage of medication
  • Failure to operate on a patient, failure to provide necessary treatment

3. Paramedics and ambulances.

  • We also investigate claims against paramedics and ambulance staff.

Ambulance staff are an important part of the health service and may provide lifesaving treatment as well as bringing seriously ill patients to hospital. Mistakes made at this stage can have a serious effect on the injured or ill patient.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, call 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Amputation Claims

In order to succeed in an amputation claim the patient not only has to prove that there was substandard care leading to the loss of the limb but also that the limb would otherwise have been saved if proper care had been provided. This can be complicated if the patient has an underlying disease such as diabetes or vascular disease.

Claims of this type, if successful, can result in a significant amount of compensation needed for experienced lawyers to assess them. This compensation makes life easier for the amputee and their families and may include compensation to enable the amputee to:

  • Adapt their homes or arrange suitable accommodations
  • Include compensation for loss of earnings
  • Obtain on-going rehabilitation support, aides and equipment
  • The cost of prosthesis

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Anaesthetic awareness claims

Despite receiving an anaesthetic to ensure that a patient feels no pain during the operation it is estimated that one in five hundred patients experience awareness during surgery. These cases are very traumatic and frightening for patients because they are able to feel excruciating pain whilst paralysed and unable to communicate. These incidents can lead to psychological injuries such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or flashbacks which are often made worse if their accounts of awareness are not believed.

There are a number of factors which can cause anaesthetic awareness such as faulty equipment, miscalculation of dosage by the anaesthetist or failure to check the equipment is working properly.

We have dealt with dozens of claims and fought to get the compensation our clients are entitled to. If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, call 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Bed Sore Claims

Pressure sores or pressure ulcers (commonly known as ‘bed sores’) can be very painful and serious and take a long time to heal.

They can lead to infection and restrict the ability of the patient to walk or move about.

Pressures sores are usually the result of negligence care.

Although bed sores are commonly associated with elderly patients they can affect anyone with health conditions that restrict their movement such as those who have been bedbound for a period of time perhaps after surgery or those confined to a wheelchair. The risk is increased where the patient is diabetic and their skin in poor condition.

Pressure sores are caused where blood supply to the small vessels of the skin is restricted due to a large amount of pressure exerted on the skin or applied to the skin over a sustained period of time. This can lead to the death of the tissue and result in ulcers.

Patients admitted to hospital should be assessed under what is known as the Waterlow system. The higher the score the greater the risk of pressure sores.

Hospital nurses, care home nurses, health visitors and district nurses should monitor the condition of their patient’s skin for redness to prevent it developing into a pressure ulcer. Advances in technology such as pressure relieving mattresses and basis nursing care such as a proper system for regularly turning patients.

Most pressure sores can be avoided by better care.

Many pressure sore cases settle for between £10,000 to £20,000 but in more severe cases compensation of more than £100,000 has been known.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, call 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Brain Injury Claims

Brain injury claims are among the most complex type of clinical negligence cases but our experienced solicitors with many years of dealing with difficult medical and legal issues are here to help you.

Brain injury claims may arise from:-

  • Failure to diagnose strokes and haemorrhages
  • Surgical errors
  • Medical errors
  • Anaesthetic mistakes
  • Failure to obtain proper consent

Brain injury not only affects the patient but also has serious emotional and practical issues for the families.

The investigation of the claim will deal with ascertaining the cause of the injury and whether it should have reasonably been avoided with competent care.

Such cases are often heavily defended because the severity of the injury often attracts significant compensation payments to ensure the client’s future needs are met.

We always press for early part payments of compensation (interim payments). However these are only normally available when liability has been admitted by the other side. This payment can be used to pay for private medical treatment, rehabilitation support and equipment, adapt accommodation and to set up a care regime.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Birth Injury Claims

Pregnancy and birth injuries are devastating and in some cases can cause severe symptoms.

In the most serious cases children may be left unable to walk or talk and to carry out basic activities without assistances. Even when the symptoms are less, the patients still often require care and support beyond the levels you would expect for a healthy child of the same age. The consequences for the family can be devastating. One of the particular concerns of the parents is who will look after their child when they are unable to do so.

Birth injuries to babies include:-

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Fractures to skull, legs, arms and shoulders
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Hip dysplasia

Birth injuries to mothers include:-

  • Perianal tears – third and fourth degree
  • Mistakes in suturing, tears or episiotomies
  • Retained swabs
  • Injury to organs
  • Injury during caesarean section

Such cases are often heavily defended because the severity of the injury often attracts significant compensation payments to ensure the client’s future needs are met.

We always press for early part payments of compensation (interim payments) however these are only normally available when liability has been admitted by the other side.

This payment can be used to pay for private medical treatment, rehabilitation support and equipment, adapt accommodation and to set up a care regime.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Claims for Children

It is a very worrying time for parents when their children are faced with the prospect of litigation. We have the expertise to help you through this difficult and emotional time.

At E. Rex Makin & Co. our team are sensitive to the needs of the child and their family and will endeavour to fit in around you including visiting you at home or out of office hours if necessary. In a lot of cases it is possible to liaise with the parents directly without needing to involve the child.

Our team has expertise in the following types of claims:-

  • Brain damage during delivery resulting in for example cerebral palsy
  • Another type of birth injury is known as Erb’s Palsy. This is where the child is left with restricted use of the hand and upper arm due to nerve damage during the delivery
  • We also have expertise in cases where there has been a failure to diagnose and treat epilepsy
  • Another area of clinical negligence in relation to a child is the failure to diagnose and treat infection which can allow deformities in the joints of a growing child

There are a huge variety of child injury cases of which the above is a small sample.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Cancer claims

Although there have been vast improvements in cancer survival rates in the last 40-50 years, cancer still claims the lives of millions of people each year.

Our experienced solicitors at E. Rex Makin & Co. understand that when you or a member of your family is diagnosed with cancer it is always devastating. Finding out that the medical practitioners failed to make the correct diagnosis or that the diagnosis was missed at an earlier stage only serves to increase the trauma and pain already experienced.

If you have been misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis or not received the necessary treatment then you could be entitled to compensation.

Cancer claims are not straightforward. There are more than several hundred types of cancers. Cancer develops through various stages as over time it becomes more advanced.

Delayed diagnosis of cancer claims may include:-

  • GP failing to make the necessary investigations or referrals
  • X-rays and scans were misinterpreted
  • Smears and biopsies were misreported
  • Symptoms or scans not properly investigated by doctors
  • Tissue samples and smears wrongly interpreted by pathologists

Although a delay of a few months would not normally make a difference to the outcome substantial compensation can be awarded in claims for medical negligence arising from the delayed diagnosis of:-

  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma skin cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancers of the lymph node
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cervical cancer

Medical negligence claims have also arisen where patients have been wrongly diagnosed with cancer. As a result some of these patients have undergone unnecessary medical procedures and others have developed psychological trauma in the belief that they are terminally ill.

In claims relating to delay the patient has to prove in order to be successful in a clinical negligence claim that the delay in diagnosis was caused by the doctor failing to provide the appropriate standard of care. It must also be proved that this delay has meant that the outcome has been made worse than it would have been had the cancer been diagnosed and treated earlier. This involves careful consideration of expert and statistical evidence to identify what the outcome would have been without the delay in diagnosis and treatment.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

DVT Claims

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body usually in the legs. If it is not diagnosed or treated correctly it can block the circulation to parts of the legs or elsewhere sometimes resulting loss of the limb.

DVT is a serious condition because blood clots in the veins can break loose and travel to other parts of the body. There is a risk that the blood clot may lodge in the lungs where it can cause pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be fatal.

DVT can develop if you have any long periods of immobility, including after surgery. It can also develop if you have certain medical conditions that affects the blood clotting mechanism. It can also happen following an accident or where you are confined to a hospital or nursing home bed.

Patients who are at high risk for DVTs such as those who are likely to be immobile for some time or are obese or have pre-existing damage to their veins should be carefully monitored.

Taking appropriate precautions such as providing medication to thin the blood whilst in hospital and/or helps prevent clots after surgery, as well as providing pressure stockings and encouraging mobility can prevent many DVTs.

Our experienced solicitors have acted successfully in these types of cases and have expertise in this area of clinical negligence.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Erb’s Palsy Claims

Erb’s Palsy is a condition that can be caused by trauma during birth causing damage to the nerves affecting the child’s arm and shoulder area. Damage of this kind can leave the child with restricted use of the hands and arm or in some cases complete paralysis of the injured limb.

This damage is often caused because the baby’s shoulders have been trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone and the medical professional has pulled too hard on the baby’s head and neck during delivery in order to pull the baby free.

Sometimes the shoulders are trapped because the baby has grown too large to be delivered normally through a vaginal delivery. Health professionals should carefully monitor the size of the unborn baby during the antenatal period and consider a caesarean section as an alternative to vaginal delivery where applicable.

