Having a child is a very exciting and joyous time and thankfully, in the majority of cases, everything goes well. However, sadly for some, this is not the case. If you or your child has suffered an injury whilst you were giving birth, you may find these video guides useful for answering any questions you may have about your legal rights and the compensation claims * process.
What are the most common types of birth injuries?
The ones that hit the newspapers are cases where babies have life-altering injuries such as cerebral palsy where, unfortunately, they will never lead a full life because of their injury.
What types of experiences are considered to be birth traumas?
It is usually an injury caused by some mechanical episode in the course of delivery, whether it’s overenthusiastic use of forceps or having to yank a child out because they’re trapped in the birth canal.
What is the difference between birth injuries and birth traumas?
Birth injury covers an injury sustained by either mother or child at any time during three periods – antenatal, intrapartum or neonatal. Birth trauma is more specific to a mechanical injury sustained in the course of the delivery.
Can I bring a claim for compensation as a mother, as well as for my child?
Yes, if the mother has suffered either a physical or psychological injury, then she’s entitled to be compensated. Even if the baby is perfect, a mother may have a right to be compensated if she has suffered trauma.
In what sort of scenarios can I claim compensation as a mother?
She has to have suffered an injury or trauma of some kind, be that anatomical injury to herself or psychological injuries arising out of the birthing process.
In what sort of scenarios can I claim compensation for my child?
You have to show that firstly, there was a duty of care owed to the baby and secondly, that there was a breach in that duty. If you can satisfy a court, that there was a breach of that duty then you’re entitled to be compensated.
Which types of birth injuries cause cerebral palsy?
They can be caused by an infection during the term (as a result of a lack of oxygen during the delivery process) or they can be acquired after birth as a result of the baby contracting meningitis or some other illness.
What is a brachial plexus injury?
Brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that runs down from the spinal cord into the arm and hand. If the brachial plexus is injured, it can result in a lack of function in the arm for life.
Can I claim compensation for PTSD caused by birth trauma?
Yes, presuming that the birth trauma was as a result of substandard care. You will certainly have situations where there’s a trauma but there has been no shortcoming on the part of the medical staff.
Am I always entitled to compensation if I suffered an infection after giving birth?
Most definitely not. Most of these cases, unless there is manifest negligence on the part of the hospital staff, will be defended. In the absence of clear evidence, an infection in and of itself won’t entitle you to be compensated.
Are there time limits for making a birth injury compensation claim?
You need to bring a claim within two years of the date that you suffered the injury. If you only found out that the injury was as a result of negligence later on, then it’s two years from the date you found out.
How do I prove fault in a birth injury claim?
You have to have appropriate evidence from an expert proving that there has been substandard treatment which resulted in harm and that can require several witnesses of different expertise.
How much does it cost to bring a birth injury claim?
It depends on the case. Some solicitors will review the circumstances of the case and will be willing to investigate whether or not there is a claim worth pursuing on a contingency basis – a ‘no win, no fee basis.
Further advice on birth injury compensation *
If you have any other questions relating to birth injury, our live chat operator is available to help you with any queries you may have at any time or, you can just give us a call on our nationwide Local number 1890 390 555 during office hours. Our medical negligence claims * solicitors are based at our offices in Dublin and Cork but assist people from across the country.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.