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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14817
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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On Aug 5 I tripped on a broken protruding paving stone in

Customer Question

On Aug 5 I tripped on a broken protruding paving stone in London and broke my knee cap. I was on a brief visit to my son. I spent 10hrs in the emergency room. At 10pm they sent me hone saying they could not do surgery that night so sent me home with a brace to wait for surgery. After calling the Patient advisory service I was given a surgery date. By the time I reached the hospital I developed pulmonary embolisms as a result of the injury and immobility. I was admitted. They were unable now to do the knee surgery. I had to wait another 7 days before they put an IVC filter in me so they could fix the knee. The knee surgery was put off until 18thAugust. The Filter could have been removed at any stage after this, but as with all previous surgery dates it was delayed again and again. It was finally removed on 25Aug and I was discharged.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: that is a brief outline of the injury. The problem is even though I am a British citizen I am currently not resident and did nothing have insurance ( my fault). What was not my fault was the protruding paving stone that caused my injury. I am in London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: the other problem is the hospital wants to charge me for services. While I understand that I may need to pay something, the amount they are expecting me to pay is huge, especially as the pulmonary embolisms and the lengthy stay and treatment was due to their inability to give me timely medical attention snd get me into the surgeries in a timely fashion i have taken no steps at present. A friend suggested I does to citizens advice bureau fir advice as to how to go toward with this
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

I am not sure if the paving stone was defective and caused your fall, or if it was not defective and this was simply an accident. As a British Citizen you should not have to pay for NHS services, so I am not sure why they are chasing you. They charge for patient treatment (ambulance, in-stay, surgery, out-patient treatment, etc) for people who reside outside of the UK.
You developed complications which led to a lengthy in-patient stay which is why the bill is high but you need to ask them why you are liable to pay, considering you are a British citizen.
You should consider a claim against the council for the protruding paving stone - the if the council accepts the claim and admit liability they should repay the NHS for their charges but you will need a law firm, on a no win no fee agreement to pursue the council. You cannot do the claim yourself - as they are complex and if you lose, very expensive.

With a no win no fee agreement you are fully protected from costs if you lose and you pay nothing up front. If the council admits liability the lawyer can also ask the council for an interim payment to cover any immediate financial losses. Here are a few firms you should consider contacting :

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,


Customer: replied 21 days ago.
The hospital wants payment because I am not currently residing in UK. My contention is they caused the extra problems (embolisms) because they did not fix the knee when I went into A&E… sent me home and readmitted me as an outpatient. The lengthy hospital stay was because they could not fit me in to their surgery schedule (and kept postponing the surgeries). I tripped because the paving stone was already broken
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

The NHS Constitution says "you have the right to receive care & treatment that is appropriate to you, meets your needs & reflects your preferences",

and importantly:
"you have the right to drugs & treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you".

Patients have options if denied treatments or medicines.

You should therefore make a formal complaint to the NHS for this. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the NHS complaint, you can then appeal to the Parliamentary Health & Social Care Ombudsman here:

Patients also have the right to compensation where they have been harmed by negligent treatment.

Patients can also exert pressure by referring the matter to their local Healthwatch - who are patient’s consumer champions - yours can be found here: ) / to the local press / to your local MP.

They should take no action against you for payment for the duration of the complaint - 8 weeks for the complaint to the NHS, then another 16 weeks for the Ombudsman to make a decision. In the meantime consider instructing a law firm for the personal injury claim like I mentioned earlier. The paving stone was broken and caused your injury - you do need to make a claim in my view.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Thank you. That is very helpful
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 21 days ago.

My pleasure, thanks