We place a lot of trust in medical professionals when unwell but unfortunately sometimes mistakes can be made and things may go wrong during routine or emergency medical treatment. Medical negligence such as this can have a devastating effect on your well being now and in the years to come. This can obviously be a very worrying and upsetting time and you and your family are entitled to know what went wrong.
How We Can Help?
Hunt Solicitors approaches all medical negligence cases sensitively and proactively. Having extensive experience in handling a wide range of clinical negligence matters, we know how difficult it can be for clients to deal with what has happened to them or someone they love. On your behalf we will seek to get questions answered and compensation where possible – not only for the injury but potentially for loss of earnings, future care requirements and/ or funeral expenses.
Hunt Solicitors has experience in the following medical negligence areas:
- Birth Injury Claims
- Delayed or Misdiagnosis
- Surgery claims
- Cancer claims
- Cosmetic surgery claims
- Spinal Injury claims
Cauda Equina claims
Many of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives however it is not usually something that requires surgery. Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare condition whereby something compresses the nerves at the base of the spine.
The nerves at the base of the spine are shaped liked a horses tail and the syndrome gets its name from the Latin for horses tail which is “Cauda Equina.”
The condition is a medical emergency and therefore it is important that doctors can recognise the symptoms of the condition to ensure that treatment can be provided as soon as possible, to avoid any long term effects of the syndrome. The condition can be hard to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to a wide range of other conditions however if you have any of the following symptoms you should seek urgent medical advice or attend your nearest Accident and Emergency Department:
- Severe low back pain
- Pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs
- Loss of or altered sensations in your legs, buttocks, inner thighs, backs of your legs, or feet that is severe or gets worse and worse
- Incontinence / Problems with bowel functioning
- Sexual Dysfunction
In diagnosing Cauda Equina Syndrome your doctor will consider your medical history, symptoms, general health and you may need to have the following investigations carried out to confirm the diagnosis:
- A physical examination to assess your strength, reflexes, sensation, stability, alignment, and movements
- Blood Tests
- MRI scan of your spine
- A myelogram. Which is an X-ray using special dye to try to pinpoint pressure on the spinal cord or nerves
- CT scan
If you have Cauda Equina syndrome you will require emergency spinal decompression surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerves. Surgery should take place within 48 hours of the initial onset of symptoms in order to ensure the best possible outcome. If surgery is not performed within 48 hours there is a risk of permanent damage, such as paralysis of the legs, loss of bladder and bowel control, sexual function, or other problems.
If you have ever been diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome and you are concerned about the treatment/ lack of treatment received or perhaps you have permanent damage, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Subdural Haematoma claims
A subdural haematoma can develop after a bump to the head for example as a result of a fall, a violent assault, car accident or occasionally after a minor bump to the head.
A subdural haematoma is a serious condition whereby blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain known as the subdural space. Pressure builds up in the subdural space as the blood forms into a clot (haematoma) and can cause brain damage.
There are two different kinds of subdural haematoma an acute haematoma and a subacute or chronic subdural haematoma. An acute haematoma develops soon after a severe head injury and a chronic haematoma can take a few days or weeks to develop and are more common with minor head injuries.
The symptoms of a subdural haematoma can include:
- a headache that keeps getting worse
- feeling and being sick
- personality changes, such as being unusually aggressive or having rapid mood swings
- feeling drowsy
- loss of consciousness
You should always attend your nearest Accident and Emergency Department following a head injury as precaution. If the symptoms develop a few days or weeks after a bump to the head you should still go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department to get yourself checked out.
When you arrive at hospital the doctor will be asked questions with regard to your medical history and any physical injuries such as cuts and swelling as well as checking your pupils for any signs of brain injury will be examined. You will also be assessed on your verbal, motor and eye response in accordance with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). You will be given a score between 3 and 15, 3 being the worst and 15 being the best. A CT Scan may be carried out to show whether any blood has collected and in some cases an MRI Scan will be carried out to help diagnose a haematoma.
If you are diagnosed with a subdural haematoma you may require surgery in order to relieve the pressure on the brain.
Eligible for Legal Aid?
At your initial consultation we will carry out a free financial assessment to determine whether you are financially eligible for Legal Aid funding. Legal Aid means that the Northern Ireland Legal Services Agency can step in and cover all or part of your legal fees.
We will also advise you on the alternative methods of funding. Many people find that they have legal expenses insurance as part of their home insurance or can take out an ‘after-the-event’ insurance policy. It is our practice to be honest with clients and we will advise you if we believe your case has no merit. We do not want you needlessly running up legal bills if there is no obvious case to answer.
If you have been accused of committing a crime, or you suspect you will be accused of one, this can be a very troubling time for you and those closest to you. No-matter what the severity of the offence, obtaining professional Criminal Law advice is your absolute right.
If you ever find yourself in a situation requiring a legal defence we will discuss the situation with you, weigh up the facts of the case and advise you of various options available for your own particular circumstances.
How We Can Help?
At Hunt Solicitors we offer a discrete, sensitive and professional Criminal Law service for those who have found themselves under investigation or are being prosecuted for a criminal offence. We offer representation for a wide range of criminal defence work not only within the High Court, Magistrates Court, but also extensively at Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.
To ensure we are available round the clock for clients, we operate a 24 hour Pager system in the event of your arrest and you require a Solicitor to be present.
Hunt Solicitors offers advice and representation in all aspects of Criminal Law, including:
- Road traffic offences
- Assault charges
- Drug Offences
- Fraud & financial crimes
- Domestic violence
- Eligible for Legal Aid?
Depending on the nature of the offence you are charged with, you could be entitled to Legal Aid. If you are eligible for Legal Aid then the Northern Ireland Legal Services Agency can step in and cover all or part of your legal fees. Our experienced Litigation team will advise you fully from the outset about funding any potential claims and whether you are eligible for Legal Aid.
Criminal Law Legal Aid is means tested and will depend on your income and the assets you own. You may not be eligible for Legal Aid or may have to pay a contribution towards your legal expenses to the Legal Services Agency, however, it is still worthwhile investigating at your earliest convenience.
To speak with a member of our Court Matters team, to discuss your circumstances, or to arrange a free initial consultation, please fill in this short form to make an enquiry.
Alternatively you can contact us with the following details.
77 High Street
7 Donegall Square West