birth_Injury_claims

Birth Injury Claims

If you or your child have experienced injury as a result of pregnancy and childbirth you are entitled to make a birth injury claim.

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Becoming a parent is a joyous and life-changing experience. However, it can also be a time of vulnerability and uncertainty, especially when it comes to maternity care. The UK boasts a robust healthcare system, but unfortunately, in a small number of cases, things can, and do go wrong. This may be as a result of unforeseeable complications, despite everyone’s best efforts. However, when healthcare professionals fail to meet the expected standards of care during pregnancy, childbirth, or postnatal care, there may be devastating consequences for both the mother and the child which could have been avoided.

If you or your child have experienced injury as a result of pregnancy and childbirth you are entitled to make a birth injury claim resulting in the award for damages: financial compensation may seem but a poor remedy in circumstances where there has been avoidable and irreversible harm, but it can help towards making life easier going forward, e.g. for purchase of necessary equipment, education, nursing and ongoing care support, accommodation adaptations or even purchase of a new residence specially adapted to suit the needs of injured party.

Common Areas of Birth Injury Claims

A birth injury refers to any type of injury that occurs when a baby is delivered, either to the mother or the baby.

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Birth Injuries To Babies

There are a number of potential injuries that babies can experience during childbirth. These could lead to conditions such as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Oxygen starvation
  • Infection
  • Erb’s palsy, also known as shoulder dystocia
  • Stillbirth

Birth Injuries To Mothers

Mothers can also be caused injury during childbirth, either through negligent intervention, or through failure to note a complication and take appropriate action in a timely fashion . These include injuries such as:

  • Vaginal tears
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Post-partum haemorrhage
  • Ruptured uterus
  • Prolapsed uterus
  • Broken pelvis

Common Scenarios of Birth Injury or Pregnancy Negligence Claims

Failure to Diagnose a Complication

One scenario in pregnancy negligence is when healthcare professionals fail to diagnose a medical condition during pregnancy or labour. For instance, a doctor may overlook signs of preeclampsia, a serious condition that requires immediate attention.

Birth Injuries Due to Medical Errors

During childbirth, medical errors such as improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors, or a delayed caesarean section, can result in birth injuries. These injuries may range from minor bruises to more severe conditions like cerebral palsy, causing lifelong challenges for the child and immense emotional distress for the family.

Postnatal Complications

Inadequate postnatal care can lead to various complications for new mothers. This may include infections, postpartum haemorrhage, or insufficient support for mental health issues, leaving mothers feeling unsupported during a crucial period of recovery.

Stillbirth or Neonatal Death

Tragically, some pregnancies end in stillbirth, or neonatal death. Often these sad losses are no-one’s fault, but there are others where the health care providers may have failed to recognise warning signs and act upon them, resulting in the loss of the new born.

Medication Errors

Administering incorrect medications or incorrect dosages can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby.

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How we can help you

Our Specialist Team will help you to Make a Birth Injury Claim.

Once you reach out to us, we’ll guide you through our no win, no fee birth injury compensation claims process:

  • We’ll assist you in collecting evidence to strengthen your claim, which may include obtaining medical records, photographs, incident reports, and witness statements.

  • Optionally, we can refer you to the NHS Early Notification scheme, which expedites investigations for babies born with brain injuries.

  • After gathering your evidence, we will draft a letter of claim directed towards either the NHS or your private healthcare provider. Our aim is to establish two key aspects: the breach of duty, indicating the healthcare provider’s failure, and causation, proving the injury’s connection to their actions. By law, the NHS has four months to respond, so please bear this timeframe in mind during the waiting period.

  • While awaiting the response, we’ll assess the appropriate compensation amount, considering the severity of the injury, any financial losses you’ve incurred, and the long-term impact on your life, including potential rehabilitation for your child.

  • In the event the healthcare provider acknowledges the claim, they will cover the compensation from their insurance. Private providers will draw from their public liability insurance, while the NHS will utilize NHS Resolution, a government organisation to safeguard the NHS in negligence cases.

  • If the healthcare provider disputes the claim, we’ll proceed with further action. Going to court is highly uncommon, but in the unlikely event that it happens, we’ll support you throughout the process. Our fees will only apply if we succeed in winning the case.

We will normally be able to help you on a No Win No Fee Agreement basis and will explain what this means when we speak to you.

Meet The Medical Negligence Team

Our team has decades of combined experience in dealing with Medical Negligence Claims. 

Our Nicholson Jones Sutton Medical Negligence Specialists are sympathetic, understanding, and can help you get the outcome you deserve.

If you would like to discuss an issue, please get in touch to arrange a free no obligation consultation. We’re available by email or phone.

Call or email us today to discuss your claim.

FAQ'S About Birth Injury Claims

The general time limit to file a medical negligence claim is three years from the date of the negligence or three years from the date of knowledge of negligence. However, there are exceptions to this. An injured child, or minor, has until his or her 18th birthday to bring a claim with the support of a responsible adult, most often a parent, but may be another person, or ‘litigation friend’ who can protect his or her best interests. On the child reaching 18 years, he or she will usually bring the case in his or her own right, and will have until the 21st birthday to issue proceedings at court. In cases where the child is brain injured and suffers the incapacity of being unable to provide instructions, there are no time limits.

