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How do I prove fault in a birth injury claim?

In this video, John McCarthy answers the frequently asked question, “How do I prove fault in a birth injury claim?”


It very much depends on what the alleged negligence is. First of all, you can’t even allege negligence or fault on the part of any medical practitioner until you have appropriate evidence from an expert in the field in question. What type of expert that would be will depend on the nature of the treatment which is under scrutiny. It might be that the nursing care wasn’t appropriate, in which case you’d get a report from an expert midwife; it may be the case that it was obstetrics, in which case you’d get an obstetrician/gynaecologist with consultant status to give a report having reviewed all of the medical records. Likewise, there may have been some shortcomings during the neonatal phase, so you’d need to speak to a neonatologist.

Generally speaking, you have to go to the UK for these experts because it’s a very small community here and understandably, they’re not anxious to start slinging mud at one another because of the interpersonal nature. So, even then if you have got your report from whatever expert has to show that there was a shortcoming, you then have to get reports on causation to show that the substandard treatment that has been highlighted actually gave rise to the injury that the baby or the mother has suffered. That might be a neuroradiologist who will review the imaging of the brain to see if that’s consistent with the injury which has been highlighted as a result of the substandard treatment, or it may be another expert such as a neurologist or someone of that nature. So, proving that there has been substandard treatment which resulted in harm can require several witnesses of different expertise, so each case is different in that regard.

Have you or your child suffered a birth injury?

Contact our birth injury solicitors for advice on whether you may be entitled to compensation.

Medical Negligence Team at McCarthy + Co