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Acute kidney injury claims

Shoosmiths has a wealth of experience helping clients just like you who have suffered acute kidney injuries as a result of medical negligence. Studies have shown that between 15,000 and 40,000 people die each year because of a failure to diagnose and treat acute kidney injury (previously called acute renal failure). 

If injury or death results from substandard care it may be possible to make a claim for kidney injury compensation, and the care, compassion and experience our team of specialist solicitors can offer will prove invaluable to your claim. 

 
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We know that failure to diagnose kidney disease promptly and treat it correctly can result in life-changing injuries and sadly even death. We want to reassure you that you’re not alone and that our team of experts are waiting to hear from you and ultimately help you get the compensation you need and the answers you deserve following the negligent care of healthcare professionals who failed to spot a kidney infection in time.

What is acute kidney injury and what causes one?

The most frequent causes for adults developing acute kidney injury are hypertension and diabetes. For most teenagers, AKI or chronic kidney disease is a consequence of either congenital disorders or untreated diseases such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or nephritis, when the kidney becomes inflamed.

Most often UTIs result in painful urination but other symptoms associated with them such as persistent lower back and abdominal pain, frequent severe headaches and poor appetite can be confused with other conditions that commonly affect youngsters. A failure to correctly diagnose and treat these diseases in the very young and the very old can quickly lead to irreparable, long-term damage.

Which is just what happened to our client, Stephen Higham. Delay in a kidney failure diagnosis for the young father of two led to him requiring a kidney donation. The delay in treatment and subsequent kidney failure had a significant impact on his life and that of his family. It was thanks to our expert lawyers that we were able to get him the compensation he needed and the answers he deserved.

Stephen's story

Recognition and treatment of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

Acute kidney injury, particularly in the young, can usually resolve itself if the condition is recognised and treated quickly enough. 

New guidelines from the National Institute of Care and Clinical Excellence (NICE) about best practices in treating people with AKI, highlights the need for regular checking of electrolytes and physiological observations, as well as adequate senior reviews.

However, even if fatal consequences are averted, delayed diagnosis or substandard treatment could still lead to chronic kidney problems that result in permanent damage and may require either a kidney transplant or regular dialysis treatment. This could mean that modifications must be made to the home to accommodate any equipment required. It is also likely that the person’s lifestyle would have to change dramatically too. 

It was the substandard treatment of one of our clients following a hysterectomy that led to impaired kidney function. After seeking our expert help, we were able settle a claim that reflected the seriousness of her injuries. Read about Dawn’s story and find out how Shoosmiths could help you. 

A successful compensation claim could help to recover costs for rehabilitation, adaptation of the home and any other care needed.

Medical negligence solicitor with a client

Shoosmiths – Acute kidney injury compensation claims specialists

  • How can Shoosmiths help with a claim?
    Whether you are personally suffering from an acute kidney injury as a result of medical negligence or you’ve felt the devastating impact of losing a loved one, no amount of compensation will change what has happened. But when you choose Shoosmiths to help with your acute kidney injury compensation claim, you’re choosing not only a firm of experts, but a team of dedicated people who truly want to help.

    Our lawyers are among the most well respected and experienced in the UK and champion changes in legal systems and fight for justice. We also support the causes that matter to us most, which is why we’re thrilled to support the charity, Danielle’s Flutterbyes. It’s this connection to such an important charity that particularly allows our younger clients to have access to a network of people who are going through a similar experience. 

    Discover how Sharon Banga, principal associate at Shoosmiths Birmingham works with the charity and how Shoosmiths can help you

    When you choose Shoosmiths, you’ll have a dedicated lawyer who will guide and support you throughout your acute kidney claim journey, providing you with not only the legal information you need but also emotional support too. 

    If you'd like to learn more about how Shoosmiths can help with your claim, contact us today. You can call 0370 086 8686 or by send us a message to arrange a free phone call.  

  • Why choose Shoosmiths to help your acute kidney injury claim?

    From the outset, it’s important to find an AKI specialist lawyer who understands your situation and can give you the support you need. At Shoosmiths, we help individuals and families rebuild their lives after acute kidney injury. 

    By making your kidney injury claim through us, you get our legal and medical expertise and a trusted advisor for life. Our experts strive to create lasting and meaningful relationships with the people we help. Don’t just take our word for it – why not see what some of our clients have to say?

     

Start your journey today

We know that starting an acute kidney compensation claim is probably the furthest thing from your mind but allowing us to help sooner rather than later can help you get the financial and emotional support you need.

Whether you're ready to start a claim or would just like some more advice, you can call us on 0370 086 8686 or by send us a message and we'll call you back for a no-obligation informal chat. 

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are kidney injury claims?
    A basic failure by health professionals to adequately monitor a patient’s fluid levels, recognise the symptoms of AKI and a failure to treat the condition in a timely manner can result in significant injury. If you have suffered kidney injury due to substandard care or negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
  • What are the symptoms of acute kidney injury?

