Medical professionals have a duty of care in which they must take the maximum precautions and necessary action to ensure that a patient’s welfare is priority. If you or your child has been injured or harmed during childbirth due to mistakes or the negligence of a nurse, midwife, obstetrician, surgeon, consultant or other healthcare provider, you could be entitled to make a birth injury compensation claim.
A variety of factors can affect the outcome of a birth. These include:
- The competence of the medical staff
- The hospital facilities
- The availability of emergency care
- The quality of diagnosis and monitoring of the health of the mother and child
The birth injury or negligence could be associated with:
- Inadequate monitoring of the baby or mother
- Misdiagnosing a serious condition
- Mistakes made by a surgeon or anaesthetist eg. bladder, ureter and bowel injuries sustained during Caesarean sections.
- A poor standard of care during the delivery resulting in cuts, bruising, hip and shoulder damage and fractures to a baby
- Failure to treat or adequately treat serious post-birth complications in the mother eg. fissures, negligence associated with birth tears and /or episiotomy, poor stitching
- Failure to identify and treat secondary infections or other infections eg Group B Strep infections
- Oxygen deprivation to a baby resulting in Cerebral Palsy
- Brain injuries to a baby associated with mistakes made before, during or after childbirth
- Birth injuries associated with fetal head impaction
- Placenta or parts of the placenta retained
- Mistakes made in reading CTG results on a fetal heart monitor
- Serious birth trauma to mother or baby
- Mistakes made during a breech birth or the failure to plan for a breech delivery,
If it can be shown that the treatment given to a mother or baby – before, during or after birth, fell below the standards of reasonably competent health care professional, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.
Contact Devonshires Claims medical negligence solicitors for advice on making your birth injury claim. We provide a free no-obligation case evaluation as well as a ‘No Win No Fee‘ agreement, so there are no upfront costs to start your claim and nothing to pay if your case is not successful*. To start your free case evaluation, contact our birth injury claims experts today on 0333 900 8787, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form.
Read our FAQs
If you or your baby received negligent care before, during or after birth, you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. Negligent care or treatment could lead to serious and even life changing consequences.
Commonly reported mistakes include:
|Type of Child Birth Injury||Examples of Situations Where the Injury Could Occur|
|Antenatal care|| |
|Birth injuries associated with equipment||Injuries sustained by the mother or baby when forceps or a vacuum are used in the delivery and injury to a mother.|
|Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis|| |
|Negligence during birth||
|Post-birth care (postnatal care)|| |
|Anaesthetic errors||Mistakes made during the administration of anaesthesia to a mother eg. during a Cesarean section.|
|Psychological trauma||PTSD may result from experiencing a traumatic birth.|
|Negligence resulting in death|| |
According to the NHS Resolution Annual Report (2018/19), 10,678 medical negligence claims were made in England, with obstetrics making up 10% of these claims.
However in terms of the value of the compensation claims awarded, obstetrics claims make up the highest proportion.
Devonshires Claims‘ solicitors have been supporting victims of medical negligence, including birth injuries, for over 20 years. We take the stress out of pursuing a claim and work hard to secure you and your child the justice and the compensation you deserve.
Once you have contacted us, your free case evaluation will involve us speaking to you to request information on:
- The details of your delivery and the injuries to you or your child, including dates and the names of the staff and hospital you were treated at.
- Any medical records you may have
- Details of any bills and receipts to confirm your financial losses, including medical expenses and loss of income.
The consequences of a birth injury may not be apparent for some time eg. brain injuries and developmental issues caused by an injury or a lack of glucose or oxygen to the baby may not be immediately apparent. Your solicitor and indeed the court may not be able to determine a final compensation figure for a number of years as the impact of the negligence to a child and his or her future treatment and care requirements may not be fully understood until your child is much older.
Therefore birth injury claims may take a number of years to settle, however interim compensation payments could be available.
Our medical negligence claims experts support victims of birth injuries on a no win no fee basis*.
This means that:
- You will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful and there are no upfront costs to start your claim*.
- If you win you will pay a maximum of 25% from your damages**.
For more information on our ‘No Win No Fee‘ agreement please click here.
In all medical and clinical negligence cases, there is a three year limitation period, although there are a few exceptions. The Limitation Act 1980 sets the time limit as running from either the date of the injury, the date of the alleged negligence or from the date the patient was aware that the alleged negligence or harm had occurred – if this was later.
- A mother who received negligent care and treatment before, during and after birth, must bring a claim within 3 years of the date of the injury.
- If your baby was injured during birth, you can make a claim on their behalf anytime up to their 18th birthday. Once the child turns 18, they then have up to 3 years to make a claim.
- If a mother or baby sustained a serious brain injury which damaged their mental capacity, no time limit may apply within which to bring a claim. We recommend that you contact Devonshires Claims if you have any queries involving those who lack capacity and our specialist solicitors will be able to assist.
It is very important that a claim for compensation is started as soon as possible. This will ensure that you have a good recollection of the events which took place and the individuals involved.
Compensation for injuries as a result of negligence during child birth will factor in the following:
- General Damages: This figure covers your and/or your child’s pain and suffering i.e. the injuries directly related to the negligent care or incident.
- Special Damages: These damages cover financial support for:
- Medical equipment
- Medical treatment, i.e. restorative or long-term. This can be provided by a private hospital or specialist
- Travel expenses – which can include travel to and from medical facilities, your solicitors and other trips related to the injury
- Medication required
- Rehabilitation and physiotherapy
- Psychological support for PTSD
- Home modification and adaptation required.
- Loss of earnings –for time off work, loss of income and loss of future income or the prospects of a job promotion
In the event of the death of the mother, a spouse or partner may be able to bring a compensation claim if the death was caused by negligence.
A painful labour which has involved negligent care and skill in delivering a child, could leave the mother in state of emotional distress and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other psychiatric conditions.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder where a victim experiences flashbacks, emotional distress, depression, anger, sleep problems and other symptoms following a serious or traumatic life event. Research is emerging showing that PTSD as a result of birth trauma is a significant issue facing many mothers.
A report published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (2018), suggested that 3-4% of women report PTSD in pregnancy and after birth.
Prof Susan Ayers, who co-authored the study, said: “We need to raise awareness of birth trauma and PTSD both in the general public but also in professionals that come in contact with women”.
Events which may lead to birth trauma PTSD
A mother may develop PTSD following child birth if she experienced:
- A difficult labour
- Significant pain associated with a poor standard of delivery techniques, poor pain management
- A lack of consent to administer treatment or use equipment
- Emergency Cesarean section
- Poor post-natal care
- A life threatening situation to her or her child
The cost of treatment and support for PTSD may be recovered as part of your claim.
Why choose Devonshires Claims to support your childbirth injury compensation claim?
If you feel that the care you or your child received prior to, during or after birth was negligent, you may decide to bring a claim in order to secure justice and compensation for yours and your child’s injuries. Speak to one of our medical negligence solicitors who specialise in birth injuries.
Devonshires Claims support victims of medical negligence by providing:
- A free no-obligation case evaluation
- A no win no fee agreement
- A network of medical experts and specialist medical negligence barristers
- Over 20 years’ experience in securing justice and compensation