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When an experienced practitioner falls short of providing quality medical care during childbirth, things could easily degenerate to very worse and devastating conditions. If you or your child have been victims of obstetric negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Are you looking for a “birth injury attorney near me”? We can help. Our medical negligence solicitors specialize in bringing birthing and obstetrics claims on behalf of people who have suffered injury and avoidable harm as a result of the negligent act of a medical professional whom they trusted to help them.
What is meant by Birthing Obstetric Negligence?
The aspect of medical care that has to do with pregnancy and childbirth is known as obstetrics. Obstetric negligence can be referred to as a circumstance whereby a doctor or physician acts negligently towards the care given to a patient during pregnancy or childbirth.
When a mistake has been made as a result of obvious negligence or a medical practitioner being unprofessional in their practice, you can bring forward a claim. Some of the most common injuries during pregnancy could have easily been avoided. Here at Medical negligence direct, our obstetric negligence solicitors have stood up for many who have found themselves dealing with conditions such as birth injury, obtaining worthy compensation for them.
What are the Causes of Birthing and Obstetric Claims?
Negligence may not always be the cause of birth injury claims as you may have received professional advice and even care from your medical practitioner. Naturally childbirth and pregnancy are open to complications either from the initial period or in the long run. However, most birthing and obstetric injuries are too often caused by negligence.
As reported by the NHS (National Health Service) Litigation Authority, maternity related claims represent the highest figure of claims made in opposition to the NHS. It also established that the three most common birth and obstetric claims relate to management of labour, caesarean section/CTG interpretation and cerebral palsy. These 3 types of claims accounted for 70% of compensation paid by the NHS (for maternity claims).
From their observation and findings, it has been concluded that some of the most common negligence claims arise due to the issues listed below.
Our body needs oxygen to acquire energy to promote all our living processes efficiently. Lack of oxygen supply to your unborn child is one of the most serious causes of birth injury claims. Medical professionals such as midwives, doctors and nurses should routinely monitor the child’s heart rate efficiently throughout the period of pregnancy as well as delivery. This will help to identify emergencies as quickly as possible and necessary actions can be taken. However, reports of these basic steps not being followed by medical professionals is on the high side resulting in conditions such as cerebral palsy and necessitating cerebral palsy claims
Lack of knowledge or incompetence
Sometimes the standards of nursing management of birth injury can be quite appalling and that is because training given to Midwives are mostly limited. In any case, lack of knowledge is not an excuse for putting a patient in harm’s way. Childbirth, like any other medical condition, should be treated with utmost care as any mistakes or delay may lead to fatal conditions or even death.
Whether you were administered the wrong dosage or incorrect medication, which has led to birth injuries to mother or baby birth injury, you can claim compensation for such.
Shortages in Manpower
The enormous number of media reports on negligent treatment during childbirth is appalling – even in the NHS. Recently, it was reported that a number of maternity wards stop providing treatment as a result of shortage in staff. This situation is unacceptable. It is mandatory that the hospitals are fully equipped with necessary resources to provide proper or quality medical care. And when patients are exposed to unnecessary harm, this may lead to obstetric negligence claims.
Negligence in recognizing and treating infections during Pregnancy
If you have an untreated infection or underlying illnesses during pregnancy, it can pose a negative threat to your unborn babies or the general well-being of the fetus. Maternal sepsis which is also
known as blood poisoning or septicemia can occur during pregnancy and this can lead to infections such as Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), pneumonia or influenza. If your obstetrician has failed on his path to give proper attention and care to you, you may be eligible to make birth injury compensation claims
What can be classified as Obstetric Negligence?
There are several ways in which obstetric negligence can occur. Not all actions of a medical practitioner can be considered medical negligence in childbirth. Before an obstetrician can be found liable for negligence, it must be proven that there was a breach of a duty of care owed to the patient, and that the breach directly resulted in the patient’s injuries, suffering or any form of loss. Some common examples of obstetric negligence include:
- Medication errors – administering the wrong prescription or dosage during pregnancy
- Administering of wrong treatment leading to further complications
- Wrong advice regarding gestational diabetes
- Medical misdiagnosis of conditions during pregnancy or at birth
- Negligent actions resulting in premature birth
- Negligence during labor, resulting in birth injuries or birth defects
- Administering wrong dosage of anesthesia
- Cesarean section operation gone wrong
Also find below the list of some of the most common types of birth injury claims we have handled:
- Cerebral Palsy Claims
- Erb’s Palsy Claims
- Baby Birth Injury or Birth Defect Negligence Claims
- Childbirth Injuries to Mother Negligence Claims
- Stillbirth Compensation Claims
- Preeclampsia Compensation Claims
- Midwife Negligence Claims
- Kernicterus Compensation Claims
- Hip Injury Claims
- Forceps Delivery Negligence Claims
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Why is it necessary to make an Obstetric Negligence claim?
