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Life-changing settlement for life-altering brain injury

How experts at Drummond Miller secured the best possible outcome after medical negligence

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Drummond Miller Solicitors has recently secured a multi-million pound settlement for a client on behalf of their partner after a hospital’s failure to diagnose potassium deficiency caused her to suffer cardiac arrest, resulting in a life-altering brain injury for which she now requires extensive life-long support. NR Times finds out more

Background

The client’s wife was admitted to hospital with a fast pulse, neck stiffness, and a raised temperature.

The initial assessment carried out upon her admission showed her to be suffering from dangerously low potassium levels and metabolic alkalosis (elevated PH levels).

Her heart’s rhythm was also noted to be irregular. However, the treating staff either failed to review the results obtained or failed to note their importance.

As a result, treatment of these issues was not included within the care plan, and the treatment that was provided was inappropriate in light of a pre-existing health condition.

Overnight, and as a result of the client’s wife’s issues being left untreated, she suffered cardiac arrest.

The cardiac arrest resulted in her brain not being supplied with enough oxygen, causing an irreversible brain injury.

Impact of the brain injury and issues between the parties

Carrie Burrows, a senior associate with a number of years of specialist experience handling clinical negligence claims, recognised from the outset that the failures had resulted in life changing injuries and that significant further investigations would be required into not only the potential negligence, but also in relation to the ongoing effects for the client’s wife and what care and support she would need long term.

Despite receiving rehabilitation, the client’s wife was incapable of coherent speech, required assistance with eating and drinking, was fully dependent on assistance to dress, experienced incontinence issues, and required an attendant-propelled wheelchair to mobilise.

As a result of her complex issues, she required care and assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, the client made the decision to become his wife’s carer full time at home to avoid her admission to a care home following her discharge.

Despite the need for full time care, only four hours of care assistance was being provided weekly, with support otherwise being provided by the family.

The hours of care required, together with the lack of economic support and income left the client and his wife in an extremely difficult financial situation.

Focussed investigations and a proactive approach resulted in the earliest possible admission of liability being obtained from the Health Board.

This then allowed an interim payment (an initial payment whilst the case progressed) to be secured in order that a care package could be put in place providing the family with the support that they required whilst investigations into the overall value of the claim could be concluded.

The ability to secure funds at an early stage proved to be essential as the final settlement was not achieved for a further two years: requiring expert reports from 13 specialities to assist with calculating the value of the claim due in large part to the complex care needs.

With the final hearing on quantum (value) fast approaching and with expert negotiation and consideration of the losses (such as wage loss, pension loss, support provided by the family, past and future care costs, care management, cost of past and future therapies, cost of equipment, and accommodation costs) Carrie was able to achieve a very successful settlement without the need for a full court hearing on the evidence to allow the family to receive the support they required in the years to come.

Outcome

Parties agreed that the multi-million pound settlement should be paid to the client by way of an initial lump sum, with substantial annual period payments thereafter for her lifetime.

Drummond Miller also provided assistance in arranging for a Personal Injury Trust to be set up to ensure that the compensation was protected and the client did not lose out on any means-tested benefits she was entitled to as a result of receiving the settlement.

Providing support during the most difficult times

We know that raising concerns regarding medical treatment and making a claim for compensation can cause further distress in an already stressful situation.

That’s why Drummond Miller take a truly human approach by getting to know your individual situation and then being as proactive as possible to help with your needs.

The importance of instructing a legal team that specialises in the handling of clinical negligence claims to guarantee appropriate handling of the complexities that arise in these cases cannot be understated.

We are a team of compassionate individuals who will do our very best to handle your case with the utmost sensitivity and with your specific situation in mind so that we can strive to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

If you believe you may have a claim, please complete our enquiry form to speak with one of our experts completely free of charge or visit drummondmiller.co.uk

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