Accident And Emergency Claims FAQs

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.

How we can Hudgells Solicitors help?

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.

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.

How do I know if I have a claim?

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.

Why should I make an Accident and Emergency 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.

How much will it cost me to make a claim?

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

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Our experts

Helena Wood

Team Supervisor and Chartered Legal Executive, Clinical Negligence

Michelle Tebbutt

Solicitor, Clinical Negligence