The birth of your child is one of the most special moments of your life. However, when things go wrong, the trauma for yourself and your newborn can be long-lasting and severe.
Although the vast majority of births in the UK and Ireland go off without a hitch, the number of childbirth injuries is still substantial. In the UK alone, more than 30,000 women suffer from childbirth trauma every year, with lasting injuries for both the mother and the child occurring as a result.
Oftentimes, childbirth injuries are the result of completely avoidable factors and medical negligence. If you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice during the birth of your child, it is important to know your rights and take action fact. Read on to learn more.
What are the main causes of childbirth injury?
First off, it’s worth covering the main ways that negligence can cause injury to both mother and baby. These are:
Hypoxia is a common injury sustained to the child when they have not received enough oxygen to the brain during childbirth. Although this is usually caused when the umbilical chord wraps around the neck, doctors are trained to detect hypoxia early and can be found guilty of malpractice if they fail to do so.
Improper use of forceps
Forceps are frequently used to ease the childbirth process. However, improperly used forceps can cause devastating injuries to a child’s neck, head, and chest, as well as severe injuries to the mother.
Delayed caesarian procedure
An emergency caesarian is usually called for when there are severe complications with the birth, or the baby’s heart rate drops. If a doctor fails to correctly identify when an emergency caesarian is needed, they can be held responsible for any lasting injuries that occur as a result.
Improper vacuum use
Vacuum devices are frequently used to assist in difficult deliveries. However, improper vacuum use can cause serious and unnecessary injuries to both the mother and child.
What are my rights?
If you feel that you have suffered from medical negligence during the birth of your child, you have rights. First, it is important to note that you will be able to claim additional maternity leave as a result of an injury (given that you have a qualifying condition).
You can also claim additional child benefits in many cases. Perhaps most importantly, you have the right to file a birth injury claim with a solicitor, who will work on your behalf to ensure justice and fair compensation.
What can I do?
If you have suffered birth trauma as a result of medical negligence, you should contact a qualified and experienced birth injury solicitor. Always do your research and make sure to choose a solicitor that has demonstrable knowledge of the types of injury claims that you are seeking to file. You should also check for referrals and reviews to ensure that your solicitor can live up to your expectations.
Finally, check that any solicitor you are considering is 100% upfront and transparent about their fees so that you know exactly how much of any compensation you would be able to keep. Once you have the right solicitor on your side, you can rest easy knowing that they are working on your behalf.