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Birth Injury Claims

Birth Injury Claims

Birth Injury Claims Process

A birth injury falls under the umbrella of medical negligence, which simply put means that you or your baby have suffered an injury that was caused as a direct result of treatment given by a doctor or other health care provider which was below an acceptable standard for, which you may be compensated.

Pursuing a claim will help you to secure a financial settlement that will provide both financial security and other benefits such as a care package that will ensure that all of your care needs will be met for life which will improve you and your child’s quality of life by involving specialists such as care and occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, educational and psychological experts, and accommodation experts, who can assess what support you will need.

Initial Investigating Steps

In order to investigate a potential medical negligence claim it would be necessary to Obtain all relevant medical notes and records from all health care providers. We would then arrange for those records to be indexed and paginated. In many cases medical records are illegible, out of order or may be missing completely and so it would be necessary place your records in chronological order and identify any notes that might be missing.

We would then instruct a suitable expert to consider whether the standard of care that you received was unacceptable and therefore negligent (breach of duty) and whether your injury was caused as a direct result of that treatment and could have been avoided (causation). Sometimes more than one expert is needed to establish a claim.

Only at that stage will we be able to advise you fully as to the merits of your claim.

Funding

Sometimes there is a very real need to seek financial recompense, especially if a child has suffered severe brain damage and needs 24 hour care for life, or if a child loses a parent, but investigating a medical negligence claim can be very expensive . Therefore we would consider the various funding options that are available to you, and in your best interests, to help you cover the cost of investigating a medical negligence claim.

For example:

  • You may have a before the event (BTE) insurance policy that would cover your legal fees
  • You may be a member of a Trade Union that may be able to assist
  • A conditional fee agreement may be available (no win no fee)
  • From the 1st April 2013 Public Funding (legal aid) will only be available to those children who have suffered a neurological injury within the first 8 weeks of life (cerebral palsy)
  • Private means

Compensation

Compensation is divided into 2 categories:

General Damages – these damages are for injuries resulting as a result of the medical negligence. These damages are usually described as being attributable to pain, suffering and loss of amenities. The damages are calculated by reference to the extent of the injury and by reference to case law.

Special Damages – these are damages that include such items as loss of earnings and out of pocket expenses. You should keep hold of any receipts or invoices as this will support your claim for losses in the future.

Any compensation awarded to a child will always be approved by the Court and, depending upon the level of compensation, will either be invested by the Court until the child is 18 years old, or held in a Trust.

Limitation

You must bring a claim for medical negligence within 3 years of the negligence (or within 3 years of the date of knowledge if that is later).

Any claim involving a child must be brought within 3 years of their 18th birthday.

If the claim is being brought on behalf of someone who has died, then that claim must be brought with 3 years of the date of death.

If proceedings are not brought within the 3 year period then you may be barred from bringing a claim.

NHS Complaints Procedure

Should your complaint or birth injury claim not be clear cut, it’s possible to turn to the NHS Complaints Procedure to try to resolve any problems. At the very least, you should receive a reasoned response that may resolve your concerns and will help you to decide if legal action is the best way forward.

The Department of Health guidelines concerning the NHS Complaints Procedure indicate the process you should follow. Find out more about the NHS Complaints Procedure here.

NB: You do not have to register your complaint with the NHS in order to pursue a medical negligence claim for compensation.

Talk to our advisors today to find out your next steps on 0800 195 8464

Get In Touch or Call us on 0800 195 8467