Based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office, Fiona Belgian is one of the firm’s highly specialised and experienced lawyers dealing with clinical negligence and serious injury cases. Fiona has an enviable record of success in representing clients from all over Cumbria, Yorkshire & Humberside and the North East.
As part of her medical negligence specialism, Fiona takes claims concerning both the National Health Service and the private healthcare system, involving mistakes during and post-surgery and serious delays in diagnosis. Cases can involve birth traumas such as cerebral palsy and claims from clients suffering from cancer.
She started her career in the legal profession in 2000, qualifying as a solicitor in 2002 and joining Thompsons a year later. Fiona uses her skill and experience to win the highest possible compensation for clients to aid their rehabilitation and secure their future.
Like Thompsons itself, Fiona believes in securing justice for those injured through no fault of their own, rather than representing those responsible for the injury or their insurance companies. She points out that she works for a firm which is committed to seeking justice, whether through its legal work or its public campaigns. Fiona values Thompsons philosophy of combining the best legal expertise in the UK with a caring approach towards clients.
Away from work much of Fiona’s time is spent with her family, especially her daughter and twin sons. When she can find the time she goes running “on trails, fells and roads both in the UK and abroad with a few minor victories along the way and many beautiful views and experiences”.
FIONA’S CASE EXPERIENCE
A woman was awarded £13,000 in compensation after undergoing the trauma of a highly invasive operation for breast cancer only to be told she did not have the condition. The procedure left Fiona’s client with scarring and she was told there was a risk the cancer might return. She attended appointments to asses her post-operative progress. Fiona pointed out that the private hospital had caused her client pain, distress and upset.
Fiona won substantial compensation for factory worker Ian Slowther, who lost his right leg below the knee when he was involved in an accident at work. Ian had been trying to walk over a conveyor belt which suddenly started up and dragged him feet first into the rollers.
A Whitehaven employer Homegroup was forced to pay compensation to Fiona’s client after he suffered a serious hernia while trying to stretch into a loft from a ladder that was too short. A court was told that the firm routinely used ladders that were inadequate and failed to provide employees with proper training for working at heights. The 49-year-old labourer, from Maryport in Cumbria, was forced to wait three months for an operation and had to take a further three months off work to recuperate. While the firm denied liability, it has since provided staff with new ladders and proper training.
Fiona is a member of Action against Medical Accidents, a charity which campaigns for patient safety & justice.
Clinical negligence client: “I want to thank you deeply for all you have done for the family and I this year. From the start to the end of the inquest you haven’t just been communicative and professional but also kind and compassionate. I wish you all the best in everything you do.”
Ian Slowther said: “My sister and I decided to see if I might claim for compensation and went online to look at law firms that handled personal injury claims. Thompsons stood out as they seemed to have more senior litigators and they had an office near where I live.
“We phoned them first and had a chat. Then they came to see us and explained everything involved very thoroughly.
“For example, I met the people at a firm who make prosthetic limbs to a far higher standard than you get on the NHS. So after Thompsons secured an interim payment for me I was able to order three new prosthetics, including one suitable for water therapy.
“I also saw a psychologist and had some counselling sessions, a physio, a specialist in orthopaedics and people who advised on home alterations to help with my condition. Overall, I felt I was really well handled by Thompsons.”