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Negligent care during pregnancy, childbirth or the first few days of a newborn baby’s life can cause brain injury and lifelong disability from cerebral palsy.
Our cerebral palsy solicitors are here to help. We have further information and resources on our specialist cerebral palsy website please click here.
Many of our client families continue to draw on our practical help, knowledge, and support long after the conclusion of the compensation claim.
Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive, neurological condition which is caused by damage to the brain before, during or soon after birth. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy may not be made until signs of the condition become apparent as the child develops. An early diagnosis of HIE (hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy), birth asphyxia, kernicterus or other types of brain injury often indicates that the child may go on to have disability as a result of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy affects each person differently. The full extent of the disability may only become clear as the child grows and develops. Therapeutic cooling (which is now given routinely to babies with HIE) may reduce the more obvious physical disability, sometimes leaving hidden or more subtle cognitive disability to appear over time.
Physical effects of cerebral palsy can include impaired muscle control, coordination, posture, balance, tone, and reflexes. People with cerebral palsy may have difficulties with mobility, dexterity, feeding, communication, and independent living.
With support, many children with physical disability from cerebral palsy can still study at school, college, or university and go on to paid employment. Those with more severe damage may have severe learning disability, epilepsy, cortical blindness, or be totally unable to communicate.
We offer free advice for those with cerebral palsy and other severe disability, or for their parents, who want to find out whether they are entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Our funding options for cerebral palsy claims guarantee that there will be no cost to you to investigate your claim. Our experience means that we are one of the few firms entitled to offer our clients Legal Aid funding, or, if it’s right for you, handle your claim on a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) ‘no win no fee’ basis.
To start your cerebral palsy claim, please contact our expert cerebral palsy solicitors for a no obligation, free and confidential discussion.
Our skilled lawyers investigate each individual’s circumstances carefully to establish whether negligent maternity or neonatal care caused their condition. Where we can prove that poor treatment caused or significantly contributed to the child’s brain injury and disability, we can help claim compensation for the child.
We support parents through the difficult conversations, investigations, and decisions that follow a baby’s brain injury diagnosis. We secure early, substantial interim (advance) payments from the NHS or private hospital maternity team which caused the child’s injury, to meet their needs whilst the claim is ongoing. Each child’s needs arising from their condition, now and in the future, are carefully considered to ensure that they receive their full entitlement to compensation.
Our cerebral palsy solicitors achieve admissions of liability and maximum value settlements, structured to guarantee the best provision for each client’s individual needs, now and throughout their lives. Along the way, we can usually obtain substantial interim payments.
Working with our Court of Protection deputyship team, we can then begin to meet the child’s urgent needs, such as for care, therapies, suitable accommodation and specialist equipment. Our special educational needs (SEN) team can help with school placements and educational support.
In almost all cases our clients benefit from our applying to Court for an order that their details be anonymised. This means there can be no publication of any information that would lead to the identification of the child or their family. This is an important measure which helps protect the child and family from unwanted intrusion both during the litigation and after the court makes a final life long compensation award.
If you are contacted by NHS Resolution, HSIB/HSSIB or MNSI after the birth of your child, we advise you to contact us for free, confidential, specialist and independent advice straight away.
Your child may be entitled to claim substantial compensation.
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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.
Led by Legal 500 ‘Hall of Fame’ accredited specialist, Susan Brown, our team are top-rated for the results they achieve for our clients. Their reputation for excellence is built upon decades of experience in helping brain-injured children and their families rebuild their lives after they are injured by negligent pregnancy, childbirth and neonatal care.
Cerebral palsy is complex, and advancements in medical understanding of the condition are being made all the time. In our experience, certain types of mistakes by doctors or midwives are more likely to result in a successful claim, but no two clients’ cases are ever exactly the same.
Some negligence causes of cerebral palsy include:
Cerebral palsy can be caused by brain injury from lack of oxygen during late pregnancy, labour, delivery and immediately after birth. Babies who have suffered this type of brain injury may be diagnosed with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, usually known as HIE. Other names for this cause of injury include hypoxia, asphyxia or anoxia.
There are some examples of negligent maternity and neonatal care mistakes which can cause cerebral palsy from HIE:
Babies who are diagnosed with significant HIE are treated with therapeutic cooling shortly after birth. Their injury may be reported by the hospital for further investigation to HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch) or the NHS’s defence organisation, NHS Resolution, under the Early Notification Scheme.
