Birth injury compensation claims refers to when an individual makes a decision to sue a GP, midwife or another medical professional for medical negligence during childbirth which has caused complications such as baby birth injury, childbirth injuries to mother, child birth defects or other birth related injuries.
Medical professionals are saddled with a duty of care towards their patients and this is the same when it comes to expectant mothers. When they attend prenatal care sessions, they should be adequately cared for to avoid common injuries during pregnancy, they should also receive the best form of care during delivery and even after giving birth.
These are very delicate times and any form of medical negligence could lead to life-altering health conditions for the mother and/or the child.
Why Should I Make Birth Injury Compensation Claims?
There are various reasons why you should make claims if you or wife and child have suffered avoidable birth related injuries as a result of medical negligence.
First, making a claim is your best bet towards getting a deserving compensation vital for the wellbeing of both mother and child. Some birth injuries may be irreversible on the child; therefore, the compensation received will help make the child’s life a lot better, enabling the child access to quality medical care and other programs for children with special needs.
When you make a birth injury claim, it is also an opportunity for the hospital and its staff to look inwards, make necessary investigations and provide solutions to guard against a recurrence of the ugly incident.
Taking legal actions against the NHS or any medical professional is your legal right. You should exercise it when you do not get the right quality of medical care leading to avoidable pains, injuries, trauma or other complications.
How Can We Describe Birth Injuries?
This refers to any harm, pain or complications which a baby or/and the mother experiences during the prenatal period, natal and neonatal period in this case as a result of negligent treatment. Although in most cases babies may suffer from very minor birth injuries which will heal in a few days or weeks, injuries at birth caused by negligent treatment can be very severe and lead to permanent disabling conditions for the child or mother..
The process of giving birth is obviously not easy and most times is a period of anxiety for the parents, most especially the mother. The last thing any mother wants to experience is carelessness on the part of the medical professionals who owe her a duty of care causing her to go through difficult and bitter conditions instead of joy and happiness.
Although the UK is a very safe place for child delivery, there is a commendable decline in the rate of stillbirth and birth injury cases. In spite of this, there are still cases of child birth injuries to mother and child. In 2015 for instance, there were 921 childbirth injuries to babies. Of this number, 655 babies suffered brain injuries, 147 died during the neonatal period and 119 babies died during labour.
Furthermore in 2018/2019, obstetrics negligence claims were the third highest but received the highest amount of settlement payout in total which was about 50% of the entire compensation fee paid that year. Childbirth injury claims are therefore important that we discuss them and see how you can make a compensation claim.
We have very knowledgeable, friendly, understanding and experienced negligence solicitors who are here to guide and support you throughout the clinical negligence claims process. We will listen to your story, make a professional claims assessment to be sure that you have a claim. When it is so, we can then proceed to make your claims.
Different Types Of Birth Injury
There are different childbirth injuries which can occur at different times before, during or after childbirth. They are broadly divided into-
- Birth injuries that happen to the child
- Birth injuries that happen to the mother
Birth Injuries That Happen To The Child
These include the following-
- Cerebral palsy— Caused due to oxygen deprivation during birth, it is estimated that 1 in 400 babies in the UK are born with cerebral palsy. The Cerebral Palsy Guide also says that about 20% of cerebral palsy cases are caused by birth injuries.
- Erb’s palsy— This can be caused by applying too much to the brachial plexus nerve causing the baby to lose sensation in the arms due to nerve damage.
- Head bruises due to wrong use of forceps
- Cephalohematoma (swelling on the head) arising from using ventouse
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial palsy
- Brain damage as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain
- Placental injury
- Minor external eye trauma
Birth Injuries That Happen To The Mother
Childbirth injuries to the mother include the following
- Uterine rupture
- Perineal tear (the tissue between the vagina and anus)
- Bladder or urethral injuries
- Prolapse of the pelvic organ
- Placental rupture
- bowel incontinence which may be short term or long term
- Physical Injuries such as cuts and bruises, dysplasia, fistulas
- Injuries to internal organs as a result of poorly performed Caesarean Section
- Complications leading to inability to bear children in the future
- Conditions such as pre-eclampsia, obstetric cholestasis and gestational diabetes
- Complications from poorly administered anesthesia
You may be entitled to a birth injury compensation or trauma compensation if you, your child or a loved one has suffered any of these negligence-caused complications or those similar to these. Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients and when they render substandard care to you causing you to suffer birth related injuries, you need to contact your birth injury lawyer to discuss your claims.
