In 1991 I gave birth to my son. At an early age he was diagnosed with the condition Cerebral Palsy which affects his muscle control and movement as well as his mental ability. His complex needs means he is unable to look after himself and requires continuous care.
As a close knit family we adapted to care for our son’s needs. Both my husband and I work within the medical profession so felt, with the support of those around us, we were capable of looking after his on-going requirements.
From the beginning we believed there was some negligence on the part of the hospital at the time of our son’s birth. However as we felt capable of looking after him and had the financial stability to do so, we didn’t pursue the matter any further.
In 1999, nineteen years later, I contacted Stamp, Jackson and Procter regarding an injury I had received to my leg. A friend had made the suggestion so after I saw an advertisement on TV I decided to call.
A solicitor visited and discussed my accident however after some advice I decided not to pursue the case. During the visit the solicitor met my son and I explained about his special needs. They listened to our circumstances and advised that even though nineteen years had passed, they believed the hospital had been negligent and that it would be in our son’s best interests to bring a case against them.
At first my husband and I were greatly reluctant. We had managed for nineteen years, our son was happy, we had a routine, as far as we were concerned our house was suitable and should we unfortunately no longer be able to look after him then our other son would help with his care.
Shaun Rylands at SJP Law was also very honest and advised us that it would be a long process and it would mean our son having to see a number of experts. Such cases could be stressful and intrusive at times, all of which seemed very daunting.
However, over time and after some discussions with Shaun, we came to realise that if we were successful then our son, who was growing into a young man, would stand to benefit from any compensation. This would mean he could have professional carers for the rest of his life and would not have to rely on his brother. It would also mean that we could afford to buy equipment to aid him.
From the start, Shaun and his team were approachable, professional and helpful. My husband and I insisted we were informed of every decision and wanted to be involved as much as possible in the process. We were continuously kept updated with emails and phone calls and if there was something we were unsure of, Shaun and his team took the time to explain the details to us. They were also very respectful of our wishes to keep direct involvement with our son to a minimum due to his lack of understanding and anxiety issues.
Due to the complexity of the case, SJP Law employed a large team of experts plus a case management team. It occasionally meant travelling to London but we were keen to attend every meeting to hear the expert’s opinions. The case took place in the Royal Courts of Justice in London and was eventually settled after five years. A substantial settlement was awarded.
There were highs and lows throughout the case. The most upsetting, was when we finally received an apology from the hospital and their admittance that there was negligence on their part. This was upsetting because we realised that had they not been negligent our son’s circumstances may have been very different. However, it also meant that they were willing to accept they were at fault and with the compensation awarded, our son would want for nothing for the rest of his life.
To us it was worth going through the process just to have the peace of mind that our son would be looked after even when we are no longer capable of taking care of him.
Although the case is concluded, Shaun and SJP Law continue to be a constant source of support to our family. They have helped set up a care and case management regime for our son, together with therapy. They have also helped us buy and set up a new home that is adapted with the aids and equipment our son needs. We have also appointed them to help manage the compensation our son received as we know they will act in his future best interests.
Thanks to Shaun, Nikki and the rest of the team at SJP Law we are able to move on with our lives knowing that we have their support and our son is well cared for. I would definitely recommend anyone, who finds themselves in similar circumstances, to contact Shaun Rylands and his team.
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If you, or any of your loved ones have suffered as a result of medical negligence, get in touch with Medical Accident Claimline today on 0800 3288923, or fill out our claim form