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Birth Injury Claims

Relying on your medical team when you give birth is second nature. You trust your caregivers to provide the right care for both you and your baby, however sometimes things go wrong. If you or your child have suffered due to negligence, our birth injury solicitors could help you claim compensation.

Birth injury claims

Relying on your medical team when you give birth is second nature. You trust your caregivers to provide the right care for both you and your baby and, thankfully, although complications can happen, injuries during birth are relatively rare.

If something does go wrong due to medical mistakes, it can sometimes result in birth injuries that have long-lasting and devastating effects.

If you or your child have suffered due to negligence, our birth injury solicitors could help you claim compensation.

To speak to one of our team, with no obligation to proceed, call us on 0330 100 1014 or fill out our enquiry form >

What is a birth injury?

Birth injuries are a type of physical trauma suffered by either a child or mother during birth. Depending on the severity of a birth injury, there can be minor, moderate or major consequences. An injury sustained during childbirth can have devastating effects on the physical and/or emotional wellbeing of both a mother and child. Some birth injuries can even lead to lifetime complications.

While most birth injuries occur through no fault of the medical team, some are down to medical negligence at birth.

What are the causes of a birth injury?

There can be a number of reasons as to why an infant or mother suffers a birth injury, but some common causes include:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Challenging, long-lasting labour or delayed birth
  • Babies with a heavier birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Abnormal position
  • Forcep birth trauma
  • Maternal structural conditions

Many of these are unavoidable and occur naturally, either due to the health of a baby or mother, or because of other factors outside of a medical professional’s control. However, in some instances, medical negligence at birth can be the reason for a birth injury.

When birth injuries are avoidable, it can be due to failure to monitor or treat a mother or baby correctly or because of unnecessarily forceful or incorrect delivery methods. In these situations, it might be possible to claim for birth injury malpractice.

Common types of birth injury

 There are many types of physical trauma that can be attributed to a birth injury but some common injuries that occur in babies include:

  • Bruising, scratches or marking: This is often due to a forceps delivery.
  • Fractures: These can be caused by a difficult or forceful delivery.
  • Brachial palsy: This is due to nerve damage that often affects the shoulder and arm.
  • Cephalohematoma: Bleeding between the skull bone can sometimes occur and cause a lump on the infant’s head, though this does not usually cause long-term damage.
  • Facial paralysis: This is sometimes caused by pressure on the nerve and can require surgery in a small number of cases.

Other less common injuries can include:

  • Bleeding in and around the brain
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Perinatal asphyxia
  • Stillbirth

Birth injuries, such as the following, can also occur to a mother:

  • Vaginal tears
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Muscle damage

Mothers can also suffer from birth trauma due to a difficult labour or birth, which can cause a range of symptoms and even result in PTSD. If you’ve suffered from symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks, distress or avoidance due to a traumatic experience as a result of negligence, you could claim traumatic birth compensation.

Can I make a birth injury claim?

You could make a claim for birth negligence if you or your child have suffered an injury during labour or birth that could have been prevented.

Your medical team have a duty of care to provide the right support and treatment throughout labour and birth, which includes correct monitoring, identifying any potential complications and providing prompt care at every stage.

If you feel that a birth injury was the result of incompetent care, failure to monitor or any other professional inadequacy, we could help you make a birth injury claim. Our expert team will guide you through the process and help to establish proof that the birth injury was due to birth or maternity negligence and should have been avoided.

If you feel ready to take the first step, call our friendly and understanding birth injury solicitors on 0330 100 1014 or fill out our online form.

Alternatively complete the form below:

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How can we help you claim birth injury compensation?

We understand it can be very difficult to talk about childbirth experiences that have resulted in birth injuries, especially if consequences were severe or caused long-lasting effects. Our expert team have extensive experience in representing clients who have suffered from birth negligence and will speak to you with empathy and compassion to understand the details of your case.

We can let you know during your initial chat if we think you have a case to claim birth negligence compensation and we will not put you under any pressure to continue should you choose not to do so.

We’ll be able to answer any questions you have about the claims process before you make a decision. We know that no two birth injury experiences are the same and treat every case individually.

Get in touch with our birth injury claims solicitors on 0330 100 1014.

Why should I make a birth injury claim?

