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During childbirth, you expect your child to be taken care of from the beginning of pregnancy, right until the end when you give birth. Failings in care during pregnancy and childbirth can have serious consequences. If your child has been injured because of mistakes during pregnancy, labour, or delivery our birth injury solicitors can help you claim the compensation you need to care for and support your child.
Birth injury, or birth trauma, refers to harm or injury suffered by a baby around the time that they were born. If you, as the mother, have suffered during a negligently managed pregnancy or birth, you may also be able to claim compensation.
Birth injury claims often involve severely disabling conditions, such as cerebral palsy or severe neurological disability, which can be caused by mistakes in maternity or neonatal care. These claims should be handled by solicitors who are specialists in complex, high value, medical negligence litigation.
Whilst some conditions occur naturally, other types of birth-related injury, such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy, can be caused by mistakes in maternity or neonatal care. It is natural for parents of an injured child to seek an explanation as to what went wrong, whether directly from the hospital or through the legal process. When the answer is that their baby’s brain injury and disability was caused by negligent errors in their maternity or neonatal care, they are entitled to claim their child’s legal right to compensation.
To make a birth injury claim, contact Boyes Turner Claims birth injury solicitors as soon as possible if your child has suffered an injury before, during, or after childbirth. We will conduct a free, confidential consultation and assess whether we think you will be able to make a claim.
For claims arising from negligent medical care, you have until at least your child’s 21st birthday to start the claim with the court by issuing a claim form. If your child does not have the capacity to manage their affairs, at present, there is no strict time limit by when a claim arising from negligent medical care must be started in court. However, the sooner the investigation is started the better as recollections are better and documents less likely to be mislaid.
If you are able to make a birth injury claim, we will take you through the litigation process funded either by a no win, no fee agreement (Conditional Fee Agreement) or by Legal Aid.
To have a successful claim, we need to prove two things. firstly that the treating medical practitioners were negligent and secondly that their negligence caused your child’s injury.
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Complete our simple form to start your claim and get a call back back from our expert legal team.
Our clients receive the highest standards of advice and representation and are always treated with compassion, outstanding care and understanding of the physical, emotional, psychological and financial impact that life-changing injury can have upon their lives.
Our extensive expertise and specialism in cerebral palsy and serious birth injury cases enables us to identify where things have gone wrong in childbirth and to recognise where a client is likely to succeed with their claim.
Our success rate is exceptional, as is the care we give each client family. We know the heartache and worry that many parents feel when deciding whether to approach a solicitor about making a medical negligence claim. We give clear and straightforward advice and take great care in identifying cases that we believe have reasonable prospects of success.
Our severely disabled clients benefit from our targeted approach to their claims. We work hard to secure early admissions of liability and interim payments which allow us to make a real difference to our clients’ lives, long before the claim has concluded. This means that our injured child claimants benefit more quickly from using specialist equipment in their adapted home, increasing their independence and communication, accessing supported education in their chosen schools. Their parents receive help with (and respite from) meeting their child’s 24-hour-a-day care needs and are supported by specialist case managers who are on hand to help with access to essential services and therapies. Financial hardship is alleviated. Worries about how the child’s care will be paid for in the future are eased. The child can participate in family life within in a suitably adapted and supported home environment, whilst our high value claims specialists work on valuing and negotiating settlement of the claim.
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Mistakes in maternity care can be made during pregnancy (antenatally), during labour and birth, immediately after birth (postnatally) or in the early days of the baby’s life (neonatally).
Each child’s birth history and injury is unique, however our birth injury solicitors are skilled in recovering top level compensation settlements for clients.
The types of birth injuries which can be compensated include:
Birth injury compensation is rarely calculated solely on the basis of the injury.
The physical injury is compensated by a payment for ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ (PSLA), but this is only one aspect of the value of the claim. The rest of the compensation award reflects the impact of the injury. It is personalised to compensate for the way the individual’s own injury affects them in the context of their own personal, home, and family circumstances.
