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Birth Injury FAQs

Birth Injury FAQs
It is unfortunate that, in this day and age, birth injuries still occur. Sometimes they are temporary, and other times they are permanent and last a lifetime. Symptoms can vary from one individual to another; where one infant or mother may have mild symptoms, another with the same injury may record far worse symptoms. We run through the most frequently asked questions relating to birth injuries.

​WHAT IS A BIRTH INJURY?

​Birth injuries are injuries sustained during or around the time of birth. They can occur to both baby and mother.

WHAT CAUSES A BIRTH INJURY?

Sometimes, birth injuries are just a natural outcome of the labour and delivery. Other times they arise as the result of mistakes made the by medical professionals looking after you and your child during labour and delivery.

In order to make a successful compensation claim, it is necessary to establish a direct link between the negligence and your/your baby's injury.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE COMMON BIRTH INJURIES?

Birth injuries range from mild to temporary, to serious and permanent. The most common types of injury that you have probably heard of before include:

Injuries to baby:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Fractures of the arm, collarbone or skull
  • Erb's palsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Infections like meningitis, encephalitis, and sepsis

Injuries to mother:

  • Perineal tears
  • Retained products of conception
  • Anaesthetic errors
  • Errors in managing pre-eclampsia

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO MAKE A CLAIM?

The amount of time to make a claim depends on who is making the claim.

If the claim relates to injuries suffered by a mother, then you have 3 years from the date on which you suffered the injury.

Where the claim relates to injuries sustained by your baby, then the claim must be made within 3 years of their 18th birthday. However, if your child has sustained a serious brain injury, you may not be subject to the same time limit.

Nevertheless, it is important to seek legal advice as early as possible.

HOW MUCH IS A BIRTH INJURY CLAIM WORTH?

The value of a claim depends on the extent of the injury suffered, expenses already incurred and what, if any, future needs you or your child may have.

Where possible, we obtain interim payments, (payments made while the claim is ongoing) to help with the financial cost of care, treatment, adaptations to the homes and to provide necessary rehabilitation aids and equipment.

ISN'T MAKING A CLAIM AN EXPENSIVE PROCESS?

​We believe in providing our clients with the maximum financial and emotional assistance. In most cases, we will be able to offer a conditional fee agreement – which is most commonly known as a "no win, no fee" arrangement.

I'VE READ YOUR ARTICLE BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT I HAVE A CASE; CAN I STILL CONTACT YOU?

Yes. Medical negligence cases are complex that require specialist knowledge to determine if there is a case to proceed with. Not all claims are straightforward and we would be happy to take the time to discuss your particular circumstances with you.

WHAT OTHER BIRTH INJURIES CAN YOU CLAIM FOR?

Compensation claims are not restricted to ongoing illnesses or conditions brought on as a result of medical negligence. You might be able to pursue a claim in cases of:

  • Stillbirth – If after 24 weeks your baby died in the womb due to failings in the medical care you received;
  • Death following birth – If your child died shortly after birth due to the negligence of healthcare professionals;
  • Wrongful birth – Where negligence can be proved in cases of conception that occurred despite sterilisation or vasectomy procedures, or you were given inaccurate advice regarding the risk of birth defects.

MORE INFORMATION 

​If you believe that you or your child has suffered a birth injury, Pinney Talfourd are here to help. We have an experienced and dedicated team of specialist medical negligence lawyers based in our offices in Essex and London.



 
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