Birth Injury Compensation Claims
All parents want the best for their children at every stage of their development, including during the course of the pregnancy and during the birth.
Unfortunately, there are situations when Medical Negligence during pregnancy, or at birth, can causes injury to the mother, child or both.
Injuries to a mother or baby can be traumatic and have a lifelong effect on health and quality of life. Sadly, in some cases, birth negligence can result in the death of a mother or child.
If you, or your baby, received poor medical treatment that led to an injury, it may be possible to bring a Birth Injury Claim. To talk to a Medical Negligence Solicitor, contact Cantillons Solicitors on 021 4275673 today.
What is a Birth Injury Claim?
A Birth Injury Compensation Claim is a claim made by, or on behalf of, a mother or child who has been injured at birth as a result the Doctor’s, Midwife’s, Nurse’s, the HSE’s and/or the private hospital’s negligence.
Birth Injury Claims are made in respect of a range of injuries such as tears, lesions, fractures and brain injuries. Some birth injuries may not be immediately apparent.
Birth Injury Claims can also be made when an injury is caused before or immediately after birth. If you or your baby have been injured because of negligence during any stage of your pregnancy, you should contact a Birth Injury Solicitor.
Types Of Birth Injury
Birth Injury Compensation Claims are made for a number of different reasons, all of which stem from medical negligence. When you are considering a Birth Negligence Claim, it is important to differentiate between Birth Injury and Birth Defect.
A Birth Defect occurs in the womb during the baby’s development. In most cases, Birth Defects are the result of environmental or genetic factors. Birth Defects include Congenital Heart Defects, Cleft Lips and Cleft Palate. They are rarely the result of Medical Negligence. However, it can be the case that a further injury may arise due to negligence in the management of the Birth Defect.
If you are unsure about the validity of your type of claim, contact Cantillons Solicitors today at email@example.com.
Types of Baby Birth Injuries
Medical Negligence in a maternity setting can, unfortunately, lead to a number of injuries to a baby. The most common Birth Injury is Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects movement ability and causes difficulty standing or walking. Cerebral Palsy can occur from a brain injury or from being born too early (premature).
After birth, a number of tests are carried out to check a baby’s health. These tests should detect symptoms of Cerebral Palsy, but they can be missed. In these incidences, symptoms may be noticed in the days, weeks or months following birth.
Birth Injury Claims can be made for injuries such as:
- Injuries caused by forceps during an assisted birth;
- Bone fractures during a natural or assisted birth;
- Brain damage or injury;
- Cerebral Palsy;
- Any form of paralysis;
- Shoulder dystocia;
- Erb’s Palsy;
- Tears or lacerations;
- Deprivation of Oxygen (Hypoxia).
Types of Birth Injuries To The Mother
A mother injured during the birth of her child due to the mismanagement of her health might experience:
- Eclampsia or preeclampsia;
- Injuries to her pelvis;
- Damage to her uterus;
- Damage to nerves;
- Surgical errors during caesarean section (C-Section);
- Injury from unnecessary procedures;
- Infections (e.g. Strep B infection);
- High Blood Pressure;
- Gestational Diabetes;
- Premature Rupture of Membranes;
- Wrongful death;
- First Degree Tears, Second Degree Tears, Third Degree Tears, Fourth Degree Tears;
- Psychological injuries.
These examples demonstrate only a fraction of unfortunate birth injuries that can occur.
The impact of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic birth can have a devastating mental impact. As well as physical birth injuries, claims can be made for psychological issues caused by Medical Negligence, such as PTSD. If you are unsure of your physical or psychological birth injury case contact a Medical Negligence Solicitor.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth Injuries occur when incorrect action is taken during delivery, or during the course of the pregnancy. They can also occur when Medical Professionals fail to take the correct action.
In many Medical Negligence cases, Birth Injuries occur during emergency situations.
Birth Injuries can occur when a member of the medical team fails to monitor or progress the birth process.
Often Birth Injury Claims occur when signs of distress are missed. If low blood sugar or heartbeat abnormalities are not picked up on quickly, it can lead to issues with the birth. Similarly, if there is a delay and the delivery of the baby is held up, injuries can occur.
Maternal infection might be missed which could lead to sepsis for the baby.
Assisted deliveries can also result in Birth Injuries. Assisted deliveries occur when a mother is no longer able to deliver the baby by herself. They may also occur when an unborn baby is in distress or positioned awkwardly. Emergency caesarean sections (C-sections) are a type of assisted birth in which a baby is surgically removed from the womb. Associated birth injuries include accidental lacerations and bowel or bladder injuries to the mother.
