Clinical Negligence Solicitors
Trethowans has a proven track record of clinical negligence work for over 20 years, helping our clients to bring claims. We have helped many clients on a no win no fee basis.
If you are thinking about making a clinical negligence claim, it is important that your lawyer is a specialist in this complex field. The legal requirements to prove a clinical negligence claim are tough and it is essential that you have a specialist lawyer who is an expert in this area of law in order to achieve a successful result.
Chambers (2018) top rank the Clinical Negligence Team in Band 1 and praise the team for having ‘an excellent reputation for surgical negligence, cerebral palsy, and birth and brain injury claims. Strong focus on misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose cases, ranging from negligent cancer treatment to orthopaedic injuries.’
Clare Carter “is very clever, hard-working and adds value.” She is best known for her strength in birth injury, cerebral palsy and failure to diagnose cases.
Gavin Lane is also recognised ‘in catastrophic injury claims, receiving regular instructions on head injury, spinal injury and amputation cases. Interviewees assert that he is “good at finding experts and negotiating with defendants.”
Chris Whiteley – who has been ranked as an Eminent Practitioner ‘provides long-standing experience in high-value medical negligence claims, particularly in the area of birth injury.’
If you have been injured as a result of negligent medical treatment, you are entitled to claim compensation. We have won many such cases on behalf of injured patients and helped them rebuild their lives.
We have solicitors who are panel members of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme which recognises their expertise in clinical negligence matters. Clare Carter is also a member of the AvMA clinical negligence panel.
We have experience in successfully dealing with a wide range of cases against:
Potential claims need careful and detailed investigations. You have to prove that the treatment you received fell below a reasonable standard of care and that this caused you to suffer the injury. Not all unsatisfactory medical outcomes are as a result of negligence. Cases tend to be complex and bring up difficult and sensitive issues. We recognise this and deal with all cases professionally and sympathetically.
We have the specialist expertise to act for clients in these cases and obtain the best possible outcomes.
We have acted for claimants and recovered compensation for them in a wide variety of cases including:
Delayed diagnosis of cancer
Misdiagnosis of cancer
Negligently performed surgery – including general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, spinal injury, vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, ear surgery
Delayed diagnosis of ischaemia
Misdiagnosis of infection
Administration of the wrong prescription
Negligent dental treatment
Failure to diagnose Crohn’s disease
Failure to diagnose compartment syndrome
Failures in vascular treatment
Gynaecological and obstetric injuries
Cerebral palsy and birth injury cases
From 1st April 2013, following reforms to Legal Aid Funding, we can only apply for funding for you from the Legal Services Commission if you have a clinical negligence case involving neurological injury at birth or within 8 weeks of birth (if you are financially eligible).
We are also able to act for clients on a no win no fee basis (also known as conditional fee agreements). Many of our clients with clinical negligence cases have conditional fee agreements with us. Please contact us to find out more.
Cerebral palsy and birth injury
Cases involving cerebral palsy and birth injury claims are invariably high value and complex. We have the proven experience and expertise to act for you in such cases.
We act for children and young adults in such cases. If our client is unable to instruct us themselves due to age or mental disability then we can accept instructions on their behalf from a parent or suitable adult (called a litigation friend).
When things go wrong around the time of birth, the effects can be devastating for the child and their family. Examples of mistakes which can be made at hospital include:
• Delay in delivery
• Failure to monitor the baby before and during labour
• Mistakes during delivery
• Mistakes in neonatal period
• Failures to give appropriate treatment during pregnancy
We will investigate the circumstances of the medical treatment received by mother and child and advise whether it fell below a reasonable standard of care. Not all treatment which goes wrong is negligent and therefore we instruct independent medical experts to examine what happened and advise whether negligent mistakes were made.
If the evidence supports a claim for negligence, we will pursue it and work to get compensation for our clients which will provide them with long term care and financial security for the rest of their lives. Many children with cerebral palsy are looked after devotedly by their parents. But parents often worry about what would happen if they are no longer able to look after their disabled child.
We work to ensure that compensation is recovered which will provide care and support for the child for the rest of their lives. Sometimes compensation will be paid as a combination of a lump sum and annual payments for the rest of the child’s life. This gives the family peace of mind and reassurance for the future.
Cancer: misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis, mistreatment
A diagnosis of cancer and treatment for the disease is difficult for a patient and their family. If it is then discovered that there was a delay in diagnosis or that the treatment had not been carried out properly it is devastating for people already having to cope with illness.