No amount of money can put right the damage that has been done. Money can only buy solutions to help overcome some of the problems that are caused by their disability. This could include paying for wheelchairs and adapted vehicles to help with lack of mobility, carers to help with daily personal care, or technology to ease communication or access to education. Money can also replace the net earnings that the injured person will never be able to earn, and meet the costs of adapted housing, specialist aids and equipment and therapies which would not have been needed but for the injury.
Despite this, birth injury compensation can seem very high, this is because the settlement must cover the injured person’s needs and losses from the date of injury for as long as those losses and costs will be suffered. In the case of a brain injured baby, these costs and losses will continue (and must be met or replaced) for the entire lifetime of the child.
We negotiate each client’s settlement carefully to ensure that it will be paid in a way which is best for the individual child and their family.
Where a brain-injured child has an urgent need for an adapted home and full-time professional care but has a short expected lifespan, a settlement which provides flexible access to a large proportion of their compensation may be the priority. In these circumstances, most or all of their settlement might be paid as a lump sum.
However, where a severely disabled child is expected to live a long and healthy life, it is important that their settlement provides the certainty that, for as long as they live, there will always be money to pay for ongoing expenses, such as the cost of care. Where long-term provision is a priority, a large proportion of the settlement will be paid by a periodical payment order (PPO), with index-linked, tax free, annual payments guaranteed for the rest of the client’s life.
During valuation and settlement of the claim, it is essential that the child’s solicitor has the expertise to maximise the benefit of the settlement to the child. Only through a detailed understanding of the child’s injuries, their evolving needs, and the importance of timing, structure and usage of each type of compensation payment, will the child receive the full benefit of their compensation.
Each and every child’s case is carefully assessed and, according to their individual needs, our clients receive compensation in the form of:
lump sum payments:
annual periodical payments (PPOs):
Compensation for clients who are under the age of 18 or whose mental capacity is impaired is administered for them by a Court of Protection appointed deputy or through a personal injury trust. We work closely with our deputyship and personal injury trust specialists and our clients’ families to help our severely disabled clients gain the maximum benefit from their settlements.
As accredited specialists in cerebral palsy and serious neurological disability claims, we have access to Legal Aid funding for eligible clients. We also offer no win, no fee agreements (Conditional Fee Agreements) and will discuss with you which funding mechanism is best for you and your child.
Legal Aid funding is only available to patients who have suffered a brain injury, such as cerebral palsy, at birth or within the first few weeks of their life. The child must have suffered their injury in England or Wales, and are not eligible if they have substantial funds of their own. The parents’ own finances are ignored for the purposes of their child’s application. Legal Aid funding is only available where the eligible child’s claim is handled by a solicitor who is approved as a specialist in cerebral palsy and child brain injury claims by the Legal Aid Agency.
Conditional Fee Agreement funding (with an associated policy of insurance) can be an attractive alternative to Legal Aid funding. We will talk the options through with you so that you have all the information to make a decision on which funding option you prefer.
We understand that families of injured children who receive large compensation awards worry about publicity and vulnerability to other people’s reactions.
The court recognises these concerns, and we regularly obtain anonymity orders for our clients. In addition, our client’s compensation is always protected, as it is safely invested and managed by a deputy and the Court of Protection. Or, in the case of mentally competent adult clients, through a personal injury trust.
The NHS is defended in medical negligence cases by NHS Resolution. NHS Resolution also appoints its own solicitors to represent the NHS in negligence claims.
Since April 2017, NHS Resolution and its own solicitors (who are defending the NHS) have started directly contacting the parents of babies who have suffered brain injury during childbirth, where the NHS maternity care could lead to a claim.
If NHS Resolution or one of their solicitors has contacted you and has admitted that your maternity care was handled negligently, it is vital that you immediately seek independent, specialist legal advice.
Boyes Turner are one of the few firms who have experience of handling cerebral palsy claims under NHS Resolution’s Early Intervention Scheme. We have found that even when NHS Resolution admits to the parents of a brain-injured child that their maternity care was negligent, they sometimes delay or avoid accepting full liability for the cause of the injury.
