Pregnancy Negligence Claims and Birth Compensation
Are you worried you have received birth negligence during your pregnancy? Sometimes it can be difficult to know, especially if it is your first pregnancy and you don’t have any benchmark to compare it to. Antenatal care in the UK is, for the most part, exceptional, but there are some instances where mistakes are made and the results of these can be life-changing.
The Medical Negligence Experts are here to help if you have been affected by pregnancy negligence or birth negligence and want to claim compensation. We work with leading birth injury solicitors around the UK who will support you from your first enquiry until your claim is resolved. Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, we appreciate that pregnancy negligence can be enormously traumatic and that a sense of injustice can prevent you from moving forward.
We are relentless in our pursuit of getting you the compensation you deserve and do everything we can to help lessen the impact a compensation claim will have on your life. Our goal is to aid your recovery – you have already suffered physically and emotionally so why should you also have to suffer financial damage? Birth compensation is payment in recognition of the trauma you have endured.
What is Pregnancy Negligence?
Pregnancy negligence is when you receive ante or neonatal care that is below an acceptable standard and which causes injury to you or your baby. Examples of pregnancy negligence The Medical Negligence Experts handle include:
Birth Issues Negligence Claims
Pregnancy and birth may be naturally occurring situations, but they are far from risk-free. It is the responsibility of those caring for the mother to recognise and manage these risks effectively. Complications such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes should easily be detected through regular midwife appointments. NICE guidelines outline the process for screening for foetal abnormalities, infections and other clinical conditions, as well as what steps to take if foetal growth is outside normal ranges. When these procedures are ignored or done badly, it is possible both mother and baby can suffer irreparable, even fatal harm.
What is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can affect both the baby and mother. They happen when medical experts either fail to follow the correct procedures or they carry them out in a substandard manner. It can also refer to a mother receiving a poor standard of care during her pregnancy which in turn leads to difficulties during labour and birth.
Examples of birth issues caused by medical negligence can include:
- Third and fourth-degree perineal tears, and incorrectly performed episiotomies.
- Mismanaged pre-eclampsia.
- Damage to organs (e.g.: the bladder) during a caesarean.
- Cerebral palsy caused by limiting a baby’s oxygen supply.
- Failing to identify, or delayed intervention, when mother or baby are in distress.
- Errors with intervention, such as incorrect use of forceps.
- Fracturing a baby’s bones, or causing hip dysplasia.
Obstetrics negligence claims can also include instances where negligence has fatal results. One incident occurred where an ultrasound at 28 weeks detected that a baby’s growth had slowed unexpectedly. Instead of scheduling further tests where the cause could be determined, and the child’s development monitored, the radiologist decided no further action would be required. Unfortunately, this led to a stillbirth at 39 weeks due to placental failure. Medical experts found that with timely intervention and an emergency cesarean the baby girl, though premature, almost certainly would have survived and been healthy. Not only was compensation awarded for causing the death of a child, but the court also accounted for the mother’s subsequent depression.
Cauda Equina Negligence Claims
Cauda Equina Syndrome compensation claims require a medical negligence solicitor with specific knowledge of the condition and how it can affect mothers now and in the future. Cauda Equina occurs when nerves are compressed. It can be caused by a spinal herniation or tumour, but can also be caused by pregnancy. Symptoms include lower back pain – at times excruciating – incontinence and loss of sensation in the buttocks and legs. If left untreated it can cause permanent paralysis and incontinence.
Cerebral Palsy Negligence Claims
Every cerebral palsy compensation claim we handle is unique because its effect can vary significantly between individuals. Cerebral palsy is a term used to define brain damage that results from a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or birth. The effects are permanent and can range from mild lack of coordination to severe learning difficulties, problems with hearing and speech, and a lack of muscular control. Some sufferers will require a lifetime of care, which is why it is vital an expert handle your cerebral palsy compensation claim.
Contraception Failure Negligence Claims
Not every pregnancy is greeted with a sense of wonder and excitement. When a woman falls pregnant as the result of contraception failure they can feel scared and betrayed. We understand that just because you did not want to fall pregnant does not mean making the decision to terminate is easy or even right for you and that continuing with a pregnancy will change your life in a way you wanted to avoid. If you have fallen pregnant as the result of contraception failure – for example, of your contraceptive implant was inserted incorrectly – talk to The Medical Negligence Experts.
