A birth injury relates to any injury a mother or child has experienced before, during, or after delivery due to medical negligence.
You may have a birth injury claim if the damage inflicted caused an otherwise avoidable injury to your child or to you.
When birth injuries occur, they can often be caused by:
A failure to provide the mother with appropriate antenatal care
Delays in identifying a deteriorating condition or escalating care
Delays in delivery
A failure to diagnose or treat certain conditions
Common childbirth injuries to the mother include:
Cuts, bruises, tears, or abrasions
Damage to pelvic floor muscles causing continence issues
Fractured pelvis or broken coccyx
Whilst naturally some effects of childbirth are beyond a medical professional’s control, sometimes injuries occur if the labour is not managed appropriately or quickly enough.
Common childbirth injuries to the baby include:
Fractures or broken bones
Erb’s palsy injuries
These childbirth injuries to a baby can range from mild and short-term to severe and permanent.
If the actions of a medical professional caused either you or your baby to suffer an injury during pregnancy, birth, or after your child's birth, you may be able to make a birth injury claim.
Get in touch with our experienced birth injury solicitors who can advise you on the process and timeline.
After you have contacted us, we can set up a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns and advise you on your available options, which may include bringing a claim.
For cases involving a brain injury to the child at birth or within the first six weeks of life, we may be able to seek Legal Aid funding for the claim. Otherwise, we may be able to offer a “no win, no fee” arrangement, to investigate what happened. We obtain independent medical evidence to advise on the standard of care, whether it was negligent, and, if so, exactly what the negligence caused. If appropriate, we can obtain evidence to assess future prognosis, including short and long-term needs.
When making a birth injury claim, it is important to note that there are certain time limits. For injuries to the mother, they have three years from the date of negligence, or knowledge of that negligence if later. For injuries to the child, generally, they have three years from their 18th birthday to issue the case in court. However, if the injuries are so severe that they do not have capacity, there may be no time limit.
With cases involving a child or protected party, any agreement to compensation requires the approval of the court.
Our birth injury solicitors understand every aspect of medical negligence, and our solicitors will be on hand throughout the journey.
You can also be reassured that we will work tirelessly to reach the best outcome for you.
For a free initial consultation about making a birth injury claim, get in touch with us today.
We receive lots of questions about birth injuries.
Here are some commonly asked questions about the claims process and what to expect.
We are one of a few law firms that have a Legal Aid contract. This means that we can apply for Legal Aid funding where appropriate.
If that is not available, another funding option is for us to act under a Conditional Fee Agreement, which people tend to know better as a “no win, no fee” arrangement.
It’s very difficult to give an answer to this as it depends on a number of factors.
The first of these is who has been impacted by the injury. If the injury is to a child, it can often take many years as it is important to understand the long-term impact on the child, which may not become evident until they are older. A court needs to be satisfied that this has been fully explored before approving any settlement.
If it is the mother that has been impacted, it is often easier as their prognosis is usually clearer much sooner.
Outside of this, there are other factors outside of our control, such as:
How long it takes to obtain expert evidence – which may span numerous expert fields
How long it takes the defendants to respond
What stance the defendants take – if liability is denied, then it will inevitably take longer to prove that negligence occurred
The court process itself
Whilst we have to investigate and prepare cases as if they are going to a trial, the vast majority of cases do not reach that far; either because our investigations demonstrate that there is not a viable claim, or some form of compromise is reached.
A trial is an absolute last resort, and most cases, even where liability is denied, reach a resolution before a trial takes place.
This is a very difficult question to answer as it depends on a number of factors. Every case is different and the impact on the individual is different as well.
First, we would have to demonstrate that there is a potential case, because if there isn’t, then no compensation will be paid. If we can, compensation is broadly broken down into two sections: general damages and special damages.
General damages are compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the negligence, and then special damages are compensation for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred to date, or likely to be incurred in the future because of negligence.
These amounts will vary significantly depending on the nature and extent of the injury, and then how long it is going to impact that person. For example, cerebral palsy cases are often high in value because they permanently impact the individual who needs long-term round-the-clock care. The compensation would therefore be greater to reflect this.
Our birth injury solicitors will aim to demonstrate that there has been negligent treatment. If we can do that, we will then seek to obtain enough compensation to cover all costs for treatment, rehabilitation, and home adaptations you may need for the future.
Whilst the case is ongoing, we can seek “interim payments” from the defendants as well, which are effectively payments up front whilst the case is still ongoing. These can be used to set up various forms of treatment and rehabilitation to maximise recovery.
We can also connect you with support groups, charities, and medical practitioners who can offer services to support you or your child.