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Birth Injury Claims

If you or your child has suffered a birth-related injury due to medical negligence, Your Legal Friend is here to help.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

How can we help?

Poor medical treatment can lead to devastating consequences.
Search for more specific birth injury types that have affected you.

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

Claiming for a birth injury

The legal community considers a birth injury to be any injury to the baby or mother that occurs during pregnancy, childbirth or shortly after birth as a result of medical negligence 

Specifically, a birth defect is usually considered a condition that a baby develops in the womb as a result of their genetics, an infection, or exposure to toxins. A birth injury may also sometimes be referred to as a birth trauma, which refers specifically to any damage of tissues or organs of a newly delivered baby, often due to the physical pressure or trauma experienced during birth.

Giving birth is a time that requires you to place an enormous amount of trust in your medical team, making any injury due to medical negligence particularly devastating and confusing. Negligence during childbirth can lead to lifelong conditions, such as cerebral palsy. Failing to diagnose or failing to treat diseases such as jaundice or low blood sugar are also common occurrences that can lead to further complications.

If you or your child has suffered a birth-related injury as a result of medical negligence, our expert medical negligence team is here to help. We have years of experience in cases of medical negligence, many of which are related to a birth defect (congenital disability). We understand that a birth injury can leave a family, feeling angry or vulnerable. The psychological and emotional effects of negligence birth injury are often just as harmful as the physical effects, which is why we want to guide you at every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled professionally by a specialised team of solicitors, while also working with medical experts to ensure the best results for your family. 

Birth injury facts and statistics

Currently, the NHS is highly focused on improving services for expectant parents and newborn babies, as birth injury claims account for 50% of total claims against the NHS in terms of value, despite being only 10% of overall claims.

The NHS is concerned with the number of children suffering a brain injury during childbirth. According to the CQC maternity services report (2017), it is also estimated that the care for children with brain injuries who have complex care needs as a result of medical negligence during birth, could cost the NHS £20million per child.

Last year, thanks to NHS data, researchers at the Neonatal Data Analysis Unit at Imperial College London and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were able to analyse data on babies born between 2010 and 2015 to assess how common brain injuries in babies are sustained during or soon after birth. The research estimated that 3,418 babies suffered conditions linked to brain injury at or soon after birth in 2015, which equates to 5 babies in 1000.

To advise on how to reduce brain injuries during birth, the Each Baby Counts inquiry investigated 1,136 stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occurred on UK maternity units during 2015. The report found that failure to monitor a baby’s heart rate during labour could point to a higher likelihood of a child suffering a brain injury.

Mothers are also at risk during childbirth, but a recent report suggests that your postcode could dictate your care. According to The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit's report, women are twice as likely to suffer serious blood loss and severe tears during childbirth in some hospitals.

Birth injuries to babies

Despite being one of the safest places to give birth, babies in the UK are still vulnerable to injury during birth. Childbirth poses many risks for the unborn baby, particularly if there has been any mismanagement of the mother’s medical care through the pregnancy or during labour.

Incorrect treatments, failure to diagnose or treat conditions, or a mistake in medication are just some forms of negligence that can befall a newborn baby. Common conditions that arise as a result of medical negligence to infants include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Fractures or cuts
  • Erb’s palsy 

In some cases, childbirth complications can result in stillbirth or death following birth. In these cases, it can be truly difficult to approach a solicitor for help. Our team is trained to deal with all matters sensitively, to offer advice and guidance through the process of seeking answers and the appropriate damages following such a devastating loss.   

Group B Strep (GBS)

In 2017 a BBC investigation into avoidable baby deaths found that a baby in 2015 died within hours of being born of hypoxia and Group B Strep. Group B Step is a bacterial infection that is found in the vagina or rectum. It is thought to affect 25% of healthy women. Unfortunately, there is a small risk of pregnant women passing this onto their children during childbirth. When left untreated, it can cause babies life-threatening complications. 

Birth injuries to mothers

While it is quite common for mothers to expect recovery time following labour, complications or serious injuries to a new mother’s body due to medical negligence can have far-reaching consequences. An injury sustained during birth can limit a mother’s first experiences with her new baby, delay a future return to work and affect their relationship with their body in the future. In some difficult cases, injuries can be permanent.

