By Jo Anderson. Last Updated 30th January 2024. Suffering a stillbirth is one of the most horrific and tragic events to befall any expectant parent. It is emotionally and physically devastating but knowing that it could have been prevented if it wasn’t for the medical negligence of a doctor, midwife or another health professional makes the entire heart-breaking event so much worse.
Stillbirth medical negligence claims are a harrowing process, but it can sometimes bring peace and closure to anyone who has lost their baby due to the negligent actions of their healthcare professional.
Stillbirth compensation claims require the most understanding, empathetic and careful handling in order to be both respectful to you and your baby, and also to gain the most satisfactory outcome possible. At Accident Claims UK, we know that no stillbirth compensation amount will bring back the life of your baby, but it can be a good starting point to begin to rebuild your lives.
If you are considering pursuing a personal injury claim following a stillbirth & neonatal death, then Accident Claims UK can help guide you through his incredibly difficult process. Call our dedicated team today on 0800 073 8801 to speak to one of our advisors today who can connect you to a dedicated stillbirth compensation solicitor who will act on your behalf throughout your stillbirth compensation claim.
Here are some scenarios that could lead to stillbirth medical negligence claims:
- Failing to spot maternal infection and treat it.
- Inadequate monitoring of your baby.
- Failing to conduct proper assessments of mothers with risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.
- Misinterpretation of scans or test results.
If you are still undecided about whether or not suing for stillbirth is the route you want to take or if you’re not even sure you may be entitled to stillbirth compensation, then this guide aims to answer all your questions. Read on to find out about the stillbirth negligence claims process as well as what rough stillbirth compensation amount you may be entitled to.
Select a section
- When Could You Claim For A Stillbirth Caused By Medical Negligence?
- Time Limit For Stillbirth Medical Negligence Claims
- Evidence To Support Stillbirth Compensation Claims
- Where Can People Get Support After A Stillbirth?
- Stillbirth Medical Negligence Claims Calculator
- Stillbirth No Win No Fee Compensation Claims
- Useful Links
All medical professionals have a duty of care to provide you with a minimum standard of care. If they fail to provide you with the correct standard of care, this could cause you to suffer unnecessary harm.
All stillbirth compensation claims need to meet the medical negligence claim eligibility criteria for them to be valid. This is:
- A medical professional, such as a doctor, owed you a duty of care.
- This duty was breached,
- Due to this breach, you suffered a stillbirth and experienced harm that could have been avoided.
To learn more about stillbirth claims or check your eligibility to claim, please contact an advisor. They could also answer any questions you might have about stillbirth settlements and how long you could have to claim.
If you are eligible to launch a stillbirth medical negligence claim, you will only have a limited amount of time to do so.
The Limitation Act 1980 sets a 3-year time limit to start your claim either from the date the medical negligence took place or the date of knowledge. This is the date you first reasonably linked the harm you suffered with medical negligence. However, some cases could be exceptions to this.
For example, if the mother of a stillborn child was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, they could not launch a claim until they reached adulthood. Effectively, the limitation period would pause until their 18th birthday. During the pause, however, an appropriate adult could file a claim on their behalf by applying to be a litigation friend for them. If this does not happen, and the claimant turns 18, they would have until their 21st birthday to launch a claim.
There are also exceptions for those who lack the mental capacity to file a claim for themselves. In such cases, the limitation period would freeze for an indefinite period. During the time it is frozen, a litigation friend could bring a claim forward on their behalf. However, if no claim was made, and the claimant recovered this mental capacity, they would have three years from their recovery date to start a claim.
To learn more about limitation periods in stillbirth negligence claims, please contact an advisor.
When making a stillbirth medical negligence claim, you will need to support your case with evidence. The evidence you will be able to gather will depend on the facts and circumstances of your claim. However, typically, the evidence below could be useful:
- Your medical notes – These could highlight details of your pregnancy and any complications you suffered following the stillbirth.
- Correspondence with the medical provider regarding the stillbirth and any investigation findings.
- Details of any witnesses – If anyone saw what happened during your stillbirth, whether staff members, family or friends, they could be approached for a statement at a later date.
- Evidence of the impact of the stillbirth – This could include a psychologist’s report, for example.
