Phillip Gower from Novum Law’s Cardiff office recently represented the parents of 22-year-old woman Demi Reed, who tragically died after hospital failings at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport on...Read more
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
Our team of specialist personal injury solicitors are experts in securing the maximum possible compensation for individuals of all ages who have suffered serious, life-changing illnesses and injuries. Our personal injury team has helped hundreds of families whose lives have been turned upside down by accidents and injuries.
We understand the emotional and mental impact of serious injury. We work hard to secure compensation for your child, to help them access the best possible treatment, rehabilitation and support.
We can help secure interim payments during your child’s claim before the final settlement is agreed to pay for vital care, therapies or home adaptations to enhance their quality of life while the claim is ongoing.
We offer No Win No Fee funding which means you can make an Erb’s palsy claim with no hidden costs. Our expert team will keep you up-to-date at every step of the process.
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.
Public inquiries for birth injuries
If your child sustained a very serious or life-changing injury during or soon after their birth and there are calls for a public inquiry or inquest into healthcare failures, we have the experience and expertise to represent you and your family.
No matter how complex or high profile the public inquiry or inquest, our specialist team will work tirelessly to support you to help ensure you get the answers you need and that lessons are learned.
We are currently supporting the parents of baby Elizabeth Dixon whose high blood pressure at birth was not monitored and treated, resulting in a severe brain injury. Tragically, she later died due to failings in nursing care delivered as part of her community care package. Dr Bill Kirkup’s Dixon Inquiry was published in November 2020. Click here for more information.
Frequently asked questions about birth injury claims
What is the time limit for making a birth injury claim?
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.
How much compensation will my child receive for a birth injury?
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.
What will happen to my child’s 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.
What is the process of making a birth injury claim?
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.
How does No Win No Fee work?
We offer No Win No Fee funding which means there is no financial risk or any hidden or unexpected costs. In the highly unlikely event your claim is unsuccessful you will not have to pay a penny. Click here to find out more information about No Win No Fee.
Will we need to go to court?
Most cases are settled without going to court. It is often necessary to issue court proceedings, but you are unlikely to be required to appear at court unless the case goes to trial. If your case does go to court, your specialist solicitor will be with you every step of the way to support you and guide you through the process. If you are making a claim on behalf of a child who is under 18 or does not have mental capacity, a court approval will be needed.
Can I still claim if my baby has died due to a birth injury?
Yes, if your loved one died and someone else was to blame, you may be able to make a claim on behalf of their estate. Find out more about fatal injury claims.
I’m not happy with my law firm. Can you take over from my current solicitor?
If your current law firm is not giving you the service and support you need during your birth injury compensation claim, you are completely entitled to change solicitors.