Pregnancy Negligence Claims
Pregnancy negligence claims, also known as obstetric or prenatal negligence claims, involve instances where healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, or midwives, fail to provide an acceptable standard of care during pregnancy, childbirth, or the postpartum period, leading to harm or injury to the mother or the baby.
At P.A Duffy & Co Solicitors, we represent mothers and babies in pregnancy negligence claims across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Our personal injury team are experienced, understanding and sympathetic and will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the compensation you are owed for what has happened.
We deal with a full range of pregnancy negligence cases, including:
A common form of medical negligence in this area is when ectopic pregnancies are misdiagnosed as miscarriages. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the wombs, usually in one of the Fallopian tubes. This can lead to vaginal bleeding and stomach pain. If the problem is left untreated it can also cause the Fallopian tube to burst. It is therefore vital that a ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are times when an ectopic surgery is misdiagnosed as a miscarriage. This can lead to the misdiagnosed patient having to undergo unnecessary surgery and can result in serious health issues.
Sterilisation claims arise when someone has underwent a procedure to avoid conceiving and have subsequently conceived. There are, of course, natural explanations for this happening and a doctor will undoubtedly explain the risks of this prior to surgery. Nonetheless, there are examples of this happening as a result of medical negligence. This may have been as a result of a mistake during the surgery or in the post operative care of the patient. Unexpected conception can cause significant financial burden to families. If you believe you have been treated negligently, we may be able to make a claim for compensation on your behalf.
Preeclampsia is a condition which is caused by a defect in the placenta. It is present in some women and should be identified early by an obstetrician by checking a patient’s blood or urine tests. The patient should then be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy. Failure to diagnose or properly treat preeclampsia can cause serious injury to both mother and baby and in some cases can be fatal.
Gestational Diabetes Claims
This is another common pregnancy complication which can be easily diagnosed by monitoring a patient’s blood or urine tests and checking for high levels of protein or glucose in particular. If gestational diabetes is identified and properly treated from an early stage in the pregnancy patient should not experience any serious adverse effects. However, if an obstetrician does not properly diagnose and treat the condition it can lead to injury for both baby and mother and can lead to still birth in some cases.
Ectopic Pregnancy Claims
An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants itself outside of the womb, usually in one of the Fallopian tubes. If an egg gets stuck in the fallopian tube it won’t develop into a baby and the mother could be at risk. It is vital to diagnose and treat an ectopic pregnancy as soon as possible. Common treatments for ectopic pregnancies include the use of medication to stop the pregnancy and surgery to remove the fertilised egg and fallopian tube.
Failure or delay in diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy can result in rupture of the fallopian tube which will require urgent surgery and can be life threatening. Your GP and treating doctors should take steps to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, this will include asking the patient about their symptoms or referral to a specialist. If the ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed and treated early there should be no serious adverse effects for the mother.
How do I make a claim for pregnancy negligence compensation?
If you or your baby has suffered injury following an incident and you believe that this was as a result of negligence on the part of a doctor, midwife or other healthcare practitioner, you are advised to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.
If you ask us to represent you, we will start by taking details of the event and assess what has happened and who is responsible. We will put together evidence in support of your claim and contact the relevant health trust to advise them of the claim.
We will ask our medical experts to carry out examinations and write a report about the injuries you or your baby have suffered. This will form the basis of your case.
If the other side admits liability, we will negotiate with them to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid to you. Where they deny liability or the amount of compensation offered is not sufficient, your case will go to court. We will ensure that you have our support throughout and that you are represented by an expert medical negligence advocate.
What will I receive compensation for in a pregnancy negligence claim?
Compensation can be awarded for a range of issues, including:
Pain and suffering
Reduction in quality of life, or being unable to enjoy normal activities
Financial losses, such as loss of earnings
Long-term care, for example, if your child will need help throughout his or her life
How much pregnancy negligence compensation will I receive for myself or my baby?
The size of pregnancy negligence compensation payments varies widely depending on the severity of what has happened.
If you speak to us about your case, we will be able to give you an initial idea of the range of compensation that is generally awarded for the type of damages you or your baby have sustained.
How can I finance a pregnancy negligence compensation claim?
We know that funding a pregnancy negligence compensation claim might be a worry, so we offer a range of options. These include:
Legal Aid, commonly available for babies and children
Legal expenses cover
After the Event insurance (ATE insurance)
Our first consultation is free and we will be happy to discuss funding with you to find the best option for your circumstances.
What is the time limit for bringing a pregnancy negligence compensation claim?
For an adult, there is a three-year time limit for bringing a medical negligence claim. This is known as the limitation period. It runs either from the date of the negligent incident or the date that you became aware of the injury you suffered.
In the case of a child, the three-year time limit runs from the date of their 18th birthday.
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