Negligence During Childbirth Claims We Handle
Our birth injury solicitors have the expertise to handle the following birth related injury claims;
- Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claims
- Midwife Negligence Compensation Claims
- Erb’s Palsy Compensation Claims
- Childbirth Injuries To Mother Claims
- Forceps delivery claims
- Stillbirth Compensation Claims
How To Make Claims About Negligent Treatment During Child Delivery?
To make claims about negligence during childbirth, you first have to meet your negligence claims solicitor. When you come to us to assist you, there are vital pieces of information we share with you about your claims once we have evaluated your claims and are convinced that you have a valid claim with good chances of winning. Even if you are not sure that you are a victim of negligent treatment, you are welcome to speak with us and discuss your concerns.
First thing you have to be prepared to do is to prove that indeed you were negligently treated and that the childbirth injury you or your child have suffered is directly as a result of the substandard care you received.
The four D’s of medical negligence which you have to establish for a successful settlement of your case are-
- Duty- By demonstrating duty, you demonstrate that an Obstetrician, a GP, a Midwife or another healthcare professional had the responsibility to ensure you received quality medical attention. In other words, they owed you a “duty of care.”
- Deviation- Here you demonstrate that despite owing you a duty of care, the medical professionals deviated from or breached the duty of care owed you by failing to provide you with the right standard of care.
- Direct Causation- This is a very vital part in proving your claims. This where you establish that the breach of duty of care or negligent treatment is the direct case of the complications you and your child have suffered.
- Damages- It is equally vital to the success of your claims and getting a deserving compensation amount when you are able to show damages caused (how you have been affected) by the injury. These could be financial damages, psychological damages, social damages in addition to physical damages.
The success of your claims hinges on being able to prove these vital areas of medical negligence. Furthermore, there are information, documents and relevant facts that will be used to support your claims.
These are your evidence and will include the following-
- Comprehensive statements of how things happened, appointment dates, date of delivery, doctors or medical professionals who attended to you and every other vital information as relates your case
- Medical history or records including results of any tests or scans carried out
- Statements from witnesses who could be family members or friends
- Proof of financial losses incurred as a result of the injury
- Photographs showing the severity of harm
- Medical Report from a different medical expert after carrying out the necessary medical examinations
Generally, the claims process is outlined below
- Contact your specialist birth injury solicitor
- Fund Your Claim- here we undertake your claims under our No Win No Fee policy meaning that you do not need to pay us any fee to represent you. You may also be eligible for the UK government funded Legal Aid. We will discuss these with you during our free consultation session.
- Gather your Evidence
- Submit a letter of claim to the defendants
- Establish liability
- Negotiate a favorable compensation after liability is admitted
- Payment of Settlement
How Much Compensation Is My Claim Worth?
As you already know, there are different forms of birth injuries and the severity of each is not the same. This is why we cannot tell you exactly how much you will get for your claims. However, we can use our medical negligence calculator to give you a realistic idea of what your claim may be worth.
There are different factors that come into play when decided your compensation amount and these include;
- Type of injury suffered
- Location of injury
- Severity of the injury suffered
- Severity of impacts and damages caused by the injury
- Financial losses including estimated future losses as a result of the injury
- Future prognosis
- Travel expenses for medical appointments and costs of treatment
- Costs of rehabilitative care and therapies
- Cost of purchasing special equipment as may be necessary
- Cost of hiring caregivers
- Costs of accommodation adjustments to suit the condition of the mother and child
Most often, birth injury compensation amounts amounts for claims on negligence during childbirth are huge and may not be paid in bulk but in a structured payment plan. Usually, this is because it takes into account the quality and duration of special care the child and mother may require depending on how severe the injury or complication suffered is.
How Long Does Compensation Take To Come Through?
This is not usually fixed but depends on the negotiations between the two parties as well as the compensation amount involved. Usually, you might get your compensation amount within 1-6weeks after negotiations are completed.
The settlement fee for your NHS claims may come in bulk or may come in an agreed structured payment plan.
MND solicitors and attorneys are specialist birth injury claims solicitors who have represented many clients over the years securing hugely satisfying compensation amounts. We cover the whole of the UK having offices in strategic cities so that distance is not a barrier for you to get justice.
Our lawyers also have accreditation with prestigious industry bodies including the Action Against Medical Accident (AvMA) solicitors’ panel, and the Law Society’s panel for clinical negligence solicitors.
You can therefore be rest assured that you will receive the best possible legal representation for your claims. Our lawyers are friendly, approachable and professional in the discharge of their duties.
Our consultation sessions are free of charge where we will have discussions with you concerning your claims and make a thorough assessment to see if your claims are valid. It doesn’t cost you a thing to seek justice and get compensated for the wrong done to you.