We expect the highest quality of care during our pregnancy and antenatal treatment. But somethings things do go wrong and mistakes can be made.
If you or your child has suffered as a result of medical mistakes or negligent care during your pregnancy, you may be able to claim compensation.
Our specialist medical negligence solicitors are experts in helping women claim maximum compensation for pregnancy-related negligence claims. They have helped many clients with claims that include:
- Birth injury claims
- Cerebral Palsy claims
- Erb’s Palsy claims
- Stillbirth and neonatal death claims
- Birth defect claims and wrongful birth claims
- Misdiagnosed miscarriage claims
- Fertility and IVF negligence claims
What counts as negligence in a pregnancy or birth injury claim?
Doctors, midwives and nurses follow agreed procedural guidelines to ensure the safety of mother and child before, during and after birth. They must provide appropriate antenatal care during the pregnancy, such as scans and testing, to ensure any emergency signs that mother and/or child is in danger are quickly spotted and the appropriate action taken. They must also take every measure possible to ensure mother and child do not sustain any injuries during the birth, such as lack of oxygen (e.g. during delivery), breach birth, damage from medical instruments, inadequate suturing or anaesthetics. Mistakes or negligence during the delivery can cause serious gynaecological injuries for the mother and serious birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s Palsy for the child. Click here to read more about birth injuries.
Our team will meet with you, in the comfort of your own home, to discuss the details of your claim and advise you on the best way to proceed. They appreciate how difficult a time it can be if you or your child has sustained a life-changing injury during pregnancy, and will take time to listen to your needs or concerns and to ensure that the claims process is a straightforward as possible. Our team has proven expertise in managing medical negligence cases, such as negligence during pregnancy. They have helped many of clients secure damages from those responsible. With No Win No Fee funding, as well as interim payments, we can help alleviate any financial burdens caused by your injury — and help you to ensure that you and your child receive any vital early specialist treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know the thought of talking to a medical negligence solicitor about making a pregnancy-related compensation claim can be daunting. However, it could mean that you get the answers you need and help you access specialist medical treatment and rehabilitation.
If your baby has suffered an injury because of negligence medical care during your pregnancy, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim on their behalf, as their parent or legal guardian.
Here is what you need to know:
- The first step is to get in touch with us. Call our specialist medical negligence team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no obligation chat.
- We will ask you for details of the extent of your baby’s injuries. Based on this information, we will assess your case and advise if the claim has a reasonable prospect of success. We can often help even if you’ve been turned down by other law firms
- Once we’ve taken on your case on a No Win No Fee basis, we will investigate the injury and work out who was to blame. We will obtain the medical notes and records and arrange for independent medical experts to review the case.
- After we have investigated your claim and obtained appropriate expert evidence we will contact the insurers of those responsible for your child’s injury and put the claim to them. If negligence is admitted, then it is likely we’ll be able to settle the claim.
- We will arrange for an independent medical professional to assess yours or your child’s injuries and advise what treatment, rehabilitation or care and support you will need. This will help us to accurately calculate the level of compensation required. Sometimes this means waiting until your child has grown a bit more, to accurately assess the full extent of their injuries and the level of compensation they require. It is also likely that the defendant’s solicitor will request your child sees independent experts they’ve instructed to make their own assessments. We will be there to guide and support you at every stage of the process.
- To support you and your child during the claim, we will work to secure interim payments so you can access vital rehabilitation including medical treatment, care and support while their claim is ongoing. We work with leading rehabilitation specialists, case managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and care providers to aid your child’s recovery and make daily life easier.
- If liability is not accepted, we may have to go to court and a judge will decide the outcome. Even if your case does go to court, many claims settle before the trial begins. If court proceedings start, our expert medical negligence team will be with you every step of the way and will work hard secure maximum compensation. We will keep you updated throughout the compensation process and explain every stage as it happens.
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the date of the injury or from the date when you realised yours, or your baby’s, injury may have been caused by someone else’s mistakes or negligence.
If you are claiming on behalf of your baby, you can claim at any time until the child turns 18. When the child turns 18, they can bring a claim in their own right but the three year time limit will then apply and they will have until they are 21 to do so.
There are exceptions to this rule. For example, there is no time limit for people who don’t have the mental capacity to make legal decisions and different time limits apply for some injuries or illnesses sustained abroad.
Time can be a critical factor in compensation claims, so it’s important to get in touch with our specialist medical negligence team as soon as possible for expert advice.
The amount of compensation you or your child may receive depends on the severity of their injuries and the impact on their life both now and in the future. It is likely that significant, life-changing injuries will result in increased awards to provide funding for medical treatment, rehabilitation, care and support, adaptations to the home and other financial losses such as loss of earnings and pension. Click here to read more about compensation.
If your child’s claim is successful, before they reach the age of 18 their compensation will be paid into the court where it will be invested on their behalf until they turn 18. As the child’s parent or legal guardian, it is possible to apply directly to the court to release money to pay for things such as medical treatment or education support which will only be authorised if the court is satisfied that it is necessary. Any amount awarded to your child has to be agreed to in an infant approval hearing, before any amount can be paid out. Your child may need to attend this hearing or you may be able to attend on their behalf, depending upon their age and the severity of their injuries. Click here to read more about infant approval hearings.
If your child has the capacity to make their own decisions, once they reach the age of 18 they will be paid their compensation in full together with any interest that has accrued over time.
If they lack capacity to manage their finances, their funds will be managed by the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection is a legal body dedicated to helping those who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions. The Court of Protection will appoint a ‘Deputy’ who will manage the compensation that has been awarded to your child, to make sure their finances are properly taken care of and the award lasts for their life time. Parents and family members can be Deputies for their children but often professional Deputies are appointed to provide expert and dedicated support to the individual. So long as the lack of capacity has been caused by the injury suffered, the cost of a professional Deputy can be recovered through the claim itself.
When dealing with such claims we frequently partner with our sister firm Hyphen Law, which specialises in helping to manage the property and financial affairs of those whose lives have been affected by a brain injury or similar impairment and lack the capacity to make their own decisions. They can offer Professional Deputyship services as well as advice on other ways to protect your child’s compensation, such as personal injury trusts. Click here to visit Hyphen Law’s website and learn more or, alternatively, contact us on FREEPHONE 0800 884 0777. One of our team will be able to provide you with more information.
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If you have a question that is not listed above, please visit our FAQs page. Alternatively, please call our specialist team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation chat.