Failed Abortion Negligence Claims
No woman makes the decision to terminate a pregnancy lightly. The procedure, although usually straightforward, has both physical and emotional implications. To then find that she has gone through the process for nothing can be devastating. Failed abortion compensation can cover the cost of another operation as well as any wages you have lost due to extended recovery time. It can also contribute toward the costs of pregnancy and labour if you choose to proceed with the pregnancy, though damages are not paid for the cost of raising a child.
Forceps Delivery Negligence Claims
It is becoming less common for doctors to use forceps during the second stage of labour as the ventouse can be more gentle and accurate. Sometimes, however, they are the tool of choice and can be of assistance if the mother is tired and struggling and the baby needs help moving down the birth canal, or if the baby is presenting as breech. When used incorrectly, forceps can cause damage to the mother including serious lacerations, bladder and urethra injuries and possible incontinence, and ongoing pain. Babies can suffer bruising and swelling, brain damage, fractures of the skull and facial palsy.
As with any medical procedure, doctors need to obtain informed consent when using forceps on a baby. If a mother or child is harmed in the use of forceps, there may be grounds to request compensation.
One in 15 babies – almost 120 a day – is delivered using surgical forceps (Telegraph).
Screening Negligence Claims
Mistakes made during screening for foetal abnormality can have a huge effect on the life of a family. Mothers in the UK have the option for their baby to be screened for conditions like Down Syndrome, heart or brain defects, Spina Bifida, and other developmental abnormalities that may lead a parent to decide to terminate their pregnancy. The NHS offer this screening between 18 and 20 weeks of gestation, although there is no obligation for a mother to participate. Whether you have your screening done by an NHS or private practitioner, if they fail to detect a something that would make you choose to terminate your pregnancy if you were aware of it, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the costs associated with raising a baby that has one of these conditions.
In addition to missing an abnormality, screening negligence claims can also include negligently performed amniocentesis that results in an injury to the baby, and neglecting to offer the screening.
Midwife Negligence Claims
Midwives are medical practitioners who look after a mother and her baby during pregnancy, birth, and for neonatal care. Midwife negligence can occur at any time, from not taking appropriate action if a mother is showing signs of having a high-risk pregnancy, to mistakes made during or shortly after birth. For example, a mother with high blood pressure or gestational diabetes should be monitored more frequently than a woman without these conditions as both are contributing factors in some still births.
Miscarriage Negligence Claims
The Medical Negligence Experts have an excellent track-record of obtaining maximum compensation for all types of pregnancy negligence including miscarriage negligence. The Miscarriage Association estimates nearly 250,000 pregnancies will sadly end in failure every year. The cause will be unknown for the majority of these but a small but significant number will be the result of unacceptably poor care.
Miscarriage negligence can occur when a woman who is known – or who should be known – to be at a high risk of pregnancy is not adequately monitored. It can also happen if a woman is given medical treatment without first checking whether she is pregnant, and this treatment causes miscarriage, or when conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or an ectopic pregnancy are misdiagnosed.
Still birth Negligence and Neonatal Death Claims
Once a baby reaches 24 weeks gestation, they are considered “viable”. That is, they are are likely to survive – albeit with significant medical intervention – if they are born at this time. Every day in the UK, between ten and twenty babies are stillborn or die within hours or days.
Examples of still birth negligence include:
- Inadequate antenatal monitoring of a baby’s development through regular appointments.
- Failure to refer a mother for appropriate assessment if she is at a higher risk due to conditions like diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure.
- Failure to identify and treat a maternal infection.
- Misinterpreting test or scan results.
Not every mistake made during antenatal care will be caused by negligence. Sometimes, despite taking every precaution, a mother or baby may face unavoidable health issues. Negligence is where these issues could have been avoided with an adequate standard of care.
Special Care Baby Units
Failures in special care baby units can have a profound effect on the outcomes for already poorly children.
