If you or your baby suffered any sort of injury during your pregnancy or birth, it can leave you and your loved ones devastated. It could be due to an accident, or it could be due to negligent care but for whatever reason, it could negatively impact the rest of your life. As such, having experienced child-birth injuries, whether you as a mother suffered the damage, or you baby, it could entitle you to seek compensation by filing a birth injury claim.
To find out more about child-birth injuries and how to go about filing a claim for compensation, please read on.
Injuries Suffered at Birth by Babies
If your baby was injured due to medical mistakes during labour or during delivery, you should discuss things with a solicitor because getting the right advice as soon as you can is essential. It does not matter whether the injury your baby sustains is minor or more severe, the effects on you and your loved ones can be devastating.
Any sort of medical negligence or medical mistakes during your pregnancy or the delivery of your baby could lead to them suffering serious health issues as well as long-term health conditions that could even endanger your baby’s life. Birth injury negligence claims that involved babies include the following:
- Injury to the brain
- Cerebral Palsy
- A baby sustaining injuries during delivery – examples being cuts as well as other marks
- A baby suffering a fracture during delivery
- Hip dysplasia
The most devastating and serious effects a baby may suffer due to child-birth negligence are brain injuries and cerebral palsy. This can occur because there was a failure to correctly monitor a baby’s heart rhythm during delivery. A failure to see that a baby’s heartbeat has changed and they are showing signs of distress could mean that the necessary and correct action to safely deliver the baby could see them being starved of oxygen. The result can be devastating for the baby, a mother and their loved ones.
Injuries Suffered By Mothers During Birth
You automatically believe that when you receive medical care when giving birth, that the medical professionals looking after you are competent and have your welfare and that of your baby’s in mind. Most doctors, midwives and nurses as well as other professional medical staff provide exception medical care to mothers who are giving birth. With this said, accidents sadly occur and as a consequence, a mother can be seriously injured due to medical negligence. The sort of injury you may have suffered when you were giving birth could include any of the following:
- Errors made when suturing which sees tears and episiotomy being incorrectly sutured/stitched
- Perineal tears which covers both 3rd and 4th degree tears
- Episiotomy mistakes
- Other organs being damaged during a C-section
- A failure to remove instruments – an example being swabs
- Anaesthetic mistakes
- A pre-eclampsia misdiagnosis
Should you have suffered any of the above injuries during childbirth due to medical negligence, it could entitle you to file a child-birth injury claim against the person who could be held liable. To discuss your injuries and your claim, you should contact a solicitor who could assess your case before offering vital legal advice on what you can do to claim compensation for the distress, the pain and the suffering you had to endure due to the negligence of a third party.
How Can a Solicitor Help Me File a Child-birth Injury Claim?
A solicitor would offer you an initial consultation which is typically free of charge, and this allows them to assess your child-birth injuries claim before offering vital legal advice on how to proceed. You would be under no obligation to pursue your case if you don’t feel you want to. The solicitor would confirm whether negligence can be established so that you are able to claim a level of child-birth injuries compensation you could be entitled to receive whether you or your baby suffered the injuries.
A solicitor would understand that no amount of compensation could really make up for the distress, the pain and the suffering you and your family may have had to endure, but it can help support any financial hardship you were forced to cope with. Should you or your baby require long-term, ongoing treatment/therapy due to the child-birth injuries suffered through negligence, the money you are awarded in child-birth compensation would ensure the best medical care is received.
Because this type of claim can often be complex, having the support and legal representation of an experienced lawyer can make things that much easier both to understand and cope with. The solicitor you contact would handle all aspects of your child-birth injuries claim from the outset allowing you to focus on your own well-being and that of your baby’s.
The solicitor would also work hard to ensure that you receive interim payments to prevent you from having to cope with any financial hardship and extra worries before a final child-birth injury settlement is reached.
How Interim Payments Help Before a Final Child-birth Injuries Settlement is Reached
Should you or your baby have suffered severe injuries during childbirth, it could mean that you require specialist treatment as soon as possible. A solicitor would ensure that you and your baby receive the best possible medical care as a matter of urgency. Because this type of claim can be a complicated legal process that takes time to settle, the solicitor would make sure that you receive interim payments to cover the cost of the specialist treatment required.
Early part-payments (interim payments) can prove vital not only to cover the cost or specialist treatment and therapies, but also to cover the cost of the following should they be necessary:
- Home adaptations
- Necessary rehabilitation aids
- Necessary rehabilitation equipment
Is There a Time Limit to Making a Child-birth Injuries Claim?
If you or your baby were injured during child-birth and you would like to seek compensation from a negligent third party, you would have 3 years to do so. With this said, the deadline to making a personal injury claim may start at different times which is explained below:
- You would have 3 years from the date the child-birth injury was sustained
- You would have 3 years from the date a medical professional diagnoses you or your baby is suffering from some kind of medical condition they can directly link to the child-birth injuries sustained
Would a No Win No Fee Solicitor Represent Me on a Child-birth Injuries Claim?
Once the solicitor you contact establishes that you have a strong child-birth injuries claim due to the negligence of a third party, they would typically offer to represent you without requesting that you pay them an upfront fee otherwise known as a “retainer”. You would be asked to sign a CFA – Conditional Fee Agreement which is legally binding contract that sets out just what the solicitor would do when representing you.
The No Win No Fee agreement also lays out how much you would pay the solicitor but only if you win your case which is known as a “success fee”. The percentage that would be payable is taken out of the child-birth injuries compensation you are awarded whether this is through the courts or in an out of court settlement with many claims of this nature being settled before they go before a judge.
Should your child-birth injuries claim be unsuccessful, the “success fee” is waived and as such you would not have to pay for the legal advice and representation you received. In short, having a No Win No Fee solicitor represent you when you file a child-birth injuries claim for compensation does not put you at any sort of financial risk and it allows you to place your full focus on the health and well-being of both yourself and your baby.
How Do I Start a Child-birth Injuries Claim for Compensation?
If you or your baby sustained child-birth injuries due to the negligence of a third party, you should seek legal advice as soon as you can. A solicitor would quickly determine whether you could be entitled to claim compensation for the distress, the suffering and the pain you were put through and would provide vital advice on how to go about filing a child-birth injuries claim.
You would be asked to provide as many details regarding what occurred and whether you suffered the injuries in an NHS medical facility or a private clinic. The solicitor would advise you on what the legal process involves and inform you of the statutory time limit associated with this type of claim. The solicitor would also let you know whether your case is strong and what level of compensation you could be entitled to receive.
If your baby is diagnosed as suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of having sustained child-birth injuries and you would like more information about the condition, the link provided below takes you to the NHS website where you will find vital information on cerebral palsy:
If you or your baby were injured during childbirth in an NHS hospital and you would like more information on how to lodge a complaint to the NHS, please click on the link provided below: