Birth Injury Compensation Claims
Whilst the majority of pregnancies and births happen or end without any health issues, when something does go wrong it can be incredibly serious. Negligent care during pregnancy and birth can have a lifelong impact on mothers, babies and their families.
When this happens, families have questions and deserve full answers. If avoidable errors have been the cause, they are also entitled to compensation and support.
At Hudgell Solicitors, we have supported hundreds of families affected by birth negligence, providing them with expert legal support to question and challenge the care provided. We have secured damages to compensate for the impact it has on their lives.
What is Birth Negligence?
Birth negligence essentially means mistakes made by health professionals which should not happen.
Common mistakes seen by our team include maternity staff failing to carry out tests quickly enough during pregnancy, misinterpreting scans leading to an incorrect diagnosis and inappropriate treatment, failure to act upon reduced foetal movements, and failure to take appropriate action when a mother’s blood pressure has been at dangerous levels.
Communication issues can also often be a contributory factor to things going wrong, and we see far too many cases where mothers and their partners feel their concerns have not been listened to early enough, or that they have been ignored completely.
Birth negligence can have a huge psychological impact on all involved, as well as the physical suffering caused. It can affect relationships, work, health and mental well-being.
Campaign for change
Hudgell Solicitors has joined forces with mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline to highlight the continued maternity failings in the UK and the need for greater investment into training. We have called for standardised training across all trusts and said complete transparency is needed following investigations when things go wrong, to ensure lessons are learned and effective changes are made. #borninbettercare
Our Birth Injury Experts
Making a Birth Injury Claim
Apart from the legal process, there are no other means for families to obtain compensation when serious injuries are caused due to negligent medical care.
At Hudgell Solicitors, our team of solicitors has extensive experience of handling birth injury claims and our clients often praise us for the sympathetic and understanding approach we take, alongside a determination to ensure we hold people to account and get the answers people need.
If you, your partner or your child has been affected adversely in any way during pregnancy, labour, childbirth or in the immediate aftercare period, whether that was under NHS or private care, our birth injury solicitors and lawyers are here to listen to your experience and provide you with support.
The first step is to get in touch. You can begin by contacting us via our claim form and selecting Birth Injury as the type of claim. You can also call us for a confidential discussion of your current situation or arrange a meeting to suit you via our online form.
From there, your birth injury lawyer will discuss your circumstances and recommend potential ways of funding your claim from the onset, including our ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement which enables people to pursue legal action without paying any money upfront.
Specialist Birth Injury Solicitors
Here at Hudgells, our legal expertise brings about change which makes the most difficult days that bit easier. Not only is our team dedicated to establishing the facts and hold trusts accountable, but we have also campaigned for change, joining forces with mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline to highlight continued maternity failings in the UK and the need for greater investment into training. Our dedicated medical negligence solicitors and lawyers have vast experience in valuing claims, ensuring a case will be built for you which reflects the severity of the situation and the financial support you need. They will:
- Provide a compassionate and understanding service tailored to your situation.
- Help you gain access to support services to help make the best possible recovery following a traumatic birth injury.
- Seek interim compensation payments where possible to pay for medical equipment, rehabilitation, surgery, accommodation or assisted care, to help families start rebuilding their lives as soon as possible.
- Help you plan for any long-term care needs required for you or your child to support independent living.
- There are many different types of birth injuries that can affect a child, as well as a wide range of types of birth injuries to mothers.
- From forceps delivery injuries to lifelong birth-related injuries, there is a wide range of unfortunate complications that can occur during birth. These injuries can often be minor or temporary, however, there are many types of birth injuries that have lifelong effects.
- Common types of baby birth injuries cases we have dealt with include:
- Forceps birth injuries or ventouse delivery injuries
- Perineal tears
- Wrongly performed Episiotomies
- Mistakes in surgically suturing tears or an episiotomy
- Mistakes in caesarean procedures, such as damage to organs
- Retained swabs
- Anaesthetic errors
- Fractures to the skull, legs, arms, shoulders, or collarbones of baby
- Cuts and scars to baby
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus injuries
- Birth injuries can also occur to the mother, ranging in severity and complexity. Types of birth injuries to mothers we have obtained an award for include:
- Vaginal tears
- Uterine inversion
- Uterine rupture
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Postpartum haemorrhage
- Maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Errors in managing pre-eclampsia
- Placental abruption
- Wrongful birth cases, where a mother would have terminated her pregnancy had she known about a birth defect rather than give birth to a child with severe physical or mental disabilities
- Examples of cases where a birth injury claim may be possible because of complications after the birth include:
- Congenital Hip Dysplasia – This is not initially indicative of negligence, however, if left undiagnosed and untreated it may affect joint health and development
- Stillbirth – Where your baby is born dead after 24 weeks or more
- Infant mortality – If a baby is born alive, but tragically passes away post birth
- Our team of expert child birth injury solicitors have vast experience of dealing with complex birth injury claims.
- The following four-step process is used by us when assessing whether you can make a birth trauma claim or birth error claim.
- We can analyse medical records, work out what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent any injuries and conditions from occurring.
- We can then arrange for an independent medical examination to determine whether a mother or child’s injuries could have been prevented – had the proper care and attention been given.
- If the treatment received is found to be negligent, you are entitled to claim compensation for the suffering and hardship you experienced,
- You may be eligible for further support depending on the nature of either your or your child’s condition.
- Whilst we understand that no amount of money can truly compensate this situation, it can provide crucial financial support that helps you recoup any funds you may be owed, such as lost earnings or support costs. It can also help you access any additional ongoing care, therapy and special equipment that a mother or child may require.
