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Breach of Duty in Cauda Equina Claims

Breach of Duty in Cauda Equina Claims

To make a medical negligence claim for cauda equina syndrome, your solicitor will need to establish that there has been a breach of duty.

What is a breach of duty?

A breach of duty is when a medical practitioner fails to provide a patient with a reasonable level of care. All medical practitioners have a duty of care; this means they are legally obliged to meet a certain standard all times.

This standard of care is judged against what a similar body of medical practitioners would find acceptable. When a GP, doctor or nurse fails to meet this legal obligation, there has been a breach of duty.

What would amount to a breach of duty in a cauda equina claim?

Cauda equina syndrome is a neurological condition affecting the nerves at the base of the spine. It is a medical emergency requiring immediate surgical decompression if the nerves are to avoid serious harm.

A breach of duty can occur at any point during the diagnosis and treatment process. Most commonly, a breach of duty will arise because medical practitioners failed to recognise and act upon a patient's symptoms.

here can also be a breach of duty if medical practitioners suspect cauda equina syndrome, yet there are delays in sending the patient for an MRI scan or to theatre for decompression surgery.

Proving a breach of duty

To prove that there has been a breach of duty, your solicitor will ask an independent medical expert to write a report on your case. The expert will offer their opinion as to whether the care you received fell below an acceptable standard.

Proving causation

Once breach of duty has been established, your solicitor will then need to prove that medical errors caused you to suffer harm that you would otherwise have avoided. This is called proving causation.

Often the matter of causation in cauda equina claims comes down to whether or not you would have had a better outcome with earlier surgery. For many the answer is yes because the nerves would not have sustained so much damage, meaning the symptoms would not be as bad.

Start a claim today

If you have had cauda equina syndrome and you believe you were the victim of medical negligence, you need to speak to a solicitor about the care you received. If you were harmed because of substandard medical care, you will be entitled to make a claim. Contact us at Glynns Solicitors for more information.

Call us now for a free, no obligation assessment on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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