The reason why you should make this claim is to ensure that the same mistake doesn’t occur again in future. It is not uncommon for NHS guidelines and advice to change following a medical negligence claim because many patients might have gone through similar challenges.
When medical practitioners are not held accountable for wrong doings, there’s a high chance that they will continue on that path. If previous medical mistakes are identified and investigated, it gives room for a lot of improvements to be made, ultimately leading to better treatment outcomes.
Furthermore, it is paramount that victims obtain compensation for pain and suffering because at the very least, while this may not salvage your condition completely, it goes a long way in covering for unplanned additional expenses or losses you may have incurred due to the injury. For example, a mother who suffers birth injury of any form including maternal obstetric palsy, may need to take time off work or in very critical condition give up on a job that provides you with the income you need to take care of your basic needs.
Given these circumstances, it is only fair that you as the victim are able to receive maximum compensation for your birth injury compensation claims.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Claim Obstetric Negligence?
Injuries that occur in obstetric negligence can go from minor or insignificant to life threatening injuries. While you may be able to make a claim yourself, it may be necessary for you to hire a childbirth injury lawyer to investigate your case and ascertain whether or not it is worthy of a claim.
Besides looking into the evidence presented, birth injury solicitors can provide you with up-to-date legal advice and help you file a lawsuit or attend to court proceedings if your case was not settled out of court.
Steps to take when making Obstetric negligence claims
Speak to an expert
If you are not sure where to start, our advice is you should first get in touch with a childbirth injury lawyer near you. You can contact our team of experts as we operate all across the UK. Our first requirement would be a brief summary of why you think you are entitled to an obstetric negligence claim.
We will analyze and investigate the evidence you have presented before us which may include the complete set of your medical records for injured mother or child, the receipts for additional financial expenses incurred if you had to seek help from a different hospital. After evaluating your claim, we will establish a strong case for you and if we feel you are eligible for compensation and you instruct us to handle your claim, we will proceed to the next step.
We will proceed to advise you on the available funding options, suggesting the best option for you. There are quite a number of options for funding claims out there but our medical negligence solicitors usually operate a conditional agreement – NO WIN NO FEE.
This is the stage where we get to present your case to the defendant, who in this case is your obstetrician or doctor who has subjected you or your child to pain and suffering as a result of obstetric negligence. Usually, we present your case to the defendant through a letter of claim stating all his wrong doings backed by evidence. The defendant will be allowed some time to eventually admit or deny liability. Once liability is admitted, offers are made in a meeting set up for both parties. When an agreement of compensation is reached, you will then receive your payment.
“Most obstetric negligence cases are settled out of court. However, in a case where your medical practitioner has denied liability and is unyielding to his mistakes, court proceedings may follow. If this happens to be the case for you, our medical negligence childbirth lawyers will be sure to assist and represent you every step of the way.”
Can I claim for Obstetric Negligence on a No Win No Fee?
Yes, obstetric negligence claims can be made on a no win no fee basis depending on the agreement with the lawyer or negligence solicitor you have instructed. At Medical Negligence direct, we work with a team of experts who have handled tons of obstetric negligence cases and successfully brought claims on a no win no fee arrangement.
With No win No Fee birthing and obstetric claims, you will not be required to pay any legal fees to be represented by our birth injury solicitors. Even if the claim is unsuccessful, you owe us nothing. However, upon obtaining maximum compensation for you, we will be charged a “success fee” for our services.
You can fill out our free assessment form today and one of our childbirth injury lawyers will reach out to you to discuss and investigate your case fully. Alternatively, you can call our helpline to speak to us directly.
What is the time limit for making an obstetric negligence claim?
