Hydrocephalus and Blocked Shunt Claims

A build-up of fluid on the brain, known as hydrocephalus, can be very serious and may affect babies, children and adults. The condition can cause symptoms including headaches, nausea, blurred vision, difficulty walking and a range of other symptoms, while if untreated it can ultimately lead to brain damage and even a risk of death.

Hydrocephalus is often treated by fitting a shunt to allow the excess fluid to drain away, preventing the build-up of pressure on the brain. Fitting a shunt is a delicate procedure and the shunt itself can become blocked over time, meaning on-going care and follow-up treatment is often required to avoid fluid starting to build-up again.

If you, your child or another loved one have been harmed as a result of negligent treatment of hydrocephalus, including failure to identify and treat a blocked shunt, you may be able to claim compensation. This can be essential to make sure you have the funds you need to pay for further medical treatment, on-going care support and other needs.

Wolferstans’ medical negligence solicitors have particular expertise with hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims, having secured substantial compensation for our clients in a number of highly challenging cases. As a result, we know exactly what to look for when building your case to give you the best chance of success.

In the majority of cases, we are able to achieve compensation without the need for court action. This is due to our strong skills in non-confrontational dispute resolution that typically allow us to agree an out-of-court settlement faster and at lower expense for you.

A key benefit of our experience is that we can value your hydrocephalus claim with a high degree of accuracy, helping you to avoid the risk of settling your claim for less than it may truly be worth. Under-settling claims is a common issue with less experienced firms, so the importance of this issue should not be overlooked.

We offer a free initial no obligation consultation during which we will be able to tell you if you have a claim worth investigating further.

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 648898.

Our hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims service

We help individuals and families throughout England and Wales to pursue all types of hydrocephalus claims, including those related to:

  • Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of hydrocephalus
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment e.g. fitting a shunt
  • Surgical errors when fitting a shunt
  • Negligent aftercare following fitting of a shunt
  • Failure by medical staff to adequately explain to the patient the signs of a blocked shunt and what to do
  • Failure to promptly diagnose and treat a blocked shunt

Read about some of the cases we have successfully pursued in relation to hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims.

How hydrocephalus negligence claims work

Our clinical negligence lawyers provide sensitive, practical support for the entire claims process, keeping things simple and straightforward for you and your loved ones.

A typical hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claim will involve:

  • Building your case e.g. applying for medical records, collecting witness evidence and consulting independent medical experts.
  • Contacting the relevant healthcare provider with the details of your claim.
  • Ensuring the defendant responds to your claim in a timely fashion.
  • Assessing the defendant’s response and advising you of your options.
  • Negotiating with the defendant and/or using alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or independent evaluation, to secure a suitable settlement.
  • Submitting your claim to the relevant court and representing you at a court hearing where required to resolve the matter.

Find out more about the process of making a clinical negligence claim.

Funding a hydrocephalus and blocked shunt compensation claim

Worrying about how to fund your legal costs should never be a reason not to pursue a valid hydrocephalus negligence claim. When we carry out our initial assessment, we will give an honest opinion on how likely we feel your claim is to achieve success and, as long as we think the claim justifies further investigation, we will find a suitable way to fund your claim.

For claims related to adults and older children, we will normally work on the basis of a conditional fee agreement. Commonly referred to as ‘no win, no fee’ hydrocephalus negligence claims, this means you do not need to contribute to your legal costs and expenses to start a claim and will only do so if your claim is successful. The amount you pay will then be based on a percentage of the compensation secured.

If the claim is for an injury to your child as a result of hydrocephalus arising from a birth injury, your claim may be eligible for legal aid funding.

To qualify for legal aid funding, the following conditions must apply:

  • A child has suffered a neurological injury as a result of clinical negligence, leaving them severely disabled (either physically or mentally)
  • The negligence occurred either:
  • While the child was in the womb
  • During the child’s birth
  • Within a set period after the child’s birth, this being:
  • For children born before the beginning of the 37th week of pregnancy – 8 weeks from what would have been the beginning of the 37th week
  • For children born during or after the 37th week of pregnancy – 8 weeks from the day of the child’s birth

Alternative options for funding a hydrocephalus negligence claim include legal expenses insurance, which is often offered alongside home insurance policies, as well as with some bank accounts and credit cards.

