Birth Negligence Claim: Am I Entitled to Make One?
May 10, 2019
In short, a birth negligence claim is a particularly harrowing affair, even if rare. According to one online publication, 1 out of every 9,714 people in the U.S. suffer a birth injury.
In contrast, with the UK, the value of such claims more than makes up for the rarity of occurrence. For instance, in 2017, birth injury constitutes just 10% of all negligence claims against the NHS. However, payouts to cover the injuries made up 50% of all compensation from the NHS. From the same article:
The value of such claims – often linked with a failure to monitor babies’ heart rates, to detect risks of oxygen starvation – has tripled over the past decade.
In recent months, a string of inquests have found that babies are dying and others put at risk of major brain injury because it is commonplace for British midwives to qualify without proper training in the use of heart monitors.
Senior coroners called for changes to reform the system, with hospital trusts advised stopping recruiting newly qualified midwives until they can prove they have such skills, with annual checks.
The aftermath of birth negligence claims
Human error is a part of life, even with supposedly highly-capable doctors and medical professionals. While The Telegraph may be a bit on the nose in calling these errors “blunders”, the long and short of it is that lifelong endurance of birth negligence complications drives the value of these claims.
For instance, a fall at work might cause comparatively temporary (though by no means insignificant) pain. But a birth injury, in contrast, could create a lifelong condition. Starvation of oxygen at this stage, for one, has been frustratingly instrumental in driving a wave of brain damage incidents. Such brain injuries are, in short, the catalyst for many of the high-value claims in question.
Believe you’re subject to birth negligence? In essence, it needs to cause either the mother or your child an injury. If so, then you can to make a claim on the NHS or against a private surgery. This article will explain how to make a claim and what you can expect once you have made it.
What is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can affect both the baby and the mother when it comes to pregnancy medical negligence cases. This may happen when medical experts do at least one of two things.
- For one, they fail to follow the correct procedure.
- Also, medical staff might carry out these procedures in a substandard manner.
A birth injury can also refer to a mother receiving a poor standard of care during her pregnancy. In turn, that neglect during pregnancy leads to unnecessary labour and birth difficulties.
Examples of birth issues caused by medical negligence can include:
- Third and fourth-degree perineal tears, and incorrectly performed episiotomies.
- Mismanaged pre-eclampsia.
- Damage to organs (such as the bladder) during a Caesarean section.
- Cerebral palsy caused by limiting a baby’s oxygen supply.
- Failing to identify, or delayed intervention, when a mother or baby is in distress.
- Errors with intervention, such as incorrect use of forceps.
- Fracturing a baby’s bones, or causing hip dysplasia.
Who Can Make a Birth Negligence Claim?
You can claim for any birth injury that occurs as a result of negligence. The blame can fall on the part of a doctor or hospital practitioner that oversaw the birth or the events preceding it.
It could be anything from a lack of hospital or after birth care, to an extensive set of injuries caused by medical negligence during the birth. You will be unable to make an NHS claim if the injury could not have been prevented by the actions of the doctor or practitioner.
What Conditions Can Result From Birth Negligence?
We share a lot about birth negligence claims on our official webpage on this site, so be sure to read more there. Below is a sample of that content.
As we say above, there are a variety of birth injuries to consider when you talk about birth negligence claims. NHS negligence towards you or your baby, while you are giving birth, could be the root cause of any of them. These include:
- fractures such as broken bones;
- a lack of oxygen during birth;
- they can also range to long term conditions such as cerebral palsy;
- impairment in muscle coordination via brain damage during the birth process, and;
- possibly Erb’s palsy, with damage to the nerves in an infant’s upper arm during the birth.
However, birth negligence can also be one of the reasons for stillbirth. Accordingly, you may also be able to receive compensation for this.
How Do You Make an NHS Claim?
We can speak first hand to how we would handle and NHS claim or a birth negligence claim. For starters, you enquire with The Medical Negligence Experts: py freephone or filling in our contact form. When we do touch base, we go over your case and analyse if you have a valid claim to make. It’s at this point that we determine if birth negligence claims or NHS negligence is the proper route to take for you.
Because we work on a No Win, No Fee basis, we’d like to be straight with you and determine from the outset if this case has merit.
Some more things to consider
If you receive care on the NHS, then you should file a complaint through the NHS complaint system. Subsequently, it will then undergo an individual review. Another option is to complain directly to the hospital or facility offering care, especially if you want more urgent feedback.
A complaint is not the same as a claim, though. You can reform NHS practices with a complaint, but it won’t generate any compensation.
If that doesn’t resolve the situation, then you should seek a solicitor. Preferably one who will discuss your further options with you. Among them, the possibility of going to court to receive further closure and/or compensation.
How Much Compensation Could You Receive?
If you are looking to sue the NHS, the maximum compensation that you could receive by claiming for birth negligence varies. Often, it’s dependant on the individual case in question, plus the medical treatment that medical professionals carry out.
Regarding the condition, a birth injury compensation claim you could receive is near a couple of thousand pounds in NHS negligence payouts. Moreover, in some extreme cases (such as birth injuries to mothers and baby, or even brain injury) it could be worth a couple of million. Again, it’s dependent on the types of birth injury we’re talking about here.
This revolves around how much money you have lost due to the injury. For instance, they factor in the time you take off work and the loss of earnings that come with that. Plus, how much further treatment and rehabilitation will cost for the injury’s duration.
Taking the next steps
If you believe that NHS or private medical negligence causes a birth injury, make a claim against the service. Using this guide, you’re ready to make a claim in the hopes of receiving compensation, even if you intend to sue the NHS.
Also: consider the places you can turn to for free advice on medical negligence claims. For example, be sure to reach out to our collection of medical negligence solicitors for legal advice. We can advise you on time limit concerns, the medical staff liabilities you may face, After the Event Insurance and more.
Humanity and birth negligence claims
Now, a thought about legal professionals and the sensitivity of birth negligence claims. The facts are these: we work with the UK’s top lawyers, but we’re also people with families of our own.
Above all, we understand that making a medical negligence claim can be stressful for those unfamiliar with the process. It can be difficult in nature, and time consuming as well. That’s why we will keep you up-to-date, but without using excessive legal or medical jargon. With real talk and understanding nature, you’ll come away appreciating what the latest news about your case truly means to your case.