In our experience, the interim payments that they offer tend to fall far short of the sums that the child is entitled to receive and that we routinely secure for our clients. The sooner the parent comes to us after a birth injury or contact from NHS Resolution, the sooner we can secure a full NHS admission of liability for causing the child’s injury and begin meeting the child’s needs with a substantial interim payment.
Where a child is under 18 at the date of their injury, their three-year time limit starts from their 18th birthday. If they have mental capacity to manage their own affairs when they are 18, their ‘limitation’ deadline will expire when they are 21. Many of our cerebral palsy clients come to us as teenagers or young adults. In these cases, the client’s capacity for the purposes of litigating the claim, and their time limit for bringing proceedings, will be carefully assessed with the help of our medical experts.
Where the injured person’s mental capacity is impaired, as a result of their brain injury, there is no deadline for bringing proceedings. However, there are many good reasons to investigate a claim as early as possible. Evidence, such as medical records and the parents’ recollections of events, are easier to gather. Early investigation increases the likelihood that interim funds will be in place to help as the child’s physical, care and educational needs develop in the early years. The sooner we are involved, the sooner we can take steps to secure the help that will be needed for the child.
Whilst no child is too old for us to consider their claim, we always advise parents who have experienced the trauma of birth-injury to their child or birth-related injury to the mother to contact us as soon as they are considering a claim.
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Medical negligence is when a medical professional, such as a doctor, midwife, or nurse, or other healthcare practitioner is negligent if they act in a way that falls below any acceptable standard of care.
If someone is injured as a result of medical negligence, they are entitled to compensation for any injury that was caused and for the financial consequences of that injury.
Medical negligence claims that involve severe injury and disability should always be handled by specialist medical negligence solicitors. It takes experience and skill to successfully prove that medical negligence has caused a patient’s injuries, and to secure the highest levels of compensation.
Anyone who has suffered serious injury or disability as a result of negligent NHS or private medical care can make a medical negligence claim for compensation. Special rules apply to children, adults with mental incapacity, and claims arising from a fatal injury/someone’s death.
Children and teenagers under the age of 18, or anyone with mental incapacity, must make their claim via a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian in the case of a child, or a partner or other adult family member in the case of an adult with mental incapacity. The solicitor handling the claim takes instructions and works closely with the litigation friend whilst ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of the child or mentally incapable adult who is making the claim. You can find out more about making a claim for a child.
Some important decisions, such as agreements to settle a child or mentally incapable adult’s claim, must be approved by the court. Arrangements must also be made to safeguard the child or mentally incapable adult’s compensation, whether from an interim payment, lump sum settlement or agreed future payments. Depending on the claimant’s circumstances, this may be done by paying the money into a Court Funds Office account until the child is 18, by appointing a Court of Protection deputy or setting up a personal injury trust. You can find out more about Court of Protection deputyship and personal injury trusts.
If the claim is for bereaved family members and dependants after medical negligence caused someone’s death, the claim must be made by the deceased’s personal representative (executor or administrator of their estate) on behalf of all who are entitled to compensation as a result of the death. You can find out more about making a fatal injury medical negligence claim here.
The NHS has a responsibility to provide its patients with a safe and acceptable level of care. If a patient is seriously injured or their condition is made significantly worse as a result of negligent NHS care, the patient may be entitled to claim compensation.
Compensation can help meet the costs of care, therapies, equipment and home adaptations that are needed when an NHS mistake causes injury or disability that permanently affects the patient’s life.
We are experts at helping clients receive the compensation they deserve from the NHS. We understand the concerns that patients and their families sometimes have about claiming against the NHS. You can read our answers to many of the most common questions on our NHS claims page or speak to one of our solicitors about your own claim by contacting us.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Occasionally, cases can only be concluded by a formal court hearing, such as where:
Where our client’s claim is complicated by any of the above, we may advise our client that for the case to proceed, it must go to a court hearing. Our caring and highly experienced medical negligence solicitors and barristers ensure that our clients are always kept informed and supported.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court, such as after a settlement for a child or brain injured adult without mental capacity takes place. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
Each claimant’s compensation is calculated in accordance with mandatory rules based on their individual circumstances.