Our solicitors have expertise in dealing with Erb’s Palsy claims. In severe cases significant sums can be awarded to help pay for specialist care and equipment.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

GP Negligence

Because of the close relationship that patients often have with their GPs it is sometimes difficult for patients to bring a claim against a GP.

At E. Rex Makin &Co. our team understand and are able to deal with such claims sensitively, but at the same time ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve.

It is the role of the GP to listen to the patient’s complaints and to assess and diagnose their condition which they will either treat themselves or refer the patient to a specialist.

If this assessment or treatment is wrong or the diagnosis is missed entirely the patient is at risk of their condition becoming much worse than it otherwise might have been. In some conditions such as a missed cancer diagnosis this could mean the difference between the condition being treatable and a terminal outcome.

Because the impact on many people let down by their GP is often significant the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is putting guidelines in place to help GPs provide treatment and make referrals. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in substandard care.

Our experience in dealing with GP claims include:-

  • Failure to refer a patient for cancer investigation
  • Prescribing the wrong medication/prescriptions
  • Failure to diagnose unstable angina which resulted in a heart attack
  • Failure to recognise the symptoms of DVT and refer

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Gynaecology Claims

When things go wrong with childbirth or gynaecology procedures they can have devastating consequences for the victims. A gynaecologist deals with issues relating to the female productive system which covers injury to a mother or child during pregnancy, childbirth or a gynaecological procedure. In some cases the victim may also have psychological trauma.

Surgical errors dealt with by our experienced solicitors include:-

  • Bowel injuries resulting from laparoscopy (key hole surgery)
  • Bowel, uterus or bladder problems from surgical errors during a caesarean section
  • Mistakes during sterilisations
  • Failure to notice damage to organs such as the bladder, bowel and uterus
  • Episiotomy in the wrong place and inadequate repairs to episiotomy and tears
  • Failure to diagnose third/fourth degree tears after child birth
  • Medical/surgical mistakes leading to hysterectomy

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Hospital Negligence Claims

Hospital errors can make a stressful experience much worse. These hospital errors can cause serious damage and injury and common errors as a result of misdiagnosis, treatment and medication errors.

a) Misdiagnosis.

The experience of our medical negligence solicitors include:-

  • Failure to take a patient’s history into account
  • Failure to carry out a proper examination and assessment
  • Failure to carry out the necessary investigations including radiology
  • Failure to interpret blood investigations properly
  • The above errors can result in mistakes of failing to diagnose the patient’s condition, misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

b) Treatment Errors.

Medical representatives sometimes make mistakes in treating a condition.

The experience of our medical negligence solicitors include:-

  • Errors during surgery
  • Failure to operate when required
  • Substandard post-surgical care
  • Incorrect treatment

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Medication Errors

There are over thousands of prescriptional medical errors occurring in the NHS each year.

Whilst many medication errors only cause injury for a short while some can cause serious injury and illness even death.

Medication errors can be the result of many different types of mistakes such as prescription mistakes made by GPs, hospital doctors reading or writing the wrong prescriptional dosage on a chart or pharmacies giving out incorrect medication.

The wrong medication may be given which can cause an adverse reaction when combined with other medications that the patient is taking or where the patient has specific health problems that may be adversely affected by the medication prescribed.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the wrong medication or an overdose of medication. This is because children do not have the immune systems or chemical tolerance to handle wrong medication as well as adults. When prescribing drugs to a child it is important to consider their age and weight requirements to determine a safe dosage.

The experience of our solicitors include the following:-

  • Dispensing and prescription mistakes
  • Prescription of wrong medication
  • The wrong dose/strength of a drug sometimes leading to overdose or death
  • Medication supplied which a patient is allergic to
  • Two or more medicines being prescribed which should not be taken together

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Orthopaedic Claims

Orthopaedics is the branch of medicine that deals with bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and associated muscles. It includes the diagnosis and treatment of broken bones, spine and limb deformities, joint replacements and injuries to tendons.

When orthopaedic procedures go wrong some patients may end up with serious lifelong problems. If this is as a result of medical negligence it may be possible to make a claim for compensation.

Our solicitors have experience in the following treatments and surgeries:-

  • Spinal surgery
  • Hip replacements
  • Ankle and foot surgery
  • Broken bones
  • Shoulder and elbow injuries.
  • Hand and wrist.
  • Hip and thigh.
  • Knee and lower leg.
  • Paediatrics.
  • Trauma.
  • Deformities.
  • Arthroscopic surgery

Orthopaedic claims span a variety of medical issues requiring experts to advise on these different types of claims.

These claims can be complicated and our solicitors have the expertise to be able to identify the correct issues to pursue in order to give your claim every chance of success.

