The field of neurology treats conditions of the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. When you seek neurological treatment, you are entitled to receive care of a minimum standard. But sometimes, this minimum standard of care is not administered, which results in injury. This would be an example of medical negligence.
You may find the prospect of claiming against a healthcare provider to be daunting. Perhaps you feel like you cannot claim against the NHS, but this is not the case. You are entitled to compensation if you’ve been caused avoidable harm by a doctor’s breach of duty. This is the case whether you were treated by the NHS or a private healthcare provider.
Neurological Negligence Compensation Claims
Medical Negligence Assist can help you claim compensation for a neurological injury or worsening of your condition caused by medical negligence. Similarly, you can claim on behalf of a family member who lacks the capacity to claim for themselves. Our knowledgeable medical negligence solicitors are experienced in handling compensation claims of this nature. What’s more, they may be able to handle your claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
Call us today to find out more about making a claim. Our helpline number is 0800 652 3087. Alternatively, you can fill out our claims form or speak to an advisor at the live chat option to the bottom-right of this screen.
Select A Section
- Is Neurology Negligence?
- What Is Neurology?
- Specialities Within Neurological Care
- Types Of Neurological Disorders
- What Conditions Are Treated Through Neurosurgery?
- Neurology And Neurosurgery Negligence
- How Long Do You Have To Claim For Neurology Negligence
- Neurology Negligence Compensation Calculator
- No Win No Fee Neurology Negligence Compensation Claims
- How We Could Assist You
- How Many People Are Affected By Neurological Disorders?
- Medical And Claims Guide
- Neurology Negligence FAQs
All healthcare practitioners, including those who work in neurology, owe a duty of care to their patients. This means that they are expected to provide a minimum standard of care to everyone they treat. If a medical provider provides a standard of care that falls below this level, this is an example of medical negligence.
Medical negligence in any field of medicine could cause injury or additional harm. For instance, if a medical professional failed to diagnose you with a condition because they did not deliver an appropriate level of care, this could result in you not receiving the correct treatment for your injury.
It is important to note that just because you have been injured or your condition has worsened as a result of the treatment you received doesn’t mean you were the victim of negligence. Sometimes, complications can occur after treatment even when the level of care has been of an acceptable standard.
The court will usually administer something called the Bolam Test as proof that medical negligence has occurred. This is where a panel of neurologists will be asked whether the care that was provided was of an acceptable standard. If not, the doctor would be considered negligent.
Neurology is concerned with conditions that affect the bodies’ nervous systems. The nervous systems are complex networks within the human body. Their purpose is to carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body.
The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is a network of nerves, which connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
Neurology is a field of medicine concerned with conditions that affect the nervous system. Neurologists investigate, diagnose and treat medical conditions such as epilepsy, strokes, Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
The following diagnostic tests may be used in the field of neurology:
- MRI/MRA (magnetic resonance imaging/ magnetic resonance angiography)
- EMG/NVC (electromyography/nerve conduction velocity)
- CAT (computed axial tomography) scan
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- EEG (electroencephalography)
However, diagnostic tests may not always be required in the field of neurology. Sometimes, conditions are diagnosed through clinical assessment, where your symptoms are thoroughly discussed, and a physical examination is performed.
Neurologists can specialise in different fields of neurological medicine. Below, we have included some examples of fields where a neurologist may specialise:
- Cognitive neurology. This involves looking at memory, decision making and attention.
- Stroke and cerebrovascular medicine. These conditions affect the flow of blood to the brain.
- Multiple sclerosis and inflammatory diseases
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Pain management
- Sleep disorders
There are many types of neurological disorders. Some neurological conditions can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life. Below, we have included some conditions that may be addressed by a neurologist.
Epilepsy And Seizures
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes sufferers to experience seizures and unusual behaviours. Seizures are electrical disturbances in the brain that impact how it can function.
There are a number of treatments available for people with epilepsy, which include medication and surgery. However, there is no cure for epilepsy, although it may get better over time.
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that affects the brain. People with Parkinson’s disease may experience the following symptoms:
- Tremors, whereby parts of the body shake involuntarily
- Muscle stiffness and inflexibility
- The slowing down of movement
Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience mild symptoms, whilst others experience severe effects. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, physiotherapy, occupational therapy medication and surgery can all be used to reduce the main symptoms of the disease.
Motor Neurone Disease (MND)
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a condition of the nerves and the brain. It causes weakness that worsens as time goes on. Unfortunately, MND shortens the affected person’s life expectancy and is eventually fatal.
MND affects a person’s mobility. It can also affect your speech, ability to swallow food and breathe independently. Although it is not curable, people with the disease can benefit from medication, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Furthermore, psychological support is often offered to patients with MND. This is to help the patient cope with the psychological impact of the condition.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder that affects the central nervous system. People with Multiple sclerosis may experience problems with balance, arm and leg movement and vision.
