A Complete Guide To Punctured Lung Compensation Claims

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Punctured Lung Injuries Negligence Claims Guide – Medical Negligence And Accidents Causing Punctured Lung Injuries -Compensation Amounts & Payouts

Punctured Lung Clinical Negligence Compensation Claims

Punctured lung compensation claims

Punctured lung compensation claims

We believe that if you’re the victim of medical negligence, and you’ve suffered an injury or were made ill as a result, you should consider seeking compensation for your suffering. Any settlement awarded could be used to help pay for any support or care needed as a result of your injuries. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at making claims for a punctured lung caused by medical negligence. We’ll look at the different scenarios which could cause such an injury, when you might be eligible to claim and how much compensation might be awarded.

Medical Negligence Assist provides a no-obligation assessment of any claim. Our specialist advisors will listen to what’s happened, review any evidence you can supply and provide free claims advice. If they believe there’s a chance of successfully claiming, they could refer you to one of our panel of specialist solicitors. To make your claim less stressful, they work on a No Win No Fee basis for all claims they handle.

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A Guide To Punctured Lung Medical Negligence Claims

In this guide, we’re going to explain when you could be entitled to make a claim for a punctured lung. There are many ways in which you could suffer such an injury, including:

  • In a road traffic accident.
  • During acupuncture.
  • In an accident at work.
  • If you’re stabbed.
  • During surgery.
  • After breaking a rib.
  • During dry needling treatment.

The list above isn’t conclusive and there are many more ways in which a lung could be punctured. During this guide, though, we’re going to specifically look at claims of medical negligence. To prove a medical negligence claim, you’ll need to be able to establish that you received negligent treatment which caused an injury or made an existing condition worse.

Proving what happened and how a medical professional was negligent can be a tricky task. That’s why we advise you to have a specialist medical negligence solicitor on your side. Our panel of solicitors has years of experience handling often difficult claims. If they take your claim on, your solicitor will be available to answer any questions, explain complex legal terms and provide regular updates as your case progresses. They’ll also strive to try and ensure you receive the greatest amount of compensation for your injuries possible.

As well as looking at your eligibility to claim, we’ll provide advice on the different types of injuries you could claim for and how much compensation you could receive. Furthermore, we’ll explain the time limits involved with making a claim.

After you’ve completed this guide, you can call a member of our team if you require any further advice. You can also speak to an advisor if you believe you’re ready to start your claim. They’ll review your case with you, provide free legal advice and could introduce you to one of the solicitors on our panel to take your claim forward.

What Are Punctured Lungs?

In this section, we’re going to look at the specific injury that could lead to a compensation claim if it’s been caused by medical negligence or if a medical professional has failed to diagnose it properly and has caused you to suffer as a result.

Punctured Lung

A punctured lung, also known as a pneumothorax, occurs when air gets into the space between your ribcage and the outside of the lung. A smaller pneumothorax might result in no symptoms or only cause very minor issues. In these cases, the injury could get better over time and not require any treatment. Usually, the air that’s built up in the cavity is the result of a tear outside of the lung. In some cases, such as a stabbing wound, the air can come from outside of the body.

Collapsed Lung

In cases where the pneumothorax is larger, the air can prevent the lung from expanding properly, squash it and lead to a collapsed lung. In cases such as these, urgent treatment might be required, especially for patients with existing lung conditions.

Pneumothorax

When the air continues to enter the cavity while the victim is breathing, the other lung and heart could also begin to compress. This condition is known as tension pneumothorax and is usually life-threatening. Emergency treatment will usually be required to release the air.

What Are The Causes And Types Of Punctured Lung?

In this section, we’ll look at the three main reasons why a punctured lung can occur.

  • Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax.
    These occur in normally healthy people for no obvious reason. It is the most common type of punctured lung. The cause of a primary spontaneous pneumothorax is usually a tear (usually small) on the outside of the lung. This tear leads to air escaping and becoming trapped in the cavity outside the lung.
  • Secondary Spontaneous Pneumothorax.
    In this scenario, the tear in the lung will occur because of an existing lung condition which weakens the surface and makes it more susceptible to tearing. Conditions that can lead to secondary spontaneous pneumothorax include cystic fibrosis, sarcoidosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis (TB), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
  • Other Causes.
    We’ll review other reasons that a collapsed lung could happen throughout this guide but they include surgical errors, acupuncture, car accidents and criminal injuries.

Punctured Lung Symptoms

A punctured lung injury will need to be diagnosed by a medical professional so that the correct treatment is provided. However, for your information, the main symptoms of a punctured lung are:

  • A feeling of breathlessness.
  • A sudden, sharp pain (akin to stabbing), in one side of the chest which worsens as you breathe in.

How Are Punctured Lung Injuries Treated?

