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Cauda equina syndrome claims

Cauda equine syndrome (also known as CEC) is a serious medical condition that without a quick diagnosis and immediate referral and treatment could lead to serious neurological damage.

If you have suffered serious neurological damage due to a misdiagnosis or slow treatment, then you need to speak to one our expert cauda equina solicitors today to claim compensation.

What is cauda equina syndrome?

Cauda equine syndrome affects the nerves in the spinal canal. This happens when the nerves are damaged. As a result, the muscles of the legs, bladder, bowel and genitals are unable to function properly.

What are the causes of cauda equina syndrome?

If the nerves at the bottom of the spine become compressed it will result in cauda equine syndrome. These nerves are important as they are used to send signal to the muscles in the legs, bladder, bowel and genitals. The most common causes are:

  • A tumour on the spine
  • A slipped disc
  • A fracture of the spine
  • An infection of the spine

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome (often referred to as ‘red flags’)

Cauda equine syndrome is a serious medical condition and needs early diagnosis and immediate treatment to prevent serious injury. This is why medical professionals need act upon any ‘red flag’ symptoms, these are:

  • Back pain
  • You are unable to urinate
  • You have incontinence because you have lost sensation in the bowels
  • You have lost sensation in the genital/perineal area
  • If you have any pain, weakness and loss of feelings in the legs

If any of these symptoms are misdiagnosed by a healthcare professional, this can result in sever neurological damage. If you feel that you were misdiagnosed, or treatment was to slow, please speak to one our specialist cauda equina solicitors today.

How do you make a compensation claim for cauda equina?

We will arrange a free initial consultation to discuss the treatment in question. We will advise you thereafter whether we feel that you have a potential cauda equina claim.

The usual first step in pursuing any type of medical negligence claim is to obtain medical records. After that, input from a medical expert is likely to be required to assess whether the treatment provided fell below a minimum standard of care. Depending on the outcome of the initial assessment by the expert, you may need to attend an appointment to be examined.

Expert evidence will assist us in determining the strength of the cauda equina claim and the allegations of negligence which can be put forward to the health care professionals responsible.

How long will a cauda equina syndrome compensation claim take?

There are a number of factors that affect a caudi equina claim. These make it difficult to give an exact timescale and are affected by:

  • The availability to collect evidence
  • Where the entity responsible admits liability
  • The nature of your injury

It’s important to consider all these factors as our specialist cauda equina solicitors need evaluate the true impact of your injury when calculating your compensation.

How much compensation might you receive for a cauda equina syndrome claim?

This really depends on your circumstances and the severity of your injury as a result of medical negligence. This can vary between individuals, but be rest assured that our specialist team is experienced in ensuring that you and your family receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Compensation will include an award for the pain and suffering caused by your illness. In addition, compensation can also be claimed in respect of care needs, financial losses, medical care and treatment.

Why choose Hugh James?

Hugh James has successfully helped a number of clients with cases where they have suffered amputation due to medical negligence.

As part of the claim, we will consider your individual needs following your injury and obtain expert advice on:

  • Care support and assistance
  • Private medical treatment and therapy
  • Extensive prosthesis
  • Rehabilitation or retraining
  • Adaptations to your property
  • Specialist equipment

Our experienced team of medical negligence lawyers can help you access this specialist care and services.

We can offer no win, no fee arrangement from the outset (if your case is accepted).

Our experienced medical negligence legal team will make the whole claim process as simple as possible for you and will provide you with regular updates throughout your case. We will also work to get some of your compensation paid early so that your immediate needs can be met while the amputation claim continues.

If you feel you may have a claim, contact our friendly and approachable team today.

Key contact

Ruth Powell


Ruth is a Partner and Head of our Clinical Negligence Department. She has exclusively practised in clinical negligence since qualifying in 1995 and has a wealth of experience in complex and high value clinical negligence claims.

Your questions answered

The aim of any compensation is to improve your quality of life, whether this pays for specialist care or simply home adaptions. Our goal is to get you back to normality as quickly as possible and that’s we put out client health at the forefront of our mind when dealing with your medical negligence claim.

We will look at the compensation for your injuries as well as the financial losses you have as a result of medical negligence. Compensation is made up of general and special damages.

General damages

General damages compensate you for the injury itself: the pain and suffering you have already experienced and will continue to go through and what you are no longer able to do as a result of medical negligence.

In order to accurately inform you of the level of damages that you may be awarded, we will arrange for specialist reports to be obtained from various leading medical and legal authorities. They will examine you and have access to your medical records and be able to provide an accurate diagnosis and prognosis within their report. Once this evidence is in place, we will be able to notify you how much we think that your claim is going to be worth.

Special damages

Special damages are to compensate you for any past or future losses that have incurred or will incur as a direct result of the medical negligence which caused your injuries.

Past losses include:

  • private medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • prescription charges/medication
  • the purchase of aids and appliances
  • loss of earnings
  • travel expenses
  • care costs
  • personal belongings and clothing damaged in the accident
  • housing adaptations

Future losses can include:

  • future loss of earnings
  • loss of pension
  • accommodation costs
  • future private medical treatment and rehabilitation
  • care costs
  • aids and appliances

This list is not exhaustive, and we will carefully consider your situation and will try to anticipate your future needs.

We suggest that you start to keep a list of things that you have had to pay for since, and as a direct result of the medical negligence injury. We will need to prove the financial losses and documentary evidence such as wage slips, receipts and invoices will be very important in proving your special damages claim. In addition, it may also be sensible to keep a log or brief diary of problems that you encounter as this will help us to prepare comprehensive witness statements.

Personal injury and medical negligence cases are subject to time limits. It is best to contact a solicitor as early as possible to ensure your case can be dealt with.

Generally, the time limit for a medical negligence case is three years from the date the treatment took place or the date you were made aware that something had gone wrong. These rules can be extremely complex and varied and a lawyer will be able to check which time limit applies to you after some initial investigations. In some cases, time limits can be extended.

If a child suffers negligent care, a claim can be made up until their 21st birthday. Claims relating to children must be made by an adult on their behalf.

If a claim is brought on behalf of someone who does not have mental capacity, the three-year time limit does not apply. However, if mental capacity is regained, the three-year period will start at this time.

We will discuss the time limits with you during our initial consultation.

We will provide you with our free initial opinion in relation to your claim. After our assessment, we will tell you whether you have a reasonable chance of success, and you can instruct us to act on your behalf.

If you choose to instruct us, we can offer you a no win, no fee agreement where possible, meaning you won’t be charged legal fees if you are unsuccessful. If your claim is successful, compensation will be awarded to you. A success fee will be deducted from the compensation. All other legal fees will be covered by the defendant should the case be successful.

All the financial information will be discussed with you, free of charge, before you decide to instruct us.

Next steps

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