Compensation for medical negligence should put the injured person back in the position that they would have been in if the negligence hadn’t happened, in so far as money can.
In a medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation depends on:
Compensation for medical negligence usually includes a sum for the injury, and sums to compensate for financial losses and the cost of meeting the needs that arise from the disability.
Our medical negligence solicitors ensure clients receive their compensation in the way that is best suited to meet their needs.
Depending on our clients’ injuries, individual circumstances and needs, we can recover compensation to pay for:
Where medical negligence caused someone’s death, compensation may be claimed by the deceased’s dependants and on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Compensation in a fatal injury medical negligence claim can be paid for:
There are three ways to fund a medical negligence claim, legal aid, no win no fee, and legal expense insurance.
A medical examination is usually needed to assess our client’s injury. Where our client has suffered multiple injuries or both physical and psychological injuries, they may need to be examined by specialists in each area. This is important to make sure that our client’s injuries are fully assessed and understood, so that they can be properly compensated.
If a medical examination is needed, we instruct the specialist and make the arrangements. We ensure that they have access to our client’s medical records and are aware of the background to the claim. The hospital or doctor against whom the claim is being made may also ask for our client to be examined by their medical expert.
The law states that, in most cases, someone who has been injured as a result of medical negligence has three years from the date of the negligence which caused the injury to issue court proceedings. If they fail to issue court proceedings within that time, their claim will be statute barred, meaning that they lose their right to bring a claim.
There are the following exceptions to the three-year rule:
Regardless of your time limit, we recommend that you contact our medical negligence solicitors as soon as you can, even if at that stage you are only considering whether to make a claim.
By contacting us early, it avoids later problems with deadlines and allows us to advise you on how to collect and preserve essential evidence. This enables us to ensure you have the best chance of securing your entitlement to full compensation for your claim.
If a baby, child, or teenager under the age of 18 makes a claim for compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence, their claim is made on their behalf by a ‘litigation friend’. This is usually a parent or guardian.
As the child’s solicitor, we have a responsibility to make sure that all decisions relating to the claim are made in the best interests of the child. To do this, we work very closely with the child’s family. Some important decisions, such as settlement agreements or the amount of money that is allocated to a child in a claim involving more than one claimant, must be approved by the court.
We are specialists in helping families obtain full compensation for children who have been very severely injured, leaving them with permanent disability and lifelong specialist needs. Our expert children’s claims service includes a dedicated Court of Protection team who help our clients protect, budget and access their compensation via deputyship and trusts, and an SEN team to ensure that their special educational needs are met. Find out more about how we help families, children, and teenagers with children’s claims.
If you think that you or a family member have received negligent medical treatment or have experienced malpractice, we recommend that you speak to one of our friendly, experienced clinical negligence claim solicitors as soon as possible.
You can contact us by telephone or by email. Your enquiry will be handled confidentially and preliminary advice in relation to pursuing a claim will be given free of charge.
Our medical negligence solicitors will ask you to tell us briefly what has happened, advise you about the limitation deadlines (time limits) which apply to your claim and whether we are able to help you investigate your claim.
Once our initial investigations have taken place, we will notify the defendant (hospital or doctor) of your intention to pursue a claim and invite them to respond, giving them an opportunity to admit liability, before court proceedings are issued.
If liability is admitted, we will enter judgment and apply for an interim payment as soon as possible to meet any urgent needs that you may have as a result of the negligently caused injury.
If liability is disputed, we will discuss with you the further steps that we need to take to progress your claim.
Our extensive guide on making a medical negligence claim explains the whole process, if you require any further information.
The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. The claim is likely to take less time to conclude where:
Circumstances which make the claim more complex and therefore take longer to resolve include:
Our medical negligence solicitors work hard to secure early admissions of liability and substantial interim payments so that we can begin to alleviate financial hardship and provide essential care, respite, specialist equipment, therapies and home adaptations long before the claim has settled. With liability judgments secured and interim funds in place, the individual and their family are able to focus on rebuilding their lives whilst we concentrate on valuing and negotiating settlement of the claim.
Compensation is carefully structured to ensure the best provision for the injured person’s needs. Our clients often benefit from different types of compensation, including:
Where healthcare is found to be (legally) negligent, then the claimant (the person making the claim) must prove that their injury was caused or significantly worsened by the negligent care.
This is important because the patient may already be very ill when they receive negligent medical care. In those circumstances, they must prove that their injury (and its financial consequences) would have been avoided or greatly reduced if correct treatment had been given. This aspect of the medical negligence claim is known as ‘causation’. Causation must be proven, even if negligence is admitted, for the claim to succeed and compensation to be awarded.
Negligence and causation must be proven by supportive opinions from medical experts. We instruct experts in the same field of medicine as the negligent care to tell us whether the care that was given was of a reasonable standard. If negligence is proven, we ask medical specialists in the type of injury suffered, to confirm whether our client’s injury was caused or made worse by the negligent treatment, or would have been reduced or avoided with correct care.
In a medical negligence claim, compensation will only be paid for injuries and loss that we can prove were caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence. Once we know what mistakes were made, the next step (causation) is to identify the extent of the injury or disability that was caused by those mistakes.
Proving causation in complex medical negligence cases requires both medical expertise and understanding of the law. We often succeed in claims where NHS Resolution (the NHS’ defence organisation) has denied ‘causation’. You can read more about how we overcome difficulties with causation in complex birth injury cases.
Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.
What has to be some of the most testing horrible times was dealt with in a dignified, honest, approachable and truly empathetic manner. I could not begin to do Susan justice for her handling of our case.
I approached Boyes Turner after my claim was turned down by one of the Medical Negligence Claim company. My wife was a victim of medical negligence.
Boyes Turner have acted so efficiently on our behalf and was able to win our case. Anytime we contact them, their customer service was very good as they kept us fully informed of every level our case has developed. They are very friendly and approachable and great in their professional advise. I would strongly recommend anyone approach them for their legal and medical negligence services.
Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable with communication and updates as and when needed, in what can be a drawn out process, I was always comfortable asking questions and always received answers which were clear and understandable. Highly recommend
I came to Boyes Turner desperate after searching the web for a firm to use for my sons case. He was only a few months so my mind was all over the place, but from the very first point of contact I felt a sense of relieve and belonging. I was welcomed and looked after by amazing staff who always communicated everything so well and went the extra mile to explain things and ensure I understood what was happening every step of the way (THANK YOU SUSAN BROWN). Susan was amazing I felt like I not only had a solicitor but someone who understood my emotions as a mother and always handled me with so much compassion and that was all I needed to keep me going for the 6 years of the case. Years went by in a breeze because of how professional Boyes Turner was. I am so greatful I went through it all with them and mananged to get my son a good compensation. We look forward our new life where my sons needs are priority after struggling for so long. Thank you Boyes Turner and thank you Susan Brown. My family and I are ever indebted.
From the moment I picked up the phone and spoke to Richard Money-Kyrle I knew I had done the right thing by choosing Boyes Turner to take our claim forward and to represent my son. Both Richard Money-Kyrle and Alpa Rana have worked on our case and they both have been amazing throughout, explaining every step of the way and anything we didn’t understand and keeping me updated constantly. This gave me and my family a lot of reassurance.
Both Richard and Alpa are friendly and gained my trust and have been really easy to talk to which has made the process a whole lot easier and smoother than anticipated.
The outcome of the claim was far more than I could have wished for and that was down to their hard work and expertise
I couldn’t fault them they have been brilliant throughout the whole process I would recommend Boyes Turner to anyone.