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Most babies are born fit and healthy. But sometimes, unborn or newborn babies contract neonatal infections.
Newborn babies are particularly susceptible to diseases because they do not have developed immune systems to fight off the bacteria and viruses that cause neonatal infections.
These infections in new born babies can be minor and, if diagnosed quickly, can be treated effectively.
However, sometimes medical professionals do not provide the level of care required to keep your baby safe from harm. In severe cases, where medical staff have failed to diagnose a newborn’s infection in time or failed to provide the appropriate level of treatment and care, neonatal infections can lead to serious, life-changing injuries, including permanent brain injury and conditions like cerebral palsy, and may even be fatal.
If your baby develops a severe neonatal infection, it can be heart-breaking for you and the rest of the family.
It is the doctors, midwives, and nurses’ responsibility to care for you and your baby and diagnose and treat any infections. Any negligent mistakes that result in your child becoming seriously ill before their birth or shortly after their birth are unacceptable. If this happens, you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim.
Our specialist team of neonatal infection solicitors have many years of experience helping families who have experienced a poor standard of care resulting in severe and life-threatening infections in newborns.
We have the expertise to help you find out what happened, get the answers you need and provide you with the specialist legal advice you need to make a successful medical negligence claim.
Our Expertise with Neonatal Infection Claims
We understand how hard it is if your baby is suffering from a severe neonatal infection. It is a traumatic and deeply upsetting experience. That is why our specialist neonatal infection lawyers will help you make a medical negligence claim with sensitivity, professionalism, and empathy.
We support families seeking neonatal infection compensation due to:
- Delayed or missed diagnosis of neonatal infections (such as Group B strep, sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia)
- Failure to carry out the appropriate tests to diagnose neonatal infections
- Failure to diagnose and treat maternal infections (these may include Group B strep, urinary tract infections, villitis, and E. coli)
- Failure to diagnose congenital conditions (such as HIV, rubella, chickenpox, herpes, syphilis, cytomegalovirus, or toxoplasmosis)
- Failure to take proper precautions to ensure newborns are not exposed to dangerous bacteria
- Failure to properly monitor a baby after its birth
Our expert lawyers can also help if your baby has been seriously injured during or shortly after childbirth due to negligent medical care. We have extensive experience in a range of birth injuries, including:
- Brain and Head injury (including skull fracture)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy (brachial plexus injuries)
- Lack of oxygen
- Broken bones – such as fractured clavicle (or fractured collarbone), broken legs or broken arms
- Stillbirth and neonatal death
If you want to find out more about how you can claim medical negligence compensation for any injuries your baby sustains during labour and childbirth, please visit our birth injuries page.
We can also help if you or your partner has suffered severe injuries during childbirth. Please visit our birth injuries to mothers page for more information.
How neonatal infection compensation can help
While no amount of compensation can make up for any neonatal infections or severe injuries your baby suffers, making a neonatal infection claim can provide much-needed answers and prevent other families from experiencing the same heartbreak.
Our specialist medical negligence lawyers understand the emotional turmoil you experience when your baby becomes seriously ill or suffers a life-changing injury. We also know that it can be daunting deciding to make a neonatal infection compensation claim.
We will do everything we can to provide the dedicated care and support you need throughout your claim. Our team will work hard on your behalf to secure maximum compensation for your pain and suffering and ensure vital lessons are learned.
How making a neonatal infection claim works
Book a free initial consultation with our expert neonatal infection solicitors
If you would like to claim compensation after your baby suffers a severe infection during or shortly after birth, get in touch with our expert medical negligence team for a FREE initial consultation.
Our specialist team will ask you what happened during your labour and the birth of your child, talk through all the details with you and work out if you will be able to make a successful claim. We have regional offices in Bristol, Cardiff, the Isle of Wight, Plymouth, Salisbury, Southampton and Swindon, offering a personal and professional service to clients throughout England and Wales.
No Win No Fee infection in new born babies compensation claims
We offer No Win No Fee funding, which means there is no financial risk to you or any hidden, unexpected costs. In the highly unlikely event, your compensation claim is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay a penny. Find out more information about No Win No Fee.
Investigating your neonatal infection claim
Our expert neonatal infection solicitors will investigate your claim thoroughly. We will gather the evidence needed to build a strong case for you and your family.
Every medical negligence claim is different. Our team will obtain and review you and your baby’s medical records to establish exactly what happened. We will also gather all the witness evidence needed, including detailed statements from you (and your partner, if applicable).
Once we have all the medical notes and detailed witness statements, we will then work with leading independent medical experts (which may include specialists such as an obstetrician, neonatologist, paediatrician, or midwife) to give their view on the standard of treatment you and your baby received.
Working out how much neonatal infection compensation you are owed
The compensation you receive will depend on your circumstances and the severity of your child’s illness or injuries. It may cover:
- General damages – for your pain, suffering, distress, and loss of amenity (the impact on the quality of your life)
- Special damages – covers any loss of earnings for the time you have had to spend away from work now or in the future, the cost of specialist medical treatment and rehabilitation, the cost of travel to hospital appointments, housing adaptations needed, specialist equipment, and any therapy and counselling costs
Find out more about how we calculate compensation.
Time limits for neonatal infection claims
You can claim on behalf of your child at any time before their 18th birthday. Once they are 18, they have until they are 21 to make a claim themselves. But if your child lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions, there is no time limit.