Some examples of injuries may include:

  • Perineal tears or internal damage– there are various degrees of tear, and if a third or fourth-degree tear is incorrectly treated or ignored, it could be grounds for a claim.
  • Injuries following C-Section errors
  • Injuries after the use of vacuum delivery or forceps
  • Infections acquired from mishandled stitching

These are just some injuries a mother may experience; your experience may be different. Our team can advise you on your situation, and help you to claim the appropriate damages.

Preterm Prelabour Rupture of Membranes (PPROM)

Premature rupture of membranes could be termed the early ‘breaking of the waters.’ If this happens before 37 weeks of gestation, it can be dangerous for mother and baby. If mismanaged by your healthcare team, this could constitute negligence. 

Read less

Watch some helpful related videos

Our expert team will call you...

Our team has years of experience working on various birth injury cases, so we know how difficult it can be to decide whether or not your case is medical misconduct.

Medical Negligence Team.jpg

Laura Morgan, our director of medical negligence, has 20 years’ experience as a clinical negligence specialist, with considerable expertise in birth injury cases. She is a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel and is known for her work on the quantification of damages in high value and complex cases. Laura is an APIL senior litigator and has been ranked in The Legal 500. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a seven-year-old and £4 million for an 11-year-old child.

Sara Stanger is a qualified Solicitor and the Manager of our Clinical Negligence Department. She has over ten years’ experience in this complex area of law and is a Senior Litigator of APIL. The 2017 Chambers UK Guide to the Legal Profession described Sara as “approachable, sharp and honest” and the Legal 500 recommended Sara both in their 2016 and 2017 lawyer rankings in 2017, stating: “for her work on cases arising from a delay in diagnosis of cancer and orthopaedic matters including brachial plexus and Erb’s palsy injuries”. In November 2017, Sara was appointed to the Law Society’s clinical negligence panel.

Emma Calvert was recruited to Your Legal Friend in May 2017 as a Clinical Negligence Solicitor and supervises the practice group of cases arising from a delay in diagnosis or mistreatment of ectopic pregnancy.

Talk to us today

For an informal, confidential chat with one of our specialist birth injury solicitors, call us now on 0151 550 5228 (calls free from landlines and mobiles). Or just complete the 'Start a new claim’ option on the right and we'll call you straight back.

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Request a callback that suits you

When would you like us to call?

The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

Your questions... answered

How long do I have to make a claim?

Every medical claim made by the victims of medical negligence is subject to a three-year time limit. Failure to bring a case forward within this time period means that you will lose the opportunity to hold those responsible to account.

Three years is the maximum amount of time you have to take action, but it’s typically advisable to seek professional advice as soon as possible. This ensures that your case is given the best possible chance to be successful, as well as speeding up the whole process and helping you take the next step after hypoglycaemia medical negligence.

Starting the claims process can also support you. We’ll gather evidence from a range of sources, including medical records, to build up your case and provide a strong foundation. Among the evidence used, we’ll also utilise witness statements. For many of those affected, it’s easier to recall the details of their experience the sooner they act and complete the task of making a statement. The more detail you can provide the easier it is for our team to evaluate and fight your case on your behalf.

It’s important to note when the time limit on medical negligence claims starts, rather than beginning when the negligence occurred it begins from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the point that your first realised those responsible for the care of your baby had made mistakes. In some cases, this point occurs almost immediately, but in others, it can happen months down the line.

If you do not claim within the set time period, your claim will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ and will unfortunately not be taken further. There are two exceptions to this rule, in the case of children and if the negligence directly led to a fatality. In cases where suing the NHS for negligence is still possible; the date on which time begins to run is the date of the child’s 18th birthday, and in the case of fatalities, from the date of death.

In complex cases, such as where there has been misdiagnosis or multiple delays, it can be a challenge to figure out when the ‘date of knowledge’ occurred. If you’re unsure, you don’t have to worry. Backed by years of experience, the team at Your Legal Friend can offer you the insights that you need.

