By Joanne Jeffries. Last Updated 8th November 2021. Welcome to this case study covering medical negligence payouts for a birth brain injury.
In this case study, we take a look at a compensation claim that was made for brain damage at birth. The victim, in this case, was a newborn baby boy. He had contracted herpes simplex while in hospital shortly after his birth. This went completely undetected, and resulted in the baby suffering from a brain fever. No action was taken for two days, after which he was administered an antiviral. However, this treatment was given far too late, and the baby had already suffered catastrophic brain damage. He would suffer cognitive and movement problems, as well as damage to his hearing and eyesight for the rest of his life.
The boy’s parents contacted a solicitor, to process a clinical negligence claim on the child’s behalf. The NHS Trust that we responsible for the hospital where the incident occurred, admitted full liability. In fact, an apology was made to the parents of the child, and a promise made that nothing similar would ever be allowed to happen again at the hospital. The NHS trust made a record out of court settlement offer of £37 million, which the boy’s parents accepted.
In this case study, we will look at how the clinical negligence came about, and the effect that this had on the baby. We also look into how the claim was processed, as well as the settlement that was agreed, including what it was paid for and why.
Accident Claims UK is experienced in processing clinical negligence claims. If you need to make a claim because you have been harmed by a medical professional, call us on the number at the bottom of this page to find out how we can help you.
Neonatal Herpes And Brain Damage
Neonatal herpes is a fairly rare condition. Although when it is encountered, the results can be dire, as can be seen in this claim. In most cases, the infection comes from the mother, who may have previously been infected by herpes simplex. It is important to understand that even if the mother has recovered from the infection, it is still in her bloodstream, and can infect a baby during childbirth.
However, cases of herpes that are contracted and cured before the final 6 weeks of the pregnancy, will not pose a health risk to the newborn baby. This is because the mother will have developed antibodies, and these antibodies will have been passed on to the baby in the womb. If left untreated, neonatal herpes it can lead to infant brain damage.
Some of the early signs of brain damage in a newborn, as well as signs of brain damage in toddlers, are:
- Difficulty waking
- Breathing difficulty
- Rapid breathing
- A blue tongue
These are all very easily noticed symptoms; they are hard to overlook as was the case with the medical professional who was caring for the newborn boy in this claim.
What Level Of Brain Damage Did The Baby Suffer?
In this case, the baby boy had zero chance of successful infant brain damage recovery. The parents briefed the personal injury lawyer on the severity of the injuries the baby had sustained. The damage consisted of:
- A significant loss in cognitive capability.
- A significantly lowered ability for motor control.
- Serious impairment to vision.
- Serious impairment to hearing.
In effect, the child would require constant 24-hour care for the rest of their life. They would never function as an adult; they would be limited to a life of care, with no prospects for any sort of normal future. In effect, their life was ended due to clinical negligence.
Details Of The Case
The solicitor processed a personal injury claim on behalf of the parents of the baby. They approached the NHS Trust that was responsible for the hospital where the clinical negligence took place. The NHS trust admitted full liability. Indeed, the defendant issued an apology to the parents, noting that the baby had received inadequate care. An out of court settlement was offered of £37 million. At the time, this was the highest compensation payment that the NHS had ever made. The parents of the baby boy accepted this amount.
What Payout Was Awarded For The Infant Brain Damage
The parents of the baby were offered an out of court settlement by the NHS, of £37 million, which they accepted. This compensation was paid for a number of reasons, including:
- The fact the baby would have a vastly reduced quality of life as long as he lived, potentially 80 years or more.
- To cover the cost of the 24/7 care that the child would need.
- To pay for the parents to find a suitable home for a permanently handicapped person to live in.
- The cost of buying specialised care equipment.
As we can see, the cost of care is expensive. Although £37 million sounds like a very large sum of money, it would have to last the child for the rest of his life. It would need to pay for 24/7 care for potentially 80 years or more. The solicitor did a great job of processing the claim. However, it should be noted that the defendant, the NHS Trust that operated the hospital where the event took place, fully admitted liability. Very little negotiation was needed to get them to come up with this very fair out of court settlement offer.
