Lawyer Explains Birth Injury Claim Awarded £12m in Damages
If you have a loved one who may have sustained a childbirth injury, it’s important to get legal advice from a specialist Solicitor with tried and tested experience in this area of medical negligence law.
At Simpson Millar, our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors and Lawyers have a strong track record of helping families affected by birth injury to get compensation. In this particular case, Lawyer David Thomas, helped to recover £12 million in damages for a boy who sustained permanent brain damage shortly after birth.
The claimant suffered irreparable brain damage as a result of an episode of severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) during his first days of life at a hospital’s Special Baby Care Unit.
Thanks to David’s expertise and tough negotiating skills, the defendant Hospital Trust accepted they were negligent in not recognising and treating this life-threatening condition in a timely manner. They also acknowledged that had these failings not occurred, the child wouldn’t have suffered any of these injuries and would have developed into a perfectly healthy boy.
The Hospital Trust agreed to pay a substantial amount of compensation – the equivalent to a capitalised sum of £12 million – to his young client. Details of the case can be found below.
If you’ve been affected by a birth injury as a result of substandard medical care, get in touch with our Medical Negligence Lawyers for a free consultation and legal advice. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
How Was the Settlement Reached?
A common concern among anyone making a medical negligence claim is that they’ll have to go through a lengthy and costly Court case. However, only a minority of cases actually go to Court, and in the case described above, both parties settled out of Court by way of negotiations in a Joint Settlement Meeting.
There are many benefits of a Joint Settlement Meeting, including:
Open negotiations increased the control the parties had over the resolution of the claim. Each side were directly involved in negotiating their desired outcomes and no settlement could be imposed upon the claimant without the consent of the parents and ultimately, the Court.
If a medical negligence case goes to Court, both parties have no choice but to accept the judgement made, which neither may be happy with. As with anyone else, Judges can be unpredictable and their decisions aren’t easy to overthrow on appeal.
Whereas Court proceedings can sometimes lead to publicity, everything said in the Joint Settlement Meeting can be entirely confidential. In this particular case, the parents and their son were granted an anonymity order.
Either party had the option to withdraw from negotiations at any time. There was absolutely no pressure on the parents and they were repeatedly told that they could walk away from the Joint Settlement Meeting if they were unhappy.
The Joint Settlement Meeting was arranged at a venue convenient to the claimant and his parents, and both sides each had their own private room as well as a separate room for joint meetings. There was no requirement for the claimant and his parents to meet the defendant and its legal team and they instructed us to do all the talking on their behalf.
The legal costs were greatly reduced in comparison with trying to resolve the matter through Court. The defendant agreed to pay the claimant’s legal costs.
Support with Experience
We’re professional and vastly experienced negotiators and know our opponents extremely well. This mutual respect meant that both sides entered the Joint Settlement Meeting in good faith and constructively worked together, leading to an excellent outcome for the claimant.
The Joint Settlement Meeting helped each side focus their efforts on effectively communicating with each other as opposed to attacking each other. The formalities of appearing in Court had no place in the informal Joint Settlement Meeting.
Since the claimant lacked the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, the High Court had to approve the compensation settlement. The Judge praised the parties for their efforts in reaching such a satisfactory outcome and he was happy to approve the release of immediate payments to the claimant’s parents to reflect the years of care they provided to their son out of love and devotion.
Early Interim Payments
Another crucial aspect of the case that helped our client was the fact that we were able to secure substantial early Interim Payments. This enabled us to employ a professional Deputy to manage the compensation in the child’s best interests and provide advice and support to the parents.
Early funds also enabled us to employ a dedicated Case Manager who was able to arrange private care and treatments such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and regular medical check-ups.
The Case Manager was able to recruit and employ a suitable “Buddy”, who would visit the family home and provide well needed respite for the parents by taking the claimant out to the cinema, park, swimming or to local museums. They also taught the claimant valuable life skills such as buying shopping and lunch and learning how to manage money.
Crucially, funds enabled the family to purchase a suitable larger home in their neighbourhood with enough room for the rest of the family and separate living quarters for a full-time carer.
About David Thomas
David has a niche, as recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers Directory legal publications, acting for claimants and their families in Cerebral Palsy cases and is one of only a handful of Lawyers accredited by the Law Society and Action for Medical Accidents (AvMA) specialist clinical negligence panels.
David is also an accredited Legal Aid Agency Supervisor and he is happy to accept instructions under Legal Aid Funding or under a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as No Win, No Fee).
To see other medical negligence cases successfully dealt with by David please click here.
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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.