Medical errors can be life-changing for children and their parents. We trust medical professionals and nurses to take good care of our children, but serious mistakes can happen – and if they do, families feel let down, and children face the consequences.
Failure to diagnose serious illness in small children is a common mistake, not always neglectful because of the challenges clinicians face in obtaining a clear history or distinguishing the symptoms of a harmless virus from a life-threatening disease. But despite those challenges, there are “red flag” signs which should lead to a more detailed examination of a child’s problems, and a failure to and a failure to act when those symptoms arise may give a reason for a claim.
While it’s rarely about money alone – for many families, it’s important to understand what went wrong and to make sure that the same thing never happens to another family.
Putting the child first
Medical negligence claims can be filed for children who have been injured or suffered as a result of neglectful or inappropriate medical treatment. While children under the age of 18 can’t claim for themselves because obviously, they’re too young, parents can bring a claim for them.
There are several examples of medical negligence affecting children, which can be complex and diverse. But no matter the severity of your child’s injury, it resulted from negligent or inappropriate medical treatment, then you may be able to bring a claim for compensation.
MedicalNegligenceLaw.org.uk experts have supported hundreds of families through the compensation process and will continue to do so for children who have fallen victim to a variety of medical negligence, including delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis claims, and birth injury.
Clearly, a child cannot arrange a settlement for a clinical negligence claim, so a parent is allowed to intervene on behalf of the child (or the family can hire a specialized attorney to do so). Often, the parent must get a judge’s consent before the medical claim can be eventually settled, but that’s only available in some states. The claim process is usually quick and straightforward and requires nothing more than filling out a simple form to pass the court approval.
If the family settles with an insurance company on behalf of the child, the insurance company can then provide the proper form and give the family in-cause directions on where to file it. After all, it’s the insurer’s interest as well as parents to see that the settlement is correctly agreed upon so that no one can claim over months or years that the child is entitled to more money.
How the compensation is calculated, and what is an interim payment
Often a child’s injury is so serious that medical professionals may not be able to predict the long-term consequences of the injury until the child is older.
If that’s the case, medical negligence claims can’t be finalized but instead, it’s possible to require interim payments to help meet a child’s continuous care needs until the full extent of their injury can be evaluated at a later date.
These payments offer parents a vital source of funding for the injured child and can go towards ongoing treatment and rehabilitation expenses.
However, when settling clinical negligence claims for children and babies, the benefit is that a judge will approve the amount of compensation the injured child will receive, regardless of whether or not the party or the individual responsible for the child’s injuries admits fault.
After this, the compensation amount will be placed into a Special Investment Account which the injured child can access when they turn 18. The court releases some of the money when the amount of compensation is approved before the kid turns 18 years of age if there are serious reasons to do so. For instance, a child experiencing medical negligence injuries may require special medical treatment or special education.
Examples of child injury negligence include:
- Birth injuries, including birth injuries like cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy
- Delayed diagnosis or childhood conditions like retinopathy of prematurity, congenital hip dysplasia, septicemia, meningitis, or tuberculosis.
- Delayed diagnosis of cancer in children like brain or spinal cord tumours, leukaemia, neuroblastoma.
- Delayed medical care
- Errors in drug prescription, such as prescribing the wrong doe or medicine
- Not identifying or treating fractures
- Not referring the child for further investigation or treatment
How can compensation claims help?
If your child has a case for compensation, getting the best possible settlement for them is the least you can do to ensure your child’s financial security and cover a wide range of costs, including:
- Special equipment your child might need
- Ongoing medical attention, such as home visits by a nurse or professional carer
- Household needs, including adaptations
- Therapies and medical treatment
While nothing can make up for a child’s pain and suffering following clinical negligence, compensation can help make life easier.
Talk to compassionate solicitors for advice and support
Requesting the support of a professional solicitor can help you determine whether you have a claim for compensation. If your loved one has suffered medical negligence in the last three years, don’t postpone calling for help.
If the medical negligence accident happened more than three years ago, you might not be able to claim compensation. However, there are a few exceptions – such as instances where you could not have reasonably known your child’s symptoms were caused by medical negligence.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.