Fiona takes cases from the North East, Cumbria and Yorkshire & Humberside and has worked in the legal profession since 2000, qualifying as a solicitor in 2002 and joining Thompsons in 2003.
She deals with clinical negligence claims involving both private healthcare companies and the NHS. She represent clients who have suffered delayed diagnoses, surgical errors and omissions. Claims also involve cancer, cerebral palsy and other birth traumas and injuries.
Fiona deals with serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries however caused: whether at work, home, or through road traffic accidents. Her clients have sustained trauma to any part of the head or body, involving either internal or external injuries.
Fiona derives great job satisfaction helping to rehabilitate clients disadvantaged by mental or physical injury and recovering damages to assist in managing their condition immediately and in the future.
She sets great store by Thompsons’ ethical values, its sense of fairness, its engagement with just causes and its strong links with the trade union movement. She values the genuinely caring nature of her colleagues.
Fiona likes to spend her precious spare time with friends and family, in particular looking after her twin sons and daughter. She also like to go 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 client was advised she had breast cancer and underwent invasive surgery leaving scarring, but it was subsequently found that she did not have the condition. She underwent further stress by being asked to attend follow-up appointments because of the risk of reoccurrence. Fiona pursued the private hospital for the pain, distress and upset her client has been caused and secured £13,000 in compensation.
Fiona won substantial compensation for union member Ian Slowther, who lost part of his right leg below the knee when he was involved in an accident in a factory where he worked. At the time of the accident, Ian was attempting to walk over a conveyor belt, but it started up and tripped him, dragging him feet first into the rollers.
An employer who routinely provided workers with ladders that were too short to reach heights and failed to train staff in the safest way to work at heights, paid compensation after a labourer suffered a serious hernia. Home Group, in Whitehaven, denied liability but court action by Thompsons forced the firm to pay compensation and management has since provided new ladders and given staff training on how to use them correctly. The 49-year-old GMB member, from Maryport in Cumbria, needed major surgery after suffering the hernia as he pulled himself up from a step ladder through a loft. The client had to wait 12 weeks for his operation and then was forced to take three months off work while he recovered.
Member of Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) which is a charity for patient safety & justice.
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.”
A trade union member who suffered a serious head injury in a road accident wrote: “Dear Fiona I can’t begin to explain how relieved we are and am eternally grateful to you and all connected with this case, it is a new start to rebuild my life and start living again. Forever grateful.”
Jan Hext, a medical negligence client, said: "I can’t be complimentary enough about the services provided by Fiona Belgian in the Newcastle branch. Fiona was phenomenal; she treated me as an equal all the way through, got a good deal for me, and supported me in making decisions. I can never say thank you enough."