If you think medical negligence is to blame for your child’s disabilities, you should swiftly seek legal advice. The point was powerfully made by a case in which a devout couple’s belief that their son was a gift from God led to a decades-long delay in him being awarded millions of pounds in compensation.

Due to the couple’s conviction that they should accept their lot and that it was their duty alone to care for their disabled son, they had for many years put off contacting solicitors. That only changed after their daughter qualified as a lawyer and they began to realise that they would not always be there to look after him.

After they finally took professional advice, lawyers launched legal action on their son’s behalf against the NHS trust that ran the hospital where he was born. Faced by claims that his caesarean delivery had been negligently delayed, resulting in oxygen starvation and brain damage, the trust agreed to pay him compensation in the form of a £4.3 million lump sum. By the time settlement terms were agreed, on the basis of 50 per cent liability, he was aged in his 30s.

In approving the settlement, the High Court noted that for parents to soldier on for so many years without complaint was truly remarkable. The couple had fought a long battle for local authority assistance in funding their son’s care and, had it not been for their advancing years, their daughter’s prompting and the pressing need for a professional care regime, they might never have sought legal advice.

For help and advice please contact Adam Hodson, a.hodson@sydneymitchell.co.uk on 0808 166 8827.

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