Orthopaedic surgery negligence: do you have a claim?

Orthopaedics is a common area of medicine where medical negligence claims are brought. If you’ve recently had orthopaedic treatment and are less than happy with the result, you may be wondering if you are entitled to claim for damages.

What constitutes ‘orthopaedics’?

The field of orthopaedics includes anything to do with treatments for injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, specifically the following:

• bones
• tendons
• joints
• muscles
• ligaments
• cartilage

Common conditions that are dealt with by orthopaedic surgeons include:

• fractures
• hip replacements
• spinal injuries
• knee replacements
• bone tumours
• bone infections
• congenital birth defects

Although the majority of treatments that are carried out are successful, all operations and procedures carry an element of risk. Errors do occur, which can have a massively detrimental effect on a patient’s life, causing pain and suffering, and even preventing them from working.

Common errors in orthopaedics

There are a number of common failings that can lead to long-term health issues for which you may be entitled to claim compensation.

1. X-rays and scans can sometimes be misread. This can lead to a delay in your treatment, potentially meaning long-term problems as conditions get worse.

2. The failure to spot a fracture during an initial consultation can lead to ongoing pain and potentially poor healing of the bone, resulting in the need for more surgery to correct the problem.

3. Poor husbandry whilst on the orthopaedic ward can result in infection post-surgery. This could potentially be life-threatening if the infection is not treated quickly enough.

4. If prosthesis is required following amputation, it must fit correctly. If the prosthetics are not fitted correctly, this can lead to pain and ongoing problems with mobility.

What can you claim compensation for?

You could suffer financially if you have been unable to work since your treatment. This applies whether you’ve had to miss work for a few months or whether you can never work again. Your claim in these circumstances would be for ‘loss of earnings’.

Psychological damages can be claimed, for example if you have suffered depression as a result of malpractice that has left you partially paralysed and requiring adaptations to your home.

You can make a claim for physical suffering if your treatment has left you in continual pain or if you suffered pain unnecessarily for a prolonged period of time, due to the practitioner’s negligence.

If any of this sounds familiar, consultation with experienced direct access barristers should be your next course of action.

Get expert legal help

If you think that you have suffered as a result of medically negligent orthopaedic treatment, a direct access barrister could help you make a successful claim. To find out how our experienced barristers could help, contact us today.

What counts as sexual harassment in the workplace?

An avalanche of sexual harassment accusations has found its way to the limelight recently. A multitude of individuals from politicians to A-list celebrities are at the centre of colourful sexual harassment charges and court cases. But what really counts as sexual harassment in the workplace and what can you do to stop it?

What you need to know

There is a wide range of behaviour that could be labelled as sexual harassment. According to the Equality Act of 2010, it is unlawful to harass employees on a number of grounds. These include race, age, sexual orientation and other factors.

If you make a claim, it will be handled by the Employment Tribunal. The time limits are strict and the harassment has to have taken place in the last 3 months. If you feel you have been sexually harassed, you must report it as quickly as possible for it to be valid.

Under section 26 of the Equality Act, sexual harassment is misconduct related to sex. If it has the purpose or effect of ‘engaging in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature’ or violating the victim’s dignity then it is counted as harassment.

Common scenarios

If someone has purposely tried to harass you or done something that makes you feel the effect of harassment then you may have a claim. Here are a few common scenarios that can be disputed in court.

1. Unwanted touching over or under clothes.
2. Banter resulting in you being targeted due to gender or gender preferences.
3. Unwanted sexual advances by an employee or boss.
4. Viewing of pornographic images in your presence.
5. Spreading of rumours about your sexual life.
6. Unwanted comments or sounds in your direction such as wolf-whistling or kissing sounds.

What to do?

Sexual harassment and any other kind of harassment is illegal in the workplace and should not be tolerated. If you feel like you have been harassed, then you should immediately seek out legal help. Direct access barristers are a great source of free legal advice. Send us a message and we will walk you through the next steps. Laws exist to serve everyone and we all deserve excellent legal aid.

How can a barrister help me with a settlement agreement?

If you are an employer or employee that is party to a workplace dispute, you might be considering instructing a barrister to advise you on a settlement agreement.

Why would an employer offer a settlement agreement?

Employers might offer a settlement agreement to bring an employment dispute to an end. If you are an employer that is concerned about an employee bringing a claim against you at an employment tribunal, a settlement agreement can be a useful way of ensuring they do not. Settlement agreements are legally binding and prevent the employee bringing a claim for disputes or conduct outlined in the agreement.

