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Your Complete Guide To Birth Injuries & The Law

The birth of a child should be a joyful and life-changing experience. However, things can go wrong if the standard of treatment you or your baby receives is below par. If poor quality treatment leads to a baby (or a mother) being injured in any way, they may be entitled to receive compensation. Birth injuries and the law surrounding such cases are crucial for protecting all involved as well as helping to improve standards of care across the board.

In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about birth injuries and the law, as well as how to make a birth injury claim.

Birth injuries and the law

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is just as described, an injury sustained by a baby or mother before, during or after childbirth — but it must be an injury or damage due to substandard treatment by medical professionals if you are to claim compensation for it. Examples can include failing to diagnose issues such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, or failing to take the appropriate precautions to achieve safe delivery. Also, an ill-prepared or poorly handled delivery can result in both minor and major birth injuries.

What are birth injury compensation claims?

As with any form of professional negligence or injuries as a result of poor treatment, a key part of birth injuries and the law are birth injury compensation claims. In cases where it’s believed that a substandard level of care has directly caused or led to a birth injury, those affected may be entitled to compensation and should contact an experienced solicitor to make a claim. With a solicitor’s help, you can further investigate the incident and learn more about your rights to be compensated for the suffering your family has endured.

Of course, birth injury claims require thorough investigation to prove without a doubt that the hospital or other institution was at fault, and there are several factors to take into account when establishing if and how much compensation someone is entitled to. Examples include the severity of the injury, recovery time, the baby’s care requirements, medical/care costs and loss of earnings.

However, it’s first important to understand which types of injuries are considered to be birth injuries, and in which circumstances the injuries can occur.

What types of injuries are considered ‘birth injuries’?

Before, during and after childbirth, there are various potential injuries the baby and mother can suffer from, including:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Infections
  • Broken bones
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Death (of mother and/or baby)
  • Gynaecological damage
  • Complications for future childbirth or pregnancy
  • Stillbirth or neonatal death

How do birth injuries occur?

Birth injuries can occur in a number of ways, and sometimes injuries involve no direct, individual fault. Unfortunately however, negligent mistakes can be made, and in some cases can cause serious harm or even death. These mistakes often include:

  • Failing to identify a baby’s distress signs such as low blood sugar levels or an abnormal heartbeat
  • Delayed delivery leading to loss of life or injury
  • Attempting to deliver while the baby’s shoulder is stuck inside the mother
  • Excessive force by the attending medical staff during the delivery
  • Inexperienced medical staff performing the delivery
  • Failing to recognise urgent needs for successful delivery and failing to perform a caesarean
  • Performing a caesarean when a vaginal delivery was a more suitable and safer solution

How to make a birth injury claim

Now that you have a better understanding of birth injuries and the law that revolves around them, it’s time to look at how one can go about making a birth injury claim.

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that birth injury claims can be a complex process and may well take a long time – but don’t let this put you off. It can take a while because the legal process requires lots of investigation to identify the cause of the injury and establish whether medical staff were responsible. Additionally, it can also take a while for the true extent of injuries to become apparent as the child develops. In such cases, ongoing medical assessments may be required to fully understand the situation and gain clarity regarding liability and compensation.

Compensation for birth injury claims will be based on medical reports and additional findings from the investigation. So, your first step should always be to seek the advice and guidance of experienced solicitors with previous history of successfully undertaking birth injury cases — such as OH Parsons.

It’s essential to work with a solicitor who can guide and support you through every stage of the process. OH Parsons is an experienced and reputable firm, and our team of birth injury solicitors can help you establish a case and support its ongoing progression.

Are you looking to begin the birth injury claim process? Get in touch today to schedule your FREE case evaluation

Birth injury claims at OH Parsons

The team of experienced solicitors at OH Parsons will assist you throughout the process, from investigating your experience to compiling a solid claim.

The first step will be an initial interview to learn more about your case. During the interview, we will learn as much as possible about your case and your recollection of the birth. This helps our solicitors understand and identify concerns and gain clarity about your expectations and what you hope to achieve. Following this, we will obtain the relevant medical records and gather witness statements to coincide with your recollection of the birth.

We will listen to your concerns carefully, and seek clarification as to what you want to achieve through the process. We will then proceed to obtain all your relevant medical records and a witness statement from you and other important parties.

Begin your birth injury claim process today by contacting OH Parsons and discussing your requirements with our experienced team of solicitors. All you have is get in touch on 0207 739 7277 or email us at info@ohparsons.co.uk.

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