Birth Injury Claims cover a wide variety of circumstances that may give rise to a claim where there is injury to either mother or baby and arising from medical treatment which fell below a reasonable standard. If you believe you or your child may have been injured as a result of negligent medical treatment, we are able to offer rapid and expert assessment and tell you whether we can help. Birth injury claims, and in particular those involving catastrophic injury can be worth many millions of pounds, thus easing the very significant financial burden on families.
Common Birth Injury Claims
Injuries to the mother
Medical errors during delivery can cause serious gynaecological injury. We can advise on perineal tears ruptured or prolapsed uterus, post-partum haemorrhage, post-natal traumatic stress disorder or any damage caused through neglect of treatment.
Injuries to the child
Although giving birth is safer now than it has ever been, there are nonetheless a range of conditions or injuries that can be caused as a result of negligent treatment. That might be, for example, failing to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, failing to progress to a c-section early enough, failing to react to distress in the baby, failure in delivery technique, and causing a lack of oxygen. There are more than 1000 instances of death or brain injury during term labour.
A failure in care can lead to tragic consequences including stillbirth or neonatal loss the most devastating events a parent could experience. We have helped many parents get the answers they have wanted in these most tragic of circumstances.
Amongst the most serious and potentially life changing outcomes short of stillbirth is Cerebral Palsy. Although this is a condition that is thought to affect around 1 in every 400 children in the UK, it is a condition that can be caused due to medical errors before, during or soon after birth. Cerebral Palsy affects muscle control, movement and co-ordination as a result of an injury to the brain caused by, for example, lack of oxygen.
A Brachial Plexus Injury is an injury to the nerves between the spine, neck and arms and can be caused by trauma such as forceful pulling during delivery, incorrect use of tools such as forceps, or failure to perform a c-section in larger babies.
Screening Errors; Antenatal screening is part and parcel of pregnancy and tests for serious conditions such as Down’s syndrome. When a test picks up a “foetal abnormality” that might adversely affect the quality of life of the child parents are supported to make difficult decisions that are right for them. Sometimes, screening tests are misread or misunderstood and this can have devastating and lifelong unexpected consequences.
What should you do if you have had a Birth Injury?
Although you can make a formal complaint to PALS, it is best to obtain advice from an independent expert clinical negligence solicitor. There are strict time limits for making a claim so it is best not to delay. We can advise you quickly if you have a claim we can assist with and will support you though the process from start to finish.
What Can I claim For?
This depends entirely on the nature of your claim and each case is assessed on an individual basis. Broadly however, the claim comprises “General Damages” which is the compensatory element of the claim to reflect the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by the injury, and “Special Damages” which reflect the financial loss or out of pocket expenses. The special damages are often the largest aspect of the claim, and more so in serious or catastrophic claims. In the largest cases, financial losses might include provision for lifelong aids and equipment, 24 hour care, housing adaptations or entirely new accommodation, loss of earnings and pension, adapted vehicles, therapy, rehabilitation, ongoing medical expenses and a myriad of other expenses.
Although making a claim can never undo the harm, it can ease the often significant financial burden. We are experienced in dealing with claims at all levels, from simple claims with little injury and worth only a few thousand pounds, to life changing and catastrophic injury worth over £10m and always work on a no win no fee basis.
These are complex claims requiring expert and specialised legal advice and representation. We have decades of experience in dealing with medical negligence claims. We offer what we believe to be a unique service with unparalleled speed of assessment of your claim due to our in house legal and medical expertise and deal with cases in a sympathetic and understanding way. Feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat.