Meningitis medical negligence claims
Meningitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the brain and spinal cord. A bacterial infection is typically more dangerous and in some cases, it may end up causing long-term health consequences or even be fatal if not correctly diagnosed and treated.
If a person displays the symptoms of meningitis or septicaemic, they will need to be treated urgently with antibiotics. Any delay in administering the antibiotics at the hospital may allow the infection to become life-threatening, and result in a permanent injury or death.
Without a claim for compensation, you or your loved one is much less likely to be returned to the standard of living you or they deserve. That’s why we’re here to help. At Fletchers, our specialised team will pursue compensation for you, covering items such as treatment, home modifications, care and education expenses.
What is a Meningitis medical negligence claim?
At Fletchers, we have considerable experience in successfully running medical negligence claims. We understand the importance of getting your claim for compensation right.
Whilst promisingly, there is evidence that Meningitis B cases have decreased since the introduction of a vaccine, there are still many cases where meningitis goes undiscovered or is not treated efficiently.
In the case of meningitis, it is crucial that healthcare professionals diagnose and treat the condition quickly. However sometimes this is not the case. Symptoms may vary depending on the age of the person, which makes a misdiagnosis more common – particularly in children. For example adults commonly suffer severe leg pain, cold extremities, fever, rash and/or a stiff neck, whereas a young person may have non-specific symptoms such as a fever, vomiting, irritability and upper respiratory tract symptoms.
Long-term health consequences of meningitis include:
- Septicaemia leading to amputation of limbs
- Loss of hearing and vision
- Brain or neurological conditions
- Bilateral hearing loss
If you believe that either you, a friend or a relative did not receive the correct treatment for meningitis, please get in touch and one of our experienced medical negligence lawyers will swiftly review your claim and provide you with clear advice about how we can help.
Different types of Meningitis medical negligence claims
Meningitis medical negligence cases usually arise from delays in diagnosing and treating the condition. For example, a GP may fail to identify the symptoms and therefore not immediately refer you to A&E, or a treating clinician may fail to correctly diagnose the condition and treat with the appropriate antibiotics.
In extreme cases, undetected meningitis can have tragic consequences and it is estimated that up to 1 in 10 cases of bacterial meningitis is fatal.
As children and young people are at a higher risk of serious consequences, medical professionals have clear guidance about the need to transfer those with suspected bacterial meningitis to hospital as an emergency by calling 999. If this guidance has not been followed, you may have a basis for making a claim for medical negligence.
At Fletchers Solicitors, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors will take the stress out of the claims process, so that you can focus on getting better. We have over 200 years’ combined experience dealing with medical negligence and Meningitis cases, so you can rest assured we’ll bring the best legal minds to your case.
Is there a time limit on making a Meningitis medical negligence claim?
‘Meningitis affects more than 5m people globally each year’. Some of the long term effects may have been avoided if adequate care was received.
A claim for negligence must be made within three years of the date (or “date of knowledge”) on which the affected person became aware that he or she suffered a personal injury as a result of a health professional’s care or treatment.
The date of knowledge is not the date on which the injury occurred, unless you knew about it at that time. Sometimes people do find out that a mistake has been made straight away, but in other cases it can be a matter of months, even years, before he or she realises something has gone wrong.
If you or the person the mistake happened to is, or was, under the age of 18 at the time that the incident occurred, then the time limit is three years from the date of their 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday).
If the affected person does not have the mental capacity to recognise the mistake, there can be no time limit, unless the person regains capacity.