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Childbirth is a stressful occasion which requires high standards of medical care from hospitals, doctors, and midwives. If, however, any medical professionals fall below the usual standards for care before, during or just after a birth, then things can go seriously wrong.
Birth injuries which affect the mother and/or child can be very severe and lead to large payments from compensation claims. In this guide, we’ll explain how birth injuries can happen and how you may be able to claim compensation for this type of injury.
1. A Guide To Birth Injury Claims
2. What Is A Birth Injury?
3. Gynaecology Negligence Examples
4. Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator
5. Am I Eligible To Make A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claim?
6. Start Your Gynaecology Negligence Case Today
7. More Advice On Birth Injury Claims
A birth injury can have serious, life-changing effects on a child and mother. It is worth exploring the possibility of making a personal injury claim if you have been directly affected by a birth injury. Within this guide, we’ll look at the requirements that need to be met to be eligible to start a birth injury claim. We also explain the different types of negligence which can lead to a birth injury.
A birth injury is a broad term for any harm which a mother or baby experiences around the time of labour. There are many different reasons a birth injury may occur. The severity of birth injuries can vary. Minor injuries may include swelling and bruising which the mother and child can recover from within a few weeks. More severe injuries can affect the mother and/or child on a long-term or permanent basis and lead to a significant reduction in quality of life.
Healthcare professionals who assist with a childbirth owe a duty of care towards the mothers and babies involved. If something goes wrong during a childbirth, it could be ruled that a healthcare provider breached their duty of care and this contributed to injuries or illnesses which occurred.
There are a variety of personal injury claims which could be made which relate to childbirth and gynaecology (female reproductive health). Relevant types of claims can include the following:
General errors which could lead to birth, pregnancy or gynecology claims can include:
Mistakes such as these can seriously affect the health of a baby or its mother. The mother’s reproductive system could also suffer severe and permanent effects. Very large compensation payouts can follow, particularly if the baby or mother injured requires round-the-clock care because of a negligent act.
Cerebral palsy is a group of lifelong conditions which can affect movement and coordination. A baby can end up developing this condition if there is a failure to deliver it early enough or by caesarean. A failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat or a failure to respond to the umbilical cord being wrapped around the neck are other ways a baby may develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can significantly affect a child’s quality of life and require regular treatment. Therefore, very large compensation payouts can be offered for birth injury claims when injuries include cerebral palsy.
Birth injury claims may sometimes focus on a misdiagnosis which was made before, during or just after childbirth. There are different types of misdiagnosis which could be made by a medical professional. These include an incorrect diagnosis, where a condition a mother or child is suffering is mistaken for a different one. Alternatively, medical professionals may fail to notice a condition or diagnose a condition later than they could have. A misdiagnosis can lead to serious and avoidable injuries for mothers and babies. A compensation claim could follow if such injuries occur.
The amount of compensation which could be offered if you make a medical negligence claim for birth injuries depends on a few factors. They include what exact types of injuries and illnesses you are claiming for.
The table below includes estimated payouts which could be given in response to a birth injury claim. The table covers different types of injuries which can occur due to issues with childbirth. Estimate payments included in the table are based on figures provided by the Judicial College Guidelines. Medical negligence solicitors may use these guideline figures in order to calculate the value of injuries you’re claiming for.
Following a successful compensation claim, a payout for ‘general damages’ is given for the injuries and illnesses you’ve suffered due to negligence.
In addition to receiving compensation for ‘general damages’, you may also receive a payout for ‘special damages’. A payment for special damages covers financial losses which can be directly linked to the injuries you’re claiming for. For example, certain medical treatments which you (or your baby) have required due to a birth injury could potentially be covered under special damages.
If you’ve been harmed by birth injuries or other types of injuries caused by medical negligence, you could be eligible to start a personal injury claim. If your child was injured during birth, you may be able to claim compensation on their behalf by representing them as a litigation friend.
To succeed with a birth injuries claim, you will need to prove with evidence that a healthcare provider acted negligently and this directly caused the injuries or illnesses you’re claiming for. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to claim within a certain time limit. Due to the Limitation Act 1980, a personal injury claim needs to be started within three years of when you suffered your injury or illness due to negligence. If you are claiming on behalf of a child, then the time limit for claiming won’t start for them until they reach the age of 18.
You can contact us for free advice from our advisors as well as a free case check. We can assess your potential case and determine if you have legitimate grounds to start a birth injury claim. If you do have a strong case, we can put you in touch with a solicitor from our panel. Cases taken on by our panel of solicitors can support claims on a No Win No Fee basis.
A No Win No Fee agreement for your claim can offer several financial benefits. These include the following: