General & Emergency Surgery Compensation Claims
Surgery is often a daunting prospect. In many cases you are literally putting your life into someone else’s hands. Most patients that undergo surgery, receive fantastic care and a positive outcome. Sadly, however, this is not always the case. If you have experienced a surgical mistake, which has left you facing further medical complications, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
TRUE Solicitors has a team of lawyers who specialise in surgery negligence claims. Their experience and expertise can help you obtain the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time.
What is classed as surgical negligence?
Mistakes can be made by a surgeon or medical professional, during surgery, which leave the patient with further health issues or injuries. TRUE Solicitors can help you make a negligence claim if, amongst other things, the surgeon:
- Left a foreign object, such as a medical instrument, in your body.
- Caused you to develop an infection due to poor hygiene standards.
- Operated on the wrong body part.
- Performed the incorrect operation.
- Caused injury or nerve damage to your organs.
- Failed to perform the appropriate checks to clarify if you were suitable for the surgery.
- Administered too much or too little anaesthetic.
What can I claim compensation for if I have suffered from surgical negligence?
You may be able to claim for the following:
- Loss of earnings.
- Injury compensation.
- Medical expenses such as physiotherapy fees, prescription charges, painkillers.
- Compensation for the care and support provided by family or friends.
- Reduced life expectancy.
- Ongoing illness.
- Recovery time.
- Expected lifestyle changes.
How much will my negligent surgery claim be worth?
The amount of compensation that you may receive is dependent upon the individual circumstances of your case. The amount will depend on factors such as:
- The severity of your injuries or further health complications caused by the negligent surgery.
- How your life has been affected by the injury or illness.
- Your future care and support needs.
- Financial losses, including how much money you’ve lost or will lose resulting from the negligent surgery (e.g. loss of earnings, travel expenses).
- Specialist equipment and adaptations that you may need.
Is there a time limit for making a surgical negligence claim?
You have up to 3 years from the date you became aware that your injury or further illness was caused by negligent treatment, to make a claim. It is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible, whilst the information and circumstances around the treatment are fresh to mind.
You are able to make a claim on a child’s behalf at any time after the surgery has occurred, before the child reaches the age of 18. After the child has turned 18 they have until they are 21 to make a claim themselves.
If you would like to pursue a claim on behalf of a loved one who has sadly passed away and negligent treatment contributed towards their death, you can make a claim within 3 years of that date.
How Long Will My Claim Take?
The length of medical negligence claims depends on whether the other party admits fault, the severity of the injury and the extent of the claim for losses and expenses. Straightforward medical negligence claims may settle within a few months, whereas complex cases may take in excess of a year.
How do I start a surgery compensation claim?
If you believe that you or a loved one has a claim for surgical negligence, contact TRUE Solicitors today to speak to a member of our medical negligence team. We offer an initial free, no obligation assessment of your case.
Submit Your claim – we will establish who was at fault and submit a claim on your behalf.
Gather the Evidence and Arrange Treatment – we will collect all of the evidence needed to prove your claim, arrange a medical examination for you, and if appropriate arrange treatment to assist with your recovery.
Win Your Claim – we will fight hard on your behalf to recover maximum compensation in the shortest time.
TRUE Client Stories
Patient receives a five figure sum following the delay in recognising an anastomatic leak resulting in further surgery and a worse outcome:
What happened: Our client was admitted to hospital for surgery following complicated diverticular disease, having suffered episodes of acute diverticulitis and a localised perforation on one occasion (diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive conditions that affect the large intestine or bowel). They underwent laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy, which is an operation to remove part of the left side of the colon (known as the sigmoid colon), and this initially appeared to have been uneventful. However, in the post-operative period they developed symptoms which led to the diagnosis of an anastomatic leak, which is a leak of fluid from the area of the colon that had been surgically re-joined. This necessitated an emergency operation for peritonitis (an infection of the inner lining of the tummy).
Unfortunately our client then had a full thickness abdominal wall dehiscence (i.e. a burst abdomen where the wound fails to heal and re-opens after surgery) and had to return to theatre for further surgery to repair the abdominal wall. Following this, additional further surgery was required as there was necrosis of the laparotomy wound, meaning that the cells and tissue around the wound had begun to die.
Our client went on to develop small bowel fistulation (abnormal openings in the small bowel), which required the instigation of intravenous feeding to bypass the usual process of eating and digestion, and referral for further surgery for the excision of the fistulas and establishment of a formal ileostomy (a procedure in which the damaged part is removed from the small intestine and the cut end diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall).
The effect on our client: Our client underwent numerous surgical procedures which would, on balance, have been avoided without the delay in diagnosing the anastomotic leak. They suffered a more significant septic infection and complications, which led to a far poorer functional recovery than otherwise would have been expected.
Due to the significant complications they were left with dense adhesions (scar tissue) within the abdomen meaning there was a significant risk of further bowel damage should further surgery be required.
Our client has therefore been left with a permanent colostomy. With appropriate treatment they would have required an end colostomy but would have recovered from that procedure within 8-12 weeks. They would then have had the end colostomy reversed in a straightforward procedure.
How TRUE Solicitors were able to help: We brought proceedings on the basis that there was failure to recognise anastomotic failure following the laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy. Our client’s post-operative observations should have raised suspicions of anastomatic failure, triggering a CT scan, which would have demonstrated the cause of the symptoms earlier than was the case. Our client would then have been returned to theatre sooner than they were, which would have reduced the degree of abdominal contamination and reduced the likelihood of the subsequent complications.
Medical evidence was obtained which was supportive of our client’s case and Court proceedings were commenced. Liability was subsequently admitted by the Defendant in the Defence, which allowed us to commence settlement negotiations. Agreement was reached shortly thereafter.
Level of settlement achieved: £90,000
Practice area: Medical Negligence – colo-rectal / general surgery