In 2018/19, 603,766 babies were delivered in NHS Hospitals, the majority of which proceeded without major complications. On occasions, however, problems and injuries do occur while giving birth, especially tears and lacerations. Indeed, according to the NHS, perineal lacerations occur in 42% of all deliveries, representing by far the largest amount of delivery complications (second only to foetal distress at 26%).
If you have suffered serious injury as a result of a birth tear and/or episiotomy, our episiotomy negligence claims team can assist you in seeking and receiving injury compensation. 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*.
Our specialist childbirth tears compensation Solicitors will work tirelessly and with the utmost care and empathy to ensure you receive the compensation you need to cover your financial losses, pain and suffering, and medical costs.
Reasons to bring a claim for an episiotomy and birth tear injury
You have every reason to expect that no harm will be caused to you or your baby while giving birth. Hospital clinicians have a duty of care to their patients, whether nurses, doctors, surgeons, or midwives. As highly trained medical professions, they must make decisions at all times in the best interests of both mother and baby. While minor tears frequently occur, maternity clinicians are supposed to use their skills and knowledge to prevent serious tears. You may be able to bring a birth tear negligence claim as a result of:
- First, second, third, or fourth-degree tears
- Serious perineal/vaginal tears
- Errors made when performing an episiotomy
- Negligent stitching after episiotomy/birth
- Infection which is not treated
- Incorrect advice given while delivering your baby
- Insufficient local anaesthesia
- Incontinence caused by a tear
- Harm caused to your baby while performing an episiotomy
- Missed 3rd or 4th-degree tear symptoms
If you are unsure if what happened was an act of medical negligence, contact our episiotomy and birth tear claims team who will listen with empathy and advise if you have a valid claim. Devonshires Claims’ highly experienced childbirth tears claims Solicitors will support you through the whole process of obtaining compensation if you have experienced negligent care or treatment by a maternity healthcare professional. For more information or to start your free case evaluation, contact our “No-Win No-Fee” birth injury solicitors today on 0333 577 9444, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form.
Read our FAQs
An episiotomy is an incision to make the opening of the vagina larger to allow the baby’s head to pass through more easily. In some cases, an episiotomy is carried out to prevent a serious tear from occurring.
The procedure is carried out with a local anaesthetic to reduce pain.
There are a number of different types of incision which can be made, depending on the precise circumstances.
Once the delivery is completed, a doctor will then stitch (suture) the episiotomy wound to enable better healing and prevent infection.
Birth tears occur when the opening of the vagina cannot stretch enough to allow the head of the baby to pass through. As more force is applied by the baby’s head, the skin eventually tears. Tears are categorised into four types:
First-degree: A minor tear to the opening of the vagina or perineum (between the vagina and the anus). These often do not require stitches and have no long term consequences.
Second-degree: The muscles of the perineum also become torn during birth.
Third-degree: The perineal muscles and the muscles around the anus become torn. Surgical suturing is usually required to repair third-degree tears.
Fourth-degree: The perineal muscles, the anal sphincter, and the soft tissue around the rectum are all torn, requiring surgery to repair.
What are the reasons for an episiotomy or serious birth tear?
An episiotomy is commonly required if the head of the baby is too large to pass through the opening of the vagina without causing a serious tear, or if the birth process needs to proceed more quickly, perhaps due to foetal distress.
Serious birth tear injuries can occur if:
- the vaginal opening is allowed to stretch too quickly without suitable intervention
- assisted birth, such as forceps or vacuum delivery, is used
- the shoulder of the baby becomes lodged behind the pubic bone
- labour is induced
- it is the mother’s first baby
- the baby is large
- labour is prolonged
To make a compensation claim for an episiotomy or birth tear injury, speak to one of our childbirth compensation claims compensation Solicitors. They will take the time to listen to the details of your case in an empathic and caring manner and advise if you have grounds for a claim. To do so, they will assess whether the duty of care was breached, and whether breaching the duty of care caused your injuries. If both these facts are true, and can be backed up with evidence, you will most likely have a strong case for compensation.
Your Solicitor will handle your case for you, including collating the necessary evidence (medical records and correspondence) and will write to the organisation responsible for your care laying out the grounds for your claim.
Yes; the ‘limitation’ period to bring a claim for medical negligence is three years from the date of the incident, or from the date of knowledge of a negligent injury. In rare circumstances, the Court may use its discretion to extend the limitation period, but only for exceptional reasons, so it is important that you contact us today to investigate.
Yes; Devonshires Claims can provide:
- ‘No Win – No Fee’ claims service for episiotomy and birth tear injury compensation claims.
- ‘No Win No Fee’ arrangement is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. Under a No Win No Fee agreement, you will not be charged any costs if your case is not successful*.
For more information on our ‘No Win – No Fee’ agreement, please click here.
Medical negligence injury claims are rarely completed quickly. The timescale for an episiotomy or birth tear injury claim will depend on individual circumstances of your case; however, most cases commonly take between 2 and 3 years to fully conclude. Factors which will affect how long your claim takes may include:
- how severely you were injured
- the prognosis
- whether ongoing care is required
- how much rehabilitation is needed
- whether you require costs to cover home modifications
- Whether the defendant admits liability (if they do, claims can usually be concluded much faster).
Compensation claims for episiotomy and birth tear injuries not only reflect the pain and suffering experienced but also:
- Allow victims to obtain justice for the mistreatment and negligence they experienced
- Highlight failings in clinical practice, standards of care and protocols
- Provide families with an explanation of the incident and an apology if failings are acknowledged
The compensation payment will depend on several factors:
- Your pain and suffering
- Your prognosis
- The impact of the delay and / or negligence on your health and quality of life – including current and future care requirements, medical aids, home adaptations or other necessary assistance
- Any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the injuries – including past loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel expenses and equipment costs
- Any future financial losses, e.g. loss of earnings, loss of promotion prospects, pension
Compensation for episiotomy and birth tear claims injury fall into two main categories:
- General compensation (General Damages): this includes compensation for pain and suffering and the impact of the injury on lifestyle and quality of life.
Financial losses and expenses (Special Damages): these include the costs associated with private treatment, care support, travel expenses, other medical expenses, specialist equipment and loss of income
Contact our birth injury solicitors today
Devonshires Claims’ medical negligence and compensation claims solicitors will carefully assess your case and will tenaciously fight to obtain the maximum compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Our team are compassionate and driven, and we will put you in touch with other support services such as counsellors and clinical case managers who can help you recover.