Brain Injury At Birth Claims
We understand that brain injuries at birth can have a huge impact on the lives of your child and your family. We have extensive experience in helping people with these complex Medical Negligence claims, offering the emotional support and legal expertise your family needs at this stressful time.
Cerebral Palsy is one of a number of brain injuries that can occur as a result of Medical Negligence during the birth of a child. It is caused by oxygen deprivation and restricted blood flow to the brain at birth.
Cerebral Palsy is a term to describe the effects of brain injury occurring in early life. This can manifest as: difficulty in moving or controlling limbs, not being able to swallow, lack of posture control, epilepsy, not being able to speak, breathing difficulties with recurring chest infections, incontinence and learning difficulties.
Each case is different. What is paramount, is that the condition is diagnosed as soon as possible. Once diagnosed, your child should be able to access access specialist therapy and equipment, to ensure they reach their full potential and do not deteriorate. Sadly, owing to stretched NHS budgets, the provision by the statutory services is not as good or sufficient as what can be obtained privately. Therefore, we calculate compensation to access the best medical care for your loved one.
Instances of Cerebral Palsy are comparatively rare, but can be devastating for families who are affected by the consequences. While not all cases are caused by Medical Negligence, when they are, it is essential to appoint an experienced law firm.
We acted for a young lady, who we will name Zara to protect her identity. Zara suffers from Cerebral Palsy, which affects all four limbs (quadriplegia), and also means that she is unable to speak or swallow. She is incontinent and can only be fed through her stomach via a gastrostomy (Mickey Button). She requires constant care and assistance with all aspects of daily life, including eating, washing and mobility which is devotedly provided by her parents
Following careful consideration of Zara’s medical records, we obtained independent expert opinions in obstetrics, neonatology and neurology. This evidence helped to define what happened to Zara and whether it could have been avoided. The experts advised us that Zara would have been born unscathed if she had been delivered sooner, by caesarean section.
This news was understandably devastating for Zara’s family, but they also felt vindicated for their concerns over Zara’s birth. It also meant that we had a case to pursue for Zara and her family to receive justice. We presented Zara’s case to the hospital trust who instructed solicitors.
We also investigated the full extent of Zara’s injuries, to define what care, therapies, equipment and accommodation she would need for the rest of her life. We assessed the cost of ongoing care and eventually achieved a six-figure financial settlement to ensure that Zara and her family received the compensation they deserved and desperately needed.
Can forceps cause brain damage?
Whilst it is rare for forceps delivery to cause serious or permanent damage, it is possible. Putting pressure on an infant’s delicate skull can cause brain damage and lead to Cerebral Palsy.
If too much force is used during the birth, Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Palsy or Shoulder Dystocia) can occur.
Can lack of oxygen at birth cause brain damage?
Lack of oxygen is normal as part of the birth process and the vast majority of babies are able to withstand this as a result.
It is when the baby is deprived of oxygen for too long that their ability to withstand this is eroded, which then leads to brain damage.
If your child was born in a poor state, and/or later developed neurological problems, this may mean that your child has suffered brain damage during labour or birth and this might have been avoided. Warning signs include: not being able to control their limbs, being unable to lift their head, being unable to swallow, not reaching their expected milestones or fitting in the early newborn period or beyond,
Here are a few links that you might find useful:
We appreciate that you will probably have many questions about your case. Please give us a call for initial advice on the best way to proceed with a claim.
Our aim is to claim the compensation you deserve, by approaching your case in a meticulous and sensitive manner.
Find out how we can help you today. Contact our team on 0151 541 0158, or fill in our online enquiry form.
What will happen when I make a claim?
If your child has Cerebral Palsy or another brain injury which might have been caused at or around the time of birth , please don’t hesitate to get in touch. One of our legal advisors will be on hand with a sympathetic ear and to advise you of your options This is free of charge and you won’t be tied into anything.
If you would like us to look into whether there is a potential claim for you or your loved one, we will consider the information you provide and let you know whether we can take your case on.
Will I be able to claim Legal Aid for my child?
Legal Aid can help to cover the cost of legal advice and representation. It is available in certain circumstances, where negligence occurred at birth or in the first 8 weeks of life. We will explore this option with you if applicable.
Please bear in mind that when claiming Legal Aid for your child, financial eligibility depends on the child’s own financial circumstances not the parents’.
Most of our cases are funded by a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement, officially known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. This means exactly what it says: we only get paid if your case succeeds. If your case fails, there is nothing for you to pay.*
*Provided you take out insurance to cover expenses, such as medical experts fees.
How much compensation could I receive for a brain injury at birth?
The amount of compensation for brain injuries at birth will depend on the severity of the resulting symptoms and the effects on our client’s life. Our Medical Negligence solicitors are well-versed in assessing how much compensation your child will need to live as normal a life as possible.
The severity of Cerebral Palsy symptoms may cause a child to require medical care and assistance for the rest of their lives. Ensuring that your child will have access to the care and equipment you need, we have successfully achieved seven-figure settlements for our clients.
When should I make a claim?
It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, because:
The chances are that either you, or your loved one, are not receiving the necessary care, equipment, therapies or accommodation to live a better quality of life.
There are time limits involved in bringing a claim, otherwise you may be prevented from doing so:
You can claim on behalf of your child any time before their 18th birthday. From the age of 18, you/your child have a time limit of 3 years to make a Clinical Negligence claim (i.e. the time limit would expire on their 21st birthday).
If the injured person does not have the mental capacity to bring a claim, then the time limit won’t apply. In some cases this is obvious, but in other cases it is more complicated.
If you are claiming for a Medical Negligence case in which a child has passed away as a result of brain injury at birth, claims must be made within 3 years from the date of death.
If your claim is outside the time limit, you won’t be able to pursue it except in very rare circumstances