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Birth Injury Claims Solicitors South Wales
A child injured at birth is likely to need a range of specialist treatment and care, potentially for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, for most families funding this type of care is beyond their means, which is why claiming compensation can be so essential. It can also be your chance to get the answers you and your family so desperately need.
The full effects of a birth injury can take years to become clear, but this doesn’t mean you should put off seeking compensation. Starting a claim as soon as possible gives you the best chance of getting the funds in place to meet your child’s needs as and when they need them. It is often possible to secure interim payments while a claim is ongoing, so your child won’t have to wait until your claim is resolved to get the right care and support.
Birth injury compensation can also replace lost income, giving your family financial security if you have to give up work to care for your child, as well as providing for your child’s living costs when they reach adulthood if they are unlikely to be able to work.
At this difficult time for you and your family, you deserve clear answers and close personal support. Having represented families like yours in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend for over 30 years, our birth injury solicitors in South Wales can give you all the help you need to get a fair outcome for your family.
Why choose Devonalds when making a birth injury claim?
We take pride in our strong connection to the local community, with most of our team being born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area, where we have advised and represented families for more than three decades.
If you’re not used to dealing with lawyers, we know that it can be intimidating to take that first step of getting in touch and asking for help. We want you to know that we are people just like you and we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable and answer your questions and concerns.
You will have the dedicated support of a member of our team who will handle your case from start to finish. They’ll be available by phone and email at all times, so you can always speak to someone you know and who knows you if you have a question or need an update on the progress of your claim.
Wherever possible, our birth injury solicitors will seek an early settlement out of court, so your child gets fair compensation faster, with lower legal fees and much less stress. However, should court proceedings be needed, we can ensure you have the very best legal representation and personal support every step of the way.
Speak to us about starting a birth injury compensation claim today
How birth injury compensation claims work
Starting a claim
You likely have a lot of questions, including about whether your child is entitled to compensation and how making a claim works. We offer a free initial consultation so we can answer your questions and help you decide what action you want to take.
During this meeting, we won’t put any pressure on you to pursue a claim with us, it’s all about giving you the right information so you can make the best choice for your family.
Funding for birth injury claims
There are two main ways of funding birth injury compensation claims:
Legal aid for birth injury claims – For injuries caused by medical negligence before, during or shortly after your child’s birth, legal aid may be available to cover some or all of the costs of making a claim. We will be happy to advise you on your eligibility and the application process.
No win, no fee birth injury claims – More properly known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’, with a no win, no fee deal there is no upfront cost to start a claim. You will only need to cover our fees if we secure compensation for your child, so there is no financial risk to you in starting a claim.
Proving your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence
For a successful claim, we have to prove that your child’s injuries were caused by medical negligence. We will typically rely on various types of evidence to prove this, including:
- Medical records
- Examinations by independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
Our team knows what it takes for a successful birth injury claim. We can ensure all of the right evidence is gathered and presented effectively, so you have the best chance of securing an early settlement or achieving a positive outcome if your case goes to court.
Working out the value of a birth injury claim
The amount of compensation your child could receive is obviously really important when thinking about making a claim as you need to be confident it will cover all of their needs. Working this out is often referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’.
The compensation available for a birth injury could potentially cover:
- The cost of medical treatment, specialist care & equipment
- Lost income if you need to take time off or give up work to care for your child
- Your child’s pain and suffering
- Travel costs and other expenses
- Loss of amenity i.e. your child not being able to carry out activities they would otherwise have enjoyed
- Providing for your child’s future financial independence
Time limits for birth injury claims
As a parent or guardian, you will have at least until your child’s 18th birthday to bring a claim for medical negligence in child birth.
If your child has the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, they will then be able to bring their own claim up until they turn 21.
If your child does not have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, there is normally no time limit for you to bring a claim for them.
If you are unsure whether you still have time to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Reaching an out-of-court settlement
With strong skills in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), we will always aim to settle your family’s claim out of court wherever possible. This can get your child the compensation they need much faster, with lower legal fees and less stress for you.
Taking your claim to court
If court proceedings are needed, our team will make sure you and your family have all of the legal, practical and personal support you need every step of the way.
We will assist with preparing your case and ensuring you have the best possible representation for your hearing. We will also keep you informed of exactly what to expect at every stage of proceedings and the potential outcomes, working to keep the process as transparent and stress-free as we can.
