Birth Injury Birth Injury
Birth Injury

Birth Injury Claim

Part of a wider group of legal experts, the medical negligence team at Fletchers are experienced in helping clients claim birth injury compensation.

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What are birth injury claims?

Pregnancy and childbirth can bring about unforeseen challenges, potentially resulting in harm to the mother, infant, or both. Despite the best efforts of medical practitioners, certain complications may arise beyond their control. However, instances of birth injuries can also occur if the level of care provided by a doctor or midwife fails to meet acceptable standards. If you or your child suffered injury during pregnancy or childbirth due to a breach of duty of care, you may have grounds to pursue a birth injury claim. 

Our Birth Injury Unit specialises in cases of serious birth injury where your life, or your baby’s life has been severely impacted. Below are some of the types of claims we take on:

  • Cerebral palsy claims

  • Erb’s palsy claims

  • Klumpke’s palsy

  • Surgical errors

  • Trauma and physical injury to mother

  • Wrongful birth claims

Birth Injury

What are the most common causes of birth injury claims?

We encounter a range of claims related to negligence during pregnancy and childbirth. At times, hospitals may fail to acknowledge errors, dismissing them as routine occurrences or inherent risks of childbirth. Our responsibility is to contest such claims and demonstrate that the birth injury resulted from medical negligence. 

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The most frequent types of birth injuries we assist clients with include:

  • Physical injuries to the mother during birth 
  • Injuries stemming from the use of forceps 
  • Injuries to the child during birth, such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy 
  • Misdiagnosis of pre-existing conditions 
  • Injuries sustained after birth due to negligence 
  • Claims of midwife negligence 

The circumstances and specifics of each claim vary. Therefore, it is advisable to seek assistance from an expert medical negligence solicitor, familiar with the precise nature of pregnancy or birth-related negligence.

What are the symptoms of birth injuries?

Several signs of a birth injury can become apparent shortly after the child’s delivery. While not all of these symptoms definitively indicate a birth injury, they can signify potential damage during childbirth. 

Symptoms for you and your healthcare provider to be watchful for immediately after birth include:

  • An arched back while the baby is crying 
  • Any difficulty the infant has when suckling, eating, or swallowing 
  • Excessive drooling – which may indicate a facial nerve injury 
  • Hand curled into a claw-like shape 
  • High-pitched crying, grunting, or general fussiness 
  • Low oxygen levels 
  • Low heart rate 
  • Muscle stiffness or looseness 
  • Seizures 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Skull fractures 
  • Weak or absent reflexes 

If your child displays any of the above symptoms following birth, it may signal a birth injury related to brain or nerve damage, such as cerebral palsy. 

Seeking medical assistance promptly upon noticing any of these symptoms is crucial. Early intervention offers your child the best opportunity to receive necessary care as quickly as possible. 

After giving birth, a mother will observe notable transformations in her body which are entirely normal. But there are a number of symptoms to look out, which may indicate a birth injury:

  • Vaginal tearing or scarring 
  • Pelvic prolapse 
  • A sensation of something coming down from inside, or out of, the vagina, which sometimes needs to be pushed back in 
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse 
  • Urinary incontinence / uterine prolapse 
  • Skin hanging out after birth 
  • Cervix low after birth 

How are birth injuries treated?

The timing of intervention is essential in addressing birth injuries. Early detection of an injury often allows for prompt treatment, reducing the risk of serious harm to the baby. Failure by a doctor to identify a severe birth injury in a timely manner could determine in liability for any long-term consequences. 

Common treatments for birth injuries include

Adaptive equipment: Braces, wheelchairs, orthotics, strollers, and similar aids can assist children with mobility challenges. 

Medication: Certain medications may alleviate muscle tightness and manage secondary conditions like epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Occupational therapy: This involves exercises to improve fine motor skills for tasks such as dressing, bathing, and more. 

Physical therapy: Designed to strengthen muscles, restore voluntary movement control, and enhance mobility. 

Speech therapy: Beneficial for children with oral muscle issues and cognitive impairments, aiming to enhance communication skills. 

Surgery: In cases of severe mobility issues arising from foot, hip, leg, and/or spine problems, surgical intervention may be necessary to address movement impairments. 

In relation to birth injuries caused to the mother, treatments may include:

  • Surgery 
  • Pelvic floor exercises 
  • Uterine repair 
  • Hysterectomy (in severe cases) 
  • Episiotomy

Can I make a birth injury claim?

