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    No Win No Fee medical negligence compensation claims

    Also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, a No Win No Fee agreement removes the financial risk associated with a compensation claim. If your case is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees to Birchall Blackburn Law, and an insurance policy covers the defendant’s legal fees. You will have peace of mind and you will not be out of pocket.

    Pregnancy, labour and birth compensation claims

    We have the legal expertise and experience to support you and your family if injury or illness due to medical negligence does occur during pregnancy, labour, or birth. But more than that, our team has the empathy, understanding and sensitivity to listen and support you and your family through very difficult times.

    We are here and ready to talk to you from experience and with compassion.

    A new born baby being held by a man in hospital scrubs, hair net and face mask

    Accredited quality and experience in medical negligence claims

    You can rest assured that our expert specialist clinical negligence solicitors have the expertise and legal knowledge to support your claim for compensation and rehabilitation.

    The Head of our Healthcare & Clinical Risk, and Partner, Andrew Taylor is an accredited member of the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Quality Scheme. The Scheme is a recognised standard for quality in Clinical Negligence.

    Solicitor, Partner and Clinical Negligence specialist, Susan Liver is an accredited Person Injury Specialist Litigator with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). APIL accreditation provides a quality mark of competence and specialist expertise for solicitors and counsel dealing with personal injury claims.

    How can we help you make a compensation claim for a pregnancy, labour or birth medical negligence?

    A female's hand holding a baby's hand on a light blue blanket

    For the vast majority of expectant parents the pregnancy and birth of a baby will happen without any significant complications. If there are any issues they will normally be identified and treated correctly by the midwives, obstetricians, and doctors. But if injury or illness does occur during pregnancy, labour, or birth it can be devastating and it is important to find out about your rights and seek legal advice.

    Our job is to find out what has happened to you or a loved-one and to investigate whether we can get you financial help and assistance to make life easier at a time when it can be at its most challenging. We will take on the legal burden of making a compensation claim for medical negligence on your behalf. We will do this by guiding you through the complicated legal process and cutting through the legal jargon to get you the best outcome possible.

    • What is a wrongful birth?

      Sometime a negligence action or omission can lead to what is legally termed a ‘wrongful birth’. We can help you if you feel that the birth of your child occurred due to negligence. These sorts of cases usually involve a failure to warn the parents about a specific disability (e.g. Down’s syndrome) while pregnant and parents can claim compensation for the costs of supporting their disabled child’s welfare and care.

      If a healthcare professional fails to diagnose a birth defects that should have been easily seen, then the parents of the baby could be entitled to compensation. The Birchall Blackburn Law clinical negligence team have dealt with many cases when parents were not warned that their child will be born with a disability and did not have the choice of a termination.

      Birth defects can include spina bifida or Down’s syndrome. The failure to spot these birth defect can arise out of many different circumstances but the most common our specialist team have dealt with include:

      • Inadequate antenatal care
      • Failures to correctly interpret radiological scans
      • Failures to correctly interpret an X-ray
      • Failure to properly monitor growth scans
      • Missed opportunity to review the ability of a pregnancy
      • Failure to see clear indicators that a child will be born with severe physical and mental disabilities
      • Missed or forgotten parent concerns about genetic conditions

       

      Compensation does not cover the general costs of bringing up a child. Instead, it is to provide for the disabled child’s welfare and care above and beyond what is considered a normal upbringing.

       

    • Can you claim compensation for an infant brain injury?

      Researchers at the Neonatal Data Analysis Unit at Imperial College London and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2017) estimated that each year five babies in every 1,000 born in England suffer a condition linked to brain injury. While not all were caused by poor medical care and treatment, it was acknowledged that a proportion of these cases could be avoided.

      A brain injury at birth can be attributed to several factors but most can be put into two main types: traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury can be caused by an external source such as damage to the head due to the misuse of forceps or vacuum extraction. A non-traumatic brain injury is the result of something happening inside the brain or skull such as a stroke or an infection. The most common cause of infant brain injuries is hypoxia, which is when the brain is deprived of enough oxygen.

      For example, hypoxia can cause cerebral palsy as well as damage to the brain during or soon after birth, bleeding in the baby’s brain, reduced blood flow to the brain or an infection caught by the mother during pregnancy. Our clinical negligence specialist solicitors have years of experience in helping children and families coping with cerebral palsy as a result of negligence.

      The impact of a brain damage on a new-born baby is not always immediately noticeable. Even once it has been diagnosed, at such an early stage it is difficult to predict how a brain injury will impact on the child’s life and your family.

      It is essential that you seek expert legal advice from a solicitor who has experience in helping brain injured babies and their families. Such cases are complex and long. You need a specialist solicitor to uphold your legal rights and ensure financial provisions are put in place so your child and / or family can live the best life possible after the worst has happened.

    • Can you claim compensation for a perineal injury?

      It is common for a mother to suffer a tear to the perineum (which is the zone between the vagina and the anus) during the birth of her baby. The severity of the tear can vary greatly and whether the mother can make a recovery will depend on the seriousness of the perineal injury.

      Obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI) is particularly severe and relates to third and fourth-degree perineal lacerations. These injuries involve the anal sphincter area and, in more severe cases, anal membrane. In addition to contributing to short-term infections in the wound and perineal pain, OASI can lead to loss of bowel control in women.

      If the injury is not identified or is poorly treated, the consequences can be life-changing with the risk of ongoing pain, loss of sensation, incontinence, and infertility.

    • Can you claim compensation for an assisted delivery injury?

      In some cases, a baby can become stuck during labour and the midwives or doctors may decide to physically assist the baby’s deliver. This is usually done with Ventouse (a vacuum extractor that uses suction to attach a plastic or metal cup to the baby’s head to allow the obstetrician or midwife to gentle pull) or forceps.

      Serious injury can be caused by the misuse of these devices or if excessive force is applied. The consequences can be debilitating and long term with extensive scarring for the mother. Often it will take an operation to aid recovery. For the baby it can cause catastrophic injury resulting in lifelong deliberation, such as erb’s palsy.

    • Can I claim compensation for shoulder dystocia?

      Shoulder dystocia occurs once the baby’s head has been delivered but the baby’s shoulders become stuck, which prevents the delivery of the rest of the baby’s body. This does not necessarily indicate negligence but if the doctor does not manoeuver the baby properly or is too rough, the baby can be injured. In severe case, it can result in a life changing injury.

      Shoulder dystocia is the main cause of Erb’s Palsy. The baby is also at risk of suffering from a clavicle (collar bone) fracture and hypoxia (where the body is starved of oxygen).

      Although shoulder dystocia is not always foreseeable, there are several risk factors that should not be missed by maternity professionals. For example, if the baby is bigger than average, the mother has a high body mass index, the mother has diabetes, if the baby is in the breech position, there is a history of shoulder dystocia, or the birth is assisted via the use of vacuum or forceps.

      Our clinical negligence specialist solicitors have dealt with common claims of shoulder dystocia, including:

      • Failure to consider risk factors in mother
      • Failure to manage the labour and progress the birth
      • Obstetrician makes errors or is too rough in manoeuvering the baby during labour and birth
      • Failure to treat shoulder dystocia appropriately
      • Mismanagement of condition once diagnosed
      • Delay or failure to offer a C-section

       

    • Can I claim compensation for a caesarean section?

      In rare cases you or your baby may have been injured during a caesarean section or C-section procedure. A C-section is a major operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb. If negligence has occurred and you or your baby are unnecessarily injured, then you may be able to claim compensation.

      There are many situations when a claim for compensation might be made but commonly our specialist solicitors regularly work on cases such as:

      • Failure to make adequate care provisions for baby prior to birth
      • Delaying or failure to consider perform a C-section
      • Excessive bleeding resulting in the need for a blood transfusion or additional corrective surgery
      • Failure to property diagnose and treat the mother or baby after either develop an infection post-surgery
      • Poor stitching post-C section resulting in excessive scarring or infection in the mother
      • During the C section surgery, surgical errors can result in injury to baby or mother (e.g. damage to the mother’s bladder, bowel or kidney functions)
      • Failure to administer anti-clotting medication post surgery resulting in deep vein thrombosis

       

      This is not an exhaustive list and you should speak to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor with experience in labour and birth cases about any misgivings you have about your caesarean section.

    • Can I claim compensation for the mismanagement of labour?

      The general mismanagement of a mother’s labour that results in injury to the mother or baby can be grounds for claiming compensation. For example, anything that results in foetal distress such as inappropriate induction of the birth, a late C-section or the mother slips or falls while on the maternity ward.

    • Can I claim compensation for pre-eclampsia?

      This is a relatively common condition and can be diagnosed and managed by testing a mother’s urine and blood pressure during regular antenatal checks. The condition is caused by an irregularity in the placenta and if it does go unchecked it can, in the most serious cases, result in the death of the baby, mother, or both.

      Pre-eclampsia cannot be cured so it must be carefully managed by your obstetrician. It may require the baby to be delivered prematurely rather than continue with the pregnancy. If this is the case, then the doctor should clearly explain why, and the risks involved, before you give consent.

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    man in hospital scrubs holding a new born baby

    - Did you know?

    For the fifth consecutive year, the number of live births in 2020 for England and Wales decreased to 613,936, the lowest since 2002 (Office For National Statistics).

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    Let's start the conversation

    Reach out now for free and confidential initial advice about Clinical / Medical Negligence and whether you have a case for compensation to help and support you. Simply call, email or request a call back and one of our experienced Clinical Negligence team members will be in touch.

    0800 230 0573
    clinicalnegligence@birchallblackburn.co.uk
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    Andrew Taylor outside Birchall Blackburn Law