By Ruth Dolan. Last Updated 4th February 2021. Welcome to our guide to birth injury claims and birth injury compensation. On this page you will find a full and detailed guide to making a compensation claim for a birth injury, it covers birth injuries to both the mother and the baby, and outlines to process of making a successful compensation claim.
According to the NHS, whether you choose a home birth or hospital birth, giving birth is generally safe. Birth injuries due to medical negligence can still occur though. If you or your child were injured during the birthing process, due to clinical negligence, you could be able to make a birth injury compensation claim.
This guide contains birth injuries advice and information, that will help you to learn about the process of making a claim for an injury during birth caused by medical negligence.
If you would rather move straight on to making a claim, then you can contact Accident Claims UK on 0800 073 8801 and we will explain how our No Win No Fee birth injury claims service can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Select a Section:
- A Guide To Making A Birth Injury Claim
- Birth Injury And Negligence Statistics
- What Are The Most Common Birth Injuries?
- Cerebral Palsy And Childbirth Injuries
- What Duty Of Care Were You Owed?
- When Can You Make A Birth Injury Compensation Claim?
- How Severe And What Are the Long-Term Effects A Birth Injury?
- What Should I Do If My Child Suffered A Birth Injury?
- What Can I Claim Compensation For?
- Birth Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
- No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For A Birth Injury
- Why Work With Accident Claims UK?
- Contact Our Team Today
- Useful Links
A Guide To Making A Birth Injury Claim
Childbirth medical negligence claims do occur from time to time, sometimes with tragic results. Few types of compensation cases we handle here at Accident Claims UK are as heart-breaking as birth injury claims. This is because, aside from the physical aspects of the injury, the infant will often be denied a chance at living a proper life due to the effects of the injury. No matter the reason for the birth injury, if it can be proven to have been caused due to medical negligence, you will have a valid route to claiming birth injury compensation.
Within this guide, you will find all the information and advice you need to educate yourself about the way that birth injuries can occur, how medical negligence could be a contributing factor, and what you need to do to make a successful compensation claim for a birth injury to the mother, child or both. This guide contains information such as:
- Key statistics pertaining to the occurrence of birth injuries and medical negligence in the UK each year.
- A list of the most common types of birth injuries to both the mother and the newborn
- Information on cerebral palsy, its causes and its long-term effects.
- A discussion of the medical practitioner’s duty of care towards a patient, and how failure to fulfil this duty can lead to a birth injury.
- Advice on when you should make your birth injury compensation claim.
- A synopsis of some of the major long-term effects that a birth injury can have on both the mother and the baby.
- A step-by-step guide to making a claim for birth injury compensation for an injury to the mother or the infant.
- Information on what types of damages you can claim for in a birth injury compensation case, as well as a table detailed typical compensation amounts for a range of birth-related
- An introduction to the No Win No Fee birth injuries claims service operated by Accident Claims UK, and why we believe that using this service is the best way to make such a claim.
Once you have finished reading this guide, if you have any further questions, or require additional information, please call Accident Claims UK on the number at the bottom of this page. We will do everything we can to assist you.
Birth Injury And Negligence Statistics
Claims for traumatic birth compensation do, unfortunately, occur in the UK.
The graph above shows the stillbirth rates in England and Wales from 1927 to 2019. It’s clear that medicine and maternal care have improved.
However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ article on their 2019 Each Baby Counts report reveals that, of the 1,130 cases of stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries in 2017, 72% might have had a different outcome, had different care been applied.
If you believe that you or your baby was injured due to a birth injury caused by medical negligence, call Accident Claims UK on the number at the bottom of this page, so that we can help you claim the maximum amount of compensation possible.
What Are The Most Common Birth Injuries?
Before you can begin making a compensation claim for a birth injury to you or your child, you need to understand the severity of the injury, and how the accident that caused the injury occurred.
Medical Negligence Leading To Childbirth Injuries
Many birth negligence stories begin with a medical professional making a mistake. This can be something simple, such as prescribing the wrong medication, to very complex cases, where a badly made decision, such as delaying the birth, has resulted in a serious injury to the newborn baby.
Birth Injuries Suffered By The Mother
Of the two possible outcomes of medical negligence in such a case, injury to mother during birth is usually the less serious. Typical injuries that the mother will sustain during childbirth are:
- Cuts, bruises and abrasions – that are the result of a difficult and prolonged birth.
- Damage to the muscles of the pelvic floor – including sprains and tears. These are painful injuries; however, they do heal fully fairly rapidly.
- Perineal tears – these are minute rips and tears in the tissue of the vagina. They can be very painful but heal quickly.
- Fractured pelvis – a serious injury, which will leave the mother immobile whilst the fracture heals.
Birth Injuries Suffered By The Child
When a child is injured during childbirth, the consequences can be catastrophic. In the most serious cases, resulting in death or the loss of the infant having any chance of leading a normal life, injuries could be:
- Shoulder dystocia – a fairly rare injury, which happens when the baby’s head and shoulders get wedged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. This can result in fractures to the collarbone, shoulders and arms of the baby.
- Klumpke’s palsy – this occurs when the baby’s arm is hurt during childbirth, with the nerves of the arm being damaged, leaving the lower arm, wrist or fingers paralysed.
- Erb’s palsy – this occurs when the baby’s arms I hurt during childbirth, with the nerves of the arm being damaged, leading to loss of feeling, functionality or total paralysis of the entire arm.
- Brain injuries – these are generally the most serious of all childbirth injuries. They can be caused by either trauma to the head, or oxygen starvation during the birthing process. This also includes conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy And Childbirth Injuries
Cerebral palsy in a newborn baby is a reason why we make birth injury claims on behalf of our clients. According to the NHS, cerebral palsy is usually caused by something affecting the developing baby’s brain while it’s in the womb. Typical symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Lack of proper muscle tone.
- Stiffness of the muscles combined with spasticity.
- Lack of coordination.
- Slow development on motor control.
- Slow speech development or speech impediments.
These are the most typical symptoms of cerebral palsy, there are more. Most symptoms will have manifested by the time the child reaches infancy.
Furthermore, cerebral palsy often results in permanent brain abnormalities such as:
- Difficulty seeing or hearing properly.
- Lowered intelligence.
- Fits or seizures.
The combination of these permanent effects of cerebral palsy means that the child will have a vastly reduced quality of life, potentially requiring constant care. This means that any compensation claim will need to take this into account.
If your baby is suffering from cerebral palsy that was caused by medical negligence during the birth, contact Accident Claims UK today. We will be able to give you a good indication of how much compensation you might claim, based on the average birth injury settlement for cerebral palsy.
What Duty Of Care Were You Owed?
When childbirth negligence solicitors first approach either a birth injury to the child or birth injury to mother compensation case, the first thing that they need to do is discern whether medical negligence caused the injury. This is done by evaluating how the medical team handled their duty of care to the patient.
Every medical professional has a duty of care, to make sure they do nothing to harm the patient at any time. Failure in this duty of care through error, accident, oversight or omission, means that medical negligence has occurred, and the victim of the clinical negligence will have a valid reason to make a compensation claim.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence during childbirth, contact Accident Claims UK on the number at the bottom of this page, and we will advise you on whether we believe that your doctors have indeed failed to meet their duty of care.
When Can You Make A Birth Injury Compensation Claim?
Before you approach childbirth negligence claims solicitors, you need to understand when you will have a valid route to making a medical negligence claim. There are a number of legal entities that have the right to make a claim for medical negligence in childbirth, and these are:
- The mother – can make a compensation claim for an injury to either herself or her baby.
- The father – can make a claim for the death of the mother, and also for any injury sustained by the baby.
- Dependants of the mother – if the mother is a single parent, and medical negligence during childbirth resulted in her death, then the dependants of the mother can make a claim.
- Immediate family members – if the loss of the mother has caused damage to family unity, yet there is not father or dependants to make a claim, the immediate family can.
- The estate of the mother – if the mother dies during childbirth, leaving, for example, a small business without its owner, then it could claim for any financial loss incurred.
These are the basic ways that several unique legal entities can claim for medical negligence leading to childbirth injuries. Accident Claims UK can advise you more fully about your own right to make a claim, by calling us on the number at the bottom of this page.
How Severe And What Are the Long-Term Effects A Birth Injury?
Before a birth injury, a medical negligence solicitor can calculate how much compensation they will aim to claim for you, they will need to evaluate the severity of the injury. This means not only the initial pain and suffering but also the long-term negative effects that the injury will have on the mother and baby.
Long-Term Effects for the Mother
- Long-term or permanent disability – primarily related to serious fractures of the pelvis.