Read less

How much can I expect to receive from a birth injury compensation claim?

The amount of compensation you could receive is dependent on a few different factors. For example, your child’s care needs and subsequent costs can be a consideration when it comes to the amount of damages you can expect to receive. Other factors taken into account are how severe and extensive the injury in questions is if there are any additional medical costs, rehab costs or home adaptation costs that need to be considered. If there is any loss of income or employment is a consideration, as are things that people may not even consider, such as travel costs to medical appointments.

Each case is unique, and settlements differ depending on the circumstances of the claimant. What our team of birth injury solicitors will do is try to negotiate a settlement that can provide a lifelong care package as needed.

Read less

How to start childbirth negligence claims

Three years can go by very quickly. If you are a busy parent, trying to navigate difficulties as a result of suffering a birth injury, it can be easy to put things off or worry that you are making a fuss for no reason. In the time it may take someone to decide to pursue legal action, the opportunity to do so may have disappeared. 

If you suspect at all that you or your child may have been the victim of medical negligence, even if you are not sure, the first step is to contact us. Calls are free, and our team can listen to your story without any judgement, and help you to understand if you do have a possible claim for medical negligence. If we think that we might be unable to help you, we can also advise you on where to turn next. For those that we can help, we can give time outlines, explain the process of claiming and any other information we can give on your case.

Read less

Causes of birth injuries

A long list of possible mistakes made by hospital staff can result in a birth injury. Some of the more common mistakes may include:

  • Failing to monitor the baby’s heartbeat for signs of distress during labour
  • Delaying the birth and delivering the baby too late
  • Attempting to deliver the baby when the baby’s shoulder is stuck, or the baby is in the wrong position.


There are many more possible causes of birth injury. When pursuing a claim for birth injury there must be a direct and provable link between an injury and a mistake that was made in your care. As then, there may be a case to be made for compensation.  

Who can make a birth injury claim?

It is not only the birth mother of the child who may make a claim; either parent or a guardian may claim if their baby has suffered a birth injury. Family members are also able to enquire on behalf of their loved ones if necessary but to progress a claim on behalf of someone else; their permission must be given.

You may also claim on behalf of a deceased family member. In these difficult cases, our team will be able to advise you best on the process.

Claiming on behalf of a child

While there is usually a three-year time limit on making a clinical negligence claim, if your child was injured during birth, you can make a claim on their behalf any time up to their 18th birthday. Following this, they have up to three years to claim on their own.

In some cases, where mental capacity has been affected, there may be a longer window of time to make a birth injury claim.

Read less

Interim payments, care and rehabilitation for a birth injury

Our legal experts can help you to investigate your claim, and we can help you ensure that children with severe injuries receive the best possible care.

Compensation claims for birth injuries are seldom as simple as obtaining an amount of compensation at the end of a case. The effects of negligence during childbirth on the affected mothers and babies and their families can be substantial, permanent and complicated.

To alleviate the financial pressure related to medical care and to cover other medical costs as much as possible, our lawyers will try to negotiate advance payments, also known as interim payments. This money can be crucial when it comes to home care or treatment, home adaptations and providing essential rehabilitation.

Read less

How can I determine if my healthcare provider caused my baby’s birth injuries?

It may not always be obvious that a birth injury was the result of negligence. There are some questions you can ask yourself that may indicate medical negligence:

  • During pregnancy, did you have any infections that went untreated by your doctor?
  • Did you have a longer labour than expected?
  • Did you need to have an emergency c section?
  • Did the baby present in an unusual way, such as breech or shoulder dystocia?
  • Did anything happen during labour that you felt was unusual or strange?

These are just some questions that can help people determine if there was a possibility of medical negligence. Answering yes to any of these does not mean that your child suffered a birth injury, but it could raise further questions.

A qualified solicitor can access your medical records on your behalf and investigate any possible negligence that occurred in your case.

Read less

How soon will I receive birth injury compensation?

If you win your case, we will aim to get your compensation to you as soon as possible. Upon winning the case, the compensation amount and date it will be awarded are agreed upon, which will be communicated to you.

