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Cauda Equina
Have I Run Out of Time to Make a Claim for Cauda Equina Syndrome?

Have I Run Out of Time to Make a Claim for Cauda Equina Syndrome?

If you would like to claim compensation for cauda equina syndrome, you need to make a medical negligence claim (also called a clinical negligence claim in England and Wales).

Medical negligence claims must be made within three years of the negligent event. However, sometimes there are exceptions to the three year rule which gives you longer to make a claim.

Cauda equina claims

If you encountered medical negligence while suffering from cauda equina syndrome and this has caused you unnecessary harm, there could be grounds for a compensation claim.

This means that you are entitled to pursue a claim against the GP, NHS Trust or other clinician/organisation who provided you with a substandard level of care. A claim can be made against more than one Defendant. This is not uncommon in cauda equina claims, as the patient often visits multiple healthcare professionals during the course of their diagnosis and treatment.

Time limits for cauda equina claims

Medical negligence claims are subject to time limits. A claim must be brought before the courts within three years of the negligent event.

So if you attended a GP on 1 January 2016 with the red flag symptoms of cauda equina syndrome but you were not referred to hospital, that GP will have provided a substandard level of care. If you sustained avoidable injuries as a result of their mistake, you will then have until 1 January 2019 to bring a claim against him/her.

These time limits are set out in law and must be adhered to. Unfortunately if you fail to bring a claim within the three year time limit, you will have missed your opportunity to claim compensation. This can be frustrating, particularly if you have clearly been the victim of negligence. The only way to ensure you do not miss your chance is to seek early legal advice and begin your claim well within the time frame.

What are the exceptions?

But there are some exceptions, as described below:

  • 1. The victim does not have mental capacity. If so, there is no time limit.
  • 2. The victim was under the age of 18 when the negligence occurred. If so, the three year time limit will begin on their 18th birthday, giving him/her until the age of 21 to make a claim.
  • 3. The victim did not know about the negligence until a later date. If so, it may be possible to rely on a later date of knowledge, and the three year time limit will begin from this date.

The first two rarely apply to cauda equina claims. The third exception happens quite frequently in cauda equina claims. Often people say they did not realise they had the condition until seeing their medical records, a newspaper article or were told by a doctor.

Get in touch

To start your cauda equina claim, please get in touch with us at Glynns Solicitors.

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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