Every year in the United Kingdom, over 700,000 babies are born. It’s believed that 70% of these babies will suffer some sort injury at birth. A birth injury is classified as ‘any type of damage that occurs to a baby before, during, or after delivery’. In most cases this injury will be extremely minor, and have no lasting consequences, scars or marks. Sometimes though, these injuries can be severe. In some cases they can leave a child with extreme life-long issues.
When a birth injury is the result of negligence of a doctor or hospital, there are options within the British legal system which allow parents to claim compensation to aid support.
Labour is a very traumatic, but ultimately rewarding experience for a mother and her new born. This could be ruined by many problems that may arise due to doctors reacting ineffectively when dealing with any complications during Labour.
When doctors do their job poorly injuries can also occur. This could be because of reasons such as the doctor being too forceful during labour, failing to react quickly enough, or failing to realise the size of the baby.
One of the more likely circumstances is that a baby becomes deprived of oxygen. This is more likely to happen when surgical delivery is needed. Strange movements or a baby that is too large can also cause oxygen deprivation.
Common Types of Negligent Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are not all the same; they can take many different forms. Each of the following is known to be something that can be a result of medical negligence at birth.
- Brachial Plexus Palsy – The brachial plexus is a bundle of five major nerves extending from the spine, through the shoulder and to the tips of the fingers. When these nerves are damaged during birth, it can cause partial or total paralysis.
- Erb’s Palsy – This term is often used interchangeably with brachial plexus palsy.
- Klumpke’s Palsy – This is a specific form of brachial plexus injury.
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition caused by brain damage before, during or shortly after birth.
Filing a Claim for Birth Injury Compensation
If you feel like you might be eligible for compensation due to negligence during childbirth, you must first establish a legal case. The easiest way to do this is to talk some experienced solicitors, who deal with birth injury cases on a regular basis.
Before any case begins, an investigation will take place, which will look at the medical care from which the accident has been said to have occurred. If there are any problems with the care provided, a claim can be made. Claims by adults can be made up to the child’s 18th if need be. The child can make claims themselves up to the age of 21.
It’s worth noting that due to the nature of many claims, they can on the rare occasion, take several years to complete.