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Neonatal Death and Infant Mortality Claims

Stillbirth compensation claims

Neonatal death and infant mortality claims

The death of a baby is a devastating time for a parent and their family, but this news can be even more distressing if something has gone wrong with the management of the birth.

In a significant number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths nothing can be done to prevent this from happening. There are cases however, where better management during pregnancy or monitoring of the baby could have stopped the baby from dying.

Every parent has a right to know what happened to their baby and the experienced team at Freeths can assist parents with obtaining answers to their questions.

Call us on 0330 100 1014 and speak to our compassionate and understanding team or:

 Contact us online >


What is a neonatal death?

Neonatal death refers to the death of an infant under the age of 28 days and is classed as an early neonatal death if it occurs at the age of under seven days. Infant mortality is a term used to refer to deaths that occur in babies under the age of one.

Is a stillbirth the same as neonatal death?

A baby born after the 24th week of pregnancy and which failed to show signs of life is classed as a stillbirth, whereas an infant who suffered a neonatal death died up to one week after birth.

Seventeen babies die every day in the UK; 11 will die before they are born (stillborn) and six will die shortly after birth (neonatal death). According to Office for National Statistics figures (ONS), in 2021, the neonatal death rate was 1.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the stillborn rate was 4.1 per 1,000 births.

There are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to infant mortality, many of which are unpreventable. However, in some instances, medical negligence can be a contributing factor to neonatal death or stillbirth.

What can cause a stillbirth or neonatal death?

According to the ONS, risk factors that increase the chances of a baby suffering infant mortality or neonatal death include:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Maternal age (under the age of 20)
  • Ethnicity

While these factors can increase the risk of infant death, they don’t necessarily mean that they are the only causes at play if an infant has died soon after birth. Poor monitoring, lack of pregnancy management and failure to provide prompt treatment can also contribute to the outcome.

Sadly, stillbirths can happen for no known reason, which is often the case for many babies who show no signs of life after birth. Contributing factors, though, can include:

  • Infection during pregnancy or labour
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Pre-eclampsia complications
  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Genetic conditions
  • Birth trauma

In some cases, a stillbirth could have been prevented with better monitoring, improved management of pregnancy, awareness of complications or prompt treatment during labour. If you’ve suffered the loss of a baby due to one of these reasons, you could claim compensation for a stillbirth.

Can I make a claim for infant mortality or stillbirth compensation?

You could claim compensation for the death of a baby if medical negligence meant that it could have been prevented. Every mother and baby has the right to receive the appropriate standard of care during pregnancy, labour and after delivery. If there has been a lack in this care on the part of any medical professional, you could make a stillbirth or neonatal death compensation claim.

If you’re worried about whether you have a case to be able to make a claim, our caring and empathetic team can help. We will listen to your story and experience and help you decide whether to go ahead and make a claim. We can also support you with establishing proof that the death could have been prevented.

We understand the lasting effects an infant’s death has on the parents and family and we know it might be difficult to talk about your experience. That’s why we have a team of professional and compassionate solicitors who are experts in this area and who have extensive experience in helping clients make a claim.

Call us on 0330 100 1014 for an initial, no-obligation chat where we can discuss your case with you. Alternatively, contact us online >

Reasons for making a neonatal death or stillborn claim

The decision to make a claim can be difficult. You might not wish to discuss the devastating experience when you’re suffering after the death of an infant and it can be painful to relive those memories. Only you can decide if claiming compensation for the death of a baby is the right path.

No amount of financial compensation will ever replace the loss of your child but seeking information about what happened in relation to your baby’s death, by investigating a stillbirth claim, will ensure that lessons are learned for the future.

You might choose to make a stillbirth or neonatal death medical negligence claim for a number of reasons:

  • To hold those responsible accountable for their actions and to help ensure that the same negligence is not repeated.
  • To help you move on: While making a claim won’t erase the trauma, some clients find that it helps them release emotions surrounding the experience, such as anger.
  • To help cover costs related to the loss of an infant: These could include loss of income, any therapy or other treatment needed, and any costs related to the psychological damage you might have suffered.

Will it cost to make a neonatal death or stillborn claim?

Because we take most cases on a ‘no win no fee’ agreement, it won’t cost you anything up front to make a claim. It also means there’ll be nothing to pay should your case be unsuccessful for any reason.

We also offer other ways to fund your case which can be discussed during your initial conversation with our team.

How much compensation could I get for infant mortality or neonatal death?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much you could receive in terms of a settlement fund as amounts can vary depending on each individual situation. Neonatal and stillbirth compensation claims are assessed according to a variety of factors, such as:

  • The pain and suffering endured due to medical negligence
  • Loss of earnings
  • Psychological and emotional damage

We know that placing a figure on the trauma you have suffered as a result of an infant death is not easy. That’s why each experience is treated individually and the Judicial College Guidelines are used to help reach the final compensation amount.

Why choose our neonatal medical negligence team?

Our infant mortality and stillborn claims experts are renowned and appreciated for their empathy and sensitivity towards parents.

We work closely with Sands (a stillbirth and neonatal death charity), which not only offers support to families who have been affected by the death of a baby but is committed to reducing the number of stillbirths in the UK. We also:

  • Offer a free initial telephone advice and a free first interview to discuss your individual situation.
  • Put you needs first – our approachable lawyers can visit you at home if you would prefer to discuss your case with us in this way.
  • Have a very successful track record of claiming compensation for medical negligence cases.
  • Have 13 offices in the UK, making it easy for you to contact us at your convenience.
  • Pride ourselves on being ranked by The Legal 500 and Chambers.
  • Have three lawyers who are members of the AvMA Panel as well as three Law Society accredited lawyers.
  • Have a showcase of awards and accreditations demonstrating our commitment to customer service.

Contact our neonatal death claims experts

Contact us now to see how we can help you and your family. Whether you want some advice on your case or wish to discuss the next steps, call our friendly and helpful team 0330 100 1014 or contact us online >

Our recent cases

  • Our team represented the parents at inquest and secured a settlement of £100,000 following the death of a newborn baby boy from catastrophic brain injuries sustained during a mismanaged and poorly performed caesarean section.

  • A claim was successfully concluded for a mother and father who delivered a stillborn daughter after the hospital failed to provide appropriate care during the care the mother’s labour and pregnancy. The hospital admitted liability and the claim settled for £100,000.

  • A settlement of £50,000 was secured for the parents of a baby who died at only two days old as a result of the mismanagement of his mother’s labour at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.
  • A claim was successfully concluded for a mother who delivered her stillborn son at 36 weeks as a result of the hospital’s failure to appropriately monitor her. The hospital admitted liability and the claim settled for £30,000.

Infant mortality and neonatal death FAQs

When should I make a stillbirth claim?

If you’ve suffered from the death of an infant that you believe was due to medical negligence, then you have three years from the date of the death to make a claim. However, if you only later found out that the cause of death was due to a mistake on the part of the medical team, then you have three years to claim from the date on which you learned this information.

We understand that making a claim might be the last thing you want to think about but it’s recommended to start the process earlier rather than later, if at all possible, to allow the opportunity for the best outcome.

What if I feel uncomfortable making a claim?

We know how difficult it can be to make the decision to begin the claims process after losing a baby and it’s perfectly normal to feel hesitant and even uncomfortable. You might be worrying about taking up the time of NHS resources or you may not want to discuss your experience while you’re going through so much pain and suffering.

Whatever you situation, our team are experienced in dealing with stillborn and neonatal death compensation claims and will handle your case with sensitivity and empathy. You’ll be offered a free, initial chat and there won’t be any pressure to continue with your claim if it doesn’t feel right for you.

How do I prove my child's death was due to negligence?

We will work with you to establish proof that negligence was the reason for your stillbirth or neonatal death. We also work alongside independent medical experts to investigate what went wrong in the management of a pregnancy, labour, delivery or post-birth to ensure that you get the answers for which you are looking.

What happens if the hospital do not accept responsibility?

Our experts work hard to establish the truth and, if a hospital or medical professional is found to be negligent, it’s very rare that the case will end up going to court. If the other party does fail to accept liability, our team will be with you every step of the way, explaining the process and working to achieve the best outcome for you.

How do I begin the compensation claims process?

The first step is to contact our team on 0330 100 1014 or contact us online >

During your initial, no-obligation chat, we will talk you through the process and let you know what to expect. We will also guide you through the next stages and explain the details and information we need from you to be able to take your claim forward.

How long will my claim take?

It’s difficult to say exactly how long your claim will take. Each case is unique and, as such, timelines can vary depending on complexity, the information required and the cooperation of the other party. Our expert neonatal and stillbirth medical negligence team will keep you updated throughout the process and explain what you can expect at each stage. Our team will answer any questions you have about your claim during the process.


To speak to one of our team, with no obligation to proceed, call us on 0330 100 1014 or:

Contact us online >

Alternatively complete the form below:

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“Thank you so much for all of your help and support with everything. Since our very first phone call from the hospital just after X died you have been empathetic, understanding and lovely when dealing with everything. We really appreciate all of you professional hard work and perseverance in getting us the answers we needed and the best possible outcome for X and his future siblings.”


"Thank you for the way you dealt with my case with compassion and professionalism."


"The firm is very organised and has great communication skills."


"Very good-quality work and high-value work; they get a lot of work locally and nationwide. Their client service is superb."

(Chambers and Partners, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2016 edition)


"The lawyers take an incredibly thorough approach to every case."

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‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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