Birth injury compensation solicitors.
Pregnancy and giving birth are times of high anxiety for both parents, and a negligent medical practitioner is the last thing you need.
The negligent acts, or omissions, of your medical practitioner, be it a GP, midwife, or obstetrician, can lead to life changing injuries, for you, and your new baby.
Birth injuries, also known as Obstetrics Injuries are any parents’ worst nightmare and so, it is vitally important to secure the right legal advice and representation, if you have suffered negligence during your pregnancy, or when giving birth.
Remember that chosing the right legal team for you is very important. MG Legal’s medical negligence specialists deal with birth injury claims on a regular basis, with birth injury claims, for mum and the newborn baby, accepted on a NO WIN NO FEE basis, to ensure you do not have to worry about the financial aspect of your claim.
What constitutes a birthing injury?
Cerebral palsy is the most common birth injury claim, but there are many other types of birth injury, including varying degrees of damage to the brain, scarring or damage caused during assisted delivery (e.g. forceps).
Quite simply, any type of injury which occurs during or because of negligence whilst under the care of maternity or obstetrics will fall into this category, although some of the most common categories are:
Brain damage, usually from hypoxia, which can lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy;
Placental injury; whether by poor diagnosis or inadequate handling and risk assessment;
Downs syndrome, caused by failure to offer certain treatments during pregnancy;
Physical Injuries from cuts and bruises to dysplasia, broken bones, fistulas, perineal tears, often caused during birth;
Inability to bear future children, due to preventable complications or surgical errors;
Delayed recovery, caused by poor stitching or inadequate infection control;
Avoidable and treatable conditions such as pre-eclampsia, obstetric cholestasis and gestational diabetes;
Prolonged or permanent numbness and paralysis due to anaesthetic errors;
Organ and other internal injuries often caused during Caesarean Sections;
Pressure sores caused by failing to ensure the mother is turned regularly;
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy at birth (birth asphyxia)
These are, of course, only a small sample of the many things that can occur, and so, if you believe that any outcome from the birth of your child has led to an avoidable injury, contact MG Legal’s expert birth injury solicitors for a no obligation discussion about how we can help you, all on a no win no fee basis.
What type of negligence can cause a birthing injury?
Early testing, diagnosing and detecting mistakes; where certain conditions such as pre-eclampsia or ruptured placenta are not diagnosed.
Birth Monitoring negligence; where heart-rate, baby’s position, umbilical cord tangling and pressure sore checks are not properly carried out, meaning unnecessary damage and in some cases life-changing injuries occur. Lack of screening or mistakes made during screening – babies can be screened for conditions such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, heart or brain defects and other developmental abnormalities, providing parents with the option to terminate their pregnancy.
Lack of screening or mistakes made during screening – babies can be screened for conditions such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, heart or brain defects and other developmental abnormalities, providing parents with the option to terminate their pregnancy.
Handling or incorrect equipment negligence; where mother and particularly the child can be injured by the incorrect handling of the child, Midwifery and Obstetrics negligence – including induced labour, improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery and incorrect suturing.
Errors by anaesthetists, whether by administering too much or too little anaesthetic or by injecting the anaesthetic incorrectly.
Poor surgical practice, such as injuring other organs during C-Sections, failing to monitor potential tears and fistulas and also failing to properly treat these afterwards.
Poor aftercare, such as failing to utilise incubators or other equipment, poor infection control, turning or positional monitoring.
Maternal infection Maternal infection is an infection acquired by the mother who then transmits the infection to the fetus. This transmission can occur via the placenta before delivery or via the birth canal during labour and delivery when the baby is exposed to maternal blood.
Cord prolapse Umbilical cord prolapse is a complication that occurs prior to or during delivery of the baby. In a prolapse, the umbilical cord drops (prolapses) through the open cervix into the vagina ahead of the baby. The cord can then become trapped against the baby's body during delivery
Cord compression, or Umbilical cord compression is a medical term used to describe a condition in which a baby's umbilical cord becomes flattened by pressure, resulting occasionally in heightened and extremely dangerous health risks for the unborn baby.
