Claiming Compensation for Medical Negligence in Childbirth

Author:
Kay Barnes
Partner, Medical Negligence Solicitor
Date:
14/01/2020

If during the birth of your child, the medical treatment or diagnosis fell below accepted medical standards and this resulted in an injury then you may be entitled to compensation to help you cope with the consequences.

Medical Negligence in childbirth can cause Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy and other life changing injuries. This is why some birth injury cases dealt with by Simpson Millar, have been awarded substantial amounts of compensation. For example:

In order to make a successful birth injury claim, it would need to be proven that a doctor, healthcare professional or hospital staff member has acted negligently or without due care during the delivery of your baby.

For free legal advice get in touch with our Medical Negligence Solicitors and we will help you. We may be able to deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis or you may be entitled to Legal Aid funding.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Examples of Medical Negligence in Childbirth

We deal with claims for both mothers and babies injured during childbirth. Injuries to the mother can include:

      • Perineal tears
      • Wrongly performed episiotomies
      • Fissures
      • Injuries resulting from a C section

Injuries to the baby can include:

        • Cerebral Palsy
        • Erb’s Palsy
        • Brain injuries
        • Fractures
        • Cuts and scars
        • Hip dysplasia
        • Fatalities

These injuries can commonly occur through errors in judgement, incorrect medication or delayed / incorrect diagnoses.

About Compensation

Compensation is split into 2 categories, General Damages and Special Damages.

General Damages

This is compensation for injuries sustained as a result of medical negligence. The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the severity of your injuries and will reflect the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you or the baby have experienced.

Special Damages

This compensation will reflect the impact on other aspects of your life. For mothers this may include loss of earnings, care, treatment and other such expenses.

For the baby this will likely include expenses associated with medical care and rehabilitation. Often these injuries can have devastating effects on the child’s life and as such compensation is required to cover the financial burden of their complex needs.

This will typically range from adaptations to your home and/or relocation as well as access to specialists such as speech and language therapists, educational and psychological experts and physiotherapists.

Any compensation awarded to a child will need to be approved by the Court and may be invested by the Court until the child turns 18, or held in a Trust.

Why Should I Claim Compensation?

We understand that the idea of taking legal action against the NHS can be unsettling. However this will enable you to fund any care or rehabilitation needs you or your child may have now or in the future.

Additionally making a medical negligence claim can lead to a spotlight being shone on clinical practices in the NHS and can lead to processes being improved and strengthened. As a result, it may help other people avoid going through the same type of trauma that you’ve experienced.

Time Limit on Making a Claim

If you are over the age of 18 and have mental capacity to bring your claim you will have 3 years from the date of the negligence (or 3 years from the date when you knew there was a problem) to pursue a claim.

If you are claiming on behalf of a child then you are entitled to bring the claim on their behalf up to their 18th birthday. Thereafter the injured child will have 3 years in which to start their claim. The exception to these rules are where the child or adult does not have capacity to bring their claim. In that instance the time limit is stayed until capacity is regained (if ever).

In the unfortunate cases where the mother or child passed away as a result of the negligence the time limit is 3 years from their date of death. Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can advise you further on these time limits and how they impact your particular case.

Should I Complain to the NHS First?

While you don’t have to complain directly to the NHS in order to make a medical negligence claim, it can be worthwhile, particularly if the nature of your case isn’t entirely clear cut.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors can advise on whether a complaint is suitable in your particular case and assist you with pursuing your complaint through the NHS Complaints Procedure.

If either you or your child has suffered a birth injury because the standard of care you received fell short, it’s important to get legal advice from an expert in the field. We have the expertise and the experience to ensure your claim is treated fairly and with sensitivity, so you can get the compensation you’re entitled to.

For free legal advice call our Medical Negligence Solicitors

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