- Proof of financial costs or losses – If you have lost income because you’ve needed time off to recover, these could be proven with payslips. Invoices or receipts could help with proving any medical costs or travel expenses you’ve experienced due to the medical negligence.
If you would like to know more about how one of our solicitors could help gather evidence to support your claim, please contact an advisor.
If you, or someone you care about, has suffered a stillbirth or neonatal death, there are organisations out there who dedicate their time and efforts to support parents who have lost a baby:
- SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity- SANDS provide dedicated support to anyone who has lost a baby in the UK. They also promote better support for bereaved parents as well as supporting research into the causes and prevention of stillbirths.
- Tommy’s- Tommy’s is the biggest charity in the UK dedicated to funding research into stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth. They offer expectant mum’s a wealth of information and advice to help them have a healthy pregnancy.
- The Miscarriage Association- The Miscarriage Association offer support to anyone affected by miscarriage and stillbirth, including partners, friends, family and colleagues who would like to better support someone they love who has lost a baby.
- The Lily Mae Foundation- The Lily Mae Foundation provides emotional support to anyone who has suffered a tragic or traumatic stillbirth or neonatal death of a baby.
- Abigail’s Footsteps- described as a powerful and influential charity, Abigail’s Footsteps helps families and healthcare professionals cope with stillbirth better.
- Life After Loss- Life After Loss provide support and guidance for anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby at any stage of pregnancy.
Please call our team for advice on making stillbirth medical negligence claims.
After going through a stillbirth caused by medical negligence, a settlement can contain up to two heads of claim: General damages, and special damages.
General damages cover the harm you suffered as a result of the negligence. This covers any physical harm, as well as the psychological harm caused by the stillbirth. Compensation claims for this kind of harm are valued on a case-by-case basis. But, when solicitors value this heading, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document provides guidelines for different kinds of harm.
In the table below, we have provided some of the figures listed in the 16th edition of the JCG. Please only use it as a guide.
|Reason for claim
|Severe PTSD or psychological harm plus special damages
|Up to £200,000+
|Compensation for your severe psychological injury plus special damages such as a loss of past and future earnings as well as care costs.
|Severe psychiatric damage (a)
|£54,830 to £115,730
|Negative impact on relationships/ inability to concentrate and work/ prolonged suffering with a poor prognosis of recovery
|Moderately severe psychiatric damage (b)
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Not as severe as category above but similar symptoms with a better prognosis
|Moderate psychiatric damage (c)
|£5,860 to £19,070
|Some of the same symptoms as above with a much better prognosis and improvement seen
|Less severe psychiatric damage (d)
|£1,540 to £5,860
|The extent to which your sleep and daily activities have been affected will determine – amount
|Severe post-traumatic stress disorder (a)
|£59,860 to £100,670
|Permanent issues with negatively affect all aspects of the person’s life.
|Moderately severe post-traumatic stress disorder (b)
|£23,150 to £59,860
|Despite there being a better prognosis and room for some recovery, the person will still struggle with a significant disability for the foreseeable future.
|Moderate post-traumatic stress disorder (c)
|£8,180 to £23,150
|A large recovery has been made and any continuing issues are not super disabling.
|Less severe post-traumatic stress disorder (d)
|£3,950 to £8,180
|A virtually complete recovery is made within one to two years.
Some stillbirth settlements can also include special damages. This heading covers the financial harm you suffer as a result of medical negligence. For example, you may need to take time away from work in order to recover. This can result in a loss of earnings, which could be recouped under special damages.
To learn more about what you could potentially claim for, contact our team of helpful advisors today.
If you are eligible to make a medical negligence claim for a stillbirth, you may wish to work with a solicitor who has experience with this type of case. Our solicitors have lots of experience working on stillbirth compensation claims, and could help you with yours.
Additionally, they may offer to work on your case under a Conditional Fee Agreement. With this arrangement in place, you will not need to pay your solicitor for their services upfront, while your claim is in progress, or if it ends unsuccessfully.
If your claim is a success, they will take a legally capped success fee from the compensation awarded to you.
To learn more about stillbirth settlements or check whether one of our No Win No Fee solicitors could help you, please contact an advisor. They can be reached by:
We hope that you’ve found this guide about stillbirth medical negligence claims helpful in some way.