• Ranked in Chambers & Legal 500 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • Featured in the Times Top Law Firms 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • In 2022 alone, we were successful in securing over £91 million in damages for our clients

Sepsis Claims

The team of specialist solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan can offer legal support and advice if you or a loved one have suffered medical negligence that resulted in sepsis or a delay in diagnosis of sepsis.

We understand the stress and worry you may have experienced, and we know that you may feel as if you have nowhere to turn for assistance. However, we have helped many people in your situation by providing expert legal guidance and support to make your life easier.

Our solicitors will work tirelessly to get you the answers and the compensation you deserve, as we’ve seen first-hand the damaging impact sepsis can have on your quality of life. We offer a personal service, and we strive to give our clients a voice when things have gone wrong. Not only that, but we are dedicated to improving standards in healthcare.

The reputable clinical negligence team includes Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson, Gill Edwards and Helen Budge, who have more than 80 years’ experience between them. Moreover, several members of the team have been featured in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers guides.

To discuss your circumstances with a member of our team, call us on 0800 027 2557, and you will be put through to one of our senior solicitors who will go through everything with you. You can also arrange for us to get in touch by completing the online contact form on the side of this page.


Helen Dolan was very efficient and courteous and, in many areas exceeded, our expectations. All members of staff were very approachable and helped to make a very difficult situation more bearable.”

Mrs H, Birmingham

“I am delighted with the level of support I have received. In particular, Lesley's explanation of the Part 36 process and achievement of early settlement through informed recommendations. This experience is just what you need when you are left vulnerable.”

Ms Turner, Manchester

“Friendly, understanding, clear and accommodating. Took the time to explain rationale for decisions and legal processes. Exactly the right balance of direction and recommendation. Very personable service, can't fault the service. From receptionists to solicitors to specialist help.”

Mrs B, Turton

“Just want to say thank you very much for all you have done Lesley. ‎ Not only have you done a very good job but your support to my wife and me has been outstanding and it's not all been about our son. I was very impressed with the way you pushed that little bit further. ‎I thought you were a great team.

We are very pleased with outcome and I like the way you took nothing for granted always looking at detail. Look forward to working with you on the stages ahead.”

Mr W, Cheshire

Read more testimonials from our clients here.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that can develop as a side-effect of an infection, sometimes due to ineffective treatment of the initial infection. A patient with sepsis needs treatment urgently because they can deteriorate very quickly. Unfortunately, however, sepsis is poorly recognised and treated.

Sepsis develops when the immune system’s effort to fight overwhelming infection causes inflammation throughout the body. If sepsis is allowed to develop without effective treatment, the patient can go into septic shock, which can lead to multi-organ failure, long-term injuries and death

Children and adults can develop sepsis due to a range of infections, including infections in the lungs, bladder, skin, bone, heart and brain and spine..

Sepsis can also develop after surgery, particularly if internal organs have been perforated.

How can medical negligence lead to sepsis?

Sometimes this is due to missed or delayed diagnosis of infection which means that a patient’s symptoms worsen and eventually sepsis develops. There may be a failure to diagnose the initial infection itself, for example in cases of meningitis. Unfortunately, the signs of sepsis are often missed by medical professionals, which can lead to serious injury or even death.

We often see cases where a patient has developed sepsis as a result of a delay in diagnosing a bowel perforation caused during surgery. In these cases, the patient often requires bowel surgery resulting in a stoma and can develop intestinal failure.

If you or a loved one have suffered sepsis and you are concerned that treatment may have been negligent, the solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan can help you obtain answers and claim the compensation you deserve.

How can Potter Rees Dolan help?

Our specialist clinical negligence team is renowned as one of the best in the UK, thanks to the combination of expert legal advice and medical insight they can provide. We have decades of combined experience within our organisation, coupled with an unwavering dedication to helping individuals and families get the compensation they deserve.

About Helen Dolan, head of the department, the Chambers 2019 legal guide noted that she “regularly handles complex claims”, while highlighting a quote from a client praising “her attention to detail and knowledge of the case, inside and out”.

The same publication singled out Lesley Herbertson as being “very good on the complex details of the case and is able to translate this to clients”.

Gill Edwards was described as being "incredibly good with clients - they really warm to her", while our entire clinical negligence department was praised as “a well-regarded team with an impressive caseload of complex clinical negligence work”.

We are regularly told by our clients that the empathy and care with which we act sets us apart. We specialise in serious and catastrophic injuries, so we know how difficult it can be to live with severe disability. It is our aim, therefore, to make the claims process as stress-free for you and your family as we can.

The majority of negligence cases are funded on a “no win, no fee” agreement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means we can investigate your potential claim and you will not have to pay any costs if the case is not successful. The details of how a Conditional Fee Agreement works will be carefully explained to you at our first meeting.

You may already have the benefit of a legal expense insurance policy, and we will always start by looking at whether you can use the same policy before considering whether a Conditional Fee Agreement is more appropriate.


The majority of negligence cases are funded on a “no win, no fee” arrangement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means we can investigate your potential claim and you will not have to pay any costs if the case is not successful; the details of how this works will be carefully explained to you at our first meeting.

You may already have the benefit of a legal expense insurance policy, and we will always start by looking at whether you can use the same policy before considering whether a Conditional Fee Agreement would be more appropriate.

What happens next?

Initially, we will discuss your circumstances with you in order to gain a better understanding of whether or not your case can be pursued. We will then help you to gather all the evidence required to give you the best chance of recovering the right amount of compensation.

We will start by going through all the relevant medical records with you, before instructing independent medical experts to advise on whether or not you have received substandard treatment. Once the expert evidence has been provided, we will put the claim to the defendant and, if necessary, begin court proceedings, pushing your claim forward as quickly as possible.

In some cases, we will work towards obtaining early interim awards to help you put in place any support that is required with care and therapy.

Contact us today

If you believe you may be entitled to compensation, call us today on 0800 027 2557. Alternatively, you can arrange for us to get in touch with you by visiting our contact page; if you have someone specific in mind who you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.


What are the symptoms of sepsis?

It is vital that the symptoms of sepsis are identified early in order to give the patient the best chance of receiving the care they require quickly. Symptoms differ depending upon the age of the individual, but can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever and chills
  • Weakness
  • A constant thirst
  • Patches of discoloured skin
  • Changes in mental ability
  • Decreased urination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Breathing issues

The severity of sepsis can range from mild to severe, with a higher rate of recovery in mild cases. However, septic shock is extremely serious and can lead to fatalities.

How does sepsis develop?

Sepsis can affect anyone following a minor infection, although some people are more vulnerable than others. Those who are most at risk of sepsis include:

  • People with a pre-existing medical condition or those receiving treatment that weakens their immune system
  • Young children or the elderly
  • Patients who are already in hospital suffering from a serious illness
  • Those who have recently undergone surgery, or who have a wound as a result of an accident

How is sepsis diagnosed?

If a patient is showing signs of sepsis, a doctor should order tests in order to make a diagnosis and to determine the severity of the infection. Usually, the following tests are carried out:

  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • Wound secretion test
  • Mucus secretion test

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