Injured In An Accident, Then Received Negligent Medical Treatment?
It almost seems too unlucky that somebody might be injured in an accident and then, rather than their medical treatment resolve their injuries, it is performed negligently and in fact makes matters worse, something which our North East Solicitors have had to assist with as Kay Ditcham explains....
Unlucky as it may be, we have acted for a number of Claimants recently where that is exactly what has happened.
Claims for clinical negligence in such cases are not straightforward, as in order to remove the responsibility from the original tortfeasor, there has to have been gross negligence. The personal injury department at TBI have recently settled clinical negligence claims for three Claimants in those types of circumstances, as well as setting the original accident claims.
The first claim involved a client in a road traffic accident who suffered, amongst other things, serious fractures to his pelvis. He required surgery to fix the pelvis although he was advised that it would never be 100%. He brought a personal injury claim for the injuries sustained in the road traffic accident, and it was only when he saw an orthopaedic surgeon for the purpose of that claim that he was advised that in fact the pelvic surgery had been performed negligently, as a result of which he would suffer more ongoing pain and discomfort than he ought to have done.
He was able to bring a claim against the hospital for that additional pain and discomfort. He recovered total compensation of over £150,000 from both claims.
Another client approached us having fallen over on defective ground and injured his hand. He had brought a claim against the local authority who had failed to repair the ground, and again when he saw the consultant for the purpose of that claim it was identified that the hospital had missed a fracture in the hand. He had been treated only for a dislocation injury, but in fact also had a broken metacarpal.
By the time it was discovered, it was too late to fix as the fracture had healed. It was established that most ongoing problems, in particular poor grip and strength in the hand, were due to the missed fracture rather than the original injury. He therefore received compensation of £4,000 from the local authority for the original injury, and £15,000 from the NHS Litigation Authority for his ongoing problems arising out of the missed fracture.
Finally, a third had also tripped over a broken kerb and fractured his wrist. The fracture was initially missed by the hospital. He had to have surgery to re-set the fracture, but it was not wholly successful and he has been left with long term problems. He too brought a claim against the Local Authority, but in his case the Court found that the Local Authority had not been negligent. His entire claim therefore was against the hospital. Because he was only 27 years of age and his ability to work would be permanently restricted, he was awarded £75,000.
These are very difficult claims, requiring specialist coordination between the accident claim and the clinical negligence claim. In all three of these cases, we had a personal injury specialist dealing with the original accident claim, and a clinical negligence specialist dealing with the claims against the hospital.
If you require advice in relation to accident or clinical negligence matters, contact one of our experienced specialist team who will be happy to help.