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Paediatric Negligence Claims

Paediatricians are specialist doctors who look after children. This means that if a mistake is made in providing care or treatment, the child is the possible claimant. The mistake may not have been made by a paediatrician; any clinician involved in caring for or treating children can potentially do something wrong.

Children and infants cannot communicate like adults, so taking time and care when assessing and diagnosing issues is particularly important, and this includes issues occurring before and during their birth. Illness and injuries are also more difficult to diagnose in children and infants, who are often unable to get across what they’re thinking and feeling.

Medical negligence involving children can therefore be complex, covering a wide and varied range of claims.

What can paediatric claims cover?

Paediatric claims encompass any form of negligent treatment of a child or infant.

Common paediatric claims include:

  • Missed and delayed diagnosis, including meningitis, septicaemia, tuberculosis and hip dysplasia
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors (type or dosage)
  • Birth injury (including perinatal stroke)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy or Dejerine-Klumpke palsy
  • Failure to diagnose (for example, asthma, childhood diabetes or other chronic illnesses)
  • Failure to correctly identify and treat fractures
  • Complications from tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
  • Improper treatment of leukaemia

Errors during the birthing process can be particularly devastating, causing life-long and significant difficulties for the child and having an enormous impact on the entire family, but we understand that any damage to a child is hugely concerning and that families can struggle to cope with the effects of that damage.

We are here to try and help the child, and the family, secure the assistance that they need in order to ensure that the child achieves the best possible outcome.

Can I bring a medical negligence claim on behalf of my child?

When child negligence has occurred, it can be confusing to understand how best to proceed.

Children can bring a claim for medical negligence, but they need somebody to help them. This person is called a ‘Litigation Friend’ and is usually, but does not have to be, a parent, who agrees to act in the child’s best interests and manage the claim for the child.

Claims on behalf of children also have a different time limit (the ‘limitation period’) to those brought by adults. The usual three-year limit does not begin until the child reaches the age of 18 if that child has mental capacity, and not at all if the child does not.

Because the claim is pursued on behalf of the child, any compensation received belongs to the child and any settlement will need the approval of the Court. The Court will also ensure that the compensation is protected. We will be able to advise you at each step and will guide you through the process.

Support through your paediatric negligence claim

Medical negligence involving children tends to have a more wide-ranging impact than negligence involving adults, as the child is vulnerable and reliant on others. The child is also still growing and developing. This means that damage or injury sustained as a result of negligence can inhibit their progress, leading to a more severe outcome than if they were an adult.

For these reasons, claims can take a longer time to conclude. We want to be sure that all aspects of the injury suffered, and the impact that it has upon the child, are considered and taken into account, but we will guide you through every step of the way and make sure that you have the support that you, and your child, need.

Choose expert medical negligence solicitors

We understand that the process of pursuing a medical negligence claim is complex and daunting, but our team has a wealth of healthcare experience and legal expertise to support you at every turn.

We can help you and your child through this complicated process, taking a caring and compassionate approach to your unique circumstances.

We’ll do everything in our power to ensure you receive the compensation necessary to cover the pain and suffering of your child, as well as providing support for any future care and rehabilitation needs that may be required.

Get in touch to share your situation with our legal experts and find out how we can help you.

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