Claiming Compensation for Pregnancy Negligence
Talk to The Medical Negligence Experts today to find out more about claiming compensation for pregnancy negligence. We can assist even if you are unsure whether you have grounds to make a claim. We are serious assisting those who have been let down by their medical team and offer free, confidential advice to help you decide if and how to proceed with an application for compensation.
You have already been through enough pain and suffering, so we do our utmost to make claiming compensation as simple and stress-free as possible. We do this by:
- Providing you with free, no obligation legal advice so you can make informed decisions
- Reviewing your circumstances thoroughly before advising whether we believe your claim would have a substantial probability of success.
- Giving you an estimate of how much you could expect to receive.
- Removing the financial risk out of making a claim with our No Win No Fee* agreement. If we don’t get your compensation, then you don’t have to pay us a penny in legal fees. It not only gives you confidence that we will work hard on your behalf, but also that you won’t be left out of pocket by having to pay the legal costs of an unsuccessful claim.
- Giving you the direct contact details of your medical negligence lawyer. You will have their phone number and email address, not a general call centre number, so you can quickly speak to someone who knows the details of your case when you need to.
The claims process is the same whether you experienced negligence under the care of an NHS or private practitioner. The only difference with the NHS is that they have an internal department for handling compensation claims, and we know their processes extremely well. Virtually every medical negligence claim (over 98%) raised against the NHS is paid without the need to go to court, and the number is similar with claims against private practices.
While a compensation claim will give you financial recognition of the pain and suffering you have endured, it won’t necessarily give you an apology, nor will it result in any changes being made so future patients don’t suffer in the same way. These objectives can be achieved by lodging a formal complaint with the NHS trust responsible for your care.
You do not need to wait for your complaint to be resolved before you start a compensation claim but the findings from a complaint can strengthen your application for damages. A complaint will give you answers and, hopefully, the assurance that steps will be taken to prevent a similar situation happening to anyone else. Compensation will make sure you do not suffer financially because of your injury.
We recommend you seek legal advice as early as possible. There are statutory time limits for claiming compensation, but knowing your rights can help you make the best decisions for you and your family.
The Medical Negligence Experts can also assist in ensuring you can access the medical care you need by requesting an interim payment where the other party has admitted liability, but there is a delay in the payment of your compensation. For example, if a prognosis regarding the extent of brain damage is difficult to reach. We will do whatever we can to support you through what we appreciate may be a tough time.
Special damages can be paid to cover the cost of any reasonable private medical care but, if you are unsure about what this may include, ask your medical negligence solicitor first.
Contact The Medical Negligence Experts today and find out more about how we can help you obtain maximum compensation for your pregnancy negligence or birth compensation claim.
Need some help?
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered from pregnancy or birth negligence in the past 3 years, the short answer is yes.
However, medical negligence can be complicated, so we recommend that you speak with one of our expert solicitors - It’s Free.
How much could I claim?
As every medical case is different, the amount of compensation paid out can differ. Varying factors lead to the final figure include: the level of negligence, earnings missed out on, future losses and more.
Our experienced team of experts will give you an indication of how much you could potentially claim.
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make the process as transparent as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and will notify the negligent party of your claim. With your dedicated solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you will be kept up to date every step of the way.
Why should you use us?
No Win No Fee
We offer a No Win No Fee* service on all our claims - We assess each claim on its merits with the information provided, which aids us to determine its likely success rate. This takes the risk away from you.
Expert, Friendly Solicitors
Our experienced solicitors are experts in securing compensation no matter the level of negligence.
We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, while providing friendly support every step of the way.
Personal Dedicated Solicitors
On contact, you will be allocated your own expert Medical Negligence solicitor who will be there every step of the way. You will be provided with a direct phone number and direct email address of your solicitor.
Expert pregnancy negligence solicitors working for you
We specialise in helping victims of medical negligence claim the compensation they deserve.
We work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay! Once you make contact, your experienced solicitor will work to recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Whether you are ready to make a pregnancy negligence claim, or you would just like a free conversation with a legal professional, we have experts on hand to give you all the information you need. Take the first step to getting what you deserve by filling in our quick contact form and we will call you back whenever suits you.