Sepsis is a condition that can occur if infections are not dealt with swiftly. Unfortunately, sepsis is a life-threatening condition that leads to fatalities every year. As sepsis can be tricky to diagnose, doctors must carefully review a patient’s symptoms before dismissing it as another condition. In some cases, the misdiagnosis of sepsis could be deemed as medical negligence. In this guide about sepsis negligence claims, we’ll consider when you could sue a hospital for sepsis and how much might be awarded.
Our team of specially trained advisors is here to help if you have any questions about sepsis claims. During a no-obligation review of your claim, they’ll provide free legal advice and set out your options. A medical negligence solicitor from our panel may agree to represent you if your claim appears strong enough. If they do, you won’t need to pay any legal fees in advance as they’ll work on a No Win No Fee basis.
Please continue reading for more information on sepsis negligence claims or call us right away on 0800 6524 881 to discuss your claim.
Table of contents
- What Is Sepsis?
- Am I Eligible To Make A Sepsis Negligence Claim?
- What Might Be Classed As Sepsis Negligence?
- Can I Claim For The Death Of A Loved One From Sepsis?
- How Much Compensation For Sepsis Negligence Could I Claim?
- Claiming Compensation For A Child Affected By Sepsis
- Evidence To Support A Sepsis Negligence Claim?
- Time Limits For Claiming Sepsis Compensation
- Starting The Sepsis Negligence Claims Process
Sepsis is a condition that occurs when the body tries to fight infection and, by doing so, attacks the body’s own tissues. This can cause damage to the tissues in the body and lead to poor or abnormal organ function.
Sepsis can affect anybody but those most at risk include:
- Patients with weakened immune systems.
- People with very serious illnesses.
- Babies and very young children.
- Elderly patients.
- Patients recovering from recent surgery or injuries.
In some cases, sepsis can lead to septic shock. This can be life-threatening and cause severe organ failure. The outcome can be fatal if septic shock is not identified or dealt with swiftly.
According to the NHS, sepsis can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms can be associated with other conditions. It may also be referred to as blood poisoning or septicemia.
NHS advises that adults, children or babies with any of the following symptoms should visit A&E or call 999:
- Blue skin, tongue or lips that are pale or blotchy.
- Slurred speech, acting confused or not making sense.
- Breathing difficulties including breathlessness or very fast breathing.
- A rash that won’t clear when rolling a glass over it.
Additionally, if your young child or baby is displaying any of the following symptoms, they could be suffering sepsis so you should also seek emergency medical treatment by calling 999:
- A high-pitched weak cry that differs from their normal cry.
- Being difficult to wake or being sleepier than usual.
- Where the child is not feeding, responding or interested as they normally would.
Importantly, the NHS advises that somebody suffering from sepsis may not display all the symptoms listed.
You may be able to make a sepsis negligence claim if it’s provable that:
- Medical negligence: i.e. the level of care provided by a medical professional fell below what you could reasonably expect; and
- Causation: i.e. you or a loved one was made ill by sepsis as a direct result of the medical professional’s negligence.
Proving that suffering caused by sepsis resulted from medical negligence can be extremely difficult. For that reason, we would always suggest speaking with a specialist medical negligence solicitor about your claim.
Some examples of the types of negligence that could lead to a sepsis compensation claim include:
- Misdiagnosed sepsis. A medical misdiagnosis can happen if a doctor concludes that the sepsis symptoms you’re displaying are misdiagnosed as other conditions such as flu or a chest infection.
- Delayed diagnosis. Treating sepsis as quickly as possible may increase the likelihood of survival. Therefore, if you or a loved one has suffered because of a delay in spotting sepsis, you may have a claim for any suffering caused.
- Failure to carry out tests. You could be eligible to claim compensation for sepsis negligence if the right tests were not carried out or if the test results were not properly understood.
- Medication errors. If you were given the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage, it may have been ineffective at treating sepsis and caused more suffering than necessary.
Our team can help with sepsis negligence claims so please get in touch for free legal advice about what to do next.
Unfortunately, as stated above, sepsis can cause death if not caught early enough and treated effectively. We understand that money will never help you recover from the loss of a loved one. However, we could help you to make a claim if your loss has caused financial difficulties.
