How Long Do Birth Injury Claims Take To Settle?
Birth injuries can be very devastating for both the mother and child. After a long 9-month journey, it is expected that the mother is safely delivered of her healthy child but in certain cases, the mother and/or the child may suffer avoidable birth injury as a result of the negligence of the childbirth specialist or other team of healthcare professionals.
In these cases, a birth negligence claim can be made and a traumatic birth compensation sought if the woman suffered an avoidable traumatic birth while you can also claim a birth injury compensation if the baby suffered unnecessary birth injuries.
Explaining Birth Injury Claims
Birth injury claims therefore refer to when a patient or a loved one makes a legal claim against the healthcare provider over the negligent treatment experienced which has led to avoidable harm, suffering injury or complications.
Birth injuries which a child might suffer include-
- Erb’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial palsy
- Facial injuries
- Bruising or bleeding to the head from wrong use of instruments like the forceps.
- Brain damage due to hypoxia (oxygen shortage) or anoxia (lack of oxygen). This usually results when there is a long, traumatic or unprogressive labour and sometimes when the umbilical cord is tangled around a baby’s neck. Permanent brain damage and even still birth are some of the umbilical cord around neck long term effects.
The mother on the other hand may also suffer injuries from a traumatic birth including
- Fractured coccyx
- Perineal tear
- Rupture to the uterus
- Urethra or bladder injuries
- Bowel incontinence which may be long or short term
- Anemia from too much blood loss
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Injuries to internal organs during a Caesarean Section
- Dysplasia, fistula or other physical injuries
- Complications which affect her chances of having more children in the future
How Long Will It Take To Settle A Birth Injury Claim?
Usually, a birth injury claim can be settled between 18months to 3 years. However, it can drag longer than this for various reasons which include the following;
- Time taken to gather all necessary documents to prove liability
- Where you or the child is still receiving medical treatment and therefore it is best to wait so as to ascertain the true health condition of mother and child and the long-term effects of the injuries suffered before a claim can be made.
- If the case is a problematic one where proving liability is a problem or proves difficult because it involves multiple causes. Also, it may be that the defendant denies liability or feels that the injuries suffered was partly your fault.
- Where the case involves a lot of money- most times because the long-term care of the mother and child has to be put into consideration in deciding the settlement amount, claims involving birth injuries result in huge payouts.
Usually, if the claim is settled out of court, which is most often the case, it will take a shorter time to be settled. However, if it goes to a court trial due to inability of both parties to agree on critical issues including liability and settlement payout, it will take much longer time to be settled.
Before making a claim, you should be prepared to-
- Show proof of Patient/Doctor relationship which shows that your doctor owed you a duty of care
- Prove that the duty of care was breached
- Establish that you and/or child suffered avoidable injuries at birth solely as a result of doctor negligence
- Show that you have incurred other damages as a result including- physically, socially, emotionally, financially, psychologically and otherwise.
Average Birth Injury Settlement in the UK
Medical negligence childbirth cases most times command a very high compensation amount because the injuries to the baby and the mother may be permanently debilitating and so lifelong care will be required. Having handled cases such as this in time past, our birth injury solicitors have also secured interim payment where necessary for our clients so that they can access needed medical care while the claim progresses.
Different factors are considered when agreeing a settlement fee. These include;
- Type of injury suffered
- How severe the injury is
- Time it will take to make a complete healing (if possible)
- Costs of further medical treatment
- Costs of hiring caregivers
- Costs of therapies and special education
- Lost earnings as well as estimated future losses
- Accommodation adaptation/adjustment cost to suit your needs and that of your child
No Win No Fee Birth Injury Claims Solicitors
At NHS Negligence Claim, we have expert birth injury solicitors, specialists in maternity negligence and other forms of hospital negligence involving mother and child.
While you may be eligible for legal aid, we offer you an even better opportunity of making your claims without having to pay for it through our no win no fee policy.
You can reach us via our helplines or contact our Liverpool office to have further discussions with our solicitors about your claims. Do not delay to do this as claims always have a higher chance of being successful when they are started early enough.