Similar to the time limit for medical negligence claims in general, the time scale for making a claim for obstetric negligence is 3 years from the moment you took note of the condition or injury which occurred as a result of medical negligence. Within this time, an injured mother can bring forward her claim or make a claim on behalf of her child.
In severe cases where a child has been injured at birth, the time limit for claim may be extended until the child has come of age – that is to say, you may have up to 18 years to do so. Once your child has turned eighteen, you will be given a further three years to bring a birth compensation claim. Ensure you come along with your birth medical negligence claim at any time during this period.
How Much Compensation Will I Get for Obstetric Negligence?
The amount of compensation for birthing & obstetric claims can range hugely as the circumstances surrounding these claims differ. The nature and severity of your birth injury will directly influence the amount received in compensation. For example, compensation awarded for Cerebral Palsy Claims or Child death may attract millions of pounds while compensation amount for wrong medication prescribed may attract a few thousands.
If you want to get a better idea on how much you can receive, our birth injury solicitors usually use a medical negligence calculator to give you an estimated amount that you can expect. We are aware of the fact that this process can be quite tough and it comes with a lot of negativity for what is meant to be a beautiful and special time for you and your family, that is why we are here to help.
Case study of Cerebral palsy claim we have handled
Once we secured compensation for a client whose baby boy suffered cerebral palsy, a condition leading to his brain being severely damaged during childbirth. From the evidence gathered, the doctors failed to diagnose the mother of an infection during pregnancy. As a result of the mother’s infection, the little baby developed meningitis which was also not identified by the doctor. Leaving the child to suffer catastrophic brain damage.
The current state of the child at the time was very heartbreaking. He struggled with balance and coordination problems, speed impediments, swallowing difficulties, hearing loss and visual impairment. It broke our heart to see a child suffer so much for what could have been avoided. Thankfully, our expert childbirth injury lawyers were able to secure a very worthy compensation plus annual payments to ensure that he receives standard treatments for the rest of his life.
How Can We Help?
Our birth injury solicitors who are experts in this profession have successfully helped many clients from minor to serious obstetric negligence cases. They will carefully ensure that every aspect of your child’s claim has been carefully considered, securing compensation awards which will include rehabilitation, therapies, education support for your injured child and any other care and support required. If you are a mother bringing obstetric negligence claims for your own injuries sustained during the process of childbirth, irrespective of the condition including medical negligence claims, we can also help.
Feel free to call our claim line on 0800 644 4240 or fill out our assessment form as we are always ready to assist if you. We understand how trying these times can be and will be right beside you to help you get the justice you deserve for all the suffering you’ve had to endure.
Can I make a birth injury claim against a private healthcare provider?
Most private medical professionals have their own insurance which meets compensation awards where medical negligence has caused injury. If you received your treatment from a private healthcare provider you can still bring a claim. If you believe your private healthcare provider has provided substandard care during pregnancy, birth or the period after your baby was born, please contact us or call one of our specialist birth injury solicitors.
What are the Legal Penalties for Obstetric Negligence?
As with other forms of medical malpractice or medical negligence claims, Obstetric negligence results in awards given for damages. Compensations are usually arrived at after considering all the factors surrounding the claim. Various financial losses such as medical bills, hospital payments, and lost wages are also taken into account. In cases involving serious injuries or losses, the damages awards can be quite substantial.
Consequently, other legal penalties that doctors or obstetricians in this case may face in connection with obstetric negligence is loss of operating license. A doctor may be stripped of his licence given the circumstances involved. In very rare cases of gross or severe negligence (for example, where there was a deliberate act that led to death) criminal consequences can also result.
Can I make a birthing and obstetric claim on behalf of a child?
Yes, it is possible to make a claim on behalf of a child for birth related injuries. If you are the mother or father or legal guardian of the child, you can stand in as the litigation friend for such a child. As long as the child is not of age to bring the claim by himself, there is no law that exempts bringing a claim on behalf of the child. Feel free to contact us and our medical negligence solicitors will guide you through this process.
Can I claim for Obstetric negligence against the NHS?
Obstetric claims can also be made against the NHS, provided the negligent treatment or substandard care received came from an NHS hospital or medical practitioner. The NHS Resolution is set up to deal with nhs negligence claims, resolving issues as early as possible.