Removing the mystery of legal claims following Group B Strep

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Removing the mystery of legal claims following Group B Strep

At Enable Law, we put our clients first. We do our best to make the legal process as easy for them as possible. We are approachable and we adapt our way of working to best suit our clients.

Getting in touch with us is not going to cost money. We are here to provide anyone considering whether they have a potential claim with free initial advice to help them understand their options and explain the process.

If someone contacts us and does not have a claim, we always do our best to signpost them to services that can lend a helping hand.

In cases where someone does have a claim, we focus on their requirements and work around them. We work closely with them throughout the legal investigation to ensure they are fully supported and guided through the process. At Enable Law, we are aware that our client is at the heart of any legal claim.

A client’s perspective of Enable Law

Client feedback is important to us. It helps us to improve our services by highlighting our strengths and the areas where we can improve. It also allows us to periodically “check-in” with clients whilst ensuring that their experience so far is as smooth and stress-free as we can make it.

The following is what Mrs F had to say about Enable Law.

How did you find the initial steps in your son’s claim, i.e. picking up the phone to speak with us or the first emails?

I found the process easy from the beginning of the initial phone consultation. I found the person who took the call to be almost the first person to really hear and validate my experience.

How have you found the process so far?

The processes I have experienced so far and continue to do has worked well for me, communication from all the staff on the case has been quick and efficient and they have kept me updated at all stages. I haven’t had to chase them once for anything which is a new experience for me as I have to fight and chase for everything that has to do with my son since his birth. It feels I have been seen and heard for the very first time.

The staff know their stuff in terms of GBS, which saved me a lot of explaining, they understood and empathised with our situation without giving false hope, they have always managed my expectations in a real way without making me lose hope or gain too much hope.

Their written information is easy to read and the length of time for various things to be produced has been made clear from the beginning. They understand that some of the things we discuss are personal and have at times made me feel vulnerable and have walked me through them without causing me more stress than I am already facing.

The whole process has helped me get answers about the future and better understand the challenges but also wins we are likely to experience as a family. Unfortunately, there is no magical way to turn the clock back but at least they understand what our needs are now and are doing their best to make sure they find solutions for us to meet them.

Initial steps in a legal claim

Deciding to contact a Solicitor for advice on a claim can seem daunting. To help remove the mystery of what happens, we’ve set out below the initial steps we take when investigating claims.

In a claim where Group B Streptococcus (GBS) may have caused a severe brain injury, we will take initial information from the child’s parents. We will listen to the story and assess whether a claim is likely to be successful.

Sometimes picking up the phone for the first time can be scary – We completely understand that. That’s why we give people options when telling us their story. For example, we can take initial details via email, a telephone call, a video call, in person, or through a series of calls, as we understand that one call might be too much to cope with in the first instance.

From the outset, we understand the importance of fully informing our clients on the likely timescales for a claim, as this can be many years.

If we continue with investigations, we request a full set of the mother’s and child’s medical records. It is important that we also get copies of any hospital investigation reports, complaints documentation and relevant hospital guidelines and protocols.

We will then work with the parents to prepare witness statements setting out exactly what happened. We can prepare statements for both mum and dad, depending on our client’s preferences.

Once we have a full copy of the medical records and a draft witness statement, we will identify and instruct suitable independent medical experts to give their advice on the standard of care provided. The types of experts we may need for this include a midwife, an obstetrician and a neonatologist. If the experts are supportive that the care provided was substandard, we then need to instruct other experts, usually a paediatric neurologist and neuroradiologist, to advise whether the substandard care has caused the injuries our client is suffering with.

If the experts’ reports are supportive, we then send a letter to the hospital (Letter of Claim) setting out the allegations of negligence, i.e. what aspects of their care fell below the reasonable standard expected of a clinician and what injury this substandard care has caused on the balance of probabilities. We don’t have to show as a matter of certainty that the substandard care caused our client’s injuries, just that there is over a 50% chance it did.

Depending on the response from the hospital, we may be able to come to a settlement of the claim at that stage. This will involve getting some more experts to comment on the child’s future needs i.e. how their injuries will develop, what will their prognosis be and what help they need. If the case can’t be settled, we may need to go through the formal court process.

At every step of the way, we explain clearly what’s going to happen in the claim, the timescales involved and try our best to take the stress out of an already stressful situation. No matter what we do, the process is difficult, but our aim is to hold our client’s hand and guide and support them through the claim.

Are you concerned about an injury your child has suffered that could be related to GBS?

At Enable Law, we work closely with our clients whose babies have either died or been severely brain injured due to GBS infection. We ensure that our clients get the support and advice they need at such a devastating and difficult time in their lives. We strive to effect positive change with every family we work with and are committed to increasing awareness of GBS.

You can read more about our work with GBSS on our dedicated Group B Streptococcus page or if you would like to discuss any aspects of your care, please contact us today.

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