Patient Loses Leg & Suffers from Brain Damage Due to Clinical Negligence

06 October 2017

L was struck down when crossing a road near her home by a car and suffered a simple fracture of the tibia. The case against the driver of the vehicle was disputed and he tried to suggest that L was to blame for the accident for walking out in front of his vehicle.

However events changed course when she was admitted to hospital and had a plaster cast put on the leg. Unfortunately she then developed a fever and then became very unwell. She was tested for a number of possible diagnoses but the hospital staff took too long to check underneath the plaster and had not realised that the leg had turned gangrenous due to an infected haematoma. They tried to save the leg with several operations. Eventually the lower part of her right leg had to be amputated.

When she was suffering from multi organ failure she also suffered septicaemia which caused mild brain damage.

We were instructed very early on in the case by L’s mother and the case progressed as a duel personal injury and clinical negligence claims.

One issue relating to the brain damage was especially complicated as it had to be established whether she had suffered a head injury in the road traffic accident or she had suffered brain damage due to the septicaemia and organ failure.

Despite the fact that there was a fight on liability with the drivers insurers and representatives, the hospital representatives, NHSLA and their solicitors finally took over the case in relation to both issues and admitted negligence so that Judgment could be entered.

We then managed to obtain a substantial interim payment to purchase a vehicle for L to aid her mobility and also to purchase two top of the range wheelchairs and other pieces of equipment. Issues with quantum continued to be negotiated and eventually the matter was set down for trial to assess the value of the case.

At a roundtable meeting with the Defendant’s representatives it was clear that the Defendants were not offering enough to settle the claim and everything was prepared for the trial. Two days before the trial the Defendants made a further offer and the case settled for a significant sum.

L purchased a bungalow via our Residential Property Department adapted for wheelchair use. Our Probate, Wills and Trusts Department were instructed to help draw up a Will for L to protect her assets. We also sourced an independent financial advisor to assist L in the protection and investment of her compensation funds to cover her future needs.

"Barlow Robbins’ handling of the case was exceptional. At all times you put the needs of the client and her general well being first, as you had done with a previous litigation case I had worked with you on. I also thought you were very professional whilst remaining approachable. I would recommend you to potential clients."
Comment by expert