Accident and Emergency Negligence Claims
The Accident and Emergency department is one of the busiest in a hospital, but that is no reason you should not receive a high standard of care. Huge numbers – around 1.3 million people per month in England alone – rely on A&E as their first port of call when they suffer an injury or sudden illness. This volume of patients, together with the naturally busy environment, means mistakes happen with potentially life-changing or fatal consequences.
The Medical Negligence Experts work with the UK’s best compensation lawyers who have the knowledge and experience to obtain maximum compensation for your injury.
For many people, claiming compensation will be their first experience of the UK’s legal system, and we understand that it can feel daunting or confusing. We make it easy by assigning you a single point of contact and avoiding using unnecessary legal jargon. When you need to speak with your solicitor, you can call or email them directly. You won’t be routed through an impersonal call centre where you will have to repeat your details to people with no knowledge of your situation or legal background.
The Medical Negligence Experts offer you a no-obligation, free consultation to answer any questions you have about claiming compensation for A&E negligence, including whether or not you are eligible. With the right legal advice, you can consider your options and decide what is the best way to proceed based on your individual circumstances.
What is Accident and Emergency Negligence?
Accident and Emergency (A&E) negligence is when you receive care that either makes your condition worse or which causes further injury or illness that impacts negatively on your health. The role of A&E is to assess your situation and either treat or refer you for treatment as quickly as possible. No matter how experienced, well-intentioned, or skilled staff in A&E departments are, they are humans working under an often immense amount of pressure and can, unfortunately, make mistakes.
The outcome of A&E negligence ranges from being a temporary inconvenience to life-threatening.
Different Types of Accident and Emergency Negligence
As solicitors experienced in helping clients claim compensation for medical negligence, The Medical Negligence Experts have found accident and emergency negligence frequently relates to either delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Examples can include:
- Rushing examination and misdiagnosing the cause of a condition.
- Not referring a patient for appropriate tests, such as an X-ray or scan.
- Reading the results of tests incorrectly.
- Improperly recording the results of any assessments which can lead to mistreatment at a later stage.
- Not recognising the critical nature of a patient’s condition leading to delaying their treatment and a worsening of their health.
- An injury caused by using the incorrect technique to move a patient, or because adequate safety procedures were not followed.
- Prescribing or dispensing wrong medication.
- Causing a delay in treatment, or not escalating necessary treatment, if a patient’s condition worsens.
- Discharging a patient prematurely.
There is absolutely no reason a patient should suffer injury falling from a wheelchair or bed in a hospital; however, this level of negligence is quite common. Wheelchair falls can happen when a patient is not given the correct support getting in and out of the chair, while falls from trolleys or beds occur when the sides are not secured correctly, or a patient is not given the necessary assistance when getting in or out of bed. Wheelchair falls and falls from beds can cause significant injury, particularly to elderly patients, with fractured hips and legs being a frequent and painful result.
Other cases we have seen feature inexperienced staff making a diagnosis without seeking appropriate support from a senior doctor, and mistaking the symptoms of a life-threatening virus for a far less severe illness.
A&E Accident and Emergency Compensation Claim Case Studies
A typical example of a successful claim for A&E negligence compensation was made by the parent of a child who presented at A&E one evening with severe asthma. As a known asthmatic, she should have had a peak expiry flow measurement taken and been put on a nebuliser. Unfortunately, the A&E nurse who assessed the patient did not follow this recognised protocol and told the parent the child should see their GP the following day. The girl was sent home where she suffered a massive asthma attack in the night. An ambulance was called however the girl went into cardiac arrest and subsequently suffered brain damage from lack of oxygen.
Medical negligence lawyers acting for her parents were able to prove that her asthma attack would likely have been avoided had she received the correct treatment in A&E. They showed that even if following protocol hadn’t prevented the attack completely, that her injuries would not have been life-changing as she would have experienced a delay waiting for an ambulance and being transferred to hospital. A six-figure sum was awarded in recognition of the ongoing nursing care and support required for the rest of her life.
How Can We Help?
The first step is to contact us if inadequate emergency treatment harmed your health. We appreciate raising a compensation claim can feel like a daunting experience, but our team of solicitors will do all we can to make sure you are updated and understand what is going on every step of the way.
In our initial meeting, we will talk to you about your experience, look at your records, and assess whether your claim has merit. We have access to independent medical experts who can help build the evidence you need for a successful compensation claim. Every client’s situation is unique – even the same type of injury can have vastly different effects on the life of one victim compared to another – which is why we take the time to completely understand the nature of your accident and the impact it has had on your life, your finances, and your family.