- Long-term pain – primarily related to the long healing time for injuries such as torn pelvic floor muscles.
- Psychological damage – such as depression, anxiety, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in serious cases.
Long-Term Effects for the Baby
Typical long-term effects of birth injuries to the baby include:
- Permanent scarring – caused by cuts and lacerations sustained during birth. Additionally, some birthmarks are caused by birth trauma.
- Long-term disability – due to complex or compound fractures not healing correctly at a young age, or through conditions such as cerebral palsy.
- Permanent mental disability – caused by brain damage sustained during the birthing process either through trauma or oxygen starvation.
Accident Claims UK can evaluate the long-term effects of a birth injury to the mother or baby and estimate how this will affect any compensation settlement. Contact us at the number at the bottom of this page to find out more.
What Should I Do If My Child Suffered A Birth Injury?
Before you contact a legal team to make birth negligence claims, there are a number of things you can do to prepare. These include:
- Gather evidence to support your claim – such as getting an independent medical assessment of the mother’s or baby’s injuries and the prognosis for recovery.
- Make sure that you have documented the timeline of the events leading up to the birth injury and how medical negligence played a part in causing it.
- Make a list of all financial losses encountered due to the birth injury, such as medical fees, travel costs etc.
What Can I Claim Compensation For?
If you were to use an online birth injury compensation calculator to get a rough estimate of the amount of compensation you can claim, it would take into account two main types of damages, and these are:
- General damages – this covers all of the physical aspects of the injury. The pain, the suffering, the loss of mobility while healing, and any long-term or permanent health issues directly related to the injury.
- Special damages – this covers all of the non-physical aspects of the injury such as loss of earnings (current and future), medical expenses, travels costs, etc.
Birth Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
When it comes to birth injury claims and compensation solicitors estimating compensation amounts, the situation is complex. Every case is entirely different. However, the table below gives a general indication of typical compensation payments for a range of birth-related injuries:
|Pelvis (severe)||Fractures of the pelvis affecting mobility. (Higher end results in disabilities.)||£36,770 to to £122,860|
|Pelvis (moderate)||Fractures of the mother's pelvis, a serious injury that will leave the pelvis immobilised for some time until the injury heals fully.||£11,820 to £36,770|
|Pelvis (Lesser)||Significant injuries that don't lead to disability in the mother.||Up to £11,820|
|Psychiatric damage||Psychological damage to mother after a negligent stillbirth/traumatic birth||£17,900 to £51,460|
|Bowels||Faecal urgency and passive incontinence following injury giving birth.||In the region of £75,000|
|Moderately severe brain damage||Cases where the baby is severely disabled.||£205,580 to £264,650|
|Very severe brain damage||Severe brain damage to baby (including quadriplegic cerebral palsy).||£264,650 to £379,100|
No Win No Fee Compensation Claims For A Birth Injury
Accident Claims UK offers UK residents a No Win No Fee agreement for making childbirth medical negligence claims. This means you pay nothing to begin your claim, nothing at all while your claim is being processed, and nothing if we don’t successfully claim compensation for you. The only time we charge any legal fees is when you actually win a compensation payment.
Why Claim Through Accident Claims UK?
Accident Claims UK has solicitors with up to 30 years experience and been successfully making compensation claims on behalf of our clients. We have the knowledge and experience needed to take on major organisations such as the NHS, and successfully sue them for medical negligence.
We aim to win you the most compensation we can, without doing anything that might limit your chances of winning your case. And we do all of this with our clients’ needs as our primary driver. We will keep you updated on the status of your claim at all times and answer any questions you may have.
Contact Our Team Today
If you believe you have a valid reason to make a birth negligence claim, then contact Accident Claims UK on 0800 073 8801 today. Once we have asked you some questions, we will give you some free legal advice on what we believe you should do next.
At the link below, you will find information and data on stillbirths in the UK, published by the Office for National Statistics:
Through the link below, you will find information published by the NHS in the UK related to different techniques for assisted birth:
At the link below, you will find information published by the NHS in the UK related to Bell’s palsy, its caused, symptoms and treatment:
Read the below guide if you’ve truly suffered because of medical negligence.
We have a guide to head injuries, which you could read if a loved one suffered brain damage.
A loved one’s fatality caused by someone else’s negligence can be devastating. Read our article if you’re ready to see what steps you could take next.
Thank you for reading our guide to birth injury compensation and birth injury claims.