The birth of a new baby should be one of the most precious and joyous moments of your life.
However, if the level of care you receive from the doctors and midwives you’ve put all your trust into is below an acceptable standard and you or your baby is seriously injured, the impact can turn you and your family’s lives upside down.
There is always an element of risk with childbirth, but medical professionals should ensure all the necessary steps are taken to reduce the chances of you or your baby being harmed. If mistakes are made during childbirth and the treatment you’ve received is negligent, you may be able to make a birth injury compensation claim.
Our team of specialist medical negligence solicitors are experts in dealing with birth injury claims including:
- Brain and Head injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Lack of oxygen
- Broken bones
- Nerve injuries (including brachial plexus)
- Neonatal infections (such as Group B strep)
- Pregnancy mistakes
- Gynaecological mistakes
- Stillbirth and neonatal death
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is harm that is caused to a mother or child before, during or after childbirth. It can happen for a variety of reasons such as: delays in delivery, poor care during delivery or if doctors or midwives fail to diagnose serious conditions or infections such as pre-eclampsia or Group B strep. If you or your baby has been harmed as a result of a doctor, midwife or healthcare professional’s negligence before, during or after the birth, you may be entitled to make a claim.
We understand the devastation that birth injuries can cause – not just for parents but the entire family and close friends. Your child may require lifelong care and support due to negligent medical treatment during childbirth.
That’s why our specialist birth injury solicitors are dedicated to helping you secure the maximum compensation you’re entitled to. This can help you and your baby, receive the rehabilitation, care, support and therapies you need.
Who is responsible for my child’s birth injury?
Your healthcare provider has a legal duty of care to protect you and your baby from harm and to ensure you receive prompt and effective treatment. If your baby has been injured, it may be because the doctor or midwife looking after you during labour and childbirth, or in the early days following the birth, was not of a competent standard. Birth injury claims can be complex, that’s why it’s important to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor who can listen to what happened to you and advise you appropriately.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make a compensation claim on behalf of your child any time before their 18th birthday. From the age of 18, they have three years to make a claim (until they become 21). If you are making a claim for a child who has died as a result of a birth injury, you have three years to make the claim from the date you realised their death may have been caused by someone else’s mistake or negligence.
The amount of compensation your child will 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 to be held on trust 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 approved at 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 and their money has been invested in the court they will be paid their compensation in full together with any interest that has accrued over time as they are deemed to have maintained majority.
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. The cost of a Professional Deputy can be recovered through the claim.
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.
We know the thought of talking to a solicitor about making a birth claim can be daunting. But it could be the first step you take to supporting your child’s recovery, and to a more financially stable future.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, as their parent or legal guardian, you may be entitled to make a claim on their behalf.
Here is what you need to know:
- The first step is to get in touch with us. Call our specialist birth injury team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no obligation chat.
- We will ask for the details of your baby’s injuries and how they were sustained. Based on this information, we will assess their case and advise if we believe there to be a reasonable prospect of success. We can often help even if you’ve been turned down by other law firms.
- We will gather evidence on the circumstances of your baby’s injury to identify who the claim should be brought against. We will also investigate the extent of your baby’s injuries, the impact on their life and their immediate needs. This will include liaising with healthcare providers and teachers to access their medical records and school reports.
- After we have investigated their claim and obtained appropriate expert evidence we will contact the insurers of those responsible for your baby’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 your baby’s injuries and advise what treatment, rehabilitation or care and support they need. This will help us to accurately calculate the level of compensation required. Sometimes this means waiting until your baby 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 baby sees independent experts they’ve instructed to make their own assessments. We will be there to guide and support you and your baby at every stage of the process.
- To support you and your baby during the claim, we will work to secure interim payments so they have access to 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 baby’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 birth injury 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.
There are no upfront or hidden costs when you make a compensation claim with Novum Law…read more
Most cases are settled without going to court. It is often necessary to issue court proceedings…read more
Yes, if your loved one died and someone else was to blame, you may be able…read more
If you are making a compensation claim and you’re unhappy with the service or advice you are…read more
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.