The amount of compensation awarded in birth injury claims varies depending on the severity of the harm suffered. In the most serious cases, compensation is intended not only to make an award for pain and suffering endured, but also to assist with financial costs arising, including, eg. medical expenses, provision of ongoing care, incorporating educational and accommodation costs, or purchase of an adapted vehicle, recovery of past and future loss of earnings for the carer, and is generally intended to make life as comfortable and secure as possible.

Yes, parents or legal guardians can pursue a birth injury claim on behalf of their child if they believe the child has suffered harm due to medical negligence.

Our experienced team of pregnancy negligence solicitors take time to understand what you’re going through, helping you get the answers and compensation you deserve. We work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Our birth injury solicitors will aim to secure enough compensation to cover the costs of any rehabilitation, medical care and home adaptations you may need.

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Leanne Henton

Litigation Manager

Leanne studied the Bar Vocational Course at the BPP Law School in Leeds, and graduated with Very Competent, before cross-qualifying as a Solicitor in 2013.

She joined the firm in 2009 as a Personal Injury Fee Earner, dealing with various matters including Road Traffic Accidents, Employment and Public Liability, and Medical Negligence.

Leanne progressed onto a Litigation Team Manager role in 2015, managing a team of RTA Personal Injury Fee Earners, and further on to Litigation Manager in 2020, working closely with the Directors to ensure the success of the Personal Injury Department.

Leanne has been heavily involved in the development and expansion of the EL/PL Department, as well as the Medical, Dental and Cosmetic Negligence Department.

In her personal life Leanne enjoys holidaying and days out with her young family.

Margaret Harvey

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Margaret has specialised in clinical negligence claims since 2011 and over the years she has dealt with both clinical and dental negligence claims: including claims brought by Dependents in terms of the Fatal Acts 1976.

She recently dealt three Fatal Accidents claims arising from death by suicide as a result of the failure of the Mental Health Institutions providing adequate care and support. One of these cases involved death of a teenage girl as a result of suicide while been detained under the mental health act. That claim was successfully settled after the inquest.

She has dealt with claims involving GP negligence and a variety of clinical negligence claims involving failure to diagnose and treat fracture, surgical errors , cases involving a delay in diagnosing and treating cauda equine syndrome , orthopaedic claims , delays in diagnosing and treating cancers and negligence in treating diabetic ulcers leading to lower limb amputation as well as amputations as result of the delay in diagnosing and treating vascular problems.

She recently dealt with a claim in terms of the Fatal Accidents Act where the Deceased died as a result of a delay in diagnosing and treating rabies which the Deceased contracted after a bite from a rabid cat.

She lived in Zimbabwe until she moved to the UK in 2008 and she practiced law there for 9 years. Margaret has three children and five grandchildren who all live in the UK. She’s very interested in history and she’s a member of the National Trust and English Heritage.

Kate Barge

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Kate has been a specialist solicitor in clinical negligence and dental negligence claims since 2010. During this time, she has mainly worked on the claimant side of negligence although she has obtained experience working at defendant firms which has given her invaluable insight.

Previous to qualifying as a solicitor Kate had a career in nursing qualifying as an RGN and subsequently working as a Theatre Sister at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. During her time working in clinical negligence she has run high value claims including a claim against the rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson.

She loves travel and wild life and has recently been scuba diving off the coast of  Mexico with turtles,  sting rays  and moray eels.

Rachel Browne

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Rachel has been a specialist clinical negligence and dental negligence solicitor since 2014, as well as having had a number of years pre-qualification experience in this field also. Her practice has been solely claimant based and has an empathetic approach to navigating claims.

Her experience includes running high value obstetrics claims, as well as complex bariatric and orthopaedic cases to successful conclusion.

Rachel loves to travel and spent part of her undergraduate degree studying in the United States. She is an avid reader, and particularly enjoys the classics.

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Richard Shillcock

Solicitor

After qualifying as a solicitor in 2002, Richard gained experience working in several firms in the north west of England.

Throughout his 25 year career in the law, Richard has covered the gamut of Personal Injury work. Described as being ‘terrier like’ in his approach to litigation, Richard still loves the thrill of the fight despite his ever advancing years.

Outside of work, Richard lives on the Wirral with his wife and two children. When he isn’t busy helping with homework or coaching his daughter’s football team, Richard enjoys baking and watching his beloved Liverpool FC.

Barry Radford

Solicitor

Barry qualified as a Solicitor in 1999 and has over 20 years post-qualification experience dealing with personal injury claims.

 Barry joined the business in 2015 and having spent time in the role of litigation team manager in the Road Traffic Accident department, he now focuses on his fee-earning role. Barry has experience of dealing with a wide range of personal injury cases including employer’s and public liability matters. He specialises in high value multi-track personal injury claims together with clinical and dental negligence cases.

 Barry recently moved to rural Wales having lived in Manchester for many years and enjoys spending time walking in the countryside with his partner and their miniature dachshund, Rupert.

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