If you or your child has suffered a birth injury, due to negligent actions of a healthcare professional then you may be able to make a birth injury claim. Contact our experts today for a free assessment of your case and find out whether you have a claim.

How much time do I have to make a birth injury claim?

Typically, you have a three-year window from the date of the birth injury to file a claim if it’s for yourself. This timeframe can be extended to three years from the date of discovery if the birth injury becomes apparent later on. For claims made on behalf of a child, you have until their 18th birthday to initiate the claim. Children themselves can pursue a claim for a birth injury affecting them up to three years after their 18th birthday.

How much does it cost to make a birth injury claim?

The last thing on your mind during a birth injury claim should be the expense of legal assistance. By choosing Fletchers Solicitors, you’ll enter into a No Win No Fee agreement, ensuring you pay nothing upfront. Even in the event of an unsuccessful case, there are no costs incurred. Our fee is only due if your claim is successful and will be a predetermined amount agreed upon beforehand. There’s no financial obligation to explore whether you have a viable case, and our team of specialist birth injury solicitors are dedicated to guiding you through the entire claims process.

Team Member

Trevor Ward
Partner and Head of Birth Injury Unit

Meet your legal team
Team Member

Trevor Ward
Partner and Head of Birth Injury Unit

Meet your legal team

Supporting you through serious birth injury

A birth injury often has permanent, life-changing consequences for the whole family, and we understand that you’ll need support throughout the legal process and beyond.

With cases of birth injury, early intervention with rehabilitation therapies is essential. As well as supporting you through the birth injury compensation claim, we will also help you access medical experts, such as paediatric physiotherapists, speech & language therapists, and occupational therapists. We can arrange specialist advice to help secure your child’s future in terms of accommodation needs, financial management, care and support needs, and specialist equipment.

Our dedicated Court of Protection Team can advise and assist with life planning and financial management for anyone who doesn’t have the mental capacity to make decisions about these on their own.

We also have access to UK based case managers who will assist in prioritising your needs on the ground. Once liability is established, we can arrange for interim payments to be made to support your recovery.

How to get started

Our expert legal team can advise on your claim for medical negligence. Our down to earth guidance and practical advice will help to get your claim started as quickly as possible.


Birth Injury


Birth Injury

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We’ve helped so many people just like you

From a specialism in motorcycle accidents, came our expertise in spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputation and birth injury. Many of our serious injury solicitors have been part of the Fletchers team since the very beginning; and are an integral part of our business. We have some of the very best legal talent in our department, including APIL accredited solicitors, and talented individuals recognised with The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Why Choose Fletchers? 

Choosing Fletchers means choosing a dedicated team who specialise in birth injury compensation claims. Our experts have successfully handled numerous birth injury claims, including cerebral palsy, surgical errors and injuries to mother claims. Ranked among the leading lawyers in clinical negligence and personal injury in the UK, we pride ourselves on providing a personal service. 

The Legal 500 Directory 2024 highlights our “commitment to using technology effectively and offering a supportive, client-focused approach.” 

Fletchers is your trusted partner, ensuring you’re not alone in seeking justice.

Birth Injury FAQs

Who can make a birth injury claim?

If you’ve experienced a birth injury, whether that was in an NHS or private healthcare setting, you could be eligible to make a claim.

How do I know if negligence occurred?

If you’re not sure whether negligence occurred, speak to us. With something as potentially life changing as birth injury, it’s crucial that you seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible. Our experienced team will listen and can advise whether you have a case.

Is there a time limit on making a serious birth injury claim?

In cases of birth injury where the person affected has mental capacity, the time limit for making a claim for negligence is three years from their 18th birthday (i.e. their 21st birthday). Unfortunately, some children or adults who have been injured do not have the mental capacity to either conduct and/or provide instructions in connection with the case, or to manage the compensation that is obtained. In these situations, a parent or guardian can be legally appointed as a “Litigation friend” to act in the proceedings on the affected person’s behalf. If the affected person does not have the mental capacity to recognise the mistake, there can be no time limit on making a claim, unless the person regains capacity.

Can you help me access rehabilitation and medical specialists to support my child?

Often early intervention with rehabilitation therapies is essential for those affected by birth injury. Once liability has been established Along with the case manager, we can open the door to a range of therapies to aid rehabilitation including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language support, IT and other assistive technology support and where appropriate, psychological support including the introduction of sleep and behaviour programmes.

What if the birth injury is being investigated as part of the Early Notification Scheme?

If you’ve been approached about the NHS Early Notification Scheme or the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, our advice is to speak to us for expert legal advice as soon as possible.

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