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You are entitled to make birth injury claims if negligent action of your GP or Midwife during prenatal care and childbirth has caused you, or your child harm or further complications.
What Are Birth Injury Claims?
Birth Injury Claims refers to when an individual takes legal action against his or her GP, Midwife or other Medical Professional for negligent treatment during antenatal care or childbirth which has caused harm or further complications to the mother or child.
In other words, birth injury claims arise when a medical professional be it a midwife, GP or Obstetrician provides poor or substandard care during the prenatal stage and during childbirth which then caused pain, injury, suffering or trauma to either or both mother and child which could have otherwise be avoided.
When making a birth injury claim, it has to be proven that the birth injury suffered was as a result of medical negligence.
You can claim maximum birth injury compensation for the following
Birth Injury Explained
A birth injury refers to any type or harm that a baby or the mother suffers before, during childbirth or immediately after childbirth.
Actually, many babies suffer from minor birth injuries during delivery which do not need to be treated as they heal on their own in a few days or weeks. However, some birth injuries can be very serious leading to severe complications, some of which may lead to permanent disabilities for the child.
The period of pregnancy and childbirth are difficult times filled with anxiety and uncertainty for both parents and at such a time, the last thing you need is a negligent medical professional to worsen the trauma of childbirth. Negligent actions or inactions of a medical practitioner, be it a GP, midwife, or obstetrician, can cause severe life changing injuries for either the mother and her baby or both.
Birth injuries which are also known as Obstetrics Injuries are any parents’ worst nightmare and so, it is vitally important that you reach out to seasoned medical negligence experts who will give you the right legal advice and representation you need to claim a deserved compensation.
It is heartwarming to note that the UK is a very safe place for child delivery. The rate of stillbirth and birth injury cases have continued to decrease each year. Despite this, about 921 babies suffered serious birth injuries in 2015 which included 119 babies who died during labour, 147 babies who died during the neonatal period and 655 babies who suffered severe brain injuries.
This is why the issue of birth injury claims is very serious and medical professionals are expected to do their best to ensure that both mother and child get the best possible care before, during childbirth and during the neonatal period to forestall birth injuries.
Most birth injuries occur as a result of a complicated or negligent labour and the impact of a birth injury can be devastating not just physically but also psychologically as the family is usually traumatized because what should be a period of joy has become a period of grief. While birth injuries can happen to both mother and baby, birth injuries to children are far more serious and difficult to manage or treat. They can have significant long-term impact on the child and mother and so medical professionals should take the extra care to ensure that both mother and child receive acceptable standards of medical care.
If your midwife, doctor or obstetrician has failed in their duty of care towards you, which has resulted in a birth injury, then you have the legal right to make birth injury claims against the medical professional, the NHS or the private hospital.
It is extremely important that you take action and seek redress if you have been let down by your healthcare provider; and to do this, you will need a specialist childbirth injury lawyer who will assist you make a claim.
Contact A Specialist Solicitor Today For A Free Claim Assessment
Our birth injury solicitors are experts in handling birthing injury negligence claims. Complete our quick Free Claim Assessment or call us on 0800 644 4240 for further enquiries.
Birth Injuries To The Child
There are several birth injuries that happen to a child. These injuries can come in varying degrees from minor to severe injuries. These include;
- Fracture of the clavicle or collarbone
- Head injuries or bruises due to incorrect use of forceps
- Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy)
- Cephalohematoma (swelling on the head as a result of ventouse assisted delivery)
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial palsy (weakness in the facial muscles)
- Fractures (example: skull fracture, collar bone fracture)
- Facial injuries
- Brain damage as a result of hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), which can lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy;
- Placental injury as a result of poor diagnosis or inadequate handling
- Downs syndrome, caused by failure to offer certain treatments during the prenatal stage
- Minor external eye trauma in rare cases
Childbirth Injuries To The Mother
On the other hand, the following are birth injuries that can happen to the mother;
- Perineal tear (the tissue between the vagina and anus)
- Uterine rupture
- 3rd or 4th degree vaginal tear
- Short-term or long-term bowel incontinence
- Anemia, due to blood loss
- Injuries to the bladder or urethra
- pelvic organ prolapse
- Ruptured placenta
- Physical Injuries such as cuts and bruises, dysplasia, fistulas
- Inability to bear future children, due to complications or surgical errors
- Conditions such as pre-eclampsia, obstetric cholestasis and gestational diabetes which are avoidable but also treatable
- Prolonged or permanent numbness and paralysis due to errors in anesthesia administration
- Injuries to internal organs or other internal injuries as a result of Caesarean Sections
If you or a loved one has suffered any birthing injury as a result of medical negligence, then you have the legal right to make birthing injury negligence claims.
