Accessing medical treatment for illness or injury is a stressful experience in its own right, with any initial pain or discomfort often being compounded by the nature of the treatment itself. In the vast majority of cases, the dedication of the medical staff – whether you attend a private or NHS facility – will ensure that you receive the highest level of treatment.
Medical practitioners are only human, however, and sometimes medical mistakes are made. If that happens to you, then it’s only right that you should be able to receive compensation, not merely to start making up for the poor treatment you’ve suffered, but also to counter the effects of this negligence on factors such as your quality of life and ability to earn a living, factors which may continue to impact for decades into the future. It can also result in changes of practice to ensure that the same mistakes do not happen to others.
Long Term View
The negligence in question may amount to a medical mistake, a misdiagnosis or the failure to spot a condition. No matter what the specific circumstances, if the treatment you received fell below what could be reasonably expected, then Devonshires Solicitors will be on hand to help you get the compensation you deserve.
This compensation will be awarded on the basis of the severity and type of your injury and the effect this is going to have in the future. We appreciate the long term impact of this kind of negligence, and fight cases on behalf of our clients not simply in the light of the immediate problems they are suffering, but the difficulties they are going to face in years to come.
In the case of the most severe injuries, such as the loss of a limb or some degree of paralysis, this may mean living space having to be adapted, long term care paid for and a hugely negative impact upon the ability to earn a living. We work with our clients on a one to one basis to make sure that they receive everything they are going to need, and the fact that we adopt the Conditional Fee Arrangement model of charging for our services (commonly known as ‘no win no fee’), means that you won’t have to pay a penny up front and there should be nothing to pay if your claim is unsuccessful.
A Dedicated Team
Our medical negligence team is just that – a team which works on medical negligence cases and nothing else. This means that they come pre-armed with a depth of knowledge and experience and a keen awareness of the latest developments in the field, with some of our members having experience as doctors or nurses themselves.
We also have access to a number of medical experts and specialist barristers. The fact that we are not a large faceless corporate organisation means that our medical negligence clients receive the kind of personal attention and face to face access that can prove vital when working through what are often long, complex and stressful cases.
As part of our company-wide commitment to innovation and forward thinking we are the pilot firm for Clinical Connexx, the first case management system to be designed exclusively for medical negligence cases, a step which will allow us to run cases even more efficiently.
The cases we take on in this field generally fall under one of the following headings:
- Accident and Emergency
- Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury
- Coroners Inquests
- Cosmetic Surgery
- Dental Negligence
- Ear Nose and Throat
- General Practitioners
- General Surgery
- Hospital Infections
- Nursing and Home Care
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Wrongful Birth
Our expertise in the field has been recognised by Legal 500, which commented that we have a ‘very well-resourced and competent’ clinical negligence team led by Nick Grant, who has ‘a sound grasp of the law’; and Nicola Bould is ‘hardworking’.
The principle behind personal injury compensation is simple – if you’ve been injured and the injury was caused by somebody else’s negligence, then you may well be able to claim compensation. Actually pursuing a claim can be a complex matter, however, which is why you need a company like Devonshires Solicitors by your side. The injury in question may be the result of a Road Traffic Accident (RTA), an injury at work or an injury in a public place such as a supermarket or train station, and our team will put together a case which not only compensates you for immediate pain and distress, but also takes into account any losses going forward. This might mean the cost of private health care; the loss of wages (both immediate and in the future) and any accompanying reduction in pension provision; the requirement, in cases of serious injury, for a person’s living space to need adapting; the loss, in the case of a fatality, of the main bread winner in a family; and anything else which can reasonably be claimed to have come about as a result of the accident.
In some cases, insurance companies will make an immediate offer of payment in the hope of ‘shutting down’ a claim. We’ve done a lot of work with insurance companies and so we know how they think. If you come to us before accepting such an offer, we’ll examine your case with a view to maximising the amount of compensation you can receive by highlighting all potential areas of loss. Our inside knowledge of the insurance industry means we are perfectly placed to out-think, out-smart and out-fight the forces who are determined to persuade you to accept the lowest offer they can get away with. This is an approach which has led to us recovering millions of pounds on behalf of our clients, but we appreciate that a claim of this kind isn’t simply about the money – it’s about fairness and often amounts to the first step a client takes towards piecing their life back together.
That’s why our technical excellence and cutting edge knowledge is supplemented with a truly personal, hands-on approach, which places the injured party right at the heart of everything that happens. Our commitment to a one to one approach is demonstrated most vividly by the fact that we often travel to meet our clients in the location which is most convenient for them.
Recent Notable Case
In October 2014 Devonshires Solicitors won a landmark decision, based upon the principle of ‘informed consent’, after suing Optical Express and Dr Joanna McGraw on behalf of Stephanie Holloway who, according to Judge Edward Bailey, had paid £2,790 for laser eye surgery which she should simply never have had. The court found that at no point in the process was Miss Holloway provided with sufficient information about the dangers presented by the surgery and the possible complications involved and that, therefore, she could not possibly have given ‘informed consent’.
Following the operation Miss Holloway, an antiquarian book dealer, was left with hazy vision and eyes that are so light sensitive she has to wear dark glasses at all times and can only read by candlelight. This meant that her career dealing books collapsed and her plans to join the police force in the future were curtailed. The damages awarded by the court came to a total of £569,287, which was broken down into £30,000 for Miss Holloway’s pain and suffering and £400,000 to compensate for her loss of earnings. Devonshires Clinical Negligence Department issued the following statement:
“This case highlights the conflict of interest present when those who advise patients on their medical treatment benefit financially from that treatment. There is also a temptation, motivated by maximising profit, to undertake as many procedures as possible in a day. This can result in little or no time being spent properly advising patients of the risks.”
The case was sufficiently ground-breaking to receive widespread national media coverage, including mainstream press coverage, interviews on BBC News and Radio Five Live and an article in the Law Gazette.
Nick Grant, Partner was quoted in both the Guardian and the Daily Mail regarding Optical Express being investigated for the type of lenses it was using in lens replacement surgery.