Our job is to support you through the process of obtaining compensation. Money won’t take away the pain and trauma you may have endured, but it can ease your situation by covering the cost of lost earnings or additional rehabilitation and make life easier for you. Compensation is also about having someone take responsibility for your situation, obtaining answers about why it happened, and helping you move on.
NHS Negligence Claims vs. NHS Complaints
Not every instance of negligence will lead to a compensation claim. It is possible to suffer negligent care without being injured, just as it is possible to receive an injury where no one is at fault. For your claim to be valid, you must prove that your injury was caused by substandard care and, that had you been treated in a similar hospital, you would probably not have been hurt in the same way.
Talk to us about whether you can claim compensation, whether it is more appropriate for you to raise a formal complaint against the NHS, or if you would benefit from doing both. The NHS has specific processes and organisations to handle claims and complaints, and we can help you navigate them to obtain the most positive outcome.
Raising a complaint about the negligent care you or your loved one received in A&E can be beneficial for supporting your compensation claim. The findings of the complaint can help to prove that human error or institutional failings caused your injury, and can help prevent another patient from suffering the way you have. You won’t receive any compensation from a complaint, but it can strengthen your application for damages.
A successful compensation claim will give you money in recognition of the physical and emotional suffering you have endured, but it will not give you an apology or the reassurance that steps will be taken to prevent a future occurrence.
The NHS Litigation Authority handles every compensation claim brought against the NHS, with 98% of them setting out of court. Of the remaining 2%, some close when the claimant decides not to proceed, which leaves only a slight chance that your A&E negligence claim will go to court. If it does, you can feel confident that your medical negligence solicitor will support and advise you until it has concluded, continuing to fight for maximum compensation for your claim.
Claiming Compensation for A&E Negligence
There are several criteria which need to be fulfilled for your request to be a success.
- You have suffered injury or illness. This can often be determined from your medical records, but your personal injury lawyer may arrange for you to have an independent assessment from a medical expert to help provide a comprehensive report.
- Your injury resulted from negligent care. This aspect is more difficult and where the experience of your lawyer will assist you greatly. They will collect evidence like your medical records and history of treatment, important witness statements, findings from a formal complaint (if you raised one), and a comparison with industry standards. As the claimant, it is your role to show that your care fell below an acceptable standard and, had you been treated in a similar facility, you would not have suffered the negligent care or subsequent injury or illness.
- It has been less than three years since the date of your injury or the date your condition was linked to your treatment.
This last point is of particular importance as, even if you can produce adequate evidence to prove your claim, if you wait more than three years to begin it (longer than your 21st birthday, if you were injured while under the age of 18) your claim will automatically be dismissed. Claim processing times tend to be faster when they begin as soon as possible as doing so makes it easier to obtain relevant evidence to prove the application’s validity.
We always recommend you contact us at the earliest opportunity if you believe you or your loved one has been injured due to Accident and Emergency negligence. It does not matter if you are still recovering, or if you are unsure whether you want to proceed with a claim, our medical negligence lawyers can give you the expert legal advice you need to make the right choice.
Lack of finances should never be a barrier to accessing top-quality legal advice and representation. We make claiming compensation affordable for everyone with our No Win No Fee* medical negligence compensation claims.
Sometimes known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, a No Win No Fee agreement takes away the financial risk associated with starting a compensation claim. If your application is not successful, you will not pay your solicitor a penny, and an After the Event insurance policy will cover the cost of the defendant’s legal fees.
If your request for payment of damages is successful – and we will only advise you proceed with a claim if we believe there is a strong likelihood it will be – you will pay your solicitor a success fee, which is a percentage of your compensation agreed at the start of the claim. This is capped at a maximum of 25% so you know that, no matter what the result, claiming compensation will not leave you financially vulnerable.
Our No Win No Fee* agreement gives you the extra reassurance that your claim has a good chance of succeeding. Because they are the ones taking the risk, your lawyer will only agree to take your case after thoroughly researching your injury and the circumstances around it. You can trust that they will work their hardest on your behalf because if you don’t get paid, they don’t either.
Compensation is paid both in recognition of your physical pain and suffering (general damages), and to reimburse you for the money you have spent or lost as the result of negligent care (special damages). Some expenses covered by special damages can include travelling costs, prescription charges, private medical treatment, such as physiotherapy, and wages lost while you have been recovering and unable to work.
Talk to The Medical Negligence Experts today. Either call us free or fill in our online contact form and we will phone at a time that suits you.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from medical negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: Level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim against them. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a medical negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.