The decision to make a claim can be difficult and many clients understandably do not wish to go over the details of such a traumatic event. It can also be challenging to see how claiming birth injury compensation can help in in these types of situations.

However, clients often find that the process of making a claim can help them rebuild their lives and move on from the experience. It can also help highlight the mistakes that have been made and ensure that the same situation does not occur again in the future.

Sometimes, simply seeing someone acknowledge and take responsibility for the suffering and trauma that has occurred can help clients move forward.

Making a childbirth negligence claim could also help with any costs that have been incurred due to the failure in duty of care. These could include:

  • Loss of income
  • Care costs
  • Travel to and from medical appointments
  • Counselling or therapy

How much does it cost to make a birth injury claim?

We take most cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis so you will not need to pay anything up front and you’ll only pay a percentage of your settlement fee if win your claim. There are also a number of other ways to fund your claim, which our team will discuss with you during your initial call.

What are the likely birth injury compensation amounts?

The compensation you receive for a birth injury will depend on a range of factors. These include:

  • The severity of the injury and any lifetime consequences
  • Costs incurred due to care, treatment, travel, home adaptations and loss of income
  • Compensation settlement funds are divided into special and general damages so amounts can vary widely depending on your individual situation and your personal experience. The Judicial College Guidelines are used to help calculate any birth injury compensation amount.

Successful birth injury claims

  • Cerebral palsy settlement

    Achieved a settlement of over £23 million, with scope to return to the court to increase the level of the annual care payments if circumstances change, for a child with cerebral palsy who whilst physically capable has global developmental delay and significant behavioural difficulties.

  • Death due to negligence settlement

    Successfully representing the family of a newborn baby who died from catastrophic brain injuries sustained during mismanagement of his birth by emergency caesarean section. We also secured damages for the physical and psychological injuries his mother sustained including post-partum haemorrhaging and sepsis.

  • Viginal tears settlement

    £85,000 for a woman who suffered significant pain, discomfort and psychological injuries following inappropriate stitching of her perineum and labial tears.

  • Post-partum stroke settlement

    Securing compensation for a woman who suffered a stroke due to negligent treatment of her post-partum haemorrhage.

  • Cerebral palsy settlement

    We acted on behalf of a Claimant who suffered with whole body dyskinetic/spastic cerebral palsy (GMFCS Level V). In this case, we argued that the Defendant Trust failed to monitor the Claimant by way of CTG, delaying the diagnosis of foetal bradycardia. There were also further delays in contacting the obstetrician, transferring the mother to theatre and performing an instrumental delivery. These failures led to the Claimant suffering his severe cerebral palsy. Settlement was subsequently reached in the sum of £8 million.

  • Child brain injury settlement

    Secured a seven-figure settlement following negligent care from a consultant during pregnancy. The mother of the Claimant was not advised or offered appropriate treatment of polyhydramnios and reduced growth which was picked up on a scan. Early delivery was not advised which would have avoided the Claimant’s brain injury.

  • Settlement for child's future needs

    Securing stays of proceedings and significant interim payments for child claimants to meet their ongoing care, education, activity and accommodation needs whilst they continue to grow and develop, so that their future needs and potential can be assessed in due course.

Why choose Freeths’ maternity negligence team?

Our expert and professional team of maternity negligence lawyers have years of experience in representing a range of clients in pregnancy and birth injury claims.

  • Our team are empathetic, understanding and trustworthy and can provide expert and compassionate advice.
  • We are ranked as a leading company by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. We are also proud to hold a variety of awards and accreditations for our consistent high standard of service.
  • We have three lawyers who are members of the AvMA Panel as well as three Law Society accredited lawyers.
  • We have 13 offices in major cities across the UK, so it is easy to find a local team near you.
  • We work with local communities and charities to make a positive difference to the lives of young people, accident victims and those who are disadvantaged. We also mentor law students across the country.
  • We are honest and friendly and strive to understand the individual needs of all of our clients.

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Meet the team

Carolyn Lowe's Profile

Carolyn Lowe

Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence for the South

Karen Reynolds's Profile

Karen Reynolds

Partner & Head of Clinical Negligence for Derby, West Midlands & North West

Jane Williams's Profile

Jane Williams

Partner, Head of Medical Negligence, East Midlands & North East

Phillip McGough's Profile

Phillip McGough

Clinical Negligence Executive

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