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Birth Injury Claims

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Thousands of pregnant women visit hospitals in the UK every day either to receive treatment or to give birth. Whilst the majority of patients are treated well and give birth with no issues, there are those who suffer as a result of medical mistakes from medical professionals.

Birth injuries refer to any harm that is caused to the baby or the mother during or around the time of labour. Birth injuries can have severe, life-changing effects on the mother or baby, including physical pain, misdiagnosis and in some unfortunate cases, fatality.

If you or someone you know has suffered an illness or injury as a result of medical negligence whilst in labour, you may be eligible to make a birth injury claim for compensation. Contact Wildwood Legal today to discuss your potential claim with our medical negligence solicitors and receive more information about the claims process.


Common causes of birth injuries


Although there is always a risk whilst giving birth, doctors and midwives should take every necessary action in order to minimise the risk for the mother or the baby. If they fail to take these actions, this can result in birth injuries. Some common causes that we see that lead to birth injury claims include:


· Poor care towards the mother and baby during the delivery

· Incorrect medication being administered or mishandling

· Failure to diagnose dangerous conditions in the baby or mother

· Failure to prevent or identify infections, such as meningitis


These mistakes from medical staff can lead to serious injuries; some common types of birth injury include:


· Bowel and bladder injuries as a result of C section errors

· Internal damage or perineal tears

· Placental abruption in which the placenta separates prematurely from the uterus

· Nervous shock following a traumatic birth

· Issues with stitching and post-natal infections

· Birth injuries following the use of vacuum delivery or forceps

· C-section trauma


All of the physical birth injuries listed above can lead to all kinds of serious health conditions and complications; however, there are also psychological injuries that can follow birthing injuries, such as depression and anxiety due to the traumatic nature of the accident.

These injuries can also cause life-changing alterations to the babies life as birth injuries are commonly linked with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy as well as a potential long-term brain injury following the birth.

If you have suffered any of these injuries as a result of any causes listed above, as well as others, you may be able to make a birth injury claim.


What is required for birth injury claims?


If you are thinking about claiming compensation, it is important that you are aware of how to prove medical negligence. Medical negligence cases must be built on evidence, so it is essential that you can prove what happened to you was a direct result of someone else’s actions.


Evidence that could help prove medical negligence include:


· Medical records, including any ultrasounds or X-rays

· Any reports from medical experts that could be used as evidence

· Photographs of any injuries or illness related symptoms

· Financial evidence

· Detailed statements from the claimant

· Witness statement (these can be from family or friends)


It is in your best interest to talk to a solicitor as soon as possible as they can discuss your entitlements with you and advise you on your options going forward.

Birth injury Solicitors from law firms can provide clarity on whether you have been wrongfully injured due to medical negligence as they are legal experts and specialise in medical negligence compensation claims.


What can be recovered from birth injury claims?


There are different types of medical claims that can be made following injuries from clinical negligence that was not your fault. Here are some of the things that your compensation can be calculated with:


· The severity of your injury

· Loss of benefits

· Length of recovery

· Loss of projected earnings

· Impact on daily life

· Loss of earnings


There is no maximum amount that you can be awarded for medical negligence. The amount of financial compensation you receive will be based on the severity of the ongoing disability and losses due to medical negligence. A medical negligence claim is considered on a case-by-case basis as each claim has a unique set of circumstances.

If your family, friends or others have been required to provide you with additional care due to your injuries, then they may also be eligible to receive compensation for their time.


How will my birth injury claims compensation be calculated?


A medical negligence compensation award is made up of two areas, general damages and special damages.

General damages cover physical injuries; these damages take the severity of your injuries into consideration, as the more severe your injuries are, the higher the compensation levels are likely to be. If you have been left disfigured as a direct result of medical malpractice, this would be covered by general damages.


Special damages cover the financial impact the medical negligence had. This includes loss of earnings which will depend on the severity of your injuries and the type of job that you do. Special damages also cover any care that you may need. For example, if you were left in severe pain due to medical malpractice, the court would likely reward you with compensation to cover the financial implications of this in the future.

If the Defendant admits liability for your case, you may also be able to receive interim payments, meaning that you could receive a part-payment of compensation during litigation.

These payments are made by the other side before a case is settled in order to aid you to fund a number of vital things, such as assistance in daily living or urgent medical care.


Time limits for making birth injury claims


The law on time limits for making birth injury compensation claims is similar to most other medical negligence claims. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of the accident to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings where the injury occurred at the hospital.

The three-year deadline commences from the date that the injury occurred or from the date on which you realised that your injury or illness was associated with medical negligence. The three-year time limit for claiming compensation does not apply to those under 18; however, it will come into effect after their 18th birthday. There is also no time limit if you are claiming on behalf of an individual that lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves.


How much do birth injury claims cost?


We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are; if we take on your medical negligence case, we will almost always do so on no win no fee basis (also known as a conditional agreement).

This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.

We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.


How can Wildwood Legal assist?


At Wildwood Legal, we know that the consequences of birthing injury negligence can be devastating and traumatic. If you have suffered from this, you need to seek legal advice – That’s where we come in.

We see all too often the significant effect that medical negligence can have on people’s lives. We can help on the financial side to get you on the road to recovery and help you to maximise the amount of compensation you receive to cover the costs of any financial losses you may have incurred.

Our core strength is in personal injury claims, including birth injury claims. We are experienced in helping you with bringing a claim you may want to make. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important.

Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards meaning that we are a trusted law firm. We offer services to individuals located in England and Wales. To make an enquiry, get in contact with our birth injury lawyers, either email us or call us 01423 209 046. We have registered offices in Harrogate and London.

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If you are thinking about making a claim, we would love to hear from you.  We will give you clear, honest advice.

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