A&E (Accident and Emergency) Negligence Claims
A&E consultants are highly-qualified doctors who oversee the care of emergency patients, usually during their first four hours in hospital. Along with A&E nurses, they provide a vital service, in often the most critical of circumstances.
Tasked with treating casualties, and diagnosing then of thousands of patients a year, with injuries ranging from anything from minor cuts to major road traffic accidents, or critical illnesses such as stroke or cardiac arrest, in the majority of cases, the A&E department work extremely well, and the service they provide is excellent.
But what if you are one of the unfortunate ones, and the negligent treatment you receive in the accident and emergency department means that you suffer additional injury or illness? If you’re suffering from a subsequent injury or illness, caused by the negligence of a medical professional in A&E you may be entitled to claim compensation due to medical negligence, at no cost to you, on a no win no fee basis.
When is the A&E Department negligent?
The Accident and Emergency (A&E) department or Emergency Department at hospital is for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Most A&E departments offer access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the main role of the A&E department being to asses, treat and refer patients suffering from a serious bodily injury, or illness.
Those who attend the A&E department of their local hospital are often suffering from serious chest pains, loss of consciousness, injuries from an assault, or even road traffic accident, and so the A&E staff are called upon to make decisions affecting your health, whilst they are under pressure.
No matter how experienced, well-intentioned, or skilled staff in A&E departments are, the staff, including doctors, paramedics, A&E nurses, diagnostic radiographers, A&E reception staff, porters, healthcare assistants and emergency medicine doctors, are working under an often immense amount of pressure, which unfortunately does lead to mistakes being made.
The outcome of A&E negligence ranges from being a temporary inconvenience to life-threatening.
However, when you attend an accident and emergency department, it is because you need expert medical advice or care, and despite the fast pace and often hectic environment in an A&E department, you are still entitled to the best medical care available. If you do not receive proper care and attention when attending an A&E Department, and you suffer additional illness or injury because of the poor care and advice, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
So, what are A&E negligence claims?
More than around 1.3 million people per month in England alone attend the A&E department, seeking medical advice, care and assistance from medical experts. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of A&E staff, mistakes, including poor treatment can occur, and, bearing in mind you’re already injured or ill when you attend the A&E department, the mistakes are potentially life changing, mentally, and physically.
When you attend A&E, the NHS procedure is threefold:
Register you in- meaning you give your name, address, reason for attending A&E;
Assessment – Triage. In order to give preference to those with life-threatening illness or injury, a triage nurse or doctor will assess you to ensure to see what, if any treatment is required;
Treatment, transfer or discharge – after being assessed you will either receive the appropriate treatment for your injuries, be transferred to a nearby urgent care centre, of onsite GP. If you do not require treatment, of the treatment you need is relatively minor, then you will be treated, and then discharged.
It is during these three stages, in A&E, that medical misdiagnosis, a delay in treating a patient or other act of negligence can occur by A&E doctors and nurses.
Over the last 10 years, MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors have successfully acted for clients who have suffered increased injury or illness, after attending their local A&E department, with the negligent treatment resulting from:
Misdiagnosed bone fractures – as a result of rushing through a medical examination, and not referring the injured patient for an X-ray, or MRI scan;
Incorrect medication, as a result of test results not being read correctly, or not being able to read the test results;
Incorrect treatment. Not recognising the critical nature of a patient’s condition leading to delaying their treatment and a worsening of their health;
Delayed treatment – an injured patient left waiting for hours, without medical attention or not escalating necessary treatment, if a patient’s condition worsens;
Hospital infections – such as Escherichia coli or meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA;
An injury from using the incorrect technique to move a patient, or because they don’t employ adequate safety procedures;
Inadequate patient examination Rushing examination and misdiagnosing the cause of a condition;
Turning an injured person away from the A&E department without being seen by an A&E doctor, or being sent home without proper treatment of their injuries or illness;
Falling out of a wheelchair, or bed. This actually happens more than you think, and if elderly or frail patients are not supported properly, then they can fall from the bed, or wheelchair. MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors recently settled a case where the sides of a bed were not put up, causing an elderly lady to fall out of bed, and break her hip. It took seconds to put the sides of the bed in place, but the attending nurse failed to do so, causing our client increased injury when she attended A&E.
How much can I claim for A&E negligence?
If the A&E department are found to be negligent, and you have suffered increased injury, illness or psychological injury as a result of their negligence, then, you quite rightly want compensating for your injuries. Every case of A&E negligence is different; from the effects of incorrectly prescribed medicine, to delayed treatment, or even a complete lack of treatment, everyone who has suffered negligence in A&E, will no doubt have slightly different injuries. If you have any further questions or queries about how much your claim for A&E negligence compensation may be worth, then contact our friendly team of expert solicitors, today. Our advice is free, and completely confidential.
How much time do I have to make a claim?
The time limits are strict, and if you have suffered negligent treatment in an A&E department, then it is important that you seek advice from a solicitor specialising in medical negligence cases, as soon as possible. In most cases, a claim should be made within three years from the date the negligence occurred or the date you were first aware that you had suffered a significant injury or illness due to negligence. As with most things in life, there are exceptions and these are as follows:
If you were under 18 years old at time you suffered the negligence, then you have three years from your 18th birthday within which to make a claim for compensation.
Time limits may also differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity, if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney.
Why choose MG Legal for my A&E compensation claim?
We always welcome this question. When you are looking do anything that has some importance, you should always do your research. When people ask, why should I choose MG Legal for my claim, our team always point new clients in the direction of our amazing reviews. You see, when you instruct MG Legal, you are instructing a very strong, dedicated team of solicitors, with a wealth of knowledge in all things personal injury, and a great deal of experience in accident and emergency negligence claims, and medical negligence as a whole. After over 10 years in practice, and a combined experience of 30 plus years in dealing with A&E medical negligence cases, on a no win no fee basis, we can honestly say that we are a trusted firm to come to, for those who want to get it right first time.
At MG Legal, our clients are more than just a number- if we don’t settle their claim, then we don’t get paid, so we prioritise your claim, to get settled as soon as possible.