Having a watertight settlement agreement in place can protect the reputation of your business and also save the additional time and cost that you could incur if you were to go to an employment tribunal. It is essential to get expert legal advice to ensure your business is adequately protected from potential employee claims, and an expert employment barrister is the most qualified to assist you.

What should an employee look for in a settlement agreement?

If you have been offered a settlement agreement by your employer, you do not have to accept the agreement right away. In fact, it is actually a legal requirement that you have had independent legal advice with regards to the settlement agreement otherwise it will not become legally binding.Often, employers will offer to pay the legal expenses associated with seeking legal advice on a settlement agreement.

Your barrister will seek to get you the best deal possible, including a monetary settlement, a good reference, a preferable termination date if your contract is to come to an end, and any other benefits you believe you are entitled to. The financial amount you might expect to receive should be in line with: what an employment tribunal would be likely to award you if you were to bring a case before it, length of service, your position, the difficulty of getting a new role and the length of time you can expect to be out of employment, along with other factors which might affect your overall financial position.

Settlement agreements can be a useful tool for both employees and employers, and expert legal advice is essential in getting the most out of a settlement agreement. To discuss how our barristers might help you get the most out of a settlement agreement, contact our direct access barristers now.

When You’re Really Not Fired!

Alan Sugar on the Apprentice makes it easy to fire employees but in reality its never that simple. We all know people that let TV go to there head and try to fire employees in the same way as Alan Sugar does but this is ultimately unfair dismissal.

Your Employment Contract

First and foremost when you are employed everyone is given an employment contract which you must read and sign before you actually start working. Dismissal defined is when the employer terminates the contract of employment. In here contains the details of notice period aswell as accrued holidays, all of which change depending on length of service. The employment contract is a legal binding contract between employer and employee which is the first place to look when considering any employment dispute.

There must be a valid reason to dismiss an employee and you cannot just simply say “Your Fired!”. There isn’t actually a de facto standard / process to sacking someone and each case will be based on its own individual evidence. Human resource departments often found in large organisations are setup to ensure all employees are treated in a fair manner. In smaller organisations this is often left to an individual whose also has several other roles.

However its a legal obligation that all employers must treat all employees in a fair manner, no one is except from this. Upon a fair dismissal the employer should make it aware and present the facts to the employee of any performance or misconduct issues. If done rightly the employers should follow a consistent and fair approach. Dismissal might not always be the right recommendation based on the initial meeting because performance issues can be improved with training plans and misconduct issues can be fixed with the apology. Both of which depends on the employees attitude to correct the situation. But if the employer decides to dismiss the employee then there are several legal ways this can be done.

Ordinary Dismissal Claims

Most people a familiar with ordinary dismissal and covers both the employee and employer. Its when notice is given by the employee or employer to terminate the employment contract. The grounds for ordinary dismissal often include performance and misconduct. Meetings should be given before the dismissal and the employee give every chance to correct this before the dismissal is issued.

Summary/Immediate Dismissal Claims

In cases of serious and/or gross misconduct a summary / immediate dismissal can be implemented. No notice period has to be given here and will often be escorted out the building with all privileges taken away.

Constructive Dismissal Claims

This is where the employee resigns as a result of the employers poor conduct often including such behaviours as bullying or harassment. This often lead into a legal case where employment barristers can help you with legal advice and getting evidence together to potentially claim compensation for your constructive dismissal claim.

Wrongful Dismissal Claims

This is where the employer doesn’t follow the employment contract, most common cases are incorrect notice period. Often leading the wrongful dismissal claims where the employer can get their job back or even compensation.

Unfair Dismissal Claims

Unfair dismissal claims only applies to employees with 2 or more years service with the employer. Grounds for this are often around asserting a statutory right, trade union activities or even making a protected disclosure (ie whistleblowing).


Redundancy carries two strict legal meanings and applies to employers in the following;

  • stops carrying on the business for which a particular employee was employed, either completely or in the place where the employee works;
  • stops requiring employees or requires fewer employees to carry out work of a particular type, either at all or in the place where the employee works.

It is difficult to argue against redundancy but most redundancies come with a compensation package.

Help is at hand

At Barristers 4U our expert employment barristers provide legal advice and legal representation on your employer disputes, employment contracts, ordinary dismissal, summary dismissal, constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal and redundancies.

Its never a good experience going through any sort of dismissal but if you ever feel you’ve been treating unfair and unjust then speak to one of our legal representatives today to discuss your options with an employment barrister and even get a free no obligation quote.