This guide explains when you might be eligible to begin an epidural negligence claim. According to the NHS, an epidural is an injection administered into your back in order to prevent you from feeling pain. It is commonly used when a mother is giving birth. However, if the injection is administered incorrectly, the mother could experience some form of harm.
Throughout this guide, we’ll provide information about medical negligence claims. We’ll tell you about the duty of care that patients are owed by the medical professionals who treat them. Additionally, this guide will describe what kind of evidence will help support a claim for compensation. Furthermore, we’ll include a method for you to estimate the compensation that could be awarded for this kind of claim.
Read on if you’d like to know about the support you could get from a No Win No Fee solicitor while seeking compensation for medical negligence. In addition, you can contact our team of advisors if you’d like to ask about the medical negligence claims process. Find out more by:
Select A Section
- Could You Claim For Epidural Negligence?
- What Is Epidural Negligence?
- What Evidence Could Support An Epidural Negligence Claim?
- Estimating Compensation For Negligent Epidural Procedures
- Why Contact Medical Negligence Assist About Your Epidural Negligence Claim?
- Learn More About Medications Errors
Epidurals can be used as a form of pain relief in labour. It is administered by an anaesthetist, which is a specific type of medical professional. All healthcare practitioners owe their patients a duty of care, which means they must deliver the correct level of care. If this is not given, then a patient could experience harm that could have been avoided or was unnecessary.
If you are harmed by an epidural procedure because an anaesthetist breached the duty of care they owed you, then medical negligence has occurred. In these circumstances, you may be eligible to claim anaesthesia compensation.
Time Limits For Epidural Negligence Claims
To begin an epidural negligence claim, you must make sure you file within a set time limit. This is established in The Limitation Act 1980, which states that you have three years from:
- The date of the incident.
- The date you realised the incident occurred due to medical negligence. This is known as your date of knowledge.
There are some exceptions to these time limits. If you’d like to know more about the exceptions or if you have questions about the process of claiming compensation, contact our team of advisors.
Below we look at ways epidural negligence could occur:
- During labour, you may be given multiple IV lines. If the epidural medication is injected into the wrong line, you could experience negative effects from a wrong route medication error.
- An anaesthetist may insert the needle too deeply in your back or off to one side of the correct location. This could lead to spinal cord injuries or a permanent nerve injury that causes paralysis.
- If a medical professional administers an epidural because you are struggling during the birth, but doesn’t check your medical records for known allergies beforehand, you suffer an allergic reaction to the medication you are given.
In the next section, we’ll discuss evidence that could help demonstrate that a medical professional breached the duty of care they owed you. However, contact our team of advisors if you have further questions about beginning an epidural negligence claim.
Successful birth injury claims rely upon evidence that determines whether a medical professional acted negligently. To prove this, you could produce certain pieces of evidence, such as:
- Your medical records
- Contact details for any witnesses
- The results of an independent medical assessment, which should illustrate the extent of the harm you experienced
It’s important to realise that you don’t need to prepare for a claim alone. A medical negligence solicitor could help you collect evidence to support your potential epidural negligence claim. Furthermore, they can represent you during proceedings, so you can benefit from the assistance of a professional with years of experience.
Medical negligence compensation consists of two heads of loss. To illustrate, you could be compensated for your pain and suffering and the financial losses incurred as a result of medical negligence.
The first payment is called general damages, which are designed to compensate you for the pain caused by medical negligence. Solicitors will usually assess the value of this payment by turning to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication contains compensation brackets for different types of harm, which solicitors can use as a guide for potential compensation awards.
The table below contains some of the figures shown in the JCG. However, please refer to these only as a guide. The compensation you receive will be calculated based on your actual circumstances, and the JCG cannot account for these individual details.
Compensation Brackets From The JCG
|£219,070 to £284,260
|Paraplegia injury in which the presence and extent of pain, depression, impact on sexual function, and other factors are all taken into consideration.
|Up to £184,200
|Double incontinence, including complete loss of urinary function alongside natural bowel function.
|In the region of £79,920
|Passive incontinence and faecal urgency that persist after surgery, typically following a birth injury.
|(i) Severe Back
|£91,090 to £160,980
|Damage to the nerve roots and spinal cord, leading to a combination of symptoms uncommon in back injuries. Impaired function of bladder, bowels, sexual function, severe pain, and incomplete paralysis.
|(ii) Severe Back
|£74,160 to £88,430
|Special features such as loss of sensation due to nerve root damage, impaired mobility, and impaired bowel/bladder function.
|£63,980 to £79,930
|A serious level of control impairment, accompanied by some incontinence and pain.
|£23,410 to £31,310
|In cases where a near complete recovery is made, but there is fairly long-term interference with function.
Additionally, your claim may benefit from special damages. This payout is intended to help you recoup the financial losses you experience due to epidural negligence.
For example, you may be able to claim for the earnings you lost if you had to take extended leave from work in order to recover. Similarly, you may be able to recover future lost earnings if the harm you experienced means that you can’t return to your former job at all.
Contact our advisors if you have questions about compensation for medical negligence. Additionally, our team can offer insight into the financial losses you may be able to recoup through special damages, because the list given above is not comprehensive.
If you are considering starting a claim for anaesthetic negligence compensation, it may be worth considering the assistance a solicitor could provide. These professionals can help you locate evidence to support your case, prepare the claim for submission, and represent you during proceedings.
What’s more, our medical negligence solicitors can offer these services under a No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under the terms offered by this agreement, you wouldn’t have to pay for your solicitor’s services if your claim fails. You also wouldn’t have to pay for their services while the claim is ongoing.
Instead, you would reimburse your solicitor for their services at the end of the process, but only if your claim succeeds. If you are awarded compensation, your solicitor will deduct a success fee from it. However, this amount is legally capped, so your solicitor cannot overcharge you.
Our helpline is open 24 hours a day, so you can contact our team if you have any questions about the claims process. Additionally, our advisors can provide insight into the merits of your potential epidural negligence claim, as well as telling you more about the benefits of working with a No Win No Fee solicitor. Get more information today by:
Related guides that may be of use:
Further information from other sources:
UK Government – NHS Constitution For England
NHS Resolution – Learning From Medication Errors
General Medication Council – Good Practice For Doctors
We hope this guide has provided useful information about starting an epidural negligence claim. To learn more, speak to our advisors today.