Compensation claims on behalf of children

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Help with compensation claims on behalf of children

If your child has been affected by medical negligence in a hospital or GP surgery the incident should be fully and independently investigated. We have successfully made compensation claims for children injured in a wide range of circumstances.

When can you make a compensation claim on behalf of a child?

Someone under the age of 18 years can’t bring a claim for compensation themselves. An adult, usually a parent, has to act on their behalf as their ‘litigation friend’. It is the duty of the litigation friend to provide instructions in the child’s best interests.

Children can be affected by a whole host of medical negligence issues. Our overriding aim is to protect the interests of you and your child and achieve the most advantageous outcome for the long term. We make sure your case is fully investigated and guide you carefully through each step of the claim process.

Examples of compensation claims that can be made for children include:

  • Birth injury (including Erb’s palsy)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Neonatology – investigating conditions and diseases during the first few months of life
  • Failure to diagnose or treat serious infections (e.g. sepsis, meningitis and osteomyelitis)
  • Neurology – investigating conditions such as epilepsy, hypoxia and brain injury
  • Developmental issues including learning disabilities and physical disabilities
  • Misdiagnosis of or failure to treat childhood illnesses (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, acoustic neuroma)
  • Delays in diagnosis of tumours and cancers
  • Prescription errors.

Misdiagnosis of bone fractures (for example a slipped upper femoral epiphysis) leading to a variety major long term problems.

How long do I have to make a claim for clinical negligence involving my child?

For most clinical negligence cases involving children, the general rule is that court proceedings must be issued within three years of the child’s 18th birthday. This is governed by the Limitation Act 1980. In certain cases the limitation period could extend beyond the usual three years, but this needs to be assessed carefully on a case by case basis. It is also possible to bring a claim even if time has run out. The important point to stress is that there is a time limit and that a claim, irrespective of its merit, can become time barred. It is therefore important to contact a specialist lawyer promptly so the case can be investigated.

What will happen when I make a negligence claim for my child?

After contacting Thomson Snell & Passmore we will arrange a free initial consultation to discuss whether there is a legal claim and what funding options are available. We usually act on a ‘no win no fee’ agreement, and when appropriate, Legal Aid.

We may initially guide you through relevant complaints process with the treatment provider. In certain cases there is an obligation on a hospital Trust to initiate an internal investigation into what has happened, and you should be informed about the outcome of any investigation. Certain cases may be investigated by the HSIB Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSSIB Health Services Safety Investigation Branch). We are used to dealing with cases where these investigations are being undertaken, and we can guide you through the process.

We will undertake a forensic investigation into the management or treatment your child received, using your account of what happened, and your child’s medical records and radiological imaging. Medical experts (often consultant paediatricians and other specialist paediatric experts) may be involved at an early stage to consider the treatment and management your child received, and to advise us on the standards of care that should have been provided, and the outcome that would have been achieved with appropriate treatment. Following this initial investigation we can then advise you on the strength of your child’s case, and give detailed advice on the next steps, which usually starts with preparing a formal letter of allegations to the relevant defendant.

How our clinical negligence solicitors can help with a negligence claim for your child

We have one of the longest established and experienced clinical negligence teams in the country. Our medical negligence lawyers have a reputation for winning complex medical negligence cases and we have helped thousands of people claim compensation. The size of our clinical negligence team, and our breadth of our knowledge, means we are likely to have already succeeded in recovering compensation for an injured child in a claim involving similar issues of medical negligence.

  • Our overriding aim is to protect your child’s interests and achieve the most advantageous outcome for the long term
  • We will make sure your child’s case is fully investigated
  • We will focus on your individual requirements. Giving a personal service and acting with sensitivity are important to us
  • We will create a team of specialist independent medical experts and a barrister with expertise in dealing with cases similar to your child’s case
  • We will make things as easy as possible and guide you all through each stage of the process
  • We can help you find out why the hospital or GP failed your child and ensure that the same thing does not happen to somebody else’s child.

Our accreditations

Our team has long been recognised and highly ranked by two of the most prestigious, independent guides to the legal profession ‘Chambers UK’ and ‘The Legal 500’.

We are also members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and affiliated to Action against Medical Accidents.

A number of your team members have individual accreditations and recognition in the legal directories which you can view on their profiles.

Free initial consultation

Contact one of our team of specialist clinical negligence lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation. We will listen to the circumstances of your child’s medical treatment and give you clear advice on the chances of your child receiving compensation in a clinical negligence claim. If we think your child has a claim, we can investigate your case using the financial security of a ‘no win no fee’ agreement, or if appropriate, Legal Aid.

Call us or fill in our short enquiry form and we will assess your potential claim.

We are highly ranked by two of the most prestigious, independent guides to the legal profession ‘Chambers UK’ and ‘The Legal 500’.

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