Professional, specialist legal advice for pregnancy and birth injuries
Pregnancy and birth should be one of the best and happiest times of your life. When things go wrong it can be extremely distressing and the effects can last for years. We can help you establish what went wrong and whether or not you should claim for compensation. Whether the incident affected the mother, baby or both we have the specialist knowledge and experience to help you move forward.
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How do compensation claims for birth and pregnancy-related injuries arise?
Problems can arise during pregnancy or even the birth itself. In the case of birth injuries, the urgency to get the baby delivered quickly and safely can mean that things go wrong or important steps get missed. At the time, your only concern will be for the wellbeing of yourself and your child. Later on though, you may feel that mistakes were made which could have been avoided and which might affect your family for years to come.
Compensation is not the only reason that people choose to claim against a hospital or healthcare provider. If you feel genuinely wronged, you may find that you get real comfort from an official apology and knowing that your claim could help improve processes and prevent similar incidents in the future.
Sadly, some claims do result in the loss of a mother or baby, or life-changing injuries. No matter how severe the outcome, we can help you make sense of it so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to pursue a legal claim.
Birth injuries to children can include:
Cerebral Palsy affects between one and four in every 1,000 children born. Often, parents take some time to consider whether they wish to pursue a claim for compensation. If your child is affected by Cerebral Palsy and you would like to discuss your options with our expert lawyers, call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website. There is no obligation to take any claim forward and your enquiry will be confidential.
Erb’s Palsy is a physical condition that occurs at birth, which leaves the arm effectively paralysed due to nerve damage. It is important that Erb’s Palsy is diagnosed as soon as possible, as the younger the child is, the better the chance of effective treatment.
Going through a stillbirth can be one of the most heart-breaking situations of your life. There are many aspects to a stillbirth that can affect the lives of everyone involved. If you believe that you have suffered from a stillbirth that could have been avoided, you may be able to make a claim.
Birth injury to the mother
Injuries sustained by the mother during childbirth can be extremely upsetting. Our medical negligence solicitors are experienced in working with mothers who have gone through a difficult and distressing birth. A number of women who have instructed us following childbirth have suffered damage to the perineum and vagina. They may suffer sexual dysfunction, or bladder control, conditions which can cause psychological damage in addition to the physical injury which is the underlying cause. Mothers may also sustain tears to the external anal sphincter muscle during childbirth. This can lead to loss of bowel control. Serious tears and damage to these areas should be identified as part of a careful examination following the birth. Where proper care has not been taken to identify and treat these, we may be able to assist mothers who have suffered as a result to claim compensation.
We understand that birth injuries are a sensitive subject and mothers who have experienced a difficult birth may be more comfortable discussing their case with a female solicitor. If this is your preference, please let us know when you contact us so that we can make you feel as comfortable as possible.
When can I make a Medical Negligence claim?
In most cases, claims need to be made within three years from when you either suffered negligent care, or three years from when you first officially discovered your injury. However, this time restriction can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, when making a claim on behalf of a child, the three year time restriction begins after the child turn 18 years old. Likewise, someone who lacks mental capacity and cannot make a claim on their own may also be exempt from the restriction.
Our Medical Negligence Specialists
How is Medical Negligence advice funded?
There are various options of funding for claims. Many of our cases are funded using Conditional Fee Agreements, (also called a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement). In a Conditional Fee Agreement, you will only pay for our solicitors’ work if we win the case for you. In very limited cases we can offer advice for free thanks to Legal Aid funding. Our solicitors can review and discuss your funding options and help you decide the best route to take.
How can Switalskis help me?
Our Medical Negligence team has a great deal of specific knowledge and experience of pregnancy and birth-related claims, including high-severity cases such as cerebral palsy, brain injury and stillbirth. Our directors regularly contribute to local and national media features on child birth, have trained healthcare organisations in the legal aspects of birth and lectured final year midwifery students at Sheffield Hallam University.
Several of our team are accredited by both The Law Society and AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) as recognised specialists in their field. More importantly though, we recognise that claims for pregnancy and birth injury can be very difficult and distressing. We regularly receive positive feedback from clients for the empathy and compassion that we show throughout the claims process.