Maternity negligence can lead to you or your child suffering from serious injuries that could have been avoided if the right level of care had been administered. A breach of duty of care during pregnancy and labour can cause disabilities that continue to affect you and your baby for the rest of your lives.
All medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. This means that the care that they provide needs to meet a minimum standard. If it does not, and you are harmed as a result, then this is an example of medical negligence.
We will explain how to start a maternity negligence claim using the services of a No Win No Fee solicitor. If this guide doesn’t answer all of your questions, you can reach us using the following contact details:
Choose A Section
- What is Maternity Negligence?
- Examples of Maternity Negligence
- Why is Duty Of Care Important In Birth Injury Claims?
- Maternity Negligence – What Could I Receive From A Successful Claim?
- What Evidence Could Be Used In Hospital Negligence Claims?
- The Advantages Of Using A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Learn More About Making A Maternity Negligence Claim
Incidents of maternity negligence can occur during pregnancy and the process of giving birth. They can cause both physical and mental injuries.
Medical negligence, as we have already stated, is a breach of duty of care that results in unnecessary. However, sometimes harm can happen even when the right standard of care has occurred.
For example, a woman in labour may need an emergency c-section. This can be painful and leave a scar. However, provided that performing the c-section fell within the medical professional’s duty of care, a claim for the harm caused would not be valid.
Continue reading to learn what evidence you need to provide to prove maternity negligence led to a birth injury. You can also call our advisors on the number at the top of the webpage for free legal advice.
Below, we have included some examples of how a birth injury or worsening health during pregnancy could occur:
- A nurse fails to notice during ultrasounds that your baby is in distress. This results in a difficult birth that causes mental health injuries.
- Your GP supplies you with a prescription for medication that you’re allergic to. The allergic reaction from this medication error causes harm to your unborn child.
- You’re given an epidural, but the medication is given to you orally instead of intravenously. This is an example of a Never Event.
- You are told that you require a c-section when a vaginal birth would have been a viable option. This is an example of unnecessary medical treatment.
- You contract meningitis while pregnant, and a hospital medication error means that this is untreated. This results in the death of your unborn child.
If you’ve suffered injuries as the result of a breach of duty of care and want to see if you can make a maternity negligence claim, contact our advisors today to start the process.
All medical professionals must provide a minimum standard of care to those that they treat. For example, the ways that doctors are supposed to act is outlined in the General Medical Council’s duties of a doctor. The Nursing and Midwifery Council outlines the standards for competence for registered midwives.
There are several areas in which midwives need to demonstrate competency. These include:
- Effective midwifery practice, which includes effective communication, seamless care and referrals where appropriate
- The selection, acquisition and administering of a range of permitted drugs. Nurses and midwives should also apply knowledge and skills to situations as appropriate.
- Utilising quality care through research and evaluation. For example, midwives should gain feedback from their patients and apply this to the work that they do.
For information on what could be awarded in a successful claim, please read on. Alternatively, if you would like to see if you could have a valid claim, why not speak with an advisor today?
If you make a successful medical negligence claim, you will be awarded general damages for the physical and psychological harm you’ve sustained as a result of medical negligence. The level of compensation will depend on the severity of the harm you were caused and how it impacts your quality of life.
We’ve provided a table below using compensation brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication is used by legal professionals to help them when valuing general damages in a claim. However, the figures that they provide do not represent the amount you will receive, as there are a number of factors that can be taken into account when valuing claims.
We have used the table below to outline some of the JCG entries for a number of different ways the health of you or your baby could be affected by medical negligence:
|Female Reproductive System Injury
|£114,900 - £170,280
|Infertility caused by injury or disease that carries with it depression, anxiety, pain and scarring.
|Female Reproductive System Injury
|£17,960 - £36,740
|Infertility that does not carry with it any medical complications. There is no sexual dysfunction, and the person in question already has children.
|Female Reproductive System Injury
|£3,390 - £20,430
|There has been a delay in providing a diagnosis for ectopic pregnancy but without an impact on fertility.
|Up to £140,660
|Where function and control in the bladder are lost.
|£63,980 - £79,930
|Where the control of the bladder has been seriously impaired, and some pain and incontinence is felt .
|£23,410 - £31,310
|Despite an almost complete recovery, function will have been interfered with over the long term.
|£65,740 - £130,930
|Severe (ii) - Injuries giving rise to considerable disabilities, for example, damage to the brachial plexus that is permanent.
|Pelvis and Hip
|£39,170 - £52,500
|Severe (iii) - For example, a fracture leading to changes and instability that means a hip replacement will be likely in the future.
|£19,200 - £48,030
|Severe - These injuries could be associated with neck injuries and often cause significant disability due to brachial plexus damage.
|£7,010 - £9,110
|Direct inguinal hernia that poses some risk of coming back after repair.
If you require a more specific calculation of damages for your case, contact our advisors today. They can also supply you with free legal advice to help you understand more about maternity negligence claims.
Can I Claim For Other Damages In A Medical Negligence Claim?
Special damages are another potential head of claim that can compensate you for the financial losses that medical negligence has caused you. For example:
- Loss of wages due to taking time off to heal from your injuries
- Medical bills such as the cost of prescriptions
- Loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from returning to work at all
- Travel costs to and from hospital appointments
In order to claim for general or special damages, you must provide evidence. This can strengthen your claim and improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. See below what can be included as relevant evidence, or get in touch with our team today for free legal advice about what could support your claim.
It’s a good idea for you to collect evidence in support of your claim. This could help strengthen your case. Evidence you could provide can include:
- Medical records. If you have reported the incident to the relevant institution, for example, then any correspondence between you and the healthcare provider in question could also support your case.
- Witness statements if anyone saw the negligence occur or can attest to how you were affected
- Receipts and bank statements proving financial losses
You must make a claim within three years of the date you sustained injuries or three years from the date of knowledge. This is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980.
There are some exceptions to these time limits, however. In the case of maternity negligence claims, you might be claiming on behalf of your child who was harmed because of a breach of duty of care.
If this is the case, then a litigation friend could claim on their behalf at any point until they turn 18; the time limit is suspended. Once the child turns 18, they can pursue their own claim provided that this has not already been done.
If you need additional guidance regarding any of the above information, please contact our advisors today. They can provide you with free legal advice to help you start the claims process.
A kind of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement allows you the opportunity to work with medical negligence claim solicitors, usually without spending money on legal fees upfront. Furthermore, you generally will not pay your lawyer anything in the event that your claim is not a success.
You’re only required to pay your solicitor in the form of a success fee at the end of a successful claim. This comes from your settlement total with a legal cap to ensure you keep the majority of the award.
Our advisors can connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel if you have a valid maternity negligence claim. To learn more about claiming with this kind of agreement in place, speak with one of our advisors today.
Want A Free Consultation? Contact Us Today
If you have any more questions about making a medical negligence claim, contact our advisors today. Our team are available 24/7 to offer you free legal advice with no pressure to continue your claim with us.
To get in touch, you can:
You can see additional resources here that may help you with your claim.
- The NHS annual report is published to show statistics relating to NHS medical negligence claims
- Find hospital care here from the Care Quality Commissioner
- See the NHS advice for labour and birth on their website
More of our articles can be found here.
Contact our advisors today to learn more about the maternity negligence claims process.
Writer Jess Aisle
Editor Fern Snicket