Causes Of Birth Injury Negligence Claims
Birth injury claims are mainly made because a medical professional acted negligently before, during or immediately after childbirth. There negligent actions as we have found out over the years while representing various clients include;
- Failure to properly examine the mother and development of the child during the prenatal period especially for conditions like Down Syndrome, heart or brain defects and other developmental abnormalities so that parents can make informed decisions.
- Incorrect use of equipment such as forceps or ventouse during an assisted delivery
- Failure to monitor mother and child during labour including baby’s heart-rate, position, umbilical cord tangling
- Using the wrong assisted delivery method; for example, using forceps where a C-section would have been most appropriate
- Allowing the mother to suffer prolonged labour unnecessarily before proper intervention
- Incorrect handling of the child during delivery
- Anaesthetic errors
- Injuries to other organs during C-Section
- Failure to monitor potential tears and fistulas and also failing to properly treat these afterwards if they occur.
- Negligent post-delivery care such as such as failing to utilize incubators or other equipment, poor monitoring or poor infection control
Complications can occur during childbirth and the doctors and midwives in charge should be prepared for them. If the doctor or midwife does not have the required expertise or skills to carry out such procedures, mistakes can unfortunately happen. Medical professionals should therefore be vigilant to vital changes and know when to undertake appropriate measures or involve a specialist or more experienced colleague to ensure the safety of both mother and child.
Why Make Birthing Injury Negligence Claim?
Birthing Injury Negligence Claims can help to ensure that the hospital or NHS takes appropriate measures so that such mistakes do not occur again. Our solicitors often find that NHS guidelines will change for the better after a medical negligence claim is made. Therefore, when claims are made, and the mistakes are identified and investigated, improvements can be made.
Furthermore, it is only fair that you obtain a deserved compensation for your pain and suffering. Compensations may not reverse the injury done or the trauma, but it will go a long way towards ensuring that you and/or your child get the best quality of life possible while also ensuring that money will not be a barrier for you to access the required medical care you or your child needs after a traumatic event.
How Do I Make Birth Injury Claims?
When birth injury occurs as a result of negligence, the results can be really difficult for you and your family. Suing a medical professional for acts of negligence is never easy and that is why you need the best medical negligence solicitors to give you a solid legal representation to win your claims.
If you think you may have a birth negligence claim, then you should reach out to our team of birth injury solicitors for a free assessment of your claim. Our medical negligence solicitors are friendly and understanding the difficult situation you find yourself in and are ready to assist you in whatever way you need to ensure you quickly put the ugly incident behind you.
To make a claim, your lawyers will help you to establish that your midwife, GP or obstetrician acted negligently and you have suffered as a result of those negligent actions.
Several documents will be required of you to do this. We are not leaving you alone to do this by yourself but will also assist you access relevant documents and information which will serve as evidence to corroborate your claims. Additionally, we will also secure the services of a Medical Specialist who will examine the mother and child and give a proper report of your condition. This report will be very vital in the claims process.
These documents include;
Procedure for making birth injury claims
When you come to us, we offer a free consultation session, where our expert Medical Negligence Solicitors in birth injury claims will listen to your story and make a professional assessment of your case. They will also explain to you in very clear and simple terms what the claims process entails.
Below is a summary of the birth injury claims process;
- Contact one of our childbirth injury lawyers
- Fund Your Claim
- Gather your Evidence
- Establish liability
- Negotiations between both parties
- Payment of Settlement
Most often, birth injury claims are eligible for legal aid by the government in the UK. We will also discuss this with you and the terms involved to get your claims started.
How Much Compensation Can I Get For Birth Injury Claims?
Birth injuries are of different types and the degree of severity is hardly the same. For this reason, the amount you will receive as settlement is not fixed but depends on the uniqueness of your case.
It is very common for birth injury negligence compensation amounts to be extremely large, mostly as it reflects the lifelong care that the child may need or other life-long disabling conditions the mother may suffer. Also, if specialist equipment will be needed to make the victims life easier, it will also have a significant impact on the settlement payout.