To discuss your options for covering the cost of a hydrocephalus negligence claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more about funding a medical negligence claim.

Our expertise in hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims

Hydrocephalus negligence and blocked shunt claims are a fairly area of medical negligence law, so our team’s experience with these types of claims make us a strong choice for anyone seeking compensation for these issues.

We have a strong track record of success for our clients, having earned a reputation for our compassionate, diligent approach and ability to secure favourable settlements outside of a court hearing in most cases.

Wolferstans is accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, recognising our particular expertise in this area. We are also Lexcel accredited by the Law Society for excellence in legal practice management and client care .

Various members of our medical negligence team are also on the Law Society and AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents) Specialist Clinical Negligence Panels and have been accredited by APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) as Clinical Negligence Specialists and Brain Injury Specialists.

Find out more about our medical negligence claims team.

Read our client testimonials.

Common questions about hydrocephalus negligence claims

  • If you are making a claim for hydrocephalus negligence that affected you, you will normally have 3 years to make a claim from the time the negligence occurred or when you became aware it had occurred, depending on the circumstances.
  • If you are making a claim on behalf of a loved one who lacks the mental capacity to make a claim for themselves, there is usually no time limit to bring a claim.
  • If you are making a claim on behalf of someone under the age of 18, you will normally have until their 18th birthday to do so. If a claim is not made by their 18 birthday, they will normally have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim of their own.
  • If a loved one has died following hydrocephalus negligence, you will usually have 3 years from the date of death to make a compensation claim on behalf of their estate and dependants.

Determining whether the relevant time limit has expired can be extremely complicated, so it is always worth seeking the advice of a specialist medical negligence lawyer, however long ago hydrocephalus negligence occurred.

This will depend on the seriousness of the injuries caused as a result of the negligence and the impact this has had on your lifestyle.

You can normally claim two types of damages for hydrocephalus negligence:

Special damages – For specific financial losses incurred up to the date of settlement. This can include things such as paying for private medical treatment and care support, buying special equipment and compensation for lost earnings.

General damages – For non-financial losses, such as pain and suffering and changes to your lifestyle, plus financial losses you expect to experience in the future, including paying for on-going treatment and care, as well as any impact on your potential future earnings.

In many cases compensation will not be paid until the end of the case, when a settlement has been reached or damages have been awarded by the Court. Hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims often take some time to conclude, so wherever possible, we actively seek to secure an interim payment of damages from the Defendant, on account of the compensation which will be paid at the end of the case. This is usually only possible after the Defendant has admitted responsibility for causing the injury caused hydrocephalus or blocked shunt.

Interim payments enable funds to be available, at an earlier time, to provide the care and support which the injured person requires, as well as the purchase of appropriate aids and equipment, transport and accommodation.

If your child or loved one is severely disabled as a result of hydrocephalus, we will arrange for the appointment of a Brain Injury Case Manager, who will liaise with you and us to identify exactly what is needed and then coordinate everything for you.

We can normally resolve even the most complex hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims outside of a court by using negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. This allow you to avoid the stress and uncertainty of a court hearing, as well as saving you time and helping to keep legal costs to a minimum.

However, in those rare cases where court action is required, we can ensure you have the emotional and practical support you need alongside the very best legal representation, giving you the best chance of a fair outcome.

Further information about hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claims

For more information about hydrocephalus negligence compensation claims and all types of medical negligence claims, please take a look at our news, blogs and our series of helpful leaflets covering specific issues.

Start a hydrocephalus and blocked shunt claim with us today

To arrange a free initial no obligation consultation and find out more about starting a hydrocephalus negligence claim:

To arrange your consultation please contact the new client team on 01752 648898.