Skip to main content

Contact us to arrange your
FREE initial consultation

Email us Call me back

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).

During this time, the mother and baby may receive care in various locations from a range of healthcare professionals, including their GP, midwives, ultrasonographer/radiologist, hospital obstetric and paediatric doctors, anaesthetists, nurses and the neonatal unit team.

Despite the many different people who are involved in caring for the mother and baby, this multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals must work together to provide care of a standard which ensures the safety of both mother and child.

Why use our birth injury solicitors for your claim?

Boyes Turner’s cerebral palsy and birth injury lawyers are top rated by Chambers Directory and the Legal 500. Our medical negligence team act exclusively for injured patients and their families.

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. We do not string parents along by pursuing cases that we believe will not ultimately succeed.

We understand the disability and loss that is suffered when maternity errors cause avoidable harm. We are experts in pursuing these claims and recovering top value compensation awards. We are committed to genuinely understanding and meeting the needs of our clients.

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.

Read more

What is birth injury?

Birth injury, or birth trauma, refers to harm or injury suffered by a baby around the time that they were born. (For information about how to claim compensation for injury caused to the mother during a negligently managed pregnancy or birth, click here)

Birth injury claims often involve severely disabling conditions, such as cerebral palsy or severe neurological disability. These claims should be handled by solicitors who are specialists in complex, high value, medical negligence litigation. The brain-injured child’s solicitor should be authorised by the Legal Aid Agency to handle cerebral palsy and serious birth injury claims with the benefit of Legal Aid to ensure that the child receives their full entitlement to compensation.

Serious birth injury is uncommon, but when a baby suffers unexpected harm it can be devastating to the individual child and their family, with consequences affecting every aspect of their life and reaching far into the future.

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.

Read more

NHS Resolution have admitted liability – do I need my own solicitor to handle my child’s cerebral palsy claim?

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.  

Read more

What types of maternity mistakes can lead to birth injury compensation claims?

Maternity mistakes which often lead to a birth injury claim include:

  • failing to recognise and take necessary steps to manage high risk pregnancies, including:
    • premature or prolonged rupture of membranes (PROM or PPROM);
    • pre-eclampsia;
    • group B streptococcal (GBS) infection;
    • IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction – baby small for dates);
    • VBAC (vaginal birth after previous caesarean section);
    • diabetic mother;
    • Rhesus incompatibility (where mother and baby’s blood groups are incompatible);
    • twin/multiple pregnancies;
    • maternal epilepsy.
  • fetal heart rate monitoring errors, including:
    • failing to monitor the fetal heart rate:
      • on admission to hospital in labour;
      • with continuous CTG (electronic fetal heart rate monitor) in high risk cases;
    • misinterpretation of CTG traces;
    • failure to recognise and act upon fetal heart abnormalities;
    • maternal-fetal heart rate mix-ups.
  • hyperstimulation and syntocinon (uterine stimulant) errors;
  • delays in delivery, including failure to escalate to instrumental delivery or emergency caesarean section;
  • negligent management of obstetric complications and emergencies, including:
    • fetal distress;
    • uterine rupture;
    • placental abruption;
    • haemorrhage;
    • impacted fetal head;
    • shoulder dystocia (disproportionate size of baby to mother’s pelvis);
    • vaginal breech delivery;
    • hyperstimulation;
    • meconium aspiration.
  • negligent counselling and management of VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) deliveries;
  • negligent technique in use of forceps/Ventouse suction;
  • anaesthetic errors, including:
    • awareness;
    • intubation errors.

After the baby is born, mistakes in postnatal and neonatal care of the baby which often lead to a negligent birth injury claim include:

  • resuscitation failures or delays;
  • failure to recognise and treat signs of oxygen deprivation;
  • cooling errors;
  • failure to administer vitamin K;
  • failure to recognise and treat infection;
  • failure to recognise and treat hypoglycaemia;
  • failure to recognise and treat jaundice.
Read more

How much compensation can you get for a birth injury?

Severe birth injuries often attract very large compensation awards. Claims with the highest value settlements are often those involving brain injury, such as:

  • cerebral palsy;
  • neurological disability from infection, such as meningitis;
  • brain damage from kernicterus (caused by uncontrolled jaundice);
  •  or brain injury from intracranial bleeding, such as from Vitamin K deficiency, SAH or SDH.

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.

Specifically, each ‘head of damage’ compensates the injured person with the sum of money that, theoretically, puts them back in the position they would have been if the injury hadn’t happened. In reality, 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.

Another reason why birth injury compensation can seem very high, is that any 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.

It takes extensive experience of maximum disability claims and specialist skill and expertise to investigate, understand and accurately calculate the financial impact of a birth injury on a baby’s life. Boyes Turner’s nationally acclaimed cerebral palsy and birth injury lawyers have acted for the most severely injured clients for over 30 years. We are experts at recovering maximum compensation for our clients through these claims.

Our clients recover top level compensation for:

  • pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA) – the physical aspect of their injury;
  • past, present and future professional and family care;
  • case management;
  • therapies, including;
    • physiotherapy;
    • occupational therapy (OT);
    • speech and language therapy;
    • counselling.
  • specialist aids and equipment;
  • adapted vehicles and wheelchairs;
  • adapted accommodation;
  • assistive technology;
  • special education (SEN);
  • loss of earnings and pension;
  • private medical treatment;
  • deputyship costs;
  • additional holiday costs.
Read more

Is there a time limit for birth injury claims?

In general, people who have been injured as a result of medical negligence have three years from the date of the injury to start proceedings in a compensation claim. It is important to remember that where a mother was injured during a mismanaged delivery in which her baby was brain-injured, she only has three years from the date of the injury to pursue her own claim. Only in exceptional circumstances will the court allow a claim to be issued after the deadline. It is always advisable to seek advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible.

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.

Read more

How can we protect our vulnerable child from publicity after they receive their compensation?

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.

Read more

What type of birth injury can be compensated?

Our birth injury team are skilled in recovering top level compensation settlements for clients who have suffered:

Each child’s birth history and injury is unique. Each child’s entitlement to make a claim and the amount of their compensation depends on their individual circumstances. The best way to find out whether your child’s injury was caused by negligent maternity or neonatal care and how to claim their full entitlement to compensation is to speak to our friendly, highly experienced and nationally acclaimed cerebral palsy and birth injury solicitors. All discussions take place on a confidential and no obligation basis.

Read more

How is birth injury compensation paid?

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:

  • for one-off, capital costs, such as adapted accommodation or vehicles;
  • for contingencies;
  • to allow flexibility and choice in how the money is spent.

•              annual periodical payments (PPOs):

  • to provide a regular, tax free income;
  • to guarantee provision for care and lifelong needs;
  • index-linked to keep up with inflation and rising costs;
  • for financial security and peace of mind.

•              interim payments:

  • to maximise the benefit of early rehabilitation;
  • to ease financial hardship;
  • to help buy and adapt accommodation;
  • to pay for care and therapies;
  • to buy essential specialist equipment.

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.  

Read more

How long does it take to get compensation for a birth injury?

There are various important stages to making a claim for compensation. The liability stage, in which we ask or force the NHS defendant to admit liability, is very important. As soon as liability is admitted or ordered by the court, we can immediately apply for a substantial interim payment to start meeting the child’s needs straight away.

The duration of the liability stage depends on whether the NHS defendant fully admits liability or decides to defend the claim. If we have to prove their liability for our client’s injuries, we must obtain supportive, independent medical experts’ evidence, issue proceedings and take the case to trial.  We work very hard in every birth injury case to push the NHS defendant and its claims handler, NHS Resolution, to make early, full admissions of liability. 

Once liability is admitted, our experts must assess our client’s condition, future prognosis (expected outcome), and estimate their life expectation so that we can ensure their final settlement makes proper provision for their lifelong needs. As our birth-injured clients are usually very young, we often have to adjourn the case until the child has developed enough for their needs to be accurately assessed. This time is not wasted. Whilst the case is adjourned and interim funding in place, we use the time to help our client families find and adapt suitable accommodation, work with case managers to recruit carers, try out therapies and buy specialist equipment and assistive technology, and work with our SEN experts to secure special education. With much of this life-changing assistance already in place by the time our experts are able to form a clear assessment of the child, we are then well prepared to value the claim and negotiate settlement.