Multiple sclerosis can cause varying levels of disability. The condition is usually diagnosed when the patient is in their 20s or 30s, and women are 2 to 3 times more likely to experience MS than men.
There is no cure for MS, but there are some treatments that can help manage the symptoms and control the condition. The treatment will depend on the symptoms that are exhibited and might include courses of steroid medication.
Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia
Dementia is a group of symptoms associated with the gradual loss of brain function. Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of dementia and is the most common cause of dementia in the UK.
People with Alzheimer’s disease experience memory loss. What’s more, the loss of brain function may also affect their moods or ability to live independently. Sadly, Alzheimer’s disease reduces a person’s life expectancy.
It can be hard for the person suffering from Alzheimer’s or their loved ones to notice that anything is wrong. Some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia may be confused with the normal ageing process. But if you’re worried that you may be suffering from this condition, you should seek medical attention straight away, as a prompt diagnosis will give you the best opportunity to get the treatment and support you need.
The practice of neurosurgery is used to treat many neurological conditions. These include the following:
- Spinal disc herniation (also known as a prolapsed disc or slipped disc). It is caused when the rubbery disc between the vertebrae of the spine is pushed out. It can cause severe pain and reduced mobility.
- Head trauma: An injury to the head that has caused damage to the brain.
- Spinal cord trauma: An injury that has damaged the spinal cord may affect the person’s mobility. This is because the spinal cord contains bundles of nerves that carry messages between the brain and the body.
- Brain tumours: A brain tumour can be benign or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumours tend to grow more slowly than cancerous tumours but can still cause symptoms such as headaches, seizures, behavioural changes and paralysis.
When you undergo neurosurgery, you should expect a minimum standard of care from the person treating you. If this isn’t provided and you suffer additional harm as a result, you may be able to claim. Read on for more information on how medical negligence might occur in neurology and neurosurgery.
Below, we have included some examples of how neurosurgery negligence might occur:
- A doctor making a medication error when prescribing medication for epilepsy. For example, the doctor could prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication. This can have harmful effects, and being given the wrong medication may prevent you from getting the treatment you need.
- The doctor fails to diagnose a cancerous brain tumour. This means that the patient’s cancer can spread. Consequently, the patient may need a more aggressive form of treatment or may not survive the disease.
- Misdiagnosis of a spinal condition could cause the condition to worsen over time. This may cause the patient to become incontinent or suffer a disability.
- During an operation, complications could arise that cause the patient more pain and suffering than they otherwise would have if the surgery had gone as planned. For instance, they could make an incision in the wrong area, which causes additional injury.
It is important to note that just because a complication has occurred as the result of neurosurgery, this does not mean that you are able to make a claim. For instance, a condition might be misdiagnosed even when an appropriate level of care is provided. In order to be owed compensation, you need to prove that a breach of duty of care has resulted in you being injured.
To provide proof of medical negligence, the courts will usually administer something called the Bolam test. This is where a court will ask a panel of their peers (in this case, other neurologists or neurosurgeons) whether the level of care that was provided was of an acceptable standard.
If they agree it was, then the doctor will not be considered negligent. If they decide that the care administered constituted a breach of duty of care, however, then the doctor would be considered negligent.
If you’ve been caused further harm or a worsening of your condition that would not have occurred if you’d received an appropriate level of care, then you may be able to claim. Get in touch with us for more information.
There is generally a three-year medical negligence claims time limit. The time limit to begin your claim can begin on the day that the medical negligence occurred or the day that you became aware that you were harmed as a result of negligence. The latter is known as the “date of knowledge”.
There are some exceptions to this, however. For instance, if you are under the age of 18 when you are harmed by medical negligence, you cannot make your own claim while still underage. Instead, a litigation friend can claim on your behalf at any point up until you turn 18. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to make a claim if one has not already been made.
Similarly, if the injured person lacks the mental capacity to bring forward their own claim, then a litigation friend can claim on their behalf. While the injured person lacks the mental capacity to claim, the time limit is suspended. It begins in the event that the injured person regains their mental capacity; otherwise, it’s suspended indefinitely.
To find out whether you are within the time limit of making a claim, speak to a member of our team today. One of our advisors will be happy to offer you free legal advice.
