Our sectors

We treat all personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.

Meningitis claims and compensation

Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord . If not treated promptly, it can lead to serious brain injury, nerve damage, life-threatening blood poisoning and even death. 

While it can affect anyone, it’s more prevalent in babies, young children, teenagers and younger adults. Adults over 65 are also at increased risk to some types of meningitis.  Meningitis claims can arise when you or a loved one experience suffering due to the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of the infection.

Ready to talk? Speak to one of our medical negligence team about your meningitis claim. Call 020 7650 1200 or 0161 393 3530 or


Misdiagnosed or delayed diagnosis of meningitis

The symptoms of meningitis can often be confused with other ailments. Also, the tell-tale rash is not always present and symptoms can occur in any order. This is why misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of meningitis is not uncommon.
Symptoms of meningitis can include : 
  • High temperature
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Rash that doesn’t fade when glass is rolled over it
  • Stiff neck
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures

If caught early enough, bacterial meningitis can be treated easily in hospital with antibiotics. However, where the symptoms are mistakenly assumed to be related to a less serious condition – like influenza – and treatment is delayed, the damage caused to the brain and spinal cord can be irreversible. This can have a significant impact on the patient’s future life.

Where GPs, other healthcare staff in the community or hospital staff should have suspected meningitis and failed to provide the proper and prompt treatment leading to brain injury, this can amount to clinical negligence. Should this happen to you or a loved one, our experienced meningitis lawyers can help you bring a claim. 

Making a meningitis claim 

Our experienced clinical negligence solicitors can help those who have suffered due to delayed or misdiagnosis meningitis to bring a claim. 
Contact our team for a free initial consultation. Someone will listen to your case, assess its details and discuss whether they think you have a claim worth pursuing or not. This can include asking questions about your health, treatment and experiences.
You may also be able to make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has died or was affected due to a delayed or misdiagnosis of meningitis. One of our meningitis lawyers will explain how this works, advise you on the next steps to take and can support you through the process. 

What you need to make a claim

Whether you are making meningitis claims for yourself or a loved one, collecting as much evidence as possible can boost your chances of successfully securing compensation. This can include:
  • Medical records, documents and witness statements from medical professionals, friends and family to verify the impact the infection had on your condition. 
  • Evidence of your financial records may also be required if the claim includes loss of earnings.
To arrange this or start a meningitis claim:  

Meningitis compensation

Compensation for delayed or misdiagnosed meningitis varies in amount based on the specifics of your case. 

As meningitis can be a life-changing condition, it usually takes into account all the costs you will encounter in the future. 
Compensation awarded could cover:
  • Treatment, therapy and medication costs
  • Care requirements
  • Specialist equipment and home adaptations
  • Travel expenses to medical appointments
  • Any physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced
  • Loss of earnings encountered
Depending on the age of the individual, their recovery and any side effects, the amount awarded can cover a broad range.  

Examples of secured meningitis compensation

Our clinical negligence team have successfully secured high-level compensation in various cases related to delayed or misdiagnosis of meningitis. 
We helped in one case involving a baby with meningitis aged just four months old who was admitted to hospital. They were discharged and misdiagnosed with a viral upper respiratory tract infection. The young child suffered a brain injury and profound hearing loss as a result of the delay in effective treatment. 
Acting for the child’s family, we were able to show through expert evidence that the nurse and doctors should have suspected meningitis and that had the baby received the proper treatment he needed, he would have escaped his injuries.
The NHS eventually settled the claim for a sum equivalent to approximately £1.5 million. The compensation was to give the child and his family the help and assistance they needed for him to live a normal life, so that he could live as independently as possible in the future. 
In another case, our team secured a woman a £3.5 million settlement plus £300,000 per annum. After visiting Charing Cross Hospital A&E with headaches and a raised temperature and pulse for six days, she was prescribed painkillers and migraine drugs. She subsequently visited Chelsea and Westminster hospital the following days with various other symptoms, including shaking, coughing and a sore neck. She was eventually diagnosed with TB meningitis, which left her paralysed from the neck down. 

Why choose Leigh Day?

Leigh Day has acted for a number of people and their families who have suffered injuries due to a delay in diagnosis of meningitis. 

With over 30 years’ experience, our clinical negligence team have supported, advised and represented many individuals who have suffered meningitis due to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis – securing high levels of compensation in the process.  

Contact Leigh Day about your meningitis claim. Call 020 7650 1200 or 0161 393 3530 or

Share this page: Print this page

Let us call you back at a convenient time

We treat all personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.