If these circumstances arise, we can help by investigating what has happened and if it was negligent we can bring a claim for compensation on your behalf. Whilst we cannot change what has happened we can help by getting answers for you and financial support for you and your family.
We have acted in cases relating to different types of cancer including cervical cancer, breast cancer, sarcoma, lung cancer, abdominal cancers, melanoma, bowel cancer and lymphoma.
Misdiagnosis and/or delay in diagnosis can include:
- failure by a GP to refer a patient with abnormal symptoms to hospital for tests
- failure by a hospital to carry out tests correctly
- failing to do the correct tests
- misreading/misinterpreting investigations and tests such as failing to analyse smear tests correctly, failing to interpret biopsies taken, failing to test for tumour markers
- misinterpreting radiology such a CT scans and MRI scans causing tumours or malignant cell changes to be missed
- failing to carrying out a colonoscopy correctly or misinterpreting the results
- failure to act on and investigate abnormal
- findings from tests
- failure by hospitals to follow up on tests
Mistreatment can include:
- administering the wrong dose or type of chemotherapy
- performing surgery incorrectly by removing the wrong part of the organ or the wrong organ
- performing surgery incorrectly by failing to achieve clearance of the malignancy
- performing the wrong type of surgery or using the wrong method
- failure by a district hospital to refer a cancer patient to a specialist cancer centre for treatment thereby causing the patient to fail to have the correct specialist treatment
- failing to advise the patient on their treatment options in circumstances where there are alternative treatment paths
- failing to obtain informed consent from a patient
Sometimes surgery goes wrong and if this is because of negligent treatment then it is possible to make a claim.
Any surgery has risks and if there is a complication then this does not automatically mean that a mistake has been made. It is possible for known complications to occur in any surgery. However, if something goes wrong which should not have happened and was caused by a surgical error then you may have a claim. We can help you investigate this.
Negligent errors can occur in all types of surgery including:
- orthopaedic surgery
- general surgery
- spinal surgery
- abdominal surgery
- vascular surgery
- cardiac surgery
- colo-rectal surgery
- reconstructive and plastic surgery
- bariatric surgery
Examples of this include:
- amputating the wrong limb or removing the wrong organ – these are referred to as “never” events by the NHS meaning that they should never happen but sadly they do
- perforating an organ during surgery
- failing to realise that an organ such as the bowel has been perforated and failing to repair it in theatre before the end of the operation
- failing to realise that a perforation has occurred when the patient is back on the ward, consequently the patient deteriorates, suffering from septicaemia
- failing to repair the damage during the surgery
- causing nerve damage during surgery
- failing to perform the surgery to a reasonable standard
- transecting an organ during surgery such as the bile duct
Fractures and soft tissues injuries are a routine part of the work of GP surgeries and hospitals. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made in treating these injuries.
Negligent errors can occur including:
- failure to suspect a fracture and refer for tests
- failure by a GP to refer the patient for x-ray
- failure to interpret x-rays correctly causing fractures to be missed
- delay in diagnosing the fracture
- failure to immobilise the fracture
- failure to operate on a fracture that is not healing (i.e. a fracture that is going to “non union”)
- allowing a fracture to heal in the wrong position (i.e. allowing a fracture to go to “malunion”)
- failure to give anticoagulants to prevent possible blood clots
- failure to recognise and treat compartment syndrome
Most people go to the GP as the first port of call when they feel ill. It is the GP’s job to be able to identify when a patient has a condition which needs treatment by the GP or nurses in the surgery or needs referral to the hospital. If a patient is being treated in the surgery by GP or nurses, then that treatment should be of a reasonable standard.
The following are examples of unreasonable standards of care:
- failure to act on blood test results
- failure to note and act on developing and/or spreading infection
- failure to identify abnormal symptoms
- failure to refer to hospital
- making a routine referral instead of an urgent referral
- failing to diagnose ischaemia
- failing to identify the signs of DVT or pulmonary emboli
Negligence can include failure to manage and treat conditions such as:
- Crohn’s disease
which can lead to severe, even life threatening deterioration.
Accident & Emergency
Getting the correct emergency treatment is essential to ensure a patient’s best chance of recovery. If something goes wrong at the A&E department of a hospital, or when the ambulance services are attending a patient, there may be a claim for negligence.
Negligent accident and emergency treatment can include:
- mistakes made by paramedics
- delay in ambulance attending
- failure to x-ray
- failure to do correct tests
- failure to admit as an in-patient
- failure to take proper observations of the patient
- failure to do scans
- failure to identify stroke patients needing immediate treatment
Meet the team
Chartered Legal Executive