Medical professionals have a special responsibility and duty of care to their patients, and on the occasions where this is found to be lacking, action should be taken to improve this quality of care. If a child is injured during labour or immediately after being born, ensuring that it does not happen to another parent, as well as securing the financial means to manage any resulting condition, is extremely important.
If, as a result of medical negligence, your child suffered an injury during birth, you may well be able to claim compensation.
Claiming For Injuries That Occur To Mothers And Their Babies
Birth injuries are very complex and demanding cases that require the specialist knowledge of experienced solicitors to ensure you are rightly compensated. Simpson Millar has a dedicated medical negligence department with a proven track record in birth injury compensation claims.
We have helped parents like you win successful claims for damages, allowing them to meet the needs of – and provide a better life for – their children. We have also helped mothers who, because of medical negligence, have suffered during pregnancy or childbirth.
What Birth Injuries To Your Child Can You Claim Compensation For?
Our considerable experience within the field means we will undertake your claim if your child has an injury or condition due to a failure of care during childbirth.
- Brain injuries – Often resulting from trauma during birth, such as a lack of oxygen through asphyxiation. The major brain injury in this category is cerebral palsy
- Muscular and physical injuries – Erb's palsy; Brachial plexus; Klumpke's palsy; Shoulder dystocia
- Injuries during delivery – Caused by incorrect medication or mishandling: bone damage; lacerations; skull fractures; stress-related injuries
- Infections – Injuries that arise from infections or develop during pregnancy and should have been identified by a medical professional: meningitis; group b strep; folic acid deficiency; spina bifida; anaemia.
What Birth Injuries Can A Mother Claim Compensation For?
We have successfully aided mothers at the receiving end of medical negligence, ensuring they receive the compensation they are due.
As a mother, injuries you can claim for include:
- Perineal tears – Although common, if not treated properly can lead to longstanding problems, such as pain and psychological damage
- Retained products of conception – In the tragic event of a miscarriage there is the risk of tissue remaining in the uterus, which can lead to bleeding and infection
- Nervous shock following a traumatic birth – Post-labour nervous shock can arise due to improper care following what has been a traumatic birth. This may result in psychiatric damage and mental illness.
What Other Birth Injuries Can You Claim For?
Compensation claims are not restricted to ongoing illnesses or conditions brought on as a result of medical negligence.
You might also qualify for compensation in cases of:
- Stillbirth – If after 24 weeks your baby died in the womb due to failings in the medical care you received
- Death following birth – If your child died shortly after birth due to the negligence of healthcare professionals
- Wrongful birth – Where negligence can be proved in cases of conception that occurred despite sterilisation or vasectomy procedures, or you were given inaccurate advice regarding the risk of birth defects
There is a 3 year time limit on medical negligence claims of this kind, effective either from the date of the incident or from when its effects were first discovered.
As far as your child is concerned, you have until their 18th birthday to make a claim on their behalf. After this it becomes the responsibility of the child to make the claim, with the 3 year limit starting when they reach the age of majority. If they lack the 'capacity' to handle their own affairs, the time limit does not apply.
Similarly, if the birth injury claim is on behalf of an adult incapable of handling their own affairs, the limitation does not count.
"Neil Fearn of Simpson Millar LLP heads up the team in Leeds and also improves his position in this year's rankings. "He is a real terrier for his clients and works incredibly hard on their behalf," say market sources. His focus lies in cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy cases. Peter Stefanovic is a strong litigator who deals with numerous complex and high-value cases. His recent workload has included cases arising from failure to treat infection and negligent obstetric care, among other matters."
Chambers and Partners UK 2014
"Neil Fearn's particular area of expertise is cerebral or Erb's palsy claims arising from birth injury. One impressed commentator notes: "He seems incapable of being fazed, and handles everything with consummate aplomb."
Chambers and Partners UK 2015
Your Next Step
If you or your child has suffered as a result of an injury during birth, Simpson Millar is here to help. We have the expertise to handle what can be difficult and demanding cases, with the sensitivity and understanding you would expect.
Our experience in this area has allowed us to ensure that mothers and their children receive the compensation to which they are entitled. For more information, contact us today.
Birth Injury Compensation Enquiries
If you believe you have a medical negligence claim for a birth injury
please call our helpline today on freephone: 0808 129 3320 or use our free, no obligation,
online enquiry form to register
for a call back.