    Signs and symptoms may differ slightly depending on the patient and the cause, but they may include:

    • Passing urine less than usual
    • Fatigue or increased tiredness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Feeling nauseous or being sick
    • Confusion and/or drowsiness
    • Dehydration
    • Diarrhoea

    You might not notice the symptoms of an AKI at first, and regardless of whether or not an acute kidney injury progresses to complete kidney failure or not, AKI needs to be taken extremely seriously. If you suffer from a very severe AKI, it could affect your whole body, even leading to seizures or the possibility of falling into a coma. It’s important that if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you seek help from a healthcare professional immediately. 

     
  • Who is at risk from a kidney injury?

    AKI can develop very quickly in people already ill with conditions such as heart failure or diabetes, or those admitted to hospital with infections. It can also be a consequence of any major surgery as the kidneys can be deprived of blood flow during the procedure.

    The elderly are particularly at risk of complications of acute kidney injury or failure, especially when there are past medical issues such as diabetes or liver disease. AKI can strike suddenly without any warning, but more commonly chronic renal failure develops over a number of years, often with symptoms such as shortness of breath, excessive urination, skin rashes or frequent fatigue confused with other ailments.

    AKI can also affect young people and teenagers because of a failure to recognise and treat conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI), reflux nephropathy and nephritis. 

    Unless properly and regularly monitored, some common medicines such as Mesalazine, prescribed to control the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, can also lead to kidney damage.

     
  • How can acute kidney injuries affect someone?

    No two people are the same, and the outcome of an AKI can differ from person to person. In many cases, kidney functions will return to normal. Those affected will need to attend regular blood test appointments that will help doctors ensure this is the case. 

    Occasionally, sometimes due to substandard care or medical negligence, an acute kidney injury can get worse and can develop into chronic kidney disease. If this happens, dialysis is sometimes needed. In some cases of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better. In chronic or end-stage kidney failure, recovery is not possible and dialysis will be required for the rest of your life.

     
  • How can dialysis help an acute kidney injury?

    Dialysis is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly by diverting blood to a machine to be cleaned. 

    Often, dialysis is used as an interim measure while the patient is waiting for a kidney transplant, or as a temporary treatment during recovery. If a kidney transplant isn't suitable for whatever reason, dialysis may be needed for life.

    There are two main types of dialysis: haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Haemodialysis is the most familiar, which involves filtering the blood by passing it through an external filtering machine. This is usually carried out three days a week, with each session lasting around four hours.

    Peritoneal dialysis uses the inside lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum) as the filter, rather than a machine. Just like the kidneys, the peritoneum contains thousands of tiny blood vessels, making it a useful filtering device. A thin tube (catheter) is left in place permanently just above the navel and blood and excess fluids are drained out into a bag. This procedure usually takes about 30-40 minutes and normally needs to be repeated around four times a day.

    Kidney transplant is a longer-term solution. Replacement kidneys can come from compatible living donors (usually close relations) or deceased donors. The availability of kidneys and other organs for transplant depends on the willingness of the public to donate. However, under Max and Keira’s Law, all adults in England are considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they have made a record decision not to donate. This could have a massive impact on the number of people who are suffering from acute kidney injuries.

    Find out what  this new organ donation law meant to kidney failure sufferer, Ilana Houghton. 

    More details about organ donation can be found on the NHS organ donation website.

     
  • Why should I make an acute kidney injury claim?

    A kidney injury, if detected, diagnosed and treated early enough is a treatable condition and no one should have to suffer because of the negligence at the hands of someone who failed in their Duty of Care.

    Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is responsible for nearly eight times as many deaths as the superbug MRSA was at its peak. Deaths from AKI could easily be prevented and although dehydration is one of the main causes of the condition, there are several other risk factors across virtually every age group.

    An acute injury claim is imperative if you or a loved one is now dealing with the life-altering effects of AKI as a result of negligence. Not only can the compensation you receive help alleviate the financial burden you now face, but it can help get the answers you deserve, and ultimately stop it from happening to someone else. 

  • How do you know if you have an AKI claim?

    To succeed in a claim for acute kidney injury caused by medical negligence or substandard care of any kind, you will need to prove with an independent medical expert’s opinion that on the balance of probabilities (i.e., 50% or more), the care you received from the medical practitioners was below the standard of care expected of a reasonable and competent body of medical practitioners, and as a consequence of that substandard care you suffered an injury that would not have otherwise occurred.

    The amount of compensation you will be able to claim will depend on the extent of the injury you have suffered, the impact the injury has had on your life, your ability to work and the subsequent loss of income, the costs that you have incurred and the amount of care you need. Our commitment is to provide you with the best possible advice and service, tailored precisely to your individual needs. 

    Shoosmiths’ expert medical negligence and kidney injury solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with these types of claims. We will be able to investigate for you and obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim.

