What is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease is an abnormal condition of the blood vessels i.e. arteries and veins and if undiagnosed and/or untreated, can lead to serious consequences such as disability or even death.
The most common vascular diseases are stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), carotid artery disease (CAD), pulmonary embolism (blood clots), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), varicose veins (VV), critical limb ischemia (CLI) and arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
One problem that we see often is in relation to the management of peripheral artery disease (PAD). This is a common condition where a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts blood supply to leg muscles. It's also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
Symptoms of PAD can include:
- hair loss on your legs and feet
- numbness or weakness in the legs
- brittle, slow-growing toenails
- ulcers (open sores) on your feet and legs, which do not heal
- changing skin colour on your legs, such as turning pale or blue
- shiny skin
- the muscles in your legs shrinking (wasting)
The symptoms of PAD often develop slowly, over time. If your symptoms develop quickly, or get suddenly worse, it could be a sign of a serious problem requiring immediate treatment. Claims for compensation resulting from a vascular negligence can also arise as a result of:
- failure on behalf of the surgeon or a doctor to diagnose a vascular disease in a prompt and reasonable manner
- failure in interpretation of tests results leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment of the vascular disease
- an insufficient or unreasonable treatment provided such as failure to provide anticoagulant medication to a patient with a history of DVT leading to pulmonary embolism
- failure to properly consider and manage the risks of vascular injury arising from surgery
- failure in management of ulceration or pressure sores in patients with diabetes therefore leading to avoidable amputations
Claims can also arise as a result of problems during vascular surgery including minor procedures and the types of injuries vary but can include:
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
What do you need to prove to bring a vascular claim?
We must be able to show that the medical professionals involved in this case, breached their duty of care by acting in such way that no reasonable or responsible body of medical opinion would agree with them. We must also be able to show that any alleged breach of duty has caused some form of additional injury or damage which but for that breach, would not have been suffered.
How long do I have to claim? Is there a time limit?
Generally, the law allows you three years to bring a claim for medical negligence. This three-year period will usually run from the date of the negligence, although it can start much later and so it is best to obtain specialist advice from one of our lawyers if you are unsure about whether you are in time to bring a claim.
How much compensation will I recover for a claim for a vascular injury?
Compensation can vary widely and depends on the circumstances of each case. Compensation may be modest if the symptoms you developed are minor and settle within couple of days, with no substantial treatment being necessary.
If however, the injury caused as a direct result of the negligent treatment is severe, causing problems that will have a significant impact on your life, then the compensation could be worth a significant amount.
It is important to mention that the Claimants are entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for their pain, suffering and loss of amenity and the level of compensation is determined by the medical evidence. This is known as ‘General Damages’.
In addition to a physical or psychological injury, very often Claimants will incur additional financial losses as a result of the negligence. This can include lost earnings, travel costs, care or assistance costs, and funeral costs if someone passes away due to negligence. These are known as ‘Special Damages’ and will often form the biggest part of the claim, ensuring that Claimants are restored to the position that they would have been in, had the negligent treatment not occurred in the first place.
How much does it cost to bring a claim for a vascular injury?
This will depend on the circumstances of your case, but in every case we look to fund a claim in the most cost-effective way possible and choose the best method of funding for you. The most common way of funding a claim is by a Conditional Fee Agreement, better known as a ‘No Win, No Fee’ Agreement, where you don’t pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. We could also act for you under an existing policy of insurance that you might have.
What do I have to do to bring a claim?
The first step is to seek legal advice. You can speak to one of our specialist lawyers by clicking here.