Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims | Fieldfisher
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Cauda Equina Syndrome Claims Solicitors*

If you or your family have suffered from cauda equina syndrome and medical negligence in Ireland, our team of expert medical negligence solicitors can help. We will investigate the circumstances and by taking a medical negligence case, we will help you secure compensation for your injuries.

To speak with one of our cauda equina syndrome negligence experts call +353 (0)1 8280 982 or complete our online inquiry form.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a rare condition where there is severe compression of spinal nerve roots called the cauda equina (Horse's tail in Latin). Cauda equina syndrome is a surgical emergency and if not treated quickly can lead to a range of symptoms, including severe lower back pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, numbness in the groin area, and permanent paralysis of the legs.
What causes cauda equina syndrome?

There are several causes of cauda equina syndrome, including:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spinal lesions and tumors
  • Spinal infections and inflammation
  • Traumatic lumbar spine injuries
  • Spinal anaesthesia
  • Birth defects

 Cauda equina syndrome signs and symptoms

The onset of cauda equina syndrome can be either acute or gradual. Common symptoms of cauda equina include:

  • Sciatica – nerve pain in the lower back and legs
  • Incontinence
  • Weakness and numbness affecting the legs
  • Saddle anesthesia - loss or altered sensations in the lower body
  • Sexual dysfunction

Cauda equina syndrome and medical negligence

We have successfully represented clients whose CES was not properly diagnosed and dealt with due to medical negligence; for example:

  • Delayed Diagnosis and Permanent Damage: One of the most common issues we see is delayed diagnosis of CES. Failure to recognise the urgency of CES symptoms and promptly refer the patient for diagnostic imaging or surgical intervention can result in permanent damage to the nerves. 
  • Misinterpretation of Diagnostic Tests:  Misinterpretation of diagnostic tests and imaging such as an MRI or CT scan may mean that the signs of nerve compression are missed. 
  • Communication Among Healthcare Professionals: Effective communication among healthcare professionals is crucial in emergencies such as CES, especially when multiple specialists are involved. Negligence may occur when there is a breakdown in communication between general practitioners, orthopaedic surgeons, neurologists, and other medical professionals responsible for the patient's care. 

How do I start a medical negligence claim?

If you would like to investigate a case, please contact our team. We are one of the UK and Ireland's leading clinical negligence law firms. We will advise and support you throughout the claims process, ensuring you receive the best possible outcome.

You can find out more about making a medical negligence claim here

Contact us

If you or a loved one has experienced a delayed diagnosis or inadequate treatment for CES due to medical negligence in Ireland, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. You generally have two years to make such a claim.

Gathering evidence and enlisting the expertise of our specialised medical negligence team can help you navigate the complexities of pursuing compensation for the physical and emotional toll endured. 

Call +353 1 8280 982 or complete our online inquiry form.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

Medical Negligence FAQs

Medical negligence is where care provided by a medical professional to a patient was below the standard expected, and which has directly caused harm, death or caused a pre-existing condition to become worse. It helps to break it down as follows:

  1. Duty of Care: Healthcare providers (doctors and hospital staff such as nurses and midwives) owe a duty of care to patients to provide treatment in line with accepted standards.
  2. Breach of Duty: A breach occurs when a healthcare professional fails to meet the standard of care expected in a given situation.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty of care has caused the injury/disability/condition that you are taking the case for.

To start investigating whether or not you or a loved one has a medical negligence case, the simplest and best way is to contact our Medical Negligence Solicitors. You do not need to avail of the HSE’s complaints process before engaging with a solicitor.  We offer a free initial consultation to hear from you, about what has happened and we can then give an initial opinion on whether or not you could have a case.

For your case to be successful, we must be able to prove that you received negligent treatment which caused an injury or contributed to making an existing condition worse. On your behalf, our Medical Negligence Solicitors will write to the hospital or doctor for a copy of your records, study them and then ask an expert doctor to conduct an analysis, and provide an independent report on whether or not the duty of care owed to you or a loved one, was breached.

There are time limits for starting a case and the rules are not straightforward. The quickest, easiest and safest way to ensure that you are not out of time, is to speak with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors.

As a general rule, you have two years from the date that you first became aware that your injury was caused by medical negligence, to start a case.

Where a child has been injured, his parent or guardian can start a case on their behalf any time before the child turns 18. When the child reaches the age of 18, they have until their 20th birthday to start a case for injuries they sustained as a child.

If somebody is unable to handle their own affairs due to a brain injury or mental health condition, there is no time limit to their loved one starting a case, on their behalf.

It is worth repeating that if you are concerned about a time limit on your case, the safest and quickest way to find out is to contact our Medical Negligence solicitors.

Injuries due to medical negligence can lead to permanent physical and psychological disabilities, requiring lifelong medical care, rehabilitation, and support. The aim of compensation is to cover these expenses, ensuring that injured patients or their families have the financial resources to provide the best possible care for them or their child. Additionally, compensation will account for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages associated with the injury.

The amount of compensation you or a loved one deserves for your injuries caused by medical negligence will depend on matters such as:

  • The nature and extent of your injury/illness/disability
  • Any expenses you’ve incurred or will incur in future on treatment
  • Any lost wages past, present or in future because of your injuries/disability
  • Your future care needs

If you wish to know the costs involved in investigating a medical negligence claim, and what it costs to take a case for your medical negligence injuries, the best and quickest way to do so, is to call our Medical Negligence Solicitors on +353 1 8280 982  or complete our online inquiry form. One of our Medical Negligence Solicitors will respond as soon as possible to discuss your options. We are mindful that you will have already experienced an injury or loss that has been upsetting or even traumatic and we will work with you, to make this process as easy as possible.

Medical negligence cases rarely go all the way to trial. Generally speaking, cases where the medicine is especially complex, or cases involving a large number of doctors or hospitals are more likely to go to trial. It is important to know that if your case goes to court, we will guide you through the process, and what to expect.

The Health Service Executive is responsible for care provided to public patients at all of the University Hospitals (e.g. Galway University Hospital, Mayo General Hospital, Letterkenny University Hospital). As such, the majority of cases brought in Ireland are against the HSE. However, to ensure that the correct entity, responsible for your injuries is held to account, it is important that you speak with one of our Medical Negligence Solicitors.

Following a serious incident, the HSE may carry out its own review to highlight failings and to recommend change where appropriate. Such a report can highlight serious systemic or individual problems that have contributed to failings and harm which prompts the hospital trust to implement staff training and other improvements to keep patients safe.

Investigating negligence or taking a case against a doctor or hospital should have no impact on your treatment. If you have any concerns about this, we will advise and assist you. We can discuss with you, your rights such as transfer of your care to another hospital if you do not feel comfortable being treated in the hospital where you suffered an injury due to negligence.

While we try and resolve cases as quickly as possible, every effort will be made to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. How long it will take depends on what happened in your case, the complexity of your injury/disability, and the number of doctors or hospitals involved. Thankfully, there have been some recent changes in the litigation process that enables cases to proceed at a faster pace.

If it is confirmed by an expert that you have been injured due to medical negligence, it is important that the nature and extent of your injury/disability is assessed by that expert or if appropriate, another expert so that we and you know as much about your future as possible. In doing so, we will be able to understand your future needs and seek compensation to cover all of those losses.  

Parents or guardians can take medical negligence cases on behalf of their children. We represent children who have birth injuries such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can advise you on how the claim will run and other information such as time limits. 

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