How do I fund my birth injury claim?

We operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. So when you begin your claim with us, you pay no money upfront for our work on your case and only pay if your claim is successful. You can read more about this on our no win no fee page.

Assessing the severity of a birth injury

The severity of an injury has a direct effect on the amount of compensation you will receive at the end of your case. Birth injury compensation cases are complex and are seldom easy to assess. When our team discusses your situation with you, we will ask many questions to assess the severity of your situation. This can help us to seek expert advice to support your case, and provide an estimate to the valuation of damages you could receive.

What are the long-term effects of a birth injury?

Some birth injury cases are more easily identified than others. Some conditions or consequences of medical negligence can remain hidden until a child has reached 18. In these cases, there is a three-year time limit from the date of knowledge for the claimant to make a claim.

In some cases, where long-term effects are determined to be a possibility, this can be reflected in the damages awarded. For example, if a child is considered never to be able to live or work independently, this will be considered when assessing the compensation award.

What is the medical profession’s duty of care?

The "duty of care" of the medical profession requires physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to take the maximum amount of precautions possible and take the necessary measures to ensure that all treatment decisions are considered reasonable and in the best interests of the patient.

Will my claim go to trial?

We will usually try to negotiate a settlement without going to court. In some cases, however, it is necessary for the case to progress to court. In the event of this, our team will advise and prepare you for the experience.

Every medical claim made by the victims of medical negligence is subject to a three-year time limit. Failure to bring a case forward within this time period means that you will lose the opportunity to hold those responsible to account.

Three years is the maximum amount of time you have to take action, but it’s typically advisable to seek professional advice as soon as possible. This ensures that your case is given the best possible chance to be successful, as well as speeding up the whole process and helping you take the next step after hypoglycaemia medical negligence.

Starting the claims process can also support you. We’ll gather evidence from a range of sources, including medical records, to build up your case and provide a strong foundation. Among the evidence used, we’ll also utilise witness statements. For many of those affected, it’s easier to recall the details of their experience the sooner they act and complete the task of making a statement. The more detail you can provide the easier it is for our team to evaluate and fight your case on your behalf.

It’s important to note when the time limit on medical negligence claims starts, rather than beginning when the negligence occurred it begins from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the point that your first realised those responsible for the care of your baby had made mistakes. In some cases, this point occurs almost immediately, but in others, it can happen months down the line.

If you do not claim within the set time period, your claim will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ and will unfortunately not be taken further. There are two exceptions to this rule, in the case of children and if the negligence directly led to a fatality. In cases where suing the NHS for negligence is still possible; the date on which time begins to run is the date of the child’s 18th birthday, and in the case of fatalities, from the date of death.

In complex cases, such as where there has been misdiagnosis or multiple delays, it can be a challenge to figure out when the ‘date of knowledge’ occurred. If you’re unsure, you don’t have to worry. Backed by years of experience, the team at Your Legal Friend can offer you the insights that you need.

Read less

The amount of compensation you could receive is dependent on a few different factors. For example, your child’s care needs and subsequent costs can be a consideration when it comes to the amount of damages you can expect to receive. Other factors taken into account are how severe and extensive the injury in questions is if there are any additional medical costs, rehab costs or home adaptation costs that need to be considered. If there is any loss of income or employment is a consideration, as are things that people may not even consider, such as travel costs to medical appointments.

Each case is unique, and settlements differ depending on the circumstances of the claimant. What our team of birth injury solicitors will do is try to negotiate a settlement that can provide a lifelong care package as needed.

Read less

Three years can go by very quickly. If you are a busy parent, trying to navigate difficulties as a result of suffering a birth injury, it can be easy to put things off or worry that you are making a fuss for no reason. In the time it may take someone to decide to pursue legal action, the opportunity to do so may have disappeared. 

If you suspect at all that you or your child may have been the victim of medical negligence, even if you are not sure, the first step is to contact us. Calls are free, and our team can listen to your story without any judgement, and help you to understand if you do have a possible claim for medical negligence. If we think that we might be unable to help you, we can also advise you on where to turn next. For those that we can help, we can give time outlines, explain the process of claiming and any other information we can give on your case.

