Can I bring a claim on behalf of a child?

Yes. Any injured patient under 18 years of age is considered a child. This means they lack ‘capacity’ to bring the claim themselves and a Litigation Friend is appointed to bring the claim on the child’s behalf. The Litigation Friend is often a parent or guardian to the child. However, the Court can decide that a different party would be suitable (such as a family friend or a solicitor).

The Litigation Friend is appointed by the Court and must first satisfy certain criteria, such as being able to conduct the claim in both a fair and competent manner. A Litigation Friend must also file and serve a Certificate of Suitability.

Is there a time limit for bringing a claim on behalf of a child?

In most cases, there is a three-year time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim.  The three years begins from the date of the negligence or from the date that the patient should have known that the injury was or could reasonably be linked to the original negligence.  

However, in the case of a child in England and Wales, the three years begins on their 18th birthday. Therefore, a claim must be made before they reach the age of 21 years old.


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What happens if the child is now an adult?

If the child has ‘mental capacity’ then they will need to bring the claim in their own name. However, as a parent you will always be able to provide support throughout the process.

If the child does not have ‘mental capacity’, you may be able to pursue the claim on their behalf by acting as their Litigation Friend. Please see question 1 above. 

What is the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery?

Plastic Surgery is surgery carried out to reconstruct or repair damaged or missing skin and tissue and to restore function of skin and tissue to as close to normal as possible.  Plastic surgery includes surgery for burns, congenital abnormalities, reconstruction after some cancer surgeries and reconstruction and repair following an accident or injury. Plastic surgery is funded by the NHS.

Cosmetic Surgery is an elective surgical operation solely to enhance a person’s appearance.  Unless there is a medical need, the NHS will not pay for cosmetic surgery. The most popular cosmetic surgery procedures are breast augmentation (“boob job”), rhinoplasty (“nose job”) and abdominoplasty (“tummy tucks”).

Why is it important to have representation at the inquest?

During a difficult time, representation by a lawyer at the hearing may result in further evidence and information being discovered which could be extremely useful to the family.

The legal representative may also be able to help the family influence the types of questions asked by the Coroner, as well as the evidence called. In turn, this may assist the family to gain a better understanding about what happened, gain the closure they deserve and could also possibly assist in any potential future compensation claim.

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Why is a post-mortem important?

A post-mortem is a medical examination of the deceased, to determine the cause of death. It can also be referred to as an autopsy. 

It is possible that new and unexpected medical details are obtained about the cause of death, via a post-mortem. Such information could prove invaluable in terms of any compensation claim.

It is important that a defendant is informed of the death and provided with the coroner’s details once a claim has started. This is because the civil court may not allow a compensation claim to be pursued, if the defendant has not been provided with the chance to obtain the necessary medical details.



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What are the symptoms of DVT?

In some DVT cases, there are few or no symptoms that this condition exists. However, possible signs of DVT include:

  • Swelling and pain experienced in the leg, usually in the calf area

  • Aching within the affected area

  • Warmer skin where the clot is present

  • The appearance of the skin becoming red below the back of the knee
How is DVT diagnosed?

GPs often refer patients for a specific blood test called a D-dimer test, if they suspect DVT. This test can detect broken down pieces of blood clot within the bloodstream.

A large quantity of blood clot pieces is a warning sign that a blood clot is present. The reliability of this test has been questioned though because the number of blood clot pieces present in the bloodstream can increase for other reasons. For example, after an operation or during pregnancy. Therefore, often an ultrasound scan will also be required before DVT can be properly diagnosed. 


What is ENT surgery?

ENT surgery is a term used to cover all surgical operations performed by specifically trained otolaryngologists on the ear, nose or throat.

ENT surgery may be performed for the following reasons:

  • Pain experienced in the face
  • Tinnitus (i.e. a persistent ringing in the ears)
  • Removal of obstructions from the nasal passage
  • To treat sleep apnoea (i.e. when your breathing stops and starts whilst you sleep)
  • Rhinoplasty (i.e. a nose job).
What are the most common types of procedure that have caused negligent eye claims to be brought?

Multiple eye procedures exist. The list below contains examples of the most common procedures which can result in negligence claims:

  • Cataracts surgery – an ophthalmic surgeon removes a cloudy lens from the eye and it is replaced with an artificial lens.
  • Glaucoma surgery – excess fluid is removed which causes increased pressure in the eye. If left untreated this could result in damage to the optic nerve.
  • Retinal detachment surgeryan ophthalmic surgeon corrects a detached retina in order to save the patient’s vision and secure the retina in place whilst it heals.
  • Surgery for eye conditions relating to diabetes – an example is surgery performed to rectify damage to the eye’s blood vessels. 


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