Unfortunately, medical staff were negligent in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome for Laura. The result was that she suffered a permanent disability. We gathered medical evidence to support Laura’s claim and approached the Defendant Trust. We gained the cooperation of both parties and we agreed a settlement, without the need to issue court proceedings.Cauda equina occurs when the spinal canal narrows significantly and compresses the nerve roots below the level of the spinal cord. Without appropriate treatment it can result in permanent disability.
Laura suffered cauda equina syndrome and she felt unhappy with the treatment that her NHS trust provided. She decided to instruct Emma Zukowska of Barratts Solicitors to investigate.
Delayed Diagnosis of Cauda Equina
Laura had visited the Defendant hospital on several occasions because she had symptoms associated with cauda equina syndrome. Unfortunately, staff at the hospital failed to identify her condition. The result was a delay in diagnosing and operating on Laura. As a result, she now suffers from significant on-going disabilities.
When Laura had visited the Defendant hospital she had complained of a number of symptoms. Her symptoms included back pain, numbness and lack of sensation to the saddle area, difficulty in passing urine and pain in her leg. The medical staff should have spotted straightaway that Laura had ‘red flag’ signs of cauda equina. The signs include saddle paraesthesia, bladder dysfunction, faecal incontinence and/or severe or progressive neurological deficit in the lower extremities. It is vital to diagnose the condition early to prevent patients suffering from permanent damage.
Sadly, Laura did not get an early diagnosis. Expert medical evidence confirmed that she would have made a significantly better recovery if she had received an earlier diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The delay means Laura has bladder and bowel dysfunction, pain to the leg and reduced sensation affecting the back of the thigh, buttock and saddle area. She has not been able to go back to any form of employment and she needs significant assistance around the home.
Agreeing Compensation for Cauda Equina
The Defendants admitted liability early in the case. They also accepted that Laura would had a better prognosis if she had been diagnosed earlier. We obtained reports from a neurosurgeon, urologist, colorectal surgeon, psychiatrist, occupational therapist and a physiotherapist. Laura was also assessed to see what impact the cauda equina had on her ability to drive. We used these reports to assess how much compensation Laura should claim.
The Defendants made a good offer of settlement which Laura accepted. This meant that we did not need to issue court proceedings, which reduced the costs for everyone involved.
Solicitors acting for Claimants often receive ‘bad press’ when there are high costs from pursuing litigation. At Barratts, we try to keep costs down but still do the best for our clients. When both parties act sensibly and reasonably we can resolve the case in a reasonable time frame and keep costs to a minimum. We are pleased to say in Laura’s case the parties did just that, which meant Laura could receive compensation without delay and move forward in her life.
Laura expressed her thanks to Emma ‘for her absolute care, professional and personal help’.
We represented Martin at the Inquest of his deceased Mother. As a result of the Inquest there have been significant changes to NHS procedures.
Rosie suffered from brain damage at birth. We proved that the medical team was negligent and we obtained a substantial settlement for Rosie. This has allowed her to live in an adapted property that is specific to her needs. It also funded additional private medical treatment.
When Harry’s father died he felt the GP had been negligent. We gathered the medical evidence we needed to show this was the case. We succeeded in pursuing a claim for compensation for Harry because he was classed as a ‘dependent’ of the deceased.
Theresa had spent many years trying to get compensation for poor medical treatment. The hospital denied any wrongdoing. When Theresa came to us we listened and took time to understand. We followed up her case and we recovered compensation for her.
When Elizabeth’s daughter was stillborn, she instructed another firm of solicitors. She felt they lacked empathy so she came to us. We promptly arranged much needed bereavement counselling to help her cope with the loss of her daughter.
Doctors were slow to diagnose a problem with Ian’s circulation. As a result he had to have his right leg amputated above the knee. Ian was aged 77 and this had a significant impact on his life. We were able to secure compensation for him.
Kevin was detained in a Mental Health Unit when he was 17. His family was already worried about his behaviour when he absconded from the Unit. He was attacked and seriously injured while he was out. We successfully pursued a complex case for compensation and now Kevin can get the care he needs.
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