What are Birth Injury Claims?

Birth injury claims refer to cases where an injury has been caused to a mother's baby during birth, as a result of the failure of the NHS or a private medical practitioner.

This can be devastating to the child and the family, with the injury potentially leading to the child needing to have life long care and treatment. When doctors and midwives perform their job and responsibilities below the expected standard, mistakes can and do occur.

Birth injuries can include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Stillbirths

All of these conditions can be caused by a failure to:

  • Deliver your baby early on enough in labour or delivery by caesarean section
  • Monitor the baby’s heart rate
  • Respond to an umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck
  • Failure to apply the correct delivery technique
  • Provide the baby with sufficient oxygen during birth

We understand that the process of bringing a claim in medical negligence is complex and daunting, but our team have a wealth of healthcare experience and legal expertise. We can help you and your child through this complicated process. Our aim is to ensure that we obtain the compensation necessary for the pain and suffering your child has been through, and provide for any future care and rehabilitation needs that may be required.


Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of debilitating, long-lasting motor conditions which cause physical disability in human development, revolving around movement and muscle control. 

The condition is caused by damage to the brain, which is commonly linked to complications during birth, such as the baby not receiving sufficient oxygen during birth. 

Although cerebral palsy is most commonly caused during pregnancy, it can also be due to complications during birth. 

Some of these issues may stem from:

  • Delayed delivery of the baby
  • Premature births
  • Infection
  • Dangerously low blood sugar
  • Delayed diagnosis/treatment of serious medical conditions in the mother

Brachial plexus injuries

Brachial plexus occurs when the brachial plexus nerves (between the spine, neck and arms) are damaged through severe trauma. Brachial Plexus in babies can often be avoided by exercising safety precautions, and so when a baby is diagnosed with this condition, the doctor or midwife linked with the incident is often found to have acted negligently.

In relation to babies, brachial plexus is most commonly caused by:

  • The physician pulling the baby too hard during delivery
  • Failure to schedule a c-section in larger infants
  • Incorrect use of birth-assisting tools

Erb’s palsy

Erb's palsy, sometimes referred to as shoulder dystocia, is a common type of brachial plexus injury where the nerves in the neck are damaged. 

When this occurs during birth, it is likely the baby's head was being pulled too hard after the shoulders become stuck against the mother's pelvic bone.

Your physician may have acted negligently if:

  • Unnecessary force was applied when pulling the baby during birth
  • Particular manoeuvres were not performed if the baby became stuck
  • He/she did not estimate the baby's weight prior to birth
  • An emergency c-section was not scheduled when there were clinical signs to do so

Stillbirths

A stillbirth is classified as a baby not born alive after the 24th week of pregnancy. Our team of legal experts have years of healthcare experience and an understanding of the experience you are going through. We provide confidential advice and we will listen to your concerns at this tragic time. 

There are many causes of stillbirth and these can include:

  • Problems with the placenta
  • Birth defects
  • Infections – maternal and the baby
  • Mother’s health

Similarly, if you have received below-standard care from your doctor, physician or another medical expert while pregnant or giving birth, which has led to physical or psychological damage, you may be entitled to claim compensation where this care has been negligent. Discuss the potential of your pregnancy-related injury claim with a supportive legal expert today.

We will help you seek medical negligence compensation and ensure you receive the emotional support vital to you at this time.

If your baby has died through the negligence of the hospital or healthcare practitioner caring for you during your pregnancy, we are here to listen and help you understand the reasons for your baby’s death. Phone the supportive Medical Negligence Solutions team for advice on 0300 303 3634, or begin your claim here.


Frequently asked questions

Following a stillbirth incident, should I make a complaint or seek financial compensation?

Our suggestion is that you do both. The investigation your complaint triggers will help provide answers to the reasons for your baby’s death which can be used in a stillbirth compensation claim. We understand that financial compensation will not change the outcome but it will offer some relief for the physical and psychological pain and suffering you have been subject to. It will support any expenses and losses incurred.

When caring for a child with an injury, we understand you will need physical, financial and emotional help. It is important that your child has access to the best medical treatment. Compensation can provide financial security for your child’s future and potentially compensate for your loss of earnings in caring for your child.