When treating a pneumothorax, the first thing that needs to be done is to release the trapped air which is preventing the lung from expanding. If releasing the pressure on the lung means it can expand properly, then the immediate symptoms can be relieved.

Removal of the air from the chest cavity can be performed in several ways:

  • Aspiration is where a small needle is inserted into the cavity and the air is sucked out using a very thin tube.
  • A chest drain may also be used for more serious cases. This requires the area to be numbed so a flexible plastic tube (the chest drain) can be inserted through the chest wall. This allows air to flow out of the cavity but not back in, allowing the lung to re-inflate. The procedure can require around 5-days in hospital (but can be longer) while the air leak is resolved.

For smaller leaks caused by smaller tears, the wound will usually heal itself within a few days. If that happens, no further treatment is required, and the trapped air will absorb into the body. For cases where the patient is breathless, oxygen may be given to aid breathing.

Where the pneumothorax occurs on multiple occasions or the leak continues even after a chest drain or aspiration, surgery may be required to seal the weak areas of the lung. Pleurodesis may also be performed where the lung is stuck to the chest wall to prevent it collapsing in future.

Complications Which Could Result From Negligent Medical Care

A pneumothorax could be caused by mistakes during surgical procedures. In cases where the treatment you’ve received is deemed substandard, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. Proving medical negligence can be a complex task and we’d advise you to seek help from an expert medical negligence solicitor when doing so.

Reasons why a medical professional might’ve been negligent and caused you to suffer include:

  • Not following the correct procedures during your surgery.
  • Failing to diagnose that a pneumothorax had occurred meaning further remedial treatment was required.
  • Operating while tired.
  • Failing to explain the risks of surgery to you.

It may not be obvious from the start whether the medical professional was negligent when causing your injuries. Therefore, one of the solicitors on our panel will discuss what happened with you first. Then they’ll request medical records and review any other evidence you can supply. If they believe that negligence has occurred, the responsible NHS trust will be contacted. They’ll usually pass the claim onto their legal representatives who’ll review the evidence supplied. If they admit liability, then discussions can begin regarding the amount of compensation you’ll receive.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of surgical negligence which has resulted in a punctured lung, please contact an advisor for a free consultation.

Acupuncture Medical Negligence Causing Punctured Lungs

Another form of treatment which could lead to a medical negligence claim is acupuncture. It is a treatment that evolved from ancient Chinese medicine where fine needles are inserted into the body. It is a treatment that’s offered privately and by the NHS and can be performed for preventative or therapeutic reasons.

The idea behind acupuncture is that the needles stimulate sensory nerves in muscles and skin. As a result, the body releases natural substances, such as endorphins, which are pain-relieving.

If an acupuncture needle is inserted incorrectly, it could pierce the lung and lead to a pneumothorax. If that happens, you could be entitled to make a claim against the medical professional who performed your treatment. If you’d like further advice on claiming for the suffering caused by acupuncture negligence, please speak with an advisor today.

Dry Needling Medical Negligence Causing Punctured Lungs

Dry needling is a treatment used to help patients with certain musculoskeletal conditions. While it’s often confused with acupuncture, the two are performed by different therapists who’ve undergone different forms of training. Dry needling isn’t usually a standalone treatment but is used as part of a broader range of treatment.

In a similar way to acupuncture, small thin needles are used to penetrate the skin to treat muscular trigger points. The aim is to try and decrease tightening in a dysfunctional muscle and to reduce tenderness, pain and to increase motion range.

Again, if a needle is inserted incorrectly, it could pierce the wall of the lung and lead to a pneumothorax. Due to the size of the needle, the symptoms of a punctured lung might not present immediately and could take a few hours to become obvious.

If you’ve suffered a punctured lung following dry needling treatment, please speak with an advisor. They’ll assess what happened and how you suffered. If they believe you’ve got a chance of making a successful claim, they’ll introduce you to one of the specialist medical negligence solicitors on our panel.

Punctured Lung Medical Negligence Claims Time Limits

If you’re considering claiming for a punctured lung, we’d advise you to do so as soon as possible. That’s because there are strict time limits for making your claim. If you fail to claim within the time limit, or limitation period, you will automatically forfeit any compensation you could be entitled to.

We’ve provided the following table to clarify how long you have to claim as there are different time limits for each type of claim. Although this guide is about medical negligence claims, we’ve also included claims for criminal injury compensation and accident at work claims in the table for your information.

Type of ClaimLimitation Period
Medical Negligence Claim (adults)3-years from the date the negligence occurred or from when you became aware of your injuries.
Medical Negligence Claim (children)Claims can be made at any time before the child turns 18-years old. After that, the victim has 3-years to make their own claim.
Accident at Work Claims3-years from the date of the accident.
Criminal Injuries Claim2-years from the date of the crime.

If you would like confirmation of how long you have to begin your claim, please contact a member of our team today.

