Cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical condition that impacts the back and spine, where compression of nerves in the lower back causes pain and weakness. This condition is rare and considered a surgical emergency.
Failure by medical professionals to diagnose cauda equina or act quickly enough in treating it can have a detrimental impact upon your condition. When this occurs, it is considered medical negligence and compensation may be claimed.
Ashtons Legal’s specialist medical negligence solicitors are skilled in helping clients get the compensation they deserve when they or a loved one are living with the impact of cauda equina syndrome due to medical negligence.
We understand how difficult this situation must be for you and offer professional advice together with friendly and sympathetic support. We understand that making a claim will not change the situation, but it can help to recover lost income and provide financial support for any medical needs and additional care required as a result.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors can offer you:
- A free initial consultation on your cauda equina negligence claim
- No win, no fee funding
- A negotiation-led approach that means most claims are settled out of court
- Independently accredited expertise you can trust
- A very high track record of successful claims
- A sensitive, personal service to support you during this difficult time
- A free rehabilitation service to aid you or your loved one’s recovery.
Have a question about cauda equina claims? Please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions About Cauda Equina Claims or get in touch and we will be happy to guide you.
Contact our Cauda Equina Claims Solicitors
To make a cauda equina claim, please contact our experienced medical negligence solicitors. You will be offered a free initial consultation to sensitively discuss the particulars of your case and to determine how we can help you.
Ashtons Legal Medical Negligence Team
Our clients are at the heart of everything we do and why we do it. Our medical negligence solicitors can offer a high-level bespoke service based on the unique requirements of each client. We will listen carefully with sensitivity and empathy so we fully understand your concerns and needs.
Our medical negligence solicitors have recognised experience in supporting clients with cauda equina compensation claims. This gives us a clear understanding of the nuances and complexities of such cases, which is backed up by our excellent success rates.
Clear communication is essential, so we avoid legal jargon when speaking to our clients. We know how stressful living with an injury can be and that people are often in a confused and vulnerable state. We strive to reassure and inform our clients, so they can be confident about the decisions they make regarding claiming compensation.
When you choose to work with Ashtons Legal, you will benefit from working alongside committed, understanding and knowledgeable specialists.
Senior members of our medical negligence team are acknowledged by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as either Senior Fellows or Senior Litigators and are on the Law Society Clinical Negligence panel.
How To Make a Cauda Equina Claim
Our cauda equina solicitors have substantial experience in supporting individuals to pursue cauda equina injury claims and will guide you expertly through the process. We pride ourselves on ensuring that you are kept up to date and will take every step to keep the process as straightforward as possible.
We recognise how stressful these claims can be and will lead you through the process of making a claim from start to finish, handling every aspect of your claim so that you need not turn anywhere else for further support.
Our cauda equina compensation claims service includes:
- Assessing your cauda equina claim
- No win, no fee funding
- Building your cauda equina case, including access to experienced medical experts to support your claim
- Drafting and submitting a Letter of Claim to the Defendant
- Mediation processes to reach a settlement
- Representing you in Court if required
- Access to our free rehabilitation service for ongoing health and welfare support.
To make a cauda equina claim, get in touch with our solicitors at Ashtons Legal. You can find out more about the specific processes involved in claiming cauda equina compensation below.
Our Cauda Equina Claims Service
Assessing Your Cauda Equina
The first step in any cauda equina claim is to carefully assess the details of the injury. During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to go through the details of your cauda equina and how this has affected you or another person for whom you are making a claim.
This information will enable us to assess the merits of a claim and consider what the likely chance of success is. If we consider there is a claim that should be investigated, we will explain the options available to you, including how to fund your claim, which will include our ‘no win no fee’ agreement.
Building Your Cauda Equina Negligence Claim
To build an effective cauda equina injury claim, our solicitors will obtain and review all of your medical records, gather witness statements and instruct independent medical experts to assess whether the standard of care you received could have avoided the cauda equina or led to lesser harm.
This process will enable us to establish a full picture of exactly what happened and the impact the cauda equina has had on your life.
Submitting the Letter of Claim
If the medical records, factual evidence and medical expert evidence supports a claim for medical negligence, we will draft a Letter of Claim to the Defendant.
The Letter of Claim will set out in detail the allegations of negligence against the Defendant and how the cauda equina could have been avoided, or the effect of the cauda equina lessened. The Defendant has four months from the date of receipt of the letter in which to respond.
If the Defendant admits negligence, our solicitors will then proceed to value your claim and enter into negotiations with the Defendant to reach a settlement. Where possible, we can also arrange for interim damages to be paid by the Defendant to meet any immediate needs you may have as a result of the cauda equina.
If the Defendant denies allegations of negligence, we will instruct a barrister on your behalf and review the Defendant’s response in discussion with you, the barrister and the medical experts to consider the reasonableness of those denials and the merits of issuing court proceedings.
In most cases, it is rare that a trial is required, and we will attempt to achieve a reasonable settlement at every opportunity. However, if an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, then we will support and represent you throughout the trial.
