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Sepsis, or septicaemia, is a very serious and frequent condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes damage to the body itself. It can lead to the body going into shock causing tissue damage, organ failure and, in some extreme circumstances, death. An injury caused by sepsis may be temporary or permanent – either way, if the condition was missed due to negligence, you may have a claim for compensation.
Early recognition and treatment of sepsis can save lives. When initial signs are missed, the window of opportunity for early treatment can be lost, and you or your loved one may have been denied the opportunity to make a full or better recovery. If this is the case, we can help you investigate a claim for a delay in diagnosis and treatment of sepsis.
Sepsis is a very particular danger for a pregnant mother or her newborn child. In some instances an untreated infection in the mother can lead to the development of maternal sepsis. This can lead onto uterine infections and infection of the unborn child. Very sadly this can go on to cause babies to be delivered in an extremely poor condition and to suffer a brain injury or death. Women can also suffer from complications of infection after delivery of their baby, which is known as postpartum sepsis (most often bacterial sepsis), which can be a life threatening situation due to multi-organ failure.
How can we help you make a sepsis negligence claim?
In order to make a legal claim against a Hospital Trust or your GP for failure to recognise and treat sepsis, you should speak with a specialist lawyer who will be able to advise you of whether you have reasonable grounds to pursue a claim for negligence.
You will probably have reasonable grounds if you or your loved one were aware that you didn’t receive the right treatment in time, or at all. Our team sees any potential claim both as an opportunity to secure yours and your family’s future, and to throw a spotlight on vital patient safety lessons for medical institutions, avoiding further instances of substandard care.
Other related services include:
What is the process when making a claim?
The process of making a claim starts by obtaining all of the relevant medical records to discover exactly what happened and the advice and treatment that was given.
We will then instruct medical experts to review the records and advise on the standard of the care that you or your loved one received. If substandard care is identified, the medical experts will also be asked to comment on what difference the substandard care has made to the outcome.
Following this we will write to the hospital, GP or other medical professional and tell them why we believe that the treatment was substandard. They will then have the opportunity to admit or deny the allegations we have made. If they deny the allegations your claim may be issued in court.
The court will then manage the claim by providing a timetable which will include exchanging evidence from witnesses; exchanging experts’ reports; and finally working towards trial.
It is very rare to go to trial and most cases settle before any trial takes place.
How much compensation might you receive?
The amount of compensation you will receive will depend on the nature of your injuries. If the sepsis has left you with a permanent and severe injury, the level of compensation is often very high as it will need to provide for all of your additional needs for the rest of your life.
Care: It may be that you require additional care as a result of the sepsis injury. Any compensation will cover the cost of care provided by family members and/or a commercial care team.
Accommodation: In extreme cases, you may benefit from new accommodation which will need to be adapted to meet your needs. If this is the case, we will work closely with an architectural expert to calculate how much new accommodation will cost to buy, adapt and maintain.
Therapies & equipment: Some people benefit from ongoing therapy or equipment to maximise their quality of life after sepsis. We will include the cost of all therapies and equipment as part of the claim.
Loss of earnings: You may have had a period off work as a result of a protracted recovery after sepsis or have become permanently unable to work in the future. We will calculate any losses in earnings when claiming compensation.
How long will a claim for sepsis negligence take?
Bringing a claim can take a number of years and the time it takes will depend upon the nature of the injury and whether the defendant contests the claim or not.
Sometimes it is possible to obtain an interim payment from the defendant to pay for initial therapies and rehabilitation before the claim is settled and we will always explore this option if available.
How can you pay for a sepsis claim?
When the claim is being made on behalf of a newborn baby then it may be possible to secure public funding for the claim from the Legal Aid Agency. Otherwise, most cases are funded by way of a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which is often referred to as a ‘no win no fee agreement’.
When a CFA is in place, you will pay nothing if you lose your case. If you win your case, the majority of our costs will be paid for by the defendant with a small proportion being deducted from your compensation.
What makes Royds Withy King a good firm to choose for sepsis claims?
Royds Withy King has a huge wealth of experience in looking after clients and families affected by sepsis.
We have built relationships with some of the best medical experts in the country who can advise the court on the standard of care that you or your loved one has received.