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Our brain injury lawyers are specialists in achieving high-value compensation awards for children with brain damage whether they have kernicterus through jaundice, cerebral palsy, disability from birth trauma, neonatal injury or permanent neurological damage caused by medical negligence treatment.

We are a leading specialist brain injury law firm. Our dedicated team of injury lawyers are able to provide advice and assistance through our high levels of legal expertise and links with brain injury associations and those providing brain injury rehabilitation and support.

What is kernicterus?

Kernicterus is a dangerous, but preventable, complication of jaundice in which the baby suffers brain damage. Bilirubin is a yellow substance produced by red blood cells breaking down in the body. As a newborn baby’s liver is not fully developed, it can be less effective at removing bilirubin from the blood.

Kernicterus occurs when the baby’s bilirubin levels have been allowed to rise to dangerous levels through inadequate monitoring or delayed treatment of hyperbilirubinaemia. The unprocessed bilirubin can travel through the blood-brain barrier where it causes irreversible damage to the brain and spinal cord. This is known as bilirubin encephalopathy. The pattern of damage and its characteristic yellow staining of the brain is known as kernicterus.

Starting your child's kernicterus claim

To help support your kernicterus claim, we will obtain medical records, any investigation documentation and treatment protocols. We will then take a detailed witness statement from you and others as necessary, and instruct independent medical experts to consider the care your child received and the consequences for your child of the failings in their care.

The defendant may accept responsibility for your child's injury as a result of negligent care, and we may be able to negotiate the appropriate compensation award at this point.

If settlement is not achieved, we will start court proceedings and take the case towards trial, keeping the defendant under pressure to agree settlement of the claim. Over 95% of cases succeed without the need for trial, but every case is prepared on the basis that a judge will need to decide all the issues in the claim that the defendant has not admitted.

Why choose Boyes Turner?

We aim to achieve early admissions of liability and interim payments to alleviate the financial hardship that often follows a family member’s brain injury. This helps our client families to meet their child’s immediate needs for specialist equipment, therapies, adapted accommodation, special educational support and care. Each settlement is calculated and negotiated following detailed, expert assessment of the child’s condition to ensure the best provision for their present and future needs.

  • We are nationally acclaimed medical negligence lawyers. We are recognised as leading clinical negligence experts by Chambers Directory and Legal 500.
  • We have won awards and accreditations for our work and are known for securing maximum compensation for clients.
  • We have an extensive and highly experienced medical negligence team with proven skills to succeed in high value, complex claims involving catastrophic injury and severe disability.
  • We provide the highest standards of advice, only work with top medical experts or treatment providers in the UK and many charities to help support rehabilitation.

Kernicterus brain injury claims solicitors frequently asked questions

Who is at risk of kernicterus?

Premature babies, full-term babies with excessive levels of bilirubin in their blood (hyperbilirubinaemia) and babies whose bilirubin levels are above the treatment threshold and are rising rapidly are at risk.

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How can kernicterus be prevented?

Kernicterus can be prevented by:

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What is jaundice?

Jaundice is a common condition which is closely related to kernicterus and is the name that is given to the initial signs of excess bilirubin in the blood. These signs can include:

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What else can jaundice be a sign of?

Jaundice can also be a sign that the baby is suffering from another serious condition which is affecting the liver’s ability to process the bilirubin, such as:

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What are the signs of kernicterus brain damage?

Some of the early signs that the baby’s brain is being damaged include:

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What are the long-term effects of kernicterus?

Longer-term, permanently disabling effects of kernicterus brain damage include:

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Is legal aid available for kernicterus brain damage claims?

If your child suffered severe neurological injury, such as kernicterus brain damage or cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence before birth, at birth or during the first eight weeks of life, they may be eligible for Legal Aid, depending on our assessment of the strength of each individual case.

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Resources

$23 million damages settlement for a child who suffered kernicterus brain damage from untreated jaundice in the first few days of his life. Our client has cerebral palsy, problems with communication, