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Compensation Settlements For Cauda Equina Syndrome

Between 2003 and 2007, there were 46 claims relating to Cauda Equina Syndrome in the UK. This might not seem like many, but it is in fact a remarkably high number considering just how rare the condition is.

Why does Cauda Equina Syndrome often lead to a claim?

The reasons for the high medico-legal profile are twofold. Firstly, because Cauda Equina Syndrome is not a common complaint, many doctors will never have seen it before in their professional careers. This frequently causes medical practitioners to make a misdiagnosis, discharging patients from their care without investigating the possibility of spinal compression. However, this is not an excuse; medical professionals should have sufficient knowledge to recognise the tell-tale symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome and should also appreciate the urgency with which this suspected diagnosis must be confirmed or ruled out.

Secondly, a delay in diagnosis will result in devastating consequences. Although Cauda Equina Syndrome isn’t something that could lead to a fatality, it will lead to permanent neurological complications if not treated in time. This is because the longer the nerves are compressed, the more extensive the damage will be. Within a matter of days (or sometimes even hours) the injury will be so severe that nothing can be done to repair the damage. In such cases, a patient will face a life-time of health problems, potentially including severe back and leg pain, sexual dysfunction and partial or total paralysis.

Why are cauda equina compensation settlements so high?

When cauda equina claims are successful, they usually settle for a substantial sum of compensation. Of the 20 claims that settled between 2003 and 2007, an average payment of £117,331 was given per case, with the highest being a £584,000 settlement. Evidently this is a large amount of money. However, that is because it is intended to reflect the terrible effects a delay in diagnosis and treatment can have. A patient will be left to suffer long-term physical complications, hindering their ability to work or even live a normal life. The amount of general damages (which reflects the level of pain, suffering and loss of amenity) and special damages (which reflects the acute financial loss) will therefore be very high.

Are you entitled to compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If you believe you are entitled to compensation for Cauda Equina Syndrome, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in this area of the law. A legal expert from the Cauda Equina Solicitors will be able to advise you whether you are in a position to claim, and if so, what action you need to take next. If you have indeed been the victim of cauda equina negligence, you could stand to receive a substantial sum of compensation that will reflect the distressing injuries you have wrongfully suffered.

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