Meningitis Misdiagnosis Compensation Claims
Meningitis is a very serious disease with the potential to cause life-long health consequences, including significant brain damage, heart injury, amputation and hearing loss if the right treatment is not given swiftly and effectively. Any delay in diagnosing meningitis can therefore be extremely serious.
If you or a loved one have suffered lasting health damage due to misdiagnosis of meningitis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. This can be essential to deal with the long-term impact of this devastating disease, depending on the need. This can include loss of earnings, money for aids and equipment and assessment of the suitability of accommodation. There will also be consideration of any additional treatment and therapy required.
Our expertise with meningitis compensation claims
Investigating a meningitis claim is a complex process that requires the expertise of a specialist medical negligence lawyer. Our highly experienced medical negligence team, based in Bristol, work with claimants all over England and Wales to secure fair compensation for meningitis misdiagnosis under even the most challenging circumstances.
We know the enormous emotional impact dealing with these kinds of medical mistakes can have on families. Therefore, as well as providing clear, effective legal advice, we will also provide the empathetic, practical support you need throughout the claims process.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors can advise you on every stage of pursuing a claim for meningitis misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. We can also help you to access the services and support you need, and manage any compensation we secure for you.
Case study | Delayed meningitis diagnosis led to premature death
Contact our specialist medical negligence solicitors today
Why choose Barcan+Kirby for your meningitis misdiagnosis claim?
When you come to us with your meningitis claim, you can be assured that you are in safe hands. With decades of experience across our team, we have secured millions of pounds in compensation for meningitis misdiagnosis for our clients.
Individual members of our team have been consistently recognised for their expertise, with Richard Harries, Claire Hurrell and Jay Nathwani all being highly ranked by Chambers and Partners. Richard is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’, and Jay and Helen Franklin are cited as ‘Next Generation Partners’ in Legal 500 UK 2023.
Our experienced medical negligence claims team is headed up by panel members of Action Against Medical Accidents, the charity for patient safety and justice, and the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme.
How we can help you with meningitis misdiagnosis
Starting a no win, no fee meningitis misdiagnosis claim
We realise this is likely the first time you have ever needed to claim compensation and may be the first time you have ever had to deal with a lawyer. We therefore want to make the claims process as easy, simple and stress-free for you as we can.
To start a claim, you simply need to get in touch with our team and we will discuss the details of your case with you. We will then gather the information received and look at next steps towards gaining compensation for your claim.
Where we believe your claim has merit, we can offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), more commonly called a ‘no win, no fee’ deal. This means you do not have to pay anything towards our legal fees to start a claim and will only need to pay towards your fees if we secure compensation for you. So, if your claim does not result in compensation, you won’t owe us anything.
Find out more about funding a medical negligence claim.
Out-of-court settlements for misdiagnosis of meningitis
The vast majority of medical negligence cases are resolved with an out-of-court settlement. This means you are unlikely to have to attend a court hearing and can usually get compensation faster, with less stress and with lower legal fees.
Our medical misdiagnosis solicitors have very strong skills in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), so we can typically secure out-of-court settlements for meningitis misdiagnosis without compromising on the amount of compensation you receive.
Taking your meningitis claim to court
Where a settlement cannot be agreed out-of-court, either because the defendant will not accept liability or due to the level of damages pleaded in the case, court proceedings may be required to secure fair compensation.
We have strong relationships with specialist barristers and other relevant experts. We can therefore make sure your claim is presented in the most effective way to help you maximise the compensation for your claim.
Managing meningitis misdiagnosis compensation
The support we offer to you doesn’t end when we secure compensation for you. Our lawyers can also assist you with effectively managing your compensation. We can ensure the money you receive is handled in the right way to meet your or your loved one’s long-term needs.
Depending on the value of the compensation you receive, we can put you in touch with a financial advisor who can talk through the benefits of setting up a personal injury trust. This allows you to ‘ring-fence’ your compensation, so you can use the money without it affecting your entitlement to any means-tested benefits you rely on or may need to rely on in future.
If you made a claim on behalf of a loved one who does not have the mental capacity to manage their own funds, we can put you in touch with a Deputy who can help you with applications to the Court of Protection. The Court can give you the legal authority to make important decisions on behalf of your loved one. This includes managing their compensation, dealing with property and managing their health and welfare.
