Paediatric Medical Negligence

Children require medical treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. We have acted for many children who  have been the victims of failure to diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries and illness which has resulted in life long disabilities and future care needs. Furthermore, we have represented children who have suffered serious brain injury due to negligence during child birth resulting in severe disabilities and cerebral palsy.

The failure to diagnose a serious illness in children is common and may not always represent substandard care, however, if a child presents to their GP, out of hour GP service, hospital or other medical clinican with certain serious symptoms these should lead to a very detailed examination with the appropriate investigations taking place to diagnose and treat the symptoms in an appropriate way. Failure to do so when the child presents with these symptoms may represent negligent treatment and form the basis of a claim for personal injuries.

Paediatric Medical Negligence

In circumstances, where children receive substandard medical treatment it can result in life long consequences.

We have dealt with a paediatric claims arising from the following:

  • Birth injuries.
  • Delay in diagnosis of hip dysplasia.
  • Failure to diagnose and appropriately treat infection such as meningitis and septicaemia.
  • Failure to appreciate the significance of headaches and sight problems resulting in a delay in the diagnosis of tumours.
  • Complications arising from an appendectomy.
  • Complications resulting from mastoiditis.

A typical paediatric claims negligence claim will involve the following steps:

  • We will investigate every minute detail of your child’s case and from there we will build your case by obtaining all of your child’s 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 child’s care or treatment.
  • We will contact the relevant hospital or doctor advising them that we believe there was negligence in your child’s 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 child’s claim in the courts robustly to secure the appropriate level of compensation for your injuries.

Our experienced team will assist you in reviewing your child’s medical records to identify if an error occurred. We will instruct experts who are the best in their field to provide an opinion on whether the treatment you received was negligent or not and we will progress your claim through the courts with skill, experience and knowledge and robustly represent your case so we can secure the best compensation for you or your loved one.

Our experience in paediatric claims medical negligence:

Our experienced team at McElhinney & Associates Solicitors have worked on various types of paediatric claims over the years ranging from the simple to the most complex. We have developed an expertise in the area and so we know how to prepare and progress your claim to achieve the optimum level of compensation.

What level of compensation will I receive for a paediatric claims medical negligence:

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

  1. General damages. This is compensation for the pain and suffering that your child has endured to date together with the likely pain and suffering that they 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.

Of note any offer of settlement in a child’s case must be ruled by the court. Therefore, a judge will decide whether the level of compensation being offered by the Defendant is sufficient in relation to the injuries suffered by the child or not.

Once a case has been assessed by a judge, or settled any award then paid into the court until such time as the child reaches 18 years of age and at that stage funds are then released directly to the child who has reached their adulthood.

How long do you have to make a claim:

The statute of limitations for a child is different to that for an adult. A child has two years from their eighteenth birthday to bring their own action. However it is always advisable that the action is brought as soon as possible to ensure that all evidence is preserved and available for the hearing of the 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 your child has suffered as a result of substandard paediatric 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.

Paediatric Medical Negligence Solicitor