If you are claiming for a child who has tragically died due to a neonatal infection, you have three years to make a claim from the date of their death.
If you have any questions about time limits, you can call us on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Settling a neonatal infection claim out of court
We settle most neonatal infection compensation claims out of court. Our expert team will always try and negotiate claims without the need to go to court. However, if the defendant does not accept responsibility or disagrees with the level of compensation we have calculated you need, we will start court proceedings. If this happens, our expert medical negligence solicitors will support you throughout the process.
Taking your neonatal infection claim to court
If we do have to issue court proceedings (for example, because no settlement agreement is reached informally), we will guide you through the process and ensure you understand what is happening each step of the way.
In many neonatal infection cases, the claims settle before the official court hearing date. For the small minority that do not, there is nothing to worry about. We will instruct a specialist barrister to represent you at the final hearing, and our expert solicitor will be with you to support you on the day.
Frequently Asked Questions about neonatal infection claims
What are the most common neonatal infections?
The most common severe infections in newborn babies are:
- Group B Streptococcus (Group B Strep or GBS)
What are the causes of neonatal infections?
Bacteria cause most infections in newborn babies, and some are caused by viruses. A mother’s birth canal contains bacteria. During childbirth, the baby can swallow or breathe in the fluid in the birth canal, allowing bacteria or viruses to get into their lungs and blood.
The baby may get seriously ill during childbirth or within the first few days after birth. As the bacteria or viruses multiply, the neonate (newborn) can become sick very quickly. The sooner the infection is discovered and treated, the better the prognosis for the baby.
Occasionally, a newborn baby catches an infection after birth from someone who is ill with a cold or flu.
Babies can also develop postpartum infections immediately after birth due to lacerations or wounds sustained during childbirth. Hospitals or birthing centres that are not adequately sterilised can also cause a baby to become poorly with neonatal infection.
What kinds of infections can a newborn have?
Neonatal infections occur when unborn or newborn babies contract a severe illness or another disease. There are many types of neonatal infections, including viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal. Examples of the kinds of infection new babies can have include:
- Group B strep
- Coli infection
- Congenital infections (such as HIV, rubella, chickenpox, syphilis, herpes, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus or CMV)
What is neonatal sepsis?
Neonatal sepsis is a severe medical condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. Any newborn with an illness who develops sepsis can have inflammation (swelling) throughout the body, leading to organ failure.
What is the leading cause of neonatal sepsis and death?
Neonatal sepsis is a severe infection in a baby younger than 28 days old. It is caused by bacteria or viruses and is transmitted during birth through the amniotic fluid or during a vaginal delivery as the baby is born. Some risk factors associated with neonatal sepsis and death are:
- Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain before or during delivery (neonatal asphyxia or birth asphyxia)
- Premature baby
- Maternal infection
- Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
- Bacteria, such as E Coli
- Herpes simplex virus
What are the signs and symptoms of neonatal sepsis?
The signs and symptoms of neonatal sepsis vary from child to child. Some examples of neonatal sepsis symptoms are:
- A lower heart rate
- Breathing problems
- Trouble feeding
- Low or unstable body temperature
- Agitation or fussiness
- Pale appearance
Who is responsible for my baby’s neonatal infection?
Your midwife, nurse or doctor has a legal duty of care to protect your baby from harm before, during and after their birth and to ensure they receive prompt and effective treatment if anything goes wrong. If your baby is born with a serious neonatal infection or becomes ill with an infection soon after birth, it may be because the healthcare provider looking after them was not of a competent enough standard. It is vital to speak to a specialist solicitor who can listen to what happened to you and your baby and advise you appropriately.
I discovered, as an adult, that my injury or condition was caused by a neonatal infection. Can I still make a claim?
Yes. You can still make a claim if you discover, years later as an adult, that an injury or condition you live with was caused by a neonatal infection – if it can be proved that your illness was caused by medical negligence. Generally, you usually have three years to make a claim from the date you discover that your injuries might have been caused by medical negligence. If you have any concerns about the time limits for claiming compensation, our expert team can advise. Call 0800 884 0777 or email email@example.com for a FREE consultation.
How do I make a neonatal infection claim?
It is essential to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor who has experience and expertise in neonatal infection claims to advise you on how to get compensation. Our expert team are on hand to give you all the legal advice you need. You can call us at any time on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much compensation will I receive?
Every neonatal infection claim is different. The exact compensation you can claim will depend on your personal circumstances. Your compensation may include: any pain and suffering experienced, financial losses incurred, including the cost of travelling to hospital appointments, any specialist equipment or home adaptations you need, and any loss of earnings (including future loss of earnings) and pension. For a free initial consultation, call our expert medical negligence team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or online for a free, no-obligation chat.
I’m not happy with my law firm. Can you take over from my current solicitor?
Yes. If your current law firm is not giving you the service and support you need during your neonatal infection compensation claim, you can change solicitors. At Novum Law, our expert team has a strong track record successfully taking over claims from other law firms and securing maximum compensation.
Do you have a question we have not answered?
Please book your free initial consultation with our expert neonatal solicitors
Our specialist solicitors in Bristol, Cardiff, the Isle of Wight, Plymouth, Salisbury, Southampton and Swindon offer a professional, sensitive and empathetic service. We are here to listen and happy to help. To start the process of making your compensation claim, contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or online for a free, no-obligation chat.