Managing birth injury compensation
Following a successful claim, you will need to manage your child’s compensation effectively to ensure their long-term needs can continue to be met.
Something you will likely need to consider is how receiving compensation may affect your child’s access to means-tested benefits. Our birth injury solicitors in South Wales can advise you on placing compensation into a personal injury trust, which lets you ‘ring fence’ the funds, so they can be used to meet your child’s needs without affecting their benefit entitlements.
Common questions about birth injury claims
Who can make a birth injury claim?
If you’ve experienced a birth injury due to medical negligence or your baby has experienced an injury, you have the right to make a birth injury claim.
It is advisable to seek legal advice when pursuing a birth injury compensation claim. Our expert solicitors can assess your case, build you claim and offer honest and compassionate guidance every step of the way.
How do I make a birth injury claim?
If you would like to make a birth injury claim, the first step is to get in touch with an expert birth injury lawyer.
Our lawyers at Devonalds have much expertise in birth injuries to mothers and birth injuries to babies. We can review your case and determine if you have a viable case for birth injury compensation.
If we believe that you have a case for birth negligence, we will support you by gathering evidence and moving your claim through the appropriate legal stages.
How common are birth injuries?
Various types of birth injuries are fairly common, particularly certain injuries to the mother, such as vaginal tears during labour. Birth injuries to babies are less common, but still happen far too often.
The UK government has set a safety goal to reduce the 2010 rates of neonatal and maternal death and stillbirth by half by 2025. Some progress has been made on reducing the brain injury rate, which fell to 4.2 for every 1,000 births in 2019 from a previous rate of 4.7 in 2014. However, for the families affected, any level of birth injuries will always seem too high.
What are the most common types of birth injuries?
Some of the most common types of birth injuries to babies include head injuries or nerve injuries. Nerve injuries can happen during or before delivery and may include:
- Injuries to the facial nerves
- Brachial plexus (referring to damage to the nerves between the shoulder and the neck, sometimes resulting in hand or arm weakness – this condition is known as ‘Erb’s palsy’)
Mothers may experience various types of birth injuries. A few of the most common ones include:
- Vaginal tears
- A prolapsed uterus
- Nerve injuries
For more information about birth injury claims in South Wales, please contact our specialists at Devonalds.
What are the risk factors for birth injuries?
Many birth injuries are unavoidable and yet there are a few risk factors which can make the occurrence of a birth injury more likely, these include:
Size of baby
Where babies are below or above average size, birth injuries may be more likely. For example, premature babies are often more injury prone because their bodies can be slightly underdeveloped, meaning that they are more fragile.
Babies larger than the average (over 8 pounds and 13 ounces) are also more likely to experience injuries during vaginal delivery, as is the mother more likely to experience injuries. To reduce the risk of injury, doctors can assess the growth of the baby and recommend a C-Section if necessary.
Naturally, medical negligence is a common risk factor for birth injury. Where medical professionals have failed to properly manage pregnancy complications or to provide the required standard of care, injuries to mother or baby are more common. This is sometimes referred to as ‘maternity negligence’.
Other risk factors for birth injuries include:
- Existing medical conditions
- Delivery position
How long does it take to get birth injury compensation?
Our goal is to get your child the full compensation they are entitled to as quickly as possible. However, it is essential to be honest about how long these types of complex claims take. Due to the very substantial damages typically at stake, a successful claim can take several years.
Claims can usually be resolved faster where an out-of-court settlement can be agreed. If you are in urgent need of funds for your child’s care, then interim payments can often be secured while the claim is ongoing.
How do interim payments for birth injuries work?
Getting your child the help they need when they need it is really important – they should never be left waiting because of a lack of funds to pay for essential treatment, equipment or other types of support.
Interim payments can provide the necessary funds while your claim is still ongoing. NHS trusts and other healthcare providers will often agree such payments where they admit liability but the total compensation your child is entitled to has not yet been agreed.
Can you claim compensation for birth injuries to the mother?
Yes, if the mother was injured as a result of negligent treatment during the birth of their child, they may be entitled to compensation. This can include both physical injuries and psychological injuries reflecting the full impact negligent birth care can have on mothers.
Start a birth injury compensation claim in South Wales
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether your child or you might be entitled to compensation for birth negligence, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
Why Choose Devonalds Clinical Negligence Services?