For example, if you were financially dependent on the deceased, compensation could be awarded to cover the loss of their income. Similarly, expenses such as funeral costs could be claimed back in sepsis compensation claims.
One of our friendly advisors will explain your options during a no-obligation consultation if you do decide that you’d like to make a claim.
Any compensation awarded in a sepsis negligence claim should cover any suffering you’ve endured as well as any financial impact. As a result, if you win a sepsis claim, it could include damages to cover:
- Physical pain, suffering and discomfort.
- Fear for life, distress, depression and other forms of mental injury.
- Loss of enjoyment of your usual activities while injured.
- Reductions in earnings.
- The cost of a professional carer or the time a family member spends caring for you.
- Travel expenses.
- Medical costs.
- Loss of future income.
- Home adaptations to make it easier to cope with any permanent disabilities caused by sepsis.
How much compensation is awarded for sepsis depends entirely on how the claimant has suffered. Therefore, as part of a sepsis medical negligence claim, your solicitor may need to refer you to an independent specialist who will assess the impact of your illness and review your medical records. The independent medical report will be used by your solicitor to help calculate how much compensation you might be entitled to.
Before assessing how sepsis has affected you, it isn’t possible to provide an estimate of what type of payout for sepsis you might receive. However, to give you a general idea of compensation amounts, we have included a compensation calculator below that showcases the potential payout ranges for various types of injuries that can be caused by sepsis negligence.
If you’d like to discuss a sepsis claim with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel, please contact us today.
In some cases, children affected by sepsis can suffer lifelong medical problems. Legally, they cannot start a compensation claim themselves until their 18th birthday. However, a parent or guardian can do so on the child’s behalf before that date by applying to become a litigation friend.
That can help to ensure your child gets the necessary care to reduce their suffering as soon as possible. In some cases, a court may award a lump sum payment as well as annual payments to cover care and medical costs for the rest of your child’s life.
To discuss a sepsis compensation claim on behalf of your child, please get in touch.
Claims for sepsis may be made against the NHS as well as private hospitals and care providers. In either case, evidence will need to be supplied to prove how you have suffered and why the defendant was to blame. Therefore, the following evidence could be used to support a sepsis negligence claim:
- Detailed medical records, including the claimant’s medical history and any treatment received.
- An independent medical expert’s opinion to establish the standard of care that was expected and whether this standard was met.
- A timeline of events which may help establish the speed at which the sepsis was diagnosed and treated.
- Complaint responses from the medical professional or facility where you were treated.
- Your own statement about what happened and statements from any witnesses to show how sepsis negligence has affected you.
Some of the evidence will be very complex and technical. If you work with a solicitor on our team, they’ll deal with third-party specialists on your behalf to try and establish all of the facts about what caused your suffering for you.
Usually, sepsis medical negligence claims have a 3-year time limit in the UK and are as follows:
- 3 years from the date you were made aware that you had suffered from sepsis (your date of knowledge); or
- Any time before a child’s 18th birthday if the claim is made by a responsible adult.
- The time limit will not apply if the claimant’s injuries mean they do not have the mental capacity to make a claim.
If no sepsis claim is made on behalf of the child, they can still file a claim themselves as long as it’s within 3 years of their 18th birthday.
Adults without the mental capacity to file a sepsis claim have 3 years to do so if they regain mental capacity and no claim has already been made.
To check how long you have left to begin your claim, please speak to our team today.
The cost of hiring a medical negligence specialist might seem daunting at the start of the claims process. However, our team of solicitors do not ask for any legal fees to be paid upfront as they offer a No Win No Fee service for all claims they agree to work on.
That means you’ll only pay for your solicitor’s work if they win compensation on your behalf. If that happens, a success fee will be deducted from your settlement amount rather than you having to pay your solicitor directly.
If you’d like to find out if you could make a No Win No Fee sepsis negligence claim, please call us on 0800 6524 881 today. We’ll provide free legal advice no matter what you decide to do next.
Alternatively, you can discuss the process of making a sepsis negligence claim with an online advisor by connecting to our live chat service.