Giving birth can be a difficult experience.
When it goes wrong, it can be distressing for both parents and their babies.
If a mother or baby is injured during childbirth as a result of negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a no win no fee claim.
At Michael Lewin Solicitors, we understand the sensitivity around this area and can advise you on how to make a birth injury claim for compensation whilst providing a realistic approach of the prospects for your case.
Whilst each case is different and based on their individual facts, the compensation is calculated using the Judicial College Guidelines. The award would be split into two parts:
- General Damages: this element is intended to compensate for your injury, pain and suffering
- Special Damages: this part includes expenses and other losses such as loss of earnings, travel costs, care costs. It can also include future losses to ensure you are not out of pocket due to the negligence
What Are Birth Injuries?
Birth injury claims can arise if you or your baby is injured.
Injuries to babies include cerebral palsy and brain Injury, where there is a failure to monitor the oxygen level, or negligent interpretation of CTG traces, problems using forceps or vacuum delivery or errors in managing caesarean sections.
Injuries to mothers can include issues with retained swabs, mistakes when suturing tears, extensive perineal tears, injuries to organs from caesarean sections or failing to recognise damage at the time or anaesthetic mistakes.
How Much Compensation Could I Recieve?
If your case is successful or the Defendant agrees to settle your case without resorting to court, the amount of compensation you are awarded is based on: the injury, the effects it has had and any ongoing condition you or your baby may have as a result of the negligence. It will also take into account any future adaptations you will require due to the negligence.
You have three years from the date of injury to bring a claim. However, often you will not be aware of the negligence until a later date. In this situation you will have three years from the date you knew or ought to have known that you had suffered an injury and that it was a result of negligence.
Where a child is injured, they will have three years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim.
Each case is different depending on the facts and merits. Due to the complex nature of these types of cases, they can take up to five years (and sometimes much longer) before a case is settled.
If you would like to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your case or ask any questions, feel free to call us on 0113 200 9787.
Birth Injuries FAQ's
Can I Claim For Birth Injuries
Hospital staff, most importantly Midwives, usually provide a high standard of care during childbirth. However, if procedures are not followed correctly or there’s a breakdown in communication, there could be severe consequences for the new-born baby or/ mother.
A number of our lawyers here at Michael Lewin Solicitors specialise in helping families with claims involving cerebral palsy, which usually occurs when the child’s brain is starved of oxygen before or during birth.
Other injuries caused by negligence during birth include:
- Erb’s palsy (brachial palsy)
- Spinal injuries
- Fractured bones
- Facial paralysis
- Kernicterus, caused by untreated jaundice
- Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
- Stillbirth and fatal cases
What Kinds Of Medical Negligence Can Cause A Birth Injury?
Medical negligence could stem from hospital staff not doing the following routine jobs:
- Detecting signs of distress in the baby by monitoring their heartbeat using a cardiotocography (CTG)
- Deliver the baby in time
- Notice that the baby’s shoulder appear to be stuck during birth (dystocia) – this could lead to Erb’s palsy
- Diagnose low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) in the baby
In order for your claim to be successful, we’ll need to prove a direct link between the negligence and your baby’s injury.
Are All Women At Risk Of A Birth Injury?
Giving birth is the most natural functions a woman’s body can perform, but, can be both painful and put a lot of stress on the mother’s body, in a number of different ways. Anyone can sustain some injury at birth because of this. However, there are a number of risk factors which can make the process of giving birth more complicated, and therefore injuries are much more likely to happen. Examples of risk factors are:-
- Big babies – a baby weighing over 8lb 13 ozs is usually considered to be macrosomic, a term used to describe a baby considered to be significantly larger than average. An average baby is around 7 lb;
- Cephalopelvic disproportion – this is where the baby’s head or body is unable to fit through the pelvis. This can be because the pelvis is small, the baby is large or the pelvis is an odd-shape;
- Rapid second stage of labour;
- Where the mother has torn in a previous delivery;
- Where the doctors attempt to speed up labour using a synthetic oxytocin – this is known as augmentation;
- Premature babies
Get In Touch Today
It’s easy to find out whether you have a claim for Birth Injuries. Simply contact our team of specially trained solicitors and legal professionals by calling 0113 200 9787 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Lewin Solicitors have a specialist team dedicated to helping their client’s secure compensation for medical misdiagnosis. We run most of our claims under the terms of a conditional fee agreement (commonly referred to as a no-win-no-fee agreement), meaning that we won’t charge you a penny upfront.