Birth Injury – What a difference a day makes…
Well, in Mrs M’s case, it made a whole world of difference to her case for clinical negligence. After a caesarean section Mrs M was left with a serious wound infection. At first the urgency of the situation went unnoticed and, by the time it was, a necrotising fasciitis had broken through the peritoneal wall and spread to the gut wall and rectum.
Fortunately, Mrs M was represented by a top-quality clinical negligence firm, and they arranged ATE insurance cover on her behalf with Temple Legal Protection.
Experts on both sides agreed that she had been left with significant injury and that there had been negligence in her treatment. What they could not agree on was when this negligence occurred. The difference was 24 hours but, in terms of causation and what could therefore have been done to treat the infection, this made all the difference.
The defendant made an early offer on this basis, but Mrs M’s experts needed time to look at the evidence. This was because there was a good case for saying a diagnosis could have been made the day before and, if it had been, the prognosis would have been so much better.
Under the Part 36 rules the clock was ticking. If the ATE cover from Temple had not been available, Mrs M would have had to take the offer or risk losing its value entirely through the QOCS rules. As it was her solicitor carried out a full investigation and the experts eventually agreed that the defendant was most likely correct in their position. The offer was accepted out of time with the post-offer costs threatening to swallow up the entirety of Mrs M’s much needed damages.
Without the ATE insurance cover, the client’s solicitor could not have obtained the evidence and risked losing all her damages. Happily, Temple was able to provide cover and when the bill from the defendants was received for their costs after the expiry of the offer, we were able to deal with that, enabling Mrs M to keep her damages.
Please call Matthew Best on 01483 514804 or email matthew.best@email@example.com with your observations on this topic or to discuss your ATE insurance requirements. Click here to find out more about ATE insurance for pregnancy and birth injury cases.