No Win No Fee Neonatal Brain Damage Claims
If you need to make a compensation claim for clinical negligence, do you know that there is a way to do this without coughing up the money to pay a solicitor up front? Accident Claims UK can act as your No Win No Fee solicitors, and process a claim for you. You won’t pay anything unless your claim is successful.
Understanding how our No Win No Fee claims service operates, is very easy. If you are a resident of the UK, no matter where you are located, we can help you. When we first take your claim on, we won’t charge you at all. We will then process your claim, which could take months or in very extreme cases, years. There is no charge while we do this. If we don’t manage to reach a settlement and win you compensation, then you don’t pay anything. If we do win you compensation, this is when we get paid. We will take our fee directly from the compensation payment we have received for you. We will then give you the money that is left.
This really is a financially risk-free for you to make a claim for medical negligence, as there are no legal fees due until you receive your compensation. If you would like to know more about the Accident Claims UK clams service, or simply have questions about the legal process of making a claim, call us on the number below so that we can help you.
Speak To Our Experts About Medical Negligence Payouts For A Birth Brain Injury
Accident Claims UK can act as your personal injury solicitor to process a claim for personal injury compensation. We can do this under our No Win No Fee claims service, that is available to everyone in the UK.
We will always try to get you the most compensation we can, without taking any action that might put your claim at risk. If you are ready to start making your claim today, then call us right now on 0800 073 8801. One of our team will be ready to answer any questions you have, before talking you through our new claim onboarding process. This is a very simple process, and everything will be explained to you without any legal jargon at all. Why wait? Start claiming the compensation you are eligible for today.
What damages could I receive in medical negligence payouts for a birth brain injury?
When you make a claim for compensation for a birth injury, there are a variety of different damages that could make up your medical negligence claim payout. Medical negligence settlements in the UK could include:
- Special damages- these are the pecuniary costs and losses you experience as part of your injury or accident. They could include costs for medical care, which could be costs already received or future costs. They could also include loss of earnings if you have had to give up work or have had to take time off work and have lost out on income as a result. They could also include travel expenses should you need to visit a hospital for an appointment, or to visit your lawyer as part of your claim. You could also receive special damages that relate to any adaptations that need to be made to your home as a result of your injuries.
- General damages- these are designed to compensate claimants for their pain and suffering as well as their loss of amenity. The medical evidence you submit could play a significant part in helping maximise personal injury compensation payouts for general damages. You would need to attend an appointment with an independent medical specialist during your claim, so that they could produce such evidence. They would need to examine your injuries, as well as looking at any relevant past medical notes, and speaking to you about your injuries. The resulting medical report that they produce could be used by lawyers and the courts to determine how much compensation could be appropriate for your claim.
How common are clinical negligence claims for birth brain injuries?
We do not, unfortunately, have figures relating to the number of birth injury claims made against the NHS. However, we can offer you some insight into how much the NHS paid out in clinical negligence claims in 2020- 2021. NHS Resolution’s report for this indicates the below.
Could a personal injury solicitor help maximise medical negligence payouts for a birth brain injury?
You may be surprised to find out that it isn’t necessary for you to have legal representation when you make a claim for medical negligence. However, such claims could be complicated and may require a legal professional to fight for the maximum compensation possible for your claim. An experienced lawyer, authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority could harness all of their knowledge and legal experience to fight for the maximum compensation possible for you. They could also help you take your claim to court, if an out of court settlement could not be reached.
How does the no win no fee claims process work?
If you’re making a no win no fee claim for the first time, you may not understand fully how it works. Initially, a solicitor would send you a conditional fee agreement, which would contain details of a success fee that you would pay them out of your compensation settlement. You would only pay this amount if your claim was successful. Upon signing the agreement, and sending it back to your lawyer, they would be able to process your claim for you. When your compensation comes through, the success fee would be deducted with the balance of the compensation being for your benefit. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to speak to us.
Links And Resources Relating To Medical Negligence Payouts For A Birth Brain Injury
The National Health Service has published some very detailed information about neonatal herpes, how it is contracted, diagnosed and treated, at this link:
You can find even more detailed information about neonatal herpes at the webs page at this link:
At the link below, you will find a full guide to the legal process of making a compensation claim for a child:
At the link below, you will find a full guide to the legal process of making a compensation claim for medical negligence:
Thank you for reading this case study related to medical negligence payouts for a birth brain injury.