A non-surgical assisted birth involves the use of a suction device and forceps. This apparatus is used by the Doctor and Midwife to assist the mother. Birth injuries that occur during a vaginal assisted birth include facial palsy or other facial injuries and, occasionally, seizures.
Who Can Make A Birth Injury Compensation Claim?
A Birth Injury Compensation Claim is a type of Medical Negligence Claims. A mother or child injured during the birth can bring the Birth Injury Claim. Claims for a baby injured at birth can also be made on his/her behalf by the parents.
Fathers who are impacted psychologically by a traumatic birth or injuries to the mother and child can also make a Medical Negligence Claim.
How Do You Make A Birth Injury Claim?
- Find the right type of Solicitor
Making a Birth Injury Claim starts with finding the correct type of Solicitor. Medical Negligence Solicitors experienced in Birth Injury Claims will be able to assist you best.
An experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor will fully understand the relevant Irish law and the Birth Injury Claims process. This should assist in making the claim process smoother and as stress free as possible for you and your family.
Start by speaking with your Solicitor. Your initial consultation is an opportunity to discuss your case as well as their relevant experience.
- Gather Evidence
Next, your Medical Negligence Solicitor will help you gather as much evidence as possible to assist with the claim. With your permission, your Solicitor will seek your medical records.
Having access to your records allows your Solicitor to assess your treatment. At this stage, most Medical Negligence Solicitors will work with healthcare experts specialising in pregnancy/birth care. Having medical expertise working on your behalf helps identify all the areas of negligence during each stage of your pregnancy/the birth.
Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will take statements from the mother and father, so as to get a full background to the pregnancy/birth, the injuries and the impact of these on the mother’s/baby’s health and quality of life.
These statements, along with the medical records will assist the Medical Negligence Solicitor and healthcare experts consider the case properly.
Having assessed your medical records, the medical expert may state that they believe that:
- The medical care mother/baby received was negligent and the evidence they have to support this.
- That the negligence evidenced was the cause of the injury the mother/baby received.
- Letter of Claim
A Letter of Claim will be written by your Medical Negligence Solicitor outlining the Birth Negligence Claim. The Letter of Claim will be sent to the relevant Medical Professional, Hospital and/or HSE.
- Next Steps
In some Birth Negligence Cases, a settlement is offered. This can happen prior to Court proceedings or after they have started. If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer, Court proceedings can begin/continue.
It is important that you trust your Medical Negligence Solicitor to guide you through the process and help you with decisions. Your Medical Negligence Solicitor’s role is to assist you with your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Time Limits For Birth Injury Compensation Claims
The amount of time you have to make a Birth Injury Compensation Claim is dictated by the Statute of Limitations. In Ireland, the Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims is different depending on who is making the claim.
A mother who is injured during birth must initiate the claim within 2 years of the birth. For this reason, it is essential to begin the process as soon as possible. The same Statute of Limitations applies to a father claiming for psychological injury.
The time limit for a claim made on behalf of a baby is different. For a baby injured at birth, they have until the eve of their 20th birthday to take a case.
If you were not aware of the fact that Medical Negligence caused your injury, it may be possible to get an extension of time.
Further, if a person is suffering from an intellectual disability, then it might be the case that the Statute of Limitations does not apply, and a claim can be brought by that person, even if the injury offered more than 2 years previous.
In all cases it is necessary to act quickly. The Courts have the power to stop a case from proceeding even if it is brought within the time limit, if it can be shown that the delay has caused prejudice to the Hospital/Doctor.
Even if you are not sure about the strength of your Birth Injury Claim, you should make contact with a Medical Negligence Solicitor for advice as soon as possible. At Cantillons Solicitors, we understand that your injury and associated suffering may mean you want to recover before claiming. However, making contact with your Medical Negligence Solicitor early will ensure you have the right advice on time and that you fall safely within the requisite time limits.
Legal Costs in Birth Injury Claims
The idea of legal proceedings can be daunting, and they can sound expensive. We recommend discussing legal fees with your Medical Negligence Solicitor during your initial meeting. Your Medical Negligence Solicitor will be open with you about how they calculate fees. In fact, Solicitors in Ireland are obligated to do so.
We understand that the prospect of a ‘no win, no fee option’ is tempting. However, we do urge caution and encourage you to question its legitimacy. These types of fee terms are often misleading.
Please note that, in contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.
Birth Injury Negligence Solicitor Cork
Contact Cantillons Solicitors
At Cantillons Solicitors our team have years of experience with Birth Injury Compensation Claims. If you are looking for a Birth or Medical Negligence Solicitor Ireland, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below. Alternatively, call us on 021 4275673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.
* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.