Read more

Can you get Legal Aid for birth injury claims?

As accredited specialists in cerebral palsy and serious neurological disability claims, we have access to Legal Aid funding for eligible clients. This means that where the child’s case is funded by Legal Aid, their family can be sure that on settlement or a successful outcome to their court proceedings, their child will receive their full compensation without any deduction for legal costs. Whenever Legal Aid is available for a severely brain-injured child, we believe that it is in the child’s best interests for their claim to be funded by Legal Aid.

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.

Read more

Meet your team

Susan Brown photo

Susan Brown


Julie Marsh headshot

Julie Marsh


Richard Money-Kyrle headshot

Richard Money-Kyrle


Sita Soni headshot

Sita Soni

Senior Associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand photo

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Tara Byrne photo

Tara Byrne

Associate - Solicitor

Rachel Makore headshot

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Alpa Rana headshot

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Ben Ireland headshot

Ben Ireland


Alice Carley headshot

Alice Carley


Audrey Elmore headshot

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Nicky Melville headshot

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

Susan Brown photo
Julie Marsh headshot
Richard Money-Kyrle headshot
Sita Soni headshot
Vanessa Wand photo
Tara Byrne photo
Rachel Makore headshot
Alpa Rana headshot
Fran Rothwell
Ben Ireland headshot
Alice Carley headshot
Audrey Elmore headshot
Nicky Melville headshot

Related news

Related cases

How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?

How to make a medical negligence claim?

How long do medical negligence claims take?

How to fund a medical negligence claim?

Will I need a medical examination if I make a medical negligence claim for compensation?

Can I make a claim on behalf of a child?

What can medical negligence compensation pay for?

What is HSSIB?

How can you prove medical negligence?

Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?

Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

What is causation in medical negligence claims?

Can I claim against the NHS?

Who can make a medical negligence claim?

What is MNSI?

Birth injury cases

View all

Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

             Brake | The Road Safety Charity

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

See more

"Julie Marsh is a first rate litigator"

Julie Marsh is a first rate litigator who adds real value to all her cases. I have always been impressed not just by her expertise as a clinical negligence lawyer but by the way she treats every client as an individual and works on their case as if it is the most important thing in the world, which to many clients it really is.

King's Counsel

"You have given fantastic support and guidance"

Boyes Turner have a great asset in Julie Marsh, she has handled my case with such professionalism and has kept me informed at every stage over the 6 years. She has given me guidance, support and that personal touch where I could ring or email at any time and she would always answer and give me answers to any questions I had. Would recommend without hesitation. Thank you

Boyes Turner Client

"I have been impressed"

Tara Byrne kept me well informed at all stages of my claim. I have been impressed with the way my case was handled, and the time scale within which a settlement was reached.”

Boyes Turner Client

"Very Professional "

Boyes Turner helped me through one of the toughest times in my life. They were very professional whilst remaining friendly. At times the process was emotionally tough but they were very patient with me and went through everything with me until I understood it. I cannot recommend them enough. 

Boyes Turner Client

"We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough"

Words cannot express how grateful we are to Susan and her team for the level of commitment and dedication shown to our family during a time which would be difficult for anyone. Susan demonstrates a calm professional manner which helped us to feel at ease. Her level of knowledge has proven to be the best in the field and we fully recommend her to anyone seeking to investigate birth injury claims. You can be confident that Susan and her team will scrutinise the medical notes thoroughly and will keep you well informed throughout the process. We are very pleased with the outcome of our child’s case and know that her work has resulted in justice being achieved. Our family will now be able to move forward in the knowledge that the finances are securely in place for our child to receive a suitable care package, purchase equipment and receive necessary lifelong therapy. We cannot thank Susan and her team at Boyes Turner enough.

Boyes Turner Client