I joined Stephensons in February 2006 as a graduate clerk in the Clinical Negligence department. I initially assisted the head of the department with her complex clinical negligence claims (mainly cerebral palsy claims). In September 2007, I was then given my own small caseload.
As soon as I started working on clinical negligence claims, I knew that I definitely wanted to become a solicitor and that clinical negligence would be the area that I specialised in. I subsequently began my training contract in March 2010 and qualified as a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence department in March 2012.
Clinical negligence claims can be quite complicated. You will know from when you have had medical treatment that the language doctors use is not always clear and you can sometimes be unsure about what treatment you need and why. Many of my clients also have long-term health problems, which can make the whole process more stressful and confusing. Through my role as a solicitor I can help clients to understand the medical jargon, the medical treatment that they have received and help to ease any stress or confusion.
A lot of my clients have not been told or do not understand what has happened with their medical treatment and why it has gone wrong. For some clients an explanation of what has happened is all that they are looking for. A key part of my role is therefore trying to get my clients the answers that they deserve.
I also get the opportunity to help people when they are going through difficult times in their lives. I listen to peoples problems and I appreciate that as a result of poor medical treatment, clients can suffer from a variety of issues i.e. a change in their abilities, losing their job, difficulties paying their bills etc. I therefore believe that a key part of my job as a solicitor is to provide support to my clients and to try and get their lives back on track as much as possible.
I now have a varied caseload dealing with claims concerning surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, delays in diagnosis, birth injuries and neurological Injuries.
I also continue to assist the Head of Litigation, Louise Griffiths, with her cerebral palsy claims.
Cases of Interest:
- A cerebral palsy case arising out of the treatment that a newborn baby had received following birth. The case settled for approximately £4.4 million.
- A wrongful birth claim arising out of a failure to diagnose features on ultrasound scans that should have led to a diagnosis of a chromosome abnormality. The child had severe mental and physical disabilities. The case settled for £3.75 million.
- A cerebral palsy case arising out of treatment during labour and delivery. The case settled for approximately £4.1 million.
- Opiate Dependency Group Litigation: a group action of around 120 cases concerning inappropriate treatment/medication being given to prisoners for opiate dependency and withdrawal in prison. I was responsible for the conduct of these claims on a day-to-day basis from 2008 until 2010. These claims were settled in 2011.
- Settled a claim for £30,000 for the avoidable death of a client’s wife due to delays in treatment at hospital.
- Settled a claim for £110,000 for a client who suffered a perforated bladder due to an inappropriately performed sterilisation operation.
- Settled a claim for £12,500 for the avoidable death of a client’s mother after she suffered a perforated jugular vein during an operation and there was a delay in diagnosing this complication.
What my clients say about me:
“For several years Carla was the main point of contact and became the font of knowledge in our case. Her approachability, listening skills and speed of reacting in a sometimes fast moving and complex case are a credit to your company.”
“Stress free. I didn't have to chase and I was kept informed of developments at all times.”
“They deal with your problem quickly. Advise you of the best route. Answer your questions and queries fast. Very professional.”