What are my options for claiming compensation for surgical error for my seven-year-old son who has recently fallen ill after an operation?
There are a number of options when it comes to claiming compensation for surgical error when the injured party is a child. However, you should make sure to contact a personal injury claims solicitor with experience in dealing with children’s medical negligence claims at the first possible moment. The information that will be provided here is merely a guide and will by no means be an alternative to the specific information that a solicitor with knowledge of your son’s situation will be able to give you. Furthermore, establishing negligence in claims such as injury sustained from surgical error can be complicated, so the sooner the claims process begins the better.
If you would like to initiate a surgical error injury claim at the first possible moment, you or another legal guardian will have to represent him as his “litigation friend”. This is because your son is still a minor and under UK law a child under the age of eighteen is not permitted to make a claim or advise a solicitor on their own behalf. However, should you wish to wait to make a claim your son will have up until the age of 21 to do so, as the usual three-year time-limit for pursuing a claim imposed by The UK Statute of Limitations does not begin until a child turns 18. Therefore, there is an option of waiting until your son turns 18 so that he may claim compensation for surgical error on his own behalf.
Nevertheless it is still vital that you get in contact with a personal injury claims solicitor as soon as possible so that you will you will be able to establish whether or not you have a surgical error injury claim that is worth pursuing. For instance, unless you can establish the surgeon’s negligence injury sustained from surgical error you will not be able to make a claim. Your solicitor will know how best to proceed with establishing this and will be able to help you compose the complaint that must be made to the NHS within one year of the date that you were made aware of your son’s injury sustained from surgical error. They will also write to all the medical professionals involved in your son’s surgery and obtain the relevant medical notes. Following this, they will seek the judgement of an independent medical expert who will be able to examine the evidence that your solicitor has compiled and inform them whether or not your son’s claim has sufficient strength.
To put your mind at ease about the claims process, you should contact your solicitor to discuss any further queries you may have. You shouldn’t worry about a possible stressful court case as most medical negligence claims are settled out of court unless the injury sustained was particularly hazardous. If your solicitor believes that your son’s claim has a considerable chance of success, they may offer to represent him in his compensation for surgical error claim.