If the Defendant admits to negligence, our medical negligence solicitors will seek to negotiate a settlement via mediation or a joint settlement meeting. We have substantial experience in using mediation for cauda equina cases and have a clear track record of securing high levels of compensation.
If it is not possible to reach a suitable settlement via mediation or joint settlement meeting, our specialist solicitors will represent you in court. We have links to highly regarded barristers and can assure that you will have access to the highest standard of representation throughout the whole process.
Free Rehabilitation Service
Suffering from cauda equina can be an extremely traumatic experience with the potential for long-term health implications, which may require additional health care and rehabilitation. Our specialist medical negligence solicitors will work with our rehabilitation team, providing a service that is free of charge to do all we can to assist you to navigate your needs. This service is provided regardless of whether your cauda equina claim is successful or not.
For more information about this service, please get in touch with our medical negligence team at Ashtons Legal.
Cauda Equina Compensation Claims Fees
‘No Win No Fee’ Cauda Equina Claims
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. This means when you pursue a claim with our team, you will only have to contribute to your legal fees if your claim is successful.
In many cases, if your claim is successful, the majority of your legal fees will be covered by the Defendant. If it is not successful, you will not have to pay anything towards your fees. In order to ensure transparency from the outset, we will explain to you (before you sign any agreement for us to act on your behalf) the level of your contribution to your fees if you win.
Please be assured that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay anything towards your fees.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cauda Equina Claims
What is cauda equina syndrome?
The cauda equina is a bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord. This group of nerves is what gives us the ability to move and feel our legs as well as empty our bladders. Cauda equina syndrome, or CES, occurs when this group of nerves in the lower spine is compressed suddenly.
This is a type of spinal stenosis and can result in:
- Pain in the lower back and legs
- Weakness and numbness in the lower body
- Sexual dysfunction
- Urinary retention
- Loss of sensation in the perineum, buttocks, anus, groin and/or upper thighs (referred to as ‘saddle anaesthesia’).
The severity of these symptoms will depend on how compressed the nerves in the lower back have become. When someone is diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome, emergency surgery is necessary. This surgery will work to loosen the compressed nerves so that they stand a better chance of recovery.
In the event that proper action is not taken promptly to treat cauda equina syndrome, it is possible that it will develop into permanent paralysis in the lower part of the body.
What causes cauda equina syndrome?
The most common cause of cauda equina syndrome is a massive disc herniation in the lower back/lumbar region. This may have occurred after an excessive strain or injury. When the disc herniation shifts, it puts pressure on the nerves around the spine and can result in cauda equina syndrome.
Disc herniation is the most common cause of CES, but it’s not the only one. There are many other potential causes, such as:
- Spinal lesions and tumours
- Spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
- Spinal infections or inflammation
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Severe trauma to the lower back
- Spinal haemorrhages
- Postoperative lumbar spine surgery complications.
What are the long-term effects of cauda equina syndrome?
If cauda equina syndrome is not treated properly, it can lead to permanent damage to the nerves. This can result in full or partial paralysis. Additional consequences of long-term cauda equina syndrome can include further pain, the loss of sexual function, difficulties urinating and lower back pain.
If long-term cauda equina effects were caused by the negligence of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation. You can contact our expert solicitors at Ashtons Legal today to get a free consultation regarding your cauda equina syndrome compensation claim.
How much compensation will I get for a cauda equina claim?
Although cauda equina syndrome is considered rare, medical professionals are trained to recognise warning signs for potentially serious conditions such as this. Failure to notice, correctly diagnose and act upon your symptoms in time may be considered medical negligence.
Claiming compensation for medical negligence due to cauda equina syndrome can be achieved in the event that your condition could have been avoided or the harm lessened if a medical professional had taken the correct action earlier.
Financial compensation will not make up for the negligence, but it can help towards ensuring you and your family are financially secure going forward. It can enable you to recover any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the negligence, which may include loss of earnings, medical bills, general pain and suffering, and to allow for future costs such as adaptations to your home and replacing lost income amongst other losses.
What is the time limit for a cauda equina claim?
Generally, in England and Wales, there is a three-year limit to make a cauda equina claim. The three-year time limit will start from the date your condition could have been avoided, or the date the harm could have been lessened.
There are some important exceptions to the general rule which you should be aware of. These include where:
- You are making a claim on behalf of a child (someone under the age of 18 years old). You can make a claim at any time before the child turns 18. Once the child turns 18, they will then have until they are 21 to make a claim.
- You are claiming on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity to make a claim. In this situation, there are no time limits to make a claim.
However, it is important to note that there are some specific circumstances where a longer time limit may apply, giving you more time to claim. For this reason, you should always take expert legal advice on whether you are able to make a claim before deciding what to do.
Get in Touch with our Cauda Equina Claim Solicitors
To find out if you can make a cauda equina claim, please contact our experienced medical negligence solicitors. You will be offered a free initial consultation to sensitively discuss the particulars of your case and plan the potential next steps.