Punctured Lung Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator

When making a medical negligence claim, the first thing your solicitor will claim for is ‘general damages’, which aims to compensate you for pain, suffering and any loss of amenity caused by your injuries. Because every claim is unique, we’ve chosen to use the table below rather than a medical negligence calculator to show how much compensation you could be entitled to. The figures are taken from a publication that courts and solicitors use called the Judicial College Guidelines. Please bear in mind that these figures only cover one part of your claim.

TypeCompensationDetails
Lungs£61,710 to £94,470Traumatic injuries to the lungs (and / or heart) resulting in permanent damage, impaired function, reduction of life expectancy or physical disability.
Chest / Lungs£11,820 to £16,860Relatively simple injuries, such as a single penetrating wound with permanent damage but no long-term effect on lung function.
Lungs£2,060 to £5,000Collapsed lung injuries where a full and uncomplicated recovery is made.
RibsUp to £3,710Soft tissue injuries or fractured ribs causing serious pain and disability for a period of weeks.

As well as general damages, you could also be entitled to claim for ‘special damages’. These are used to cover any financial losses linked to your injuries and to pay for any additional support and care required. Special damages claims can include:

  • Medical Costs. While any medical treatment will usually be provided free by the NHS, other treatments and prescription costs can soon build up. That means you could include them in your claim.
  • Home Adaptations. If the claimant is left disabled, it might mean they’re home requires changes to help them cope. These costs could be included in the claim.
  • Care Costs. If a carer is needed to support the claimant during recovery, or on an ongoing basis, any fees could be claimed back. If a family member supports the claimant, then their time could be claimed for too.
  • Travelling Expenses. The cost of travelling to the hospital, GP appointments and pharmacies could all be claimed back as well as the cost of any special travel arrangements required as a result of the injuries.
  • Lost Earnings. Any income that’s lost as a result of the punctured lung could be included within your claim. That could include short-term losses while off work recovering or, for longer-term injuries which prevent you from working, you could also claim for future lost earnings too.

Before committing to any large expense, we’d advise you to check whether you could claim it back with your solicitor. Also, to help substantiate your claim, please keep any receipts, bank statements or payslips which show your losses.

No Win No Fee Medical Negligence And Accidents Punctured Lung Claims

Something that worries a lot of people when making a medical negligence claim is the cost of hiring a solicitor. To reduce that worry, and the financial risks involved, we work with a panel of solicitors who handle claims on a No Win No Fee basis. That means you get the important access to justice you need along with the following benefits:

  • No upfront charges which means your claim can begin almost immediately.
  • No solicitor’s fees to pay throughout the course of your claim.
  • If the claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay any solicitor’s fees at all.

If your claim is won, you don’t need to send a payment to your solicitor. That’s because they’ll retain a small percentage of your compensation to cover their work. This is called a success fee. You don’t need to worry too much about it though as the success fee will be listed in your No Win No Fee agreement (also called a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) and it is legally capped.

At the start of your claim, a solicitor will review your claim with you. They’ll consider what happened, how you suffered and who was to blame. If they’re confident you have a chance of success, and you’re happy to proceed, they’ll prepare a CFA for you to sign.

If you’d like to find out whether your claim could be made on a No Win No Fee basis, please call an advisor today for a no-obligation assessment of your case.

Speak To A Member Of Our Team

We hope that you’ve found this guide about hiring a medical negligence lawyer to support a claim for a punctured lung helpful. If you’re now in a position where you would like to begin a claim, here are our contact details:

  • Call a member of our team for free advice and to start your claim on 0800 652 3087
  • Request a call from a specialist advisor at a convenient time by completing this medical negligence claim form.
  • Or use the live chat option to discuss your claim with an online advisor.

You can reach out to our team 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. They’ll provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim to start the claims process. You’ll receive free expert advice and, if there’s a chance of making a successful claim, you could be connected with one of our panel of specialist medical negligence solicitors. If they agree to take your claim on, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis. When calling, please provide as much information as possible and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to.

Helpful Links

In this final section of our guide regarding claiming for a punctured lung, we’re going to supply links to some more useful guides as well as some information from trusted external sources. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about beginning a claim, please contact an advisor today.

Heart And Lungs – The latest NHS news science-based articles relating to the heart and lungs.

Pneumothorax Information – Further information on the symptoms and causes of a collapsed lung.

NHS Service Locator – A helpful tool that lets you search for different NHS services in your area.

Medical Negligence Claims: How Long? – This guide looks at what factors determine how long a clinical or medical negligence claim will take to be processed.

NHS Negligence Claims – Information on the claims process involved when making a medical negligence claim against the NHS.

Surgical Negligence – This guide takes a look at what could go wrong during surgery and when you could claim compensation.

 

Guide by Brett

Edited by Richie