Medical Negligence
By Gary Daly
Latest News

Birthing Injury Claims and Medical Negligence

Were You or Your Baby Injured During Pregnancy or Childbirth?

Pregnancy and childbirth are habitually the most exciting times for families. However, on occasion, mothers and/or their newborns suffer harm and injury during pregnancy and labour.

According to the Birth Trauma Association, each year around 30,000 women in the UK experience some form of birth trauma. While many of these injuries are minor, in some cases, birth injuries can be severe and result in complications or disorders, including Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy.

In these circumstances, families may be entitled to compensation for the injuries that they have sustained. It must be proven that their injuries have been caused by the negligence of medical practitioners who were substandard in their treatment of the mother and/or baby.

We understand how traumatic and distressing such experiences can be for everyone involved. We also appreciate that, during such challenging times, seeking legal advice for a birthing injury claim may be the last thing on your to-do list; but our friendly and experienced medical negligence team will be ready to provide advice and discuss a potential claim when you are ready to take that step.

What Types of Birthing Injuries Are There?

Our medical negligence solicitors specialise in compensation claims for mother’s and/or their baby who have had sustained an injury during birth or pregnancy.

There are many types of birth injuries which our team commonly deal with, including:

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Infection

  • Umbilical Cord Prolapses

  • Hemorrhage

  • Erb’s Palsy

  • Nerve Damage

  • Forceps Birth Trauma

  • Uterine or Placenta Rupture

  • Maternal Sepsis

What is a Birthing Injury Claim?

In Northern Ireland, birthing injuries are a niche category of medical negligence which involve a two-fold negligence test. Firstly, there must be a duty of cared owed between the parties to the claim. This will automatically be satisfied as medical practitioners have a duty of care towards their patients. But it must also be proven that this duty of care was breached. Secondly, there must be a causal link between the breach of duty and the injury sustained by the mother and/or baby. In other words, the injury must have been caused as a direct result of the medical practitioner’s malpractice. 

If this test is satisfied, your birthing injury compensation claim is likely to be successful.

What are the Initial Steps of Making a Birthing Injury Claim?

When you get in touch with our friendly and experienced medical negligence solicitors, you will need to explain the chronology of events leading up to the injury.

The next steps will involve making requests and obtaining your medical records. Once we have reviewed these and have fully assessed the merits of the case, with your consent, we will instruct an independent medical expert to provide a report.

Once the report has been received, your solicitor will be able to advise you on the next steps of your claim, such as initiating court proceedings.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know?

Time constraints

For most medical negligence cases in Northern Ireland, there is a three-year limitation period. This means that you have three years to issue court proceedings from the date of injury or from the date you became aware of the injury.

However, the time constraints of birthing injury claims work a little different. A mother who has sustained injury during pregnancy or labour will typically have three years from the date or injury or from the date that she became aware of the injury. If the claim is being brought on behalf of or by the injured child, the child has until their 21st birthday to issue court proceedings.

Also, there is no time limit to bring a claim if it is being made on behalf of a child who lacks the mental capacity to bring a claim themselves.

Why choose PA Duffy & Co?

Our medical negligence team understands the devastating, life-altering impact that birthing injuries can have on the mother, baby and wider family circle. In appointing PA Duffy & Co Solicitors you will receive top-quality legal services and support throughout the duration of your claim.   

If you are considering bringing a claim for birthing injuries compensation, please do not hesitate to contact us or make an enquiry online. 

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