Meningitis claims FAQs
Signs of Meningitis differ between babies, children and adults, but can include symptoms such as a severe headache, vomiting, high temperature, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and a skin rash.
The majority of people who seek treatment for Meningitis recover fully with no ill effects. However, Meningitis can cause a range of mental and physical disabilities, including learning difficulties, behavioural problems and hearing loss, the effects of which vary in severity and can be permanent.
The standard time limit for making any kind of medical negligence claim is three years, starting from the date the negligence occurred or that you became aware it had occurred (referred to as the ‘date of knowledge’).
However, there are circumstances where you may have longer to claim which often apply to victims of meningitis misdiagnosis.
Claiming meningitis compensation for someone under 18 – If you need to claim for your child or other dependant under the age of 18, you will have until their 18th birthday to do so. They can then potentially bring their own claim until their 21st birthday.
Claiming meningitis compensation for someone without mental capacity – Where someone does not have the mental capacity to make a claim e.g. due to meningitis-related brain damage, there is no time limit for someone else to claim on their behalf.
Claiming compensation for fatal meningitis misdiagnosis – If a loved one has died due to meningitis misdiagnosis, you usually have three years from the date of their death to claim.
This will depend on the circumstances, but we have secured compensation in excess of £1 million for clients in the past, so the damages available can be very substantial.
The value of your meningitis misdiagnosis claim will depend on factors including:
- How serious the claimant’s injuries are
- The impact on the claimant’s life
- Any financial losses caused by the injuries e.g. lost income, paying for private treatment
- Any expected future financial losses e.g. paying for ongoing care, reduced earning potential
- The impact on the claimant’s quality of life
- The degree of pain and suffering caused by the misdiagnosis
We aim to provide the most accurate possible valuation for your claim, which often requires gathering evidence and expert opinions from a number of sources. It also can take some time for the full impact of meningitis misdiagnosis to become clear, so while we will give an indicative valuation as soon as possible, it often takes years before the true value of your claim can be determined.
Exactly how long a meningitis misdiagnosis claim will take is hard to predict, with most claims usually taking in the region of three to five years to resolve. However, this can vary significantly depending on the circumstances.
In general, if the defendant is willing to accept liability and agrees suitable damages, claims can typically be resolved much faster than where liability of the level of damages is strongly disputed and court proceedings are required.
The fact that meningitis was misdiagnosed does not mean you will be entitled to compensation. To have a successful claim, we must show that:
- The misdiagnosis occurred due to medical negligence i.e. that the care you received fell below medically acceptable standards leading to your misdiagnosis.
- That a worse outcome for your health resulted from the misdiagnosis e.g. there was a delay in the right treatment being given, so you were left with lasting health consequences that could have been avoided.
Our meningitis misdiagnosis solicitors will use various types of evidence to support your claim, including:
- Medical records
- Witness testimony
- Independent expert opinion
- Proof of the financial impact of your injuries e.g. bank statements, treatment bills etc.
Meningitis misdiagnosis case studies
A patient with bacterial meningitis was wrongly diagnosed with suspected sinusitis after their GP failed to note that the patient’s file showed that they were at increased risk of bacterial infections such as meningitis due to previous illnesses.
After the patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated, they went to hospital where they were correctly diagnosed and admitted to intensive care. Unfortunately, due to the delayed diagnosis and treatment, our client was left with permanent physical and psychological impairments, including a significant brain and heart injury, as well as hearing loss.
Our medical negligence team were able to overcome significant areas of dispute with the defendant to secure an out-of-court settlement of £1,000,000 for our client. This covered past and future lost income, the cost of care and assistance, as well as compensation for the risk of further complications from the cardiac damage caused by meningitis.
Useful information about medical negligence claims
- Case studies of medical negligence claims
- Suing the NHS – is it ethical?
- Ways to fund a medical negligence claim
Start a meningitis claim today
If you’ve suffered from misdiagnosis of meningitis, our medical negligence solicitors are here to help. We work with clients all over England and Wales from our offices in Bristol, in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.