In this guide, we will look at the process of claiming birth injury settlements after sustaining injuries as a result of medical negligence. Injuries sustained during birth can have harmful effects on both the mother and the baby.
Childbirth is a painful experience, and sometimes complications that arise cannot be avoided by providing the right level of care. If you are caused unnecessary harm as a result of negligence, however, then you could be entitled to make a claim.
This guide will explore how to start a medical negligence claim, focusing on examples of birth injuries and how they’re caused. We will also discuss birth injury compensation amounts and how collecting evidence can affect how much medical negligence compensation you may receive.
If legal representation is of interest to you, but you’re concerned about the costs of working with a solicitor, a No Win No Fee agreement may be a viable option. You can see more about the benefits of these agreements in this guide.
Our advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help you with any element of the claims process. You can connect today by using the following contact details.
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- Birth Injury Settlements – A Guide
- Examples Of Birth Injuries
- How Are Birth Injury Settlements Calculated? – Potential Compensation Amounts
- What Evidence Could Be Used In Birth Injury Claims?
- Could I Make A Medical Negligence Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Learn More About Birth Injury Settlements
All medical professionals in healthcare should provide you with a minimum standard of care. Medical negligence occurs when staff breach their duty of care, and unnecessary harm is caused as a result.
Birth injuries can cause serious damage and trauma. Injuries such as tearing from pushing during labour may be unavoidable and so may not form the basis of a valid maternity negligence claim. In order to claim birth injury settlements, you must provide evidence of medical negligence being the reason that you or your baby sustained unnecessary injuries.
Continue reading to see examples of when a claim for birth or maternity negligence could be valid. Alternatively, you can call our advisors using the banner above.
Injuries during birth and labour can cause a range of complications. Some potential incidents may include:
- A nurse is unreasonably rough when handling the baby’s neck and head during birth. This can result in damage to the brachial plexus resulting in the child developing Erb’s palsy and other life-changing conditions.
- Fractures in the baby’s body and face can occur if the medical professional doesn’t accommodate for breech birth.
- You contract meningitis while pregnant, but this is misdiagnosed. This misdiagnosis allows the condition to progress.
- You’re given a drug for the pain of childbirth, but this is administered orally instead of intravenously. As a result of this medication error, you experience pain that you would not have experienced if you had been given the drug correctly.
These are just examples of some of the complications that can arise during birth. You can contact our advisors for more guidance on what circumstances may allow you to seek a birth injury settlement.
Is A Duty Of Care Owed By A Healthcare Professional?
Medical professionals owe a duty of care to all the patients that they treat. They need to provide a level of care that does not fall below a minimum standard.
Some instances in healthcare are always examples of medical negligence. These are known as Never Events. Never Events are occurrences that could have been entirely avoided if the correct frameworks in the field of treatment had been followed.
In other cases, though, something called the Bolam Test might be implemented to determine whether or not negligence caused the harm you experienced. This is where a panel of appropriately trained medical professionals are asked whether or not the care you received was of an acceptable level. If so, then you could have a valid claim.
See below for an example of how a medical negligence claim calculator can be used and how much birth injury compensation your claim may be worth. You can also speak with our team for guidance on birth injury settlements.
Birth injury settlements can be split into two heads. The first of these is general damages, which compensate you for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of medical negligence.
The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) publish compensation brackets to help legal professionals value claims. You can find a table below that displays some of these figures. Please note that these figures should only be used as a guide.
|£324,600 - £403,990
|Paralysis of all four limbs
|£219,070 - £284,260
|Paralysis of the lower body
|Very Severe Brain Injury (a)
|£282,010 - £403,990
|No or little response to the environment, a requirement for care around the clock
|Moderately Severe Brain Injury (b)
|£219,070 - £282,010
|Effects such as limb paralysis and impairment of personality.
|Moderate Brain Injury (c) (i)
|£150,110 - £219,070
|Moderate to severe intellectual deficit. Change to personality and impact on senses. No chances of employment.
|Moderate Brain Injury (c) (ii)
|£90,720 - £150,110
|Moderate to modest intellectual deficit. Ability to work is reduced if not nonexistent.
|Moderate Brain Injury (c) (iii)
|£43,060 - £90,720
|The senses may be affected, as well as concentration and memory issues.
|Severe Neck Injury (a) (i)
|In the region of £148,330
|The injured person will be unable to move their neck and suffer strong headaches. Incomplete paralysis could also be experienced.
|Severe Neck Injury (a) (ii)
|£65,740 - £130,930
|Serious fractures and disc damage can cause disabilities affecting the function of the limbs.
|Severe Neck Injury (a) (iii)
|£45,470 - £55,990
|Soft tissue damage and ruptured tendons can cause chronic conditions of a permanent nature.
Our advisors give you guidance on how birth injury compensation amounts are valued. Call today for more information.
Can I Claim For Special Damages In Hospital Negligence Claims?
The other head of compensation you can claim is special damages. This allows you reimbursement for financial losses caused by medical negligence. This can include:
- Travel costs
- Medical bills that aren’t covered by the NHS
- Care costs
- Costs for mobility equipment
You must be able to provide evidence of financial losses in order to make a claim. For instance, receipts, bank statements and invoices can prove the amounts that you have lost or spent. For more support, contact us today.
As mentioned above, it is crucial that you supply evidence to support your claim. Without proof of medical negligence causing your pain and suffering, it is unlikely that you will be eligible to seek birth injury settlements.
You can include evidence such as:
- Prescriptions that prove what medication you had to take after sustaining injuries.
- Details of witnesses, such as your birthing partner and medical professionals in the birthing room, who can support your case.
- A diary detailing your physical and mental state during and after the incident. This can also include information such as names of medical staff, locations you received treatment and lists of medication.
- Medical records displaying hospital admissions and doctor reports.
You should also ensure that you start the claims process within three years of the date you sustained injuries or the date you learned of negligence causing your suffering. This time limit is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980.
There are some exceptions to this time limit, including when the injured person is under 18 years of age. In these circumstances, the time limit will be suspended until the date of their 18th birthday. You can seek birth injury settlements on their behalf before this as a litigation friend. Otherwise, they have 2 years from their 18th birthday to start a claim.
You can contact our advisors today for free legal advice on starting your medical negligence claim. If you have a valid case, you could be connected with a lawyer from our panel.
Our panel of medical negligence claim solicitors can work with you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) in place. This form of No Win No Fee claim offers you the following benefits:
- Generally no upfront or ongoing legal costs
- Usually no fees if you don’t receive compensation at the end of your claim
You’re only required to pay your solicitor at the end of a successful claim. This success fee is taken from your settlement total with a legal cap, ensuring that you keep the majority of the award.
You can connect with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if our advisors see a chance of success in your case. Read below to see how to progress with seeking birth injury settlements.
Contact Us For Free 24/7 To See If You Can Make A Maternity Negligence Claim
Our advisors are available to help. You can connect with our team for a free consultation:
The following resources may help you:
You can also visit more of our guides by following the links below.
If you have any more questions about birth injury settlements, speak with our team today.
Guide by Jess Aitch
Publisher Fern Smith