When an injury or sudden illness occurs, Accident & Emergency (A&E) is usually the first port of call when seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one.
In 2014-2015, the total recorded attendances at A&E departments exceeded 19.5 million – an increase of 5.6% from the previous year, and with such a huge volume of patients – over 53,000 per day – errors can unfortunately happen, and treatment can fall below the standard expected.
However, the nature of A&E treatment means that any errors and delays can have serious consequences on your health – often lifelong consequences – whilst also impacting on your family.
If you feel your treatment fell below what’s expected, causing you further harm or extending your illness, you could be eligible for compensation, and our team of specialists at Hudgell Solicitors can help.
What are Accident and Emergency errors?
Despite their extensive training and experience working in such an intense, high-risk environment, medical staff in A&E departments often make mistakes. These mistakes can mean the difference between making a swift recovery and an extended period of illness, or even the difference between life and death.
It may be that A&E staff failed to properly assess your condition, resulting in your injuries or illness worsening. Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are some of the more common cases we deal with, and can include:
- Misdiagnosing a patient’s condition – this could be due to poor initial examination or by failing to send a patient for appropriate testing (such as X-rays and blood tests).
- Failing to record assessment results – this can lead to further delays in treatment or being treated incorrectly.
- Misreading results of tests or investigations – this can lead to incorrect or inadequate treatment.
- Failing to escalate treatment priority based on a patient’s condition – this can lead to delays and a deterioration of the patient’s illness.
- Failing to recognise the severity of a patient’s condition, such as a head injury, leading to wrongful discharge – this can have severe consequences and can even lead to death.
Many diagnosis errors lead to treatment errors, which can result in terrible consequences. At Hudgell Solicitors, we have settled many cases of A&E diagnosis and treatment error, and have gained a wealth of experience in the field as a result. Although there are many ways that you may be affected by incorrect or inadequate treatment, some common forms are:
- Failing to detect fractures from an X-ray leading to prolonged pain.
- Failing to detect foreign bodies, such as glass, in a skin wound.
- Not acting on signs suggestive of a severe illness, leading to a worsened outcome.
- Not asking for appropriate help from senior doctors with the ability to diagnose and treat complex conditions.
Simply call us on
01482 778 463 for free advice
How we can help
We have a team of medical negligence experts that specialise in Accident & Emergency claims. If you think you or your loved ones have been affected by errors in treatment, the first step is to get in touch with us. With the assistance of medical experts, we will be able to quickly assess the validity of your claim, through an early review of your records.
We recognise the deeply personal and varied nature of each individual case, so our aim is always to follow a course of action specific to your situation without taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We will also keep you informed each step of the way, without using confusing medical and legal jargon.
It may be necessary for you to be assessed by an independent medical examiner, which we can arrange through our network of approved experts. They will help determine whether the treatment you received resulted in your illness or injury being made worse. Evidence that you suffered unnecessarily as a result of negligent treatment is highly likely to result in a successful claim and compensation being awarded.
Meet our expert, Helena Wood – Clinical Negligence Team Supervisor
“We know it can be a daunting prospect questioning the care and treatment received in an A&E department, where staff are working in a demanding environment to help people recover from serious accidents and illnesses.
“However, everybody attending at an A&E department in hospital has the right to expect appropriate examinations, to see the appropriate specialists, and receive the treatment they need to make the best possible recovery.
“The very nature of the work undertaken in A&E departments makes it vital in a high percentage of cases for nurses and doctors to make a quick and accurate assessment of the injury or illness suffered. Delays in doing so can have a massive impact on the future health of patients, and should avoidable errors be made, it is important they are not only compensated financially, but also supported in their rehabilitation and future treatment.
“Unfortunately, we see far too many cases where errors are clearly made in A&E departments, but hospital Trusts are reluctant to accept blame and admit to errors. It is in this area that our expertise and experience helps clients through a difficult complaints process to find the answers, and secure admissions of how things went wrong.”
Get in touch with our team
Get in touch with us using the contact form or by telephoning us – we’ll be happy to help take the hassle out of making a claim. Getting in touch with us won’t cost you anything, as we operate under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement.
There’s absolutely no risk involved in inquiring about your position, or your claim, so it pays to speak with an expert. Ultimately, the only time you’ll end up paying for legal costs is if your case is successful – and even then you will only ever pay an agreed percentage of damages as a contribution to costs.
There is a time limit to make a claim, however, so it’s best to act as quickly as possible. Normally you have three years from the date of your treatment or from the date you realised your condition was a result of your treatment. If you were under the age of 18 when you received the treatment, you’ll have three years from your 18th birthday to make a claim.
A simple enquiry could make a world of difference, particularly when it comes to compensation. We know that money can’t completely change your situation, but it can make things a lot easier for you.
Physiotherapy, travel costs and recovery of lost earnings are just a few of the benefits being awarded compensation can give you. You could also gain valuable closure, knowing you have received answers as to what happened with your treatment.
So don’t delay – speak to one of our expert team today. We’ll be happy to help take the stress out of your situation.
Simply call us on
01482 778 463 for free advice
No win no fee
- personal insurance cover so there’s no financial risk to you in pursuing a claim
- whatever the outcome of your case, you won’t have to pay a penny (provided that you fully assist us with your claim) other than an agreed percentage of your damages