    Kidney injury compensation claims are complex and there is a time limit in which you can make them. It is therefore vitally important that you speak to one of our expert medical negligence solicitors as quickly as possible for a free initial consultation. Our team will give you objective advice about the options available to you and the next steps you should consider.

     
  • How to make a claim?

    We understand that experiencing an injury of any kind can be difficult, not just for the individual affected, but for the family involved too. That’s why our team of specialist kidney injury solicitors are on hand to help you claim for kidney injury compensation.

    As signatories of the Serious Injury Guide, we’ll work with you and the insurer to obtain the best possible outcome. Throughout the process we will always keep you in the loop, making sure you get the right rehabilitation options and try to resolve any disputes as soon as we can.

    1. Get in touch: we’ll work with you to find out what caused the AKI and decide if it’s likely your claim will be a success, as well as if we can take your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

    2. One of our serious injury experts will take up your case, offering an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise. This expert will also be your point of contact throughout. 

    3. We’ll contact the individual or organisation at fault for your injury and start gathering evidence.

    4. While we are sensitive to the fact it may cause extra distress, it may be necessary for you to undergo independent medical tests to learn the full extent of the AKI and the impact it will continue to have. We’ll also find out if there’s a need for further treatment – as well as any ongoing care or rehabilitation needs to be considered.  

    5. If the other party accepts fault for your injury, we’ll request an interim payment of compensation to fund your treatment and care needs and to reduce your financial burden.

    6. Our specialist lawyers will work out how much compensation we think you should get. 

    7. Many claims are settled out of court, but it’s important for us to start the court process. This is because it will give us a set time before a claim needs to be settled.

    8. By this point, we’ll hopefully know if your claim has been a success. 

      If you win, you’ll then receive your kidney injury compensation award. The other party will also pay your legal costs. But if these costs aren’t paid in full by the other party, there may be a deduction from your compensation to cover this shortfall.  

      If your claim is unsuccessful, you can rest assured that the financial risk to you will be minimised. Find out more about this with our guide to making a No Win No Fee claim

    9. A settled claim isn’t the end of our journey together. We’re here for you 24/7 after the claim is settled – continuing to provide the expert support you need when you need it.

    At Shoosmiths, we are noted for handling complex cases like yours with sensitivity, determination and persistence, which sets us aside from other serious injury firms. Let us make the law work for you and get you the compensation you deserve.

    With offices up and down the country and solicitors who are available on evenings and weekends too, there will be someone on hand to guide you through the process at every step. Whether you’re more comfortable chatting to us by telephone, email or face-to-face, the choice is yours; talk to us today to see how we can help with your kidney injury compensation claim. 

     
  • Can you bring a claim on behalf of someone else?

    It is possible to make a claim on behalf of someone else if:  

    • You're the parent/guardian of a child under the age of 18  
    • A loved one is unable to claim themselves because of the injuries sustained
    • A family member has passed away as a result of their injuries  
    If you're unsure about whether or not you can claim on behalf of a loved one, you can call us for a no obligation chat on 0370 086 8686

     
  • How long do you have to make an acute kidney injury claim?

    An acute kidney injury claim is given the same time restrictions as any other medical negligence claim - and you will usually have three years from the date of your injury or the date that you reasonably became aware of your injury.    

    However, in certain circumstances, the three year time limit doesn't apply: 

    • You’re acting on behalf of someone under the age of 18. In child injury claims, you can start a claim at any point up until their 18th birthday. This is when the three-year limit then starts.  
    • You’re acting on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity to. The time limit only starts when they regain that capacity. If it’s permanent, however, no limit will apply.  
     
  • How much kidney injury compensation can a claimant receive?

    The amount of compensation you could receive is dependent on a number of factors. As a result of this, we’re unable to give one fixed amount. However, the claim for compensation will include an award for your pain and suffering, an amount for any loss of earnings incurred or expected to incur, and any other financial losses you may or have already incurred, and to help pay for current or future care. 

    It is important to remember that the amount awarded is to reflect the loss / and or damage you have encountered, and to help put you in the same financial position that you would have been in prior to your AKI. 

Acute kidney injury experts

Our skilled team of acute kidney injury experts are here when you’re ready

Meet our experts

Sharon Banga

Sharon Banga

Principal associate

Medical negligence

Sharon is very dedicated to her work and highly professional in the way she represents clients and this shows in the quality and careful preparation of her cases.

Chris  McKinney

Chris McKinney

Partner

Personal injury

Chris will come to your home or hospital. He specialises in serious personal injury and has won several multi-million pound claims for clients. Call Chris today.

Kashmir Uppal

Kashmir Uppal

Partner

Medical negligence

Award winning medical negligence lawyer Kashmir is tireless in her pursuit of accountability. Contact Kashmir today.

Need more help?

Our team of friendly and experienced specialists are here to help guide you through all aspects of the acute kidney injury claims process. 

 

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