Last updated on November 17th, 2019
Meningitis is a contagious disease that is mostly spread through contact with a carrier. A carrier is someone who is carrying the meningitis virus or bacteria but is not ill with the disease themselves in most cases. Anyone can develop meningitis at any age but children under 5 years are more vulnerable because of their weaker immune systems. The elderly are also more susceptible because of their weakened immune systems.
Even when diagnosed on time and treated correctly, meningitis can have far-reaching consequences. Delayed or incorrect treatment for meningitis can have a devastating effect and can even be fatal.
Did a medical professional fail to identity yours or a loved ones meningitis symptoms? Was the treatment delayed, allowing the symptoms to get worse? Did the delay lead to more serious health problems or complications? If you experienced any of the above, you must get in touch with a medical negligence solicitor to find out about your right to pursue a meningitis compensation claim.
Meningitis Causes, Symptoms And Complications
Meningitis can be caused either by a viral or bacterial infection. When the germs enter the body, they infect the meninges, which are delicate membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. The resulting inflammation of the meninges is what causes the typical symptoms of meningitis.
While both forms (viral and bacterial) of meningitis present similar symptoms, the bacterial form is more serious. The infection develops without warning and spreads rapidly. It requires immediate hospitalisation and treatment to stem the deteriorating effects. A delay in the diagnosis or treatment can be fatal.
Meningitis symptoms can include any combination of the following:
- Feverish temperature
- Stiff neck
- Pain in the legs
- Aversion to light
- Sudden dramatic weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
If left untreated, these symptoms get more serious and result in several life-altering complications, including:
- Persistent headaches
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory loss
- Blurred vision
- Partial or complete vision loss
- Lack of coordination
- Speech problems
- Lack of energy
- Partial or complete loss of hearing
- Problems with balance
- Muscle fatigue
- Partial or complete paralysis
These complications may be temporary or permanent. The earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of a full recovery.
When Can You File A Meningitis Compensation Claim?
A meningitis compensation claim is a specific type of medical negligence claim that can be initiated when someone suffers from meningitis-related complications because of the negligence of a medical professional.
If you experience any of the symptoms that indicate you may have meningitis, you would expect your doctor to conduct a thorough investigation to confirm or rule out the possibility of the disease. If a meningitis diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor should commence the appropriate treatment protocol immediately.
You may be able to file a meningitis compensation claim if:
- The doctor failed to carry out a thorough investigation
- Your meningitis symptoms were misdiagnosed resulting in non-treatment
- The correct diagnosis was delayed resulting in delayed treatment
- The doctor failed to record the full history of your symptoms
- Your medical history was not checked before commencing treatment
- Your progress was not monitored as often as required
Failure to do any of the above may constitute medical negligence.
What You Need To File And Win A Meningitis Compensation Claim
The first thing you will need is to be able to prove that your complications were the result of medical negligence. You may be 100% sure that your doctor was negligent in their duty towards you but that is not enough to win a meningitis claim. You need to be able to prove this and it needs to be done within the 3-year statute of limitations. This can be challenging especially when you consider that recovering from meningitis can be a slow process. If putting your case together takes more than 3 years, you may forfeit the chance to claim compensation altogether.
One way to make sure your legal rights are protected while still taking the time to recover from your illness is by having a medical negligence solicitor handling your meningitis claim.
How To Find The Right Medical Negligence Solicitor
Finding the right medical negligence solicitor is easier than you may think. What’s more, with most solicitors you won’t have to pay any money upfront either.
Most medical negligence solicitors offer a free, no-obligation consultation, typically conducted by phone. This allows you to discuss your meningitis claim with the solicitor, and get legal advice free of charge. The solicitor will listen to your account and go through any medical evidence you may already be able to provide to determine the merits of your case.
If the medical negligence solicitor finds that you have insufficient evidence to prove medical negligence, they may advise you not to pursue a claim. On the other hand, if you have a strong case with strong evidence to support it, the solicitor would offer to file your meningitis claim using a No Win No Fee agreement. The solicitor will also explain how the legal process works and how the No Win No Fee agreement works, what you can expect from them and what they expect from you.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with regards to making a meningitis compensation claim then please get in touch with us today.