Read less

A long list of possible mistakes made by hospital staff can result in a birth injury. Some of the more common mistakes may include:

  • Failing to monitor the baby’s heartbeat for signs of distress during labour
  • Delaying the birth and delivering the baby too late
  • Attempting to deliver the baby when the baby’s shoulder is stuck, or the baby is in the wrong position.


There are many more possible causes of birth injury. When pursuing a claim for birth injury there must be a direct and provable link between an injury and a mistake that was made in your care. As then, there may be a case to be made for compensation.  

It is not only the birth mother of the child who may make a claim; either parent or a guardian may claim if their baby has suffered a birth injury. Family members are also able to enquire on behalf of their loved ones if necessary but to progress a claim on behalf of someone else; their permission must be given.

You may also claim on behalf of a deceased family member. In these difficult cases, our team will be able to advise you best on the process.

Claiming on behalf of a child

While there is usually a three-year time limit on making a clinical negligence claim, if your child was injured during birth, you can make a claim on their behalf any time up to their 18th birthday. Following this, they have up to three years to claim on their own.

In some cases, where mental capacity has been affected, there may be a longer window of time to make a birth injury claim.

Read less

Our legal experts can help you to investigate your claim, and we can help you ensure that children with severe injuries receive the best possible care.

Compensation claims for birth injuries are seldom as simple as obtaining an amount of compensation at the end of a case. The effects of negligence during childbirth on the affected mothers and babies and their families can be substantial, permanent and complicated.

To alleviate the financial pressure related to medical care and to cover other medical costs as much as possible, our lawyers will try to negotiate advance payments, also known as interim payments. This money can be crucial when it comes to home care or treatment, home adaptations and providing essential rehabilitation.

Read less

It may not always be obvious that a birth injury was the result of negligence. There are some questions you can ask yourself that may indicate medical negligence:

  • During pregnancy, did you have any infections that went untreated by your doctor?
  • Did you have a longer labour than expected?
  • Did you need to have an emergency c section?
  • Did the baby present in an unusual way, such as breech or shoulder dystocia?
  • Did anything happen during labour that you felt was unusual or strange?

These are just some questions that can help people determine if there was a possibility of medical negligence. Answering yes to any of these does not mean that your child suffered a birth injury, but it could raise further questions.

A qualified solicitor can access your medical records on your behalf and investigate any possible negligence that occurred in your case.

Read less

If you win your case, we will aim to get your compensation to you as soon as possible. Upon winning the case, the compensation amount and date it will be awarded are agreed upon, which will be communicated to you.

We operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. So when you begin your claim with us, you pay no money upfront for our work on your case and only pay if your claim is successful. You can read more about this on our no win no fee page.

The severity of an injury has a direct effect on the amount of compensation you will receive at the end of your case. Birth injury compensation cases are complex and are seldom easy to assess. When our team discusses your situation with you, we will ask many questions to assess the severity of your situation. This can help us to seek expert advice to support your case, and provide an estimate to the valuation of damages you could receive.

Some birth injury cases are more easily identified than others. Some conditions or consequences of medical negligence can remain hidden until a child has reached 18. In these cases, there is a three-year time limit from the date of knowledge for the claimant to make a claim.

In some cases, where long-term effects are determined to be a possibility, this can be reflected in the damages awarded. For example, if a child is considered never to be able to live or work independently, this will be considered when assessing the compensation award.

The "duty of care" of the medical profession requires physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to take the maximum amount of precautions possible and take the necessary measures to ensure that all treatment decisions are considered reasonable and in the best interests of the patient.

We will usually try to negotiate a settlement without going to court. In some cases, however, it is necessary for the case to progress to court. In the event of this, our team will advise and prepare you for the experience.

More about us and our services

Read More: Medical Negligence and Maternity

15 Jun 2017

There are an estimated 700,000 live births in the UK each year and in 2014, the NHS paid £410m in obstetrics claims, which was 41% of a £1.1bn compensation budget.

READ MORE