In the UK, medical negligence compensation amounts range between £1,000 to several millions of pounds. However, according to the NHS, the average medical negligence claims compensation amount is £50,000. Our birth injury claims lawyers can, however, give you a range of what you can expect as compensation amount for your claims using our medical negligence calculator.
Some factors that determine compensation payouts include:
- Type and location of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Impacts and damages caused by the injury
- Financial losses
- Future prognosis
- Travel expenses for medical appointments
- Costs of buying mobility aids, assistive devices for rehabilitation and the costs of their replacements
- Cost of hiring caregivers
- Costs of accommodation adjustments
Birth Injury Attorneys Near Me
Our birth injury solicitors have many years of experience in representing clients who have suffered from several kinds of birth injuries.
We take pride in ourselves for being able to not only secure deserving compensation amounts but also settling the claims swiftly as we do not want your days of suffering to prolong even further.
We will certainly leave no stone unturned in ensuring that you are well compensated for your pain and suffering. We will also ensure that the entire claims process is not cumbersome or stressful on you.
We have our offices all over the UK. Therefore, distance cannot be a barrier towards your seeking justice.
No Win No Fee Birth Injury Compensation Claims
Our birth injury solicitors will undertake your birth injury claims under our No Win No Fee policy also known as “Conditional Fee Agreement”.
This simply means you can seek justice for harm done to you or your child without any financial risks to you. We do not require you to pay us any legal fees before we can take up your case. Additionally, we do not require you to pay us even if the case is not successful. We take out an insurance cover for you that protects you from having to make such payments.
However, you will be required to pay 25% of your total compensation award value. This is known as “success fee”.
Time Limit For Birth Injury Claims
You only have a three-year time limit for making a negligence claim, this is according to the Limitation Act of 1980.
The three-year period begins to count from the date of the negligence or your date of knowledge. Children or persons below 18 years of age will have until their 21st birthday to make a claim as the three-year time frame begins to count from their 18th birthday.
Also, when an individual is incapacitated and unable to make claims, the time frame can be relaxed or adjusted until he or she is able to do so. Alternatively, a close relation (a litigation friend) can make claims on behalf of these categories of persons. During our consultation sessions, we can give you more explanations about this and what is involved in making a claim on behalf of another person.
It is important to begin your claim as soon as possible when the facts of the matter are still very fresh and when it is easier to obtain necessary documents to prove your claims. When medical negligence claims are started early enough, it gives your lawyers ample time to prepare adequately and give you a strong legal representation.
Consequences of medical negligence can be very devastating and traumatic for the victim and family. Contact us today 0800 644 4240, for a free assessment of your case and let us help you make that claim.
Frequently Asked Question about Birth Injury Claims
Can I Make Birth Injury Negligence Claims?
Yes, you certainly can. If you or a loved one has suffered any birthing injury as a result of medical negligence, then you have the legal right to make birthing injury negligence claims. A mother can make claims for injuries to her or her child, also a man may make claims for birth injuries to the mother of his child or his child.
Alternatively, one may make claims for a close relative who has suffered birth injuries as a litigation friend.
Can You Sue For Birth Injury?
If you or your child has suffered birth injuries or a loved one is a victim of medical negligence during prenatal stage, childbirth or neonatal stage which has caused injuries to her or her baby, then you can take legal actions against your doctor, midwife or the hospital involved.
How Do You Prove Birth Injury?
To prove that you are a victim of childbirth medical negligence, you and your lawyer will have to show that the medical professional acted negligently. In other words, you have to establish the four elements of medical negligence;
Duty– Your Obstetrician or Midwife owed you a duty of care
Deviation– Your healthcare providers failed in or breached that duty of care
Direct Causation– That breach is the direct cause of your suffering
Damages– You have also suffered other damages (psychological, financial, etc.) as a result
Can I Sue The Hospital For A Traumatic Birth?
Absolutely, if the hospital fails to provide adequate equipment or personnel to ease your childbirth causing you to suffer unnecessarily, you can sue for a traumatic birth. Your birth injury claims solicitors will help you make a claim.
How Long Does A Birth Injury Claim Take?
As in most medical negligence claims cases, a birth injury lawsuit will usually take between a year and several years to settle. However, a case will only take as long as that if it goes to a trial in court. Usually, medical negligence cases are settled between 12-18months; or at most 3 years.
Determinants which influence when claims will be settled include; defendant’s willingness or unwillingness to accept liability, when both parties were able to agree on a settlement fee, time taken for your lawyers to gather evidence to support claims, among others.