Some of these claims have a serious effect on the life of the patient and may impact upon their ability to return to work, carry out day to day tasks and drive. These patients may need someone to care for them and it might even be necessary for them to move into more appropriate accommodation.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Nerve Injury Claims

Sometimes nerves can be damaged during surgery.

Substandard care resulting in nerve damage can be due to a lack of training/inexperience and/or faulty equipment. Sometimes there is a failure to explain properly about the risks and benefits of the procedure including the risk of nerve damage. In some cases substandard care can be as a result of the failure to identify and repair the nerve damage at the time of injury.

The damage can vary from bruising through to the most severe cases where the nerve is severed. Nerve damage can come from a wide variety of causes such as where the surgeon has failed to identify and protect a nerve during the surgical procedure; where the nerve has been punctured by needles or injections or the nerve has been compressed during surgery. Sometimes the nerves recover but sometimes the injury is permanent.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

The expertise of our solicitors include:-

  • Knee replacement surgery when nerves have been damaged
  • Spinal cord injury during surgical procedures
  • Injury to facial nerves during surgical procedures
  • Injury to nerves in the lower limb during revision surgery

In some cases the consequences of nerve injuries can be devastating. Compensation is needed to:-

  • Obtain private medical treatment
  • Help with housework
  • Nursing care at home
  • Aides and appliances

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Surgical (including cosmetic) Claims

If you have suffered as a result of a surgical procedure or because of substandard care before or after the procedure you may be entitled to claim compensation.

We will investigate your claim to identify whether or not the treatment you received was below a reasonable standard of care.

Our solicitors have expertise in the following:-

  • Ear, nose and throat surgery
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Gastroenterological surgery (bowel, stomach, intestines)
  • Gynaecological surgery (female reproductive system)
  • Heart surgery
  • Intensive care
  • Keyhole surgery
  • Neurosurgery (nervous system, spine cord and brain)
  • Ophthalmological surgery (eyes)
  • Orthopaedic surgery (bones and joints)
  • Retained objects inside patients
  • Urological claims
  • Urological surgery (kidneys, bladder and prostate)
  • Vascular (artery, veins and nerve damage)

This list is not exhaustive.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Spinal Injury Claims

Because spinal injuries can cause paralysis and loss of sensation they are devastating of both the individual concerned and their families. In some cases the patients may be left wheelchair bound and dependent upon others for the day to day activities of daily life.

Spinal injuries can be extremely complex. The main task is to ascertain whether there has been substandard care, be it by your GP, the A&E Department or for example in the operating theatre were substandard and caused or contributed to the injury complained of. If poor care is identified then the patient will require the solicitor to focus on the best possible support they will need for the future both financially and emotionally.

The compensation awarded in spinal injury type cases can be very high. This can allow the injured patient and their family to, for example, adapt their homes and arrange care. It is used to ensure that the injured patient’s quality of life remains as high as possible.

Our solicitors have expertise in spinal injury claims including:-

  • Missed fractures of the neck and back
  • Spinal surgery
  • Failure to diagnose spinal TB
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to diagnose spinal abnormalities

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Failed Vasectomy and Sterilisation Claims

Sterilisation for most people is not a decision made lightly. When sterilisation fails leading to unwanted pregnancies it can have serious repercussions both financially and also psychologically.

Not all incidents of failed sterilisation is the cause of medical professions. There can be natural re-growths of fallopian tubes or sperm duct.

Some failures however are due to surgical error which may be a result of substandard care and entitle you to compensation.

In vasectomies the substandard care often relates to other structures being cut thinking that the sperm duct has been severed. In some cases it may be possible to bring a claim where there has been a failure to advise a male patient to use alternative forms of contraception for 8-12 weeks after the vasectomy to ensure that all the sperm has left the system.

If you would like to discuss your claim with one of our experienced solicitors, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.

Protecting your compensation

Depending on the value of your award we will advise you whether or not a Personal Injury is necessary to protect your compensation.

If you are in receipt of means tested benefits a financial assessment would be carried out upon receipt of compensation which may impact upon your eligibility to receive benefits. You may not currently be in receipt of means tested benefits but as nobody knows what the future holds preparing for all eventualities is advisable.

A Personal Injury Trust allows you to ring fence your compensation legally which means the value of the fund cannot be taken into account for means tested benefits which also includes local authority assessments in relation to care home fees. In placing your award into a Trust you are able to enjoy your compensation without it negatively impacting upon your financial circumstances.

If you would like to talk to an expert about protecting your compensation, telephone 0151 709 4491 or click here to contact them by email.