We have chosen not to include a medical negligence compensation calculator in this guide. Instead, you can use the table below to estimate approximately how much money your medical negligence claim could be worth. We have included general damages you can claim in this table. This is the amount of compensation you are awarded for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
|Form Of Brain Injury||Severity||Comments||Estimated Damages|
|Epilepsy||Established Grand Mal||Established Grand Mal Epilepsy||£95,710 to £140,870|
|Epilepsy||Established Petit Mal||Payouts will be dependent upon the severity of attacks suffered as well by how much medication could control these attacks. The payout could also be impacted by the effect on the claimants work life and their social life.||£51,460 to £123,340|
|Brain Damage||Less Severe||The claimant may have made or will make a good degree of recovery, though there could be some problems with their ability to focus on tasks or with their memory. They should be able to return to their normal work and social life.||£14,380 to £40,410|
|Brain Damage||Moderate (iii)||The main effects may be a risk of epilepsy in the future as well as memory and concentration problems. The claimant will not be able to continue working at the same level or be able to continue with their social life in their same way as before.||£40,410 to £85,150|
|Brain Damage||Moderate (ii)||The injured person may experience varying degrees of intellectual deficit. At this level, the persons ability to return to work will then either be lost or severely reduced.||£85,150 to £140,870|
|Brain Damage||Moderate (i)||In addition to the intellectual problems, this person will have issues with changes to their personality. They could also have issues with their sight and speech.||£140,870 to £205,580|
|Brain Damage||Moderately Severe||This claimant will be very dependent on others for help and assistance as they will be very seriously disabled. They will require substantial professional care. As well as intellectual and personality effects, the person could also suffer a reduced life-span.||£205,580 to £264,650|
|Brain Damage||Very Severe||The claimant will not have any meaningful response to stimulus such as people or their environment. They will require 24/7 nursing care. Their payout may take account of their reduced life-span, what mental and physical limitations they have and what care they need.||£264,650 to £379,100|
We have based these compensation payout estimates on guidelines from the Judicial College. However, the amount of compensation you receive can vary depending on the severity of your injuries.
It is important to note that when you are claiming for medical negligence, you will only be compensated for the additional pain and suffering caused to you by the medical negligence.
For instance, it’s likely that after neurosurgery, you would experience some pain and suffering as you recover. If medical negligence has caused you to be injured, you will only be compensated for the additional harm caused to you by the medical negligence and not the pain and suffering you are experiencing overall.
What Special Damages Could You Claim?
Special damages is a payment to cover the costs of any expenses associated with your injuries—for instance, funds to pay for any medical treatment you may need in the future.
Here are some examples of special damages that you can claim:
- Medical expenses
- Travel expenses
- Care expenses
- Mobility equipment expenses
- Home adaptation expenses
- And reimbursement for loss of income
As with general damages, you will only be compensated for costs you incur as a direct result of negligence and not your condition overall. For instance, you may have had to take some time off work to recover from surgery, even if the surgery went as planned. You will only be able to claim for the additional time taken off work because of the harm caused by the negligence you experienced.
If you would like to know more about the things that can be included in a claim for medical negligence, why not speak to a member of our team today?
A No Win No Fee agreement is a contract between you and your solicitor that outlines the conditions that they need to meet before being paid. It states that you won’t be asked to cover their costs unless your claim is successful.
This means that there are no upfront or hourly fees to pay. You also won’t be asked to pay in the event that your claim loses.
Instead, you will pay a success fee if your claim is successful. Your solicitor will deduct the success fee from your compensation payout. This fee is legally capped and means that you will always receive the majority of the compensation awarded to you.
For more information on No Win No Fee agreements or to see whether you could make a claim on this basis, you can call our team today. They may be able to connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor if they feel your claim has a good chance of success.
To begin your claim for neurology negligence, please get in touch with Medical Negligence Assist using the details below:
- Call our claims team on 0800 652 3087
- Contact us in writing via our website
- Or use our Live Support option to chat with us directly.
According to the Neurological Alliance in 2019, one in six people in the UK has a neurological disorder. Here are some key stats on the prevalence of neurological disorders in the United Kingdom:
- In 2016/7, over 1.6 million people were admitted to the hospital with non-emergency neurological problems.
- In the same year, over a million people were admitted to the hospital with emergency neurological problems.
- Neurological conditions cost the NHS £4.4 billion a year.
- From 2001 to 2014, deaths caused by neurological conditions increased by 39%.
If neurology negligence has affected you, you may find these guides helpful.
An NHS guide to Alzheimer’s disease
A guide to Motor Neurone Disease from the NHS
We will now answer some frequently asked questions
How long does it take to settle a negligence claim?
Medical negligence claims take different lengths of time. The severity of the injuries incurred can affect how long a medical negligence claim can take. Simple claims may take a few months to be settled, but more complex claims could take much longer.
What would a patient have to prove to claim negligence?
To make a successful medical negligence claim, it will need to be proved that you were injured as the result of a breach of duty of care. To do this, the courts will administer the Bolam test, where a panel of the doctor’s peers will confirm whether or not the level of care provided was of an acceptable standard. You may also be asked to provide medical records to support your account of the harm caused.
Can you claim medical negligence after 3 years?
The time limit for making a medical negligence claim is three years. However, there are some exceptions to these rules. For example, if you are under the age of 18 and a litigation friend does not claim on your behalf, the three-year limit begins when you turn 18.
Thank you for reading our online guide to neurology negligence compensation claims.