We strongly advise parents to contact us for independent, specialist advice about their child’s rights and possible entitlement to compensation as soon as they are contacted by NHS Resolution or HSSIB / HSIB.
Traumatic injury to a baby during their birth can also result in injury to their brain, leading to disability from cerebral palsy. These injuries may be caused by negligent management of an obstructed labour, poor technique or excessive force during the delivery.
Examples of cerebral palsy claims from traumatic brain injury, caused by obstetrician and midwife negligence, include:
Twin or multiple pregnancies should be treated as high risk and need careful monitoring and management. Twin pregnancies are more likely to be complicated by diabetes, pre-eclampsia and other risk factors in pregnancy, and also have specific risks of their own.
Examples of complications in twin pregnancy which, if poorly managed, can lead to brain injury and cerebral palsy include:
Cerebral palsy can also be caused by injury to a newborn baby’s brain from negligent neonatal care. Mistakes by midwives, paediatricians, and other neonatal staff in the minutes, hours, and days after the baby’s birth may cause further damage to a baby who was already injured or severely harm a healthy baby.
Examples of cerebral palsy claims from negligent neonatal care of a newborn baby include:
We advise parents who believe their child was injured as a result of negligent care around the time of birth to contact our cerebral palsy solicitors as soon as possible for free, confidential advice. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin to help.
Initial help may take the form of general advice about making a claim, responding to NHS Resolution or HSSIB / MNSI, or pursuing a claim and seeking an admission of liability or interim payment. We also help families of older teenagers and young adults with cerebral palsy who decide at a later date to find out more about their entitlement to claim compensation.
Parents generally approach us:
It costs nothing to find out from our friendly, cerebral palsy specialist solicitors whether your child is entitled to compensation. If you think your child’s condition could have been caused by negligent care before, during or after birth, that call could open the way for a lifetime of essential care and provision, and the security of guaranteed financial support.
Compensation can’t reverse the condition, but it can make a huge difference to the injured child’s life in a way that parents may not be able to imagine in the early months and years of the child’s life. Cerebral palsy isn’t progressive, but its effects become more obvious as the child develops, creating physical and financial challenges which parents increasingly find hard to meet.
Here are a few of the benefits our clients gain from making a cerebral palsy compensation claim:
The amount of compensation that can be claimed depends on the client’s injury, their needs arising from their disability and their individual circumstances. With liability established, each client’s compensation is then carefully valued and structured to replace their losses and provide for their needs throughout their expected lifespan.
Cerebral palsy claims may include compensation for:
We strongly advise parents who are contacted by HSSIB (Healthcare Services Safety Investigation Body) or MNSI (Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority) about the events which took place during pregnancy, labour, delivery and after the birth of a baby, to contact our cerebral palsy solicitors immediately for free, confidential, specialist advice.
Your child may be entitled to substantial compensation.
If NHS Resolution contacts you after the birth of your baby, we strongly advise you to contact our claimant (acting for the patient) cerebral palsy solicitors, free and in confidence, for legal advice straight away. Your child may be entitled to claim substantial compensation.
It is important that parents understand that NHS Resolution is the organisation which defends the NHS against medical negligence claims made by patients. They act for the NHS and assess claims from the defendant’s point of view. You may be entitled to claim, even in circumstances where NHS Resolution denies liability. In our experience, around 50% of our successfully settled claims begin with NHS Resolution denying responsibility for the child’s cerebral palsy.
If you are offered compensation under the NHS Early Notification Scheme, it is essential to contact independent solicitors to protect your child's interests and ensure full compensation is paid.
The NHS defence organisation, NHS Resolution, claims that its Early Notification Scheme offers support for families of babies who were born at full term but suffered hypoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury from mistakes in maternity care.
Whilst ENS provides an early means for the NHS to investigate potential claims, in many cases parents of injured babies are not getting the level of advice or financial support for their child’s claim that they deserve.
For all our cerebral palsy cases visit our specialist site here.
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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.
Fran has been an amazing support through a very difficult time for me and my family. Always available to speak and kept me in the loop with anything happening, she has been so kind, and I thank her so much for helping and getting my mum the justice she deserved.
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.