The birth of a child is an extremely special and exciting time for the whole family, but despite considerable advances in maternity healthcare, there is always a degree of risk attached to giving birth and to being pregnant in the first place. Thankfully, in the vast majority of cases, both mother and child emerge from childbirth unscathed. But when something goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.
It is worth noting that a “birth injury” is different from an injury suffered by either the mother or baby during the birth. In most cases where there is a medical intervention before, during or after labour it is to save the infant or mother from injury or death, and usually, there are no ongoing complications for either parent. Occasionally, a mother or baby will suffer an injury as a result of something happening in the birth process that is unavoidable.
The term “birth injury” refers exclusively to injuries suffered by either mother or child, before, during or shortly after the birth as a direct result of a mistake or negligent act made by medical staff. It does not simply include an injury suffered before, during or after birth. These claims can be extremely complicated, and it can be hard to know whether you have grounds for a claim or not. If you are unsure whether the injury you or your loved one suffered would allow you to make a claim, contact our expert medical negligence team at Personal Injury today.
How Do I Make a Claim for a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries fall under the umbrella of medical negligence which, unlike negligence in many personal injury claims, is extremely complicated to establish. The decision to pursue a legal claim should therefore not taken lightly. To demonstrate medical negligence, you must show that you or your baby suffered an injury as a direct result of treatment given by a healthcare provider which was below an acceptable standard of care. This standard of care is judged against other professionals practicing in the same field. It is, therefore, necessary to obtain an opinion on what the appropriate standard is from at least one, usually more, medical expert.
It must also be demonstrated that the unacceptable treatment was the cause of an adverse outcome, and what that outcome was. This, again, can be very complex to establish and expert reports will always be required.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
Compensation is divided into two categories:
General Damages – for injuries stemming as a direct result of the medical negligence. For pain, suffering and loss of amenities. This is typically calculated by reference to the extent of the injury and case law.
Special Damages – for things like loss of earnings, travel expenses, etc. Make sure to keep any receipts and to keep a record of all financial losses. It is also possible to claim for future financial loss, e.g. the value of any future care or medical treatment, the cost of any aids or equipment.
What are the Time Limits for My Case?
Any medical negligence claim must be brought within three years of the date of the negligence act, although if you are bringing a claim for a child, the claim must be brought within three years of the child’s 18th birthday. Given the extreme complexity of these cases, it is highly advisable to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible to prevent your claim being time-barred. Once the three year period has elapsed, it will not be possible to bring a claim and you will have lost all possibility of financial redress.
Contact Our Birth Injury Solicitors in Glasgow Today
At Personal Injury, we work closely with our clients to secure the compensation they deserve when healthcare providers have violated their obligation to give members of the public an appropriate standard of care. We understand that financial compensation is rarely the first thing on your mind when you, a loved one, or your baby have suffered an injury, but it can help to ease the emotional and physical burden caused by the negligent treatment you received. Our personal injury solicitors are a friendly and knowledgeable team, who will work with you throughout every step of the process and who take pride in working with clients to secure the maximum level of compensation that they are entitled to. To find out about how we can help you, speak to our personal injury solicitors today on 01619741513 or contact us via our online contact form.