Accident and Emergency Medical Negligence Claims

Anyone who has cause to attend at an Accident and Emergency Department is usually there because a major trauma has occurred. A&E departments are stressful and busy places. Sadly, however, mistakes sometimes are made in the A&E Department which can have devasting consequences for the patient.

If you believe that the care that you received at the A&E Department was not appropriate or fell below an appropriate standard of care you may be entitled to bring an action against the hospital for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date, the pain and suffering they may endure into future the emotional and psychological impact and the financial damage that has been wrongfully caused.

What amounts to an Accident and Emergency Negligence Claims:

There are a huge range of injuries or medical conditions that can lead to a negligence claim as a result of treatment received in A&E for example:

  • Failure to diagnose or treat a fracture
  • Failure to request x-rays, CT or MRI scans, resulting in a failure to diagnose another injury
  • Test results being incorrectly reported upon
  • Incorrect diagnosis resulting in an incorrect treatment which can lead to a deterioration in your medical condition
  • Failure to identify the symptoms of meningitis and sepsis
  • Failure to identify the symptoms of a heart attack
  • Failure to identify the symptoms of a perforated bowel.

Some medical conditions require immediate and urgent treatment to avoid life-threatening complications. If an A&E practitioner fails to identify that the patient is suffering from a medical emergency and instead diagnoses the condition as something more minor the delay in the patient receiving the correct treatment can have drastic consequences.

If the A&E practitioner fails to diagnose, admit the patient to hospital, treat the patient or fails to refer the patient to the appropriate department then the A&E treatment may be considered negligent.

A typical A&E negligence claim will involve the following steps:

  • We will investigate every minute detail of your case and from there we will build your case by obtaining all of your medical records, taking full witness account from you and we will consultant the best experts in their field to give an opinion on whether negligence arose in your care or treatment.
  • We will contact the relevant hospital or doctor advising them that we believe there was negligence in your care and treatment and asking them to admit liability.
  • We will serve proceedings on the relevant medical institution or doctor and ensure that they reply to your claim in a timely manner with full details of any defence that they wish to make.
  • We will represent your claim in the courts robustly to secure the appropriate level of compensation for your injuries.

Our experience in A&E negligence claims:

We have vast experience in dealing with claims with A&E negligence claims. The majority of these cases arise from failure to diagnose fractures and failure to diagnose a subarachnoid haemorrhage. However, if you believe that you received substandard care and treatment when you attended at your local A&E then you should speak with our medical negligence department at McElhinney & Associates and we can advise you on your options and advise you if you have a claim for compensation.

What level of compensation will I receive for an A&E medical negligence claim:

The level of compensation payable to you is directly related to the level of injury and trauma that you suffered together with the impact that the negligent treatment has had on your quality of life. Compensation is usually broken down into two parts:

  1. General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that you have endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that you will endure into the future.
  2. Special damages. These are items of expenditure and financial loss that you have incurred up to the date of the court award and possible likely future financial losses, for example the cost of any private treatment, medication, aids and appliances, loss of earnings to date, loss of earnings into the future, the cost of any ongoing care and treatment required.

How long do you have to make a claim:

Any person who wishes to pursue a claim for medical negligence through the courts must do so within 2 years of the mistake being made or 2 year that they had knowledge that a mistake was made.

If your loved one has passed then the matter proceeds as a fatal injury claim.

Once proceedings are issued the case can take approximately, 2-3 years to come before the courts for hearing, depending on the complexity of the case, the number of experts that are required together with the defence delivered by the healthcare provider to your claim.

Early legal assistance can be vital as the time limits for bringing an action are very strict therefore, if you believe that you have suffered as a result of substandard A&E care then you may be able to make a claim for compensation against the hospital in question and we are happy to have an initial consultation with you where we will give you an initial assessment and advise you of your options.