- Whilst we understand that no amount of money can truly compensate people in many cases relating to serious injury, especially in cases where lives are lost, it can provide crucial financial support that helps many families access any additional ongoing care, therapy, and special equipment that a mother or child may require.
- Payments can also be secured to ensure immediate steps can be taken to maximise a child’s potential if they have suffered injuries at birth that will affect them long term, including therapy, specialist equipment, accommodation, and care.
- We are passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of not only those who turn to us but also others too. Our work often leads to changes being made and extra training being provided on maternity wards, meaning your case could help prevent a similar tragedy from happening to another family in the future.
- If you, or your child, have been affected adversely in any way during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the immediate aftercare period, our team of expert birth injury lawyers and solicitors are here to support you through this difficult time.
Cerebral Palsy claims
- Cerebral palsy, a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen to the baby during delivery, is most commonly caused by the failure to recognise a child’s vital signs becoming abnormal and subsequently failing to accelerate the birth.
- When assisting with a delivery, medical staff may inadvertently use excessive force or fail to carry out a caesarean section when one is clearly needed. This may result in a child being born with serious neurological damage.
- Although not every case of cerebral palsy in childbirth is a result of medical negligence, you can find out more information about cerebral palsy, its symptoms and how to make a birth injury claim by clicking here to see our Cerebral Palsy Lawyers page.
Erb’s Palsy claims or Brachial Plexus injury claims
- Shoulder Dystocia leading to Erb’s Palsy occurs when inadequate plans for birth are made by healthcare professionals relating to the size of an unborn baby and its delivery method.
- If a baby is expected to be larger than normal, which may cause problems during a normal vaginal delivery, preparations should be made to carry out a caesarean section or an episiotomy.
- If no action is taken and baby is large, their shoulders may end up being stuck during vaginal delivery, which is extremely dangerous and can lead to death.
- Sometimes this can happen and baby’s shoulders are freed, but the trauma sustained in vaginal delivery leads to nerve injury and the possibility of an arm or hand being paralysed.
- If you think this has happened to you or someone you know, get in touch and discuss whether you may be eligible to make a birth injury compensation claim.
- Or click here for more information about Erb’s palsy, its symptoms and how our specialist Erb’s Palsy Solicitors will help to process your claim.
- Compensation for birth injury can range vastly dependent upon the severity of the injury and loss suffered. Traumatic birth compensation or compensation for a birth injury to a mother may vary greatly when compared to birth injury compensation claims where a child faces long-term effects.
- In cases relating to children suffering life-long injuries, such as Cerebral palsy or Erb's palsy, damages can be awarded into many millions of pounds, as this money is required to cover the cost of round-the-clock care and home adaptations needed.
- Damages are ultimately awarded to help families through difficult times without the added worry of the financial implications of additional medical care or other costs. These can include:
- Damages for the pain and suffering caused to the mother or child due to a doctor or medical staff member’s negligence.
- Funding for required care, equipment or household adjustments.
- Medical expenses incurred by seeking specialist healthcare to deal with the injuries or afflictions following a birth injury.
- Loss of earnings for you or a loved one acting as a carer due to the injuries sustained.
- Funeral expenses in the event of a patient dying due to birth negligence, whether this is the mother or child.
- Hudgell Solicitors has a highly experienced legal team that is supported by our own in-house medical experts – including a registered midwife – meaning we are able to fully assess cases and the standard of treatment provided.
- Our first involvement is to listen to those questions, provide some expert initial free advice, and discuss whether you want to start a birth negligence claim. There is no commitment when contacting us, but it will enable our lawyers to assess whether your case can be taken forward and inform you what the next steps will be.
- Should we feel we can pursue a compensation claim on your behalf, a specialist medical negligence lawyer will be assigned and dedicated to supporting you through your case. They will explain, in plain, non-legal language, what is likely to be needed from you at each stage of the process, including what evidence and information will need to be obtained.
- Should a case not be pursued, our discussions will always remain entirely confidential.
- Our representation sees us:
- Carry out initial fact-finding by discussing with you what happened, what went wrong and the impact it has had on your life.
- Inform the healthcare provider of our investigation into the care they provided, requesting relevant medical records and details of examinations and treatment.
- Seek independent medical opinion to determine whether a mother or child’s injuries could and should have been prevented, had the proper care and attention been given.
- Make a decision, based on evidence gathered, as to whether we are in a position to make an official claim for damages to compensate for the suffering and hardship caused.
- Should admissions of negligence be secured, consider an application for interim payments to cover the cost of any immediate needs for a child and family.
- Seek to negotiate a compensation settlement out of court which reflects the injury and loss caused, including damages to cover any future care and assistance required.
- All birth negligence cases taken on by Hudgell Solicitors are handled on a no win no fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay any money upfront and there will be no financial risk if your case is unsuccessful. If your case is successful, you will only be expected to pay a contribution to your solicitor’s fees once the case has been resolved.
- We also offer Legal Aid funding for certain types of medical negligence compensation claims. This is usually for claims involving children who have a neurological injury that has resulted in severe disability, which has been sustained either through pregnancy, during the birth or the first eight weeks of the child’s life. Get in touch to discuss how Legal Aid can help you fund your claim.
- Only accredited specialists in birth injury claims have a legal aid franchise that allows them to represent families when a child suffers a neurological injury before, during or no later than eight weeks from birth, through the public purse.
- Hudgell Solicitors is proud to be one of only a small number of firms to offer this service so we can ensure families are not left out of pocket when seeking the compensation and support they will require, often for the rest of their child’s life.
- Personal insurance cover so there’s no financial risk to you in pursuing a claim.
- Whatever the outcome of your case, you won’t have to pay a penny (provided that you fully assist us with your claim) other than an agreed percentage of your damages.
- Every birth injury case involving a child will be assessed for public funding eligibility.