Uterine rupture Uterine rupture is spontaneous tearing of the uterus that may result in the fetus being expelled into the peritoneal cavity. Whilst rare, Uterine rupture can occur during late pregnancy or active labour. Uterine rupture occurs most often along healed scar lines in women who have had prior cesarean deliveries.
Hypoxia, is condition of the body in which the tissues are starved of oxygen. In its extreme form, where oxygen is entirely absent, the condition is called anoxia.
Ruptured placenta - Haemorrhage Placental abruption (abruptio placentae) is serious complication of pregnancy. The placenta develops in the uterus during pregnancy. It attaches to the wall of the uterus and supplies the baby with nutrients and oxygen. Abruption of the placenta occurs when the placenta partly or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery, decreasing the baby's supply of oxygen and nutrients and causing heavy bleeding inside the mother.
Delay in delivery - A delayed birth occurs when circumstances prevent an infant from being delivered during the normal time frame. Most times, if immediate medical intervention is provided, the infant may only suffer minor conditions and will go on to heal without problems.
Shoulder dystocia - The umbilical cord is the baby's lifeline; it delivers oxygen to the baby. Anything that disrupts the flow of oxygen through the cord can cause the baby to develop HIE. When shoulder dystocia occurs, the umbilical cord can get trapped between the baby's arm and the mother's pelvic bone.
Stillbirth - Common causes include infections, birth defects and pregnancy complications, like preeclampsia. 1 for every 45 births results in a baby being Stillborn. Typically defined as fetal death at or after 20 or 28 weeks of pregnancy, depending on the source. It results in a baby born without signs of life.
If you or your child have sustained any type of injury during the birth process due to negligence of another party, MG Legal’s specialist personal injury solicitors are equipped to deal with your claim. We have dealt with a range of cases over combined decades of experience including life-changing injuries following major incidents, but no less important to us, short term cuts and soft tissue injuries.
Contact MG Legal via phone, email or web-contact form and we will ensure that we speak to you the same working day. We don’t employ middle-men or operate via call-centres or agents and so, when you speak to someone from our offices, you will be speaking to someone who will be involved in the day to day running of your case from the start to finish of the matter. All of our initial consultations for personal injury claims are free of charge and with a view to accepting your birthing injury claim on a no win no fee agreement. Contact MG Legal and we will have the ball rolling the same day.
What if I am losing money or have unexpected costs because of my injury?
Often birthing injuries can mean you are unable to work due to your own injuries or needing to care for your injured child. In some cases, you may be entirely off your feet. Many employers have a limited sick-pay scheme and coupled with the need to have personal care if you are seriously injured, savings can quickly run out. This can be a more long term issue following some birthing injuries if your child needs permanent care, potentially for their entire life.
If you find yourself in this situation, your specialist personal injury solicitor will look to obtain an “interim payment” from the fault party. Whilst this is not always possible, in cases where liability (negligence) is not an issue the fault party will usually be willing to make an interim payment. This is a payment made before settlement of your claim is agreed in full and is generally deducted from whatever final settlement is agreed.
Interim payments are generally made against lost earnings and care or rehabilitation costs, to minimise the impact of the incident and to give the best possible chance for the injured party to recover swiftly.
What sort of injuries and awards can I recover for my birthing injury?
At MG Legal our first port of call is the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines (JSB), a regularly updated reference book containing guides for awards in certain brackets based on the type and scale of the injuries as detailed by the medical experts in your claim. You will find a copy of the JSB on the desk or in the briefcase of every solicitor, barrister and judge who deals with personal injury.
Awards for birthing injuries can vary greatly depending on the severity of the injuries, their effect and a host of other factors, however, the JSB details these (injuries apply to both mother and child) as follows:
Very severe brain damage: At the top of this bracket there may be some ability to follow basic commands, recovery of eye opening and sleep and waking patterns and postural reflex movement Awards range between £264,650 and £379,100;
Less severe brain damage: In these cases the injured child will have made a good recovery and will be able to take part in normal social life and a return to work. There may not have been a restoration of all normal functions so there may be persisting problems such as poor memory and concentration or disinhibition of mood which may interfere with lifestyle, mood and future work prospects. Awards range between £14,380 and £40,310;
Epilepsy in the form of established Grand Mal seizures Awards range between £95,710.00 and £140,870.00;
Infertility whether by reason of injury or disease, with severe depression, anxiety and scarring. Awards range between £107,870. and £158,970;
Infertility resulting from failure to diagnose ectopic pregnancy where there are resulting medical complications. The upper end of the bracket will be appropriate where the complications are significant Awards range between £31,950 and £95,850;
Injury to the pelvis and hips without major permanent disability and any future risk is not great Awards range between £24,950.00 and £36,770.00;
Injury to the arm, less severe, whilst there will have been significant disabilities, a substantial degree of recovery will have taken place or will be expected Awards range between £18,080.00 and £36,770.00;
General Minor Injuries: Where a full recovery takes place within three months. Awards of up to £2,300.00;
Every case is, of course, different and so, rest assured, MG Legal’s specialist birthing injury solicitors will ensure that fully comprehensive medical evidence is obtain so that when your claim is settled, you have the confidence that no stone has been left unturned and every aspect of the injury, whether to you or your child, has been considered.
How long have I got to make a birthing injury compensation claim?
Subject to the Limitation Act 1980, if you have been injured as a result of negligence you have three years from the date of negligence, or the date you became aware of the negligence, to pursue a claim for personal injury. If the injury stems from medical negligence, if everything appears ok at first, and then you find out about an issue later, your three years starts from the day you find out that your injuries or illness were caused as a result your medical practitioners, negligence.
There are exceptions, for those under 18 years old at time of the injury, in that minors have three years from their 18th birthday within which to make a personal injury claim. Time limits may differ if you are acting on behalf of someone with limited mental capacity, if you are acting as guardian or subject a lasting power of attorney.
Subject to the Limitation Act 1980, a parent or guardian can claim on behalf of a child any time before their 18th birthday. When your child reaches the age of 18, if they ae deemed to have mental capacity, then, from the age of 18 they have three years to make a claim (until they turn 21).
If you’re claiming for a child who has passed away as a result of a birth injury, you have three years to make a claim from the date of death. As usual, if you have any questions or queries about bringing a claim for a birth injury, then do not hesitate to contact MG Legal’s team of medical negligence expert solicitors. We will tell you immediately if we think you have a viable claim, and confirm if we can accept your instruction on a no win no fee basis.
So, with a birthing injury, in most cases an injury to the mother will start the Limitation ‘clock’ immediately, whereas the injury to your child will have at least 21 years until the Limitation Act can be said to apply. In some severe cases, where the child will never have capacity, the Limitation Act will never truly apply.
If you have any questions or queries, then please do not hesitate to contact one of MG Legal’s personal injury experts, here…
How Much Does It Cost To Make A Birth Injury Claim?
If you contact MG Legal’s medical negligence solicitors, and we accept your claim for birth injury negligence, then we will accept your claim on a no win no fee basis. This means you’ll only pay legal costs if you receive compensation and most of those costs will be covered by your opponent. Subject to the terms of your conditional fee agreement retainer, if your claim is unsuccessful, and you have followed the advice we have given to you, the you won’t have to pay anything.
Remember that MG Legal’s expert birthing injury personal injury claims solicitors believe that if access to justice should not entail up-front costs, legal jargon, and confusing conversations with fussy solicitors who don’t live in the real world. So, if you or your child have suffered a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, then you should not have to pay up front legal costs to get access to proper representation.
Why choose MG Legal's medical negligence solicitors for my birthing injury personal injury compensation claim?
When you instruct MG Legal to act on your behalf in relation to a birth injury claim, our medical negligence experts, will explore every avenue of argument and employ every negotiating tactic learned throughout lengthy careers in the field of personal injury to ensure your claim really does have the best chance of success at every step.
MG Legal’s medical negligence experts have access to the most prominent consultants in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology, so that any medical report prepared will fully detail the full nature of your child’s personal injury, whether it’s something minor, and will, hopefully resolve quickly, or life-changing, and will affect you and your child for the rest of your lives.
The confidence in our own ability is demonstrated by the fact that we accept instruction on personal injury claims, including medical negligence claims, on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement, also known as a no win no fee agreement- meaning that if your claim is unsuccessful, then we do not get paid for our work.