What Are Birth Injury Claims?

If you or your child suffered an avoidable injury during labour due to medical negligence, you may be interested in birth injury claims. A birth injury refers to an injury or trauma caused during labour, the consequences of which can vary from case to case. 

birth injury claims

A guide to birth injury claims

In this article, we will explain what medical negligence is, how birth injuries can happen, and how a No Win No Fee solicitor can help guide you through the claims process. To start your claim today, contact our advisors by:

  • Calling the number at the top of the page
  • Contact us online
  • Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen

Choose A Section

  1. What Are Birth Injury Claims?
  2. How Much Could You Get For Birth Injury Claims?
  3. Examples Of Childbirth Injuries
  4. How You Can Prove A Birth Injury
  5. What Does A No Win No Fee Solicitor Do?
  6. More Information About Birth Injury Claims

What Are Birth Injury Claims?

Birth injuries refer to injuries and traumas caused by the birthing process. Sometimes these injuries are unavoidable; for example, marks can sometimes appear on a baby’s head following the use of forceps. In cases like this, you may not be able to make a claim.

To form the basis of a successful claim, you must be able to prove that:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care
  • They were in breach of this duty
  • You or your child’s avoidable injuries were a direct result of this breach 

Every medical professional owes their patients a duty of care. This minimum standard of care is outlined in the General Medical Council’s duties of a doctor for doctors and GPs, and in the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s The Code for nurses and midwives. If a medical professional breaches this duty of care, and you or your infant suffers a preventable birth injury as a result, you may be able to make a claim.

To find out if you have a valid claim, contact our team of advisors today by following the information at the top of the screen.

Birth Injury Statistics

According to the NHS Resolution Annual Report, 11% of clinical negligence claims made in 2020/21 were made in relation to obstetrics services, making up 59% of the total estimated clinical negligence claims value. Alongside this number, 40% of claims payments for all clinical schemes went towards claims made to obstetric services.

How Much Could You Get For Birth Injury Claims?

If your birth injury claim succeeds, you would receive general damages. This first head of claim covers the suffering and pain you endure due to your injuries and is awarded on a case-by-case basis. 

Solicitors often use a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to estimate the potential value of claims. This document contains a list of injuries with corresponding compensation brackets, some examples of which you can find in the table below.

Injury TypeCompensation BracketNotes
Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage£17,900 to £51,460Significant problems coping with work, education and life, but with a more optimistic prognosis.
Moderate Psychiatric Damage£7,680 to £21,730Cases where symptoms show marked improvement, and a good prognosis.
Moderate PTSD£7,680 to £21,730Cases where a large recovery is made, with any continuing effects being minor and non-disabling.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage£205,580 to £264,650Cases of severe disablement, with disabilities that may be physical or cognitive.
Moderate Brain Damage (iii)£40,410 to £85,150Cases where memory and concentration are affected, leading to a reduced ability to work.
Minor Brain or Head Injury£2,070 to £11,980Brain damage is minimal if any, with consideration given to injury severity and recovery time.
Paraplegia205,580 to £266,740Consideration given to extent of pain and damage, as well as presence of increasing paralysis.
Tetraplegia£304,630 to £379,100Consideration given to age, awareness of disability, and level of pain.
Fracture of Clavicle£4,830 to £11,490Consideration given to extent of the injury and level of disability.
Multiple Fractures of Facial Bones£13,970 to £22,470Fractures that involve some form of permanent facial deformity.

You may also be able to claim special damages. Special damages are the part of your claim that covers the financial costs you might incur as a result of your injuries. For example, if your infant suffered brain damage during delivery, this could result in mobility issues. As such, the costs of any special home or mobility equipment could be covered by special damages. However, you must be able to provide proof of these losses to make a claim, so it can be helpful to retain any relevant receipts, bills or invoices. 

The JCG can only provide broad guidelines for compensation. For a free and in-depth estimation of what your hospital negligence payout could be worth, contact our team of advisors today.

Examples Of Childbirth Injuries

There are multiple ways that negligence can contribute to avoidable childbirth injuries, from minor and impermanent injuries to injuries that have life-long consequences. Some examples of these injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy can occur when an infant suffers brain damage during birth. This can occur due to a serious head injury the baby may suffer during the birth, or because of asphyxiation by the umbilical cord. These conditions could be preventable but a medical professional may fail to stop them due to negligence. 
  • Erb’s palsy: Erb’s palsy affects the child’s ability to move their arm following birth. This can happen if a medical professional is unreasonably rough in handling the infant’s neck during birth. 
  • Fractures: Fractures to various bones such as the infant’s clavicle or arm can sometimes occur during difficult births. For example, if a medical professional negligently fails to accommodate breech birth, the baby may suffer as a result. 

To learn more about birth injury claims, contact our team of expert advisors today by following the information at the top of the screen. 

How You Can Prove A Birth Injury

As we mentioned above, not all birth injuries form the basis of a successful claim. To make a claim, you must be able to prove that your child’s avoidable injuries occurred due to negligence on the part of a medical professional. If you choose to hire a No Win No Fee solicitor, they can help you gather evidence to strengthen your claim. Examples of this evidence can include:

  • Medical records: Records that show any treatments you received or should have received can help strengthen your claim. This can include patient notes, X-rays, and other tests.
  • Prescription records:  Records that show medications and dosages you were given or should have been given can be used as evidence in your claim.
  • Symptoms diary: Keeping a diary of any symptoms that might worsen due to negligence can be used in your claim. For example, if your child suffered facial paralysis, documenting the time it takes for them to recover can be helpful.
  • Witness statements: Taking the details of anyone who might have witnessed the suspected negligence, for example, a spouse or birthing partner, ensures that their statements can be taken later.

To find out more about how a No Win No Fee solicitor can help you start your claim, call our team of advisors.

What Does A No Win No Fee Solicitor Do?

A No Win No Fee agreement can be a good way to fund legal representation without the traditional financial risks associated with hiring a solicitor. Entering into a No Win No Fee agreement means that you pay no ongoing or upfront fees to your solicitor. Then, if your claim succeeds, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. The percentage they may take has a legal cap to ensure that you get the majority of your award. But, in the case that your claim fails, you will not have to pay any fees to your solicitor. 

To learn more about how our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors could help you make your claim, contact our team of advisors today.

Make A Birth Injury Claim

While it is possible to make a claim without legal representation, a No Win No Fee solicitor can help to guide you through the claims process and answer any questions you may not have the legal knowledge to answer by yourself.

Our team of expert advisors can provide a free estimation of what your claim could be worth. Then if your claim is valid, they could pass you to our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors. 

Get in touch today to learn more by:

  • Calling the number at the top of the page
  • Contacting us online
  • Using the live chat feature at the bottom of the screen

More Information About Birth Injury Claims

To learn more about birth injury claims, we’ve compiled a list of resources you may find helpful:

CQC – Make a complaint to a service or care provider

NHS – Labour and birth

NHS Resolution

Check out some of our other guides below too:

Learn more about claiming compensation if you’ve undergone unnecessary medical treatment.

Head here to discover more about medical negligence claims.

Or go here to learn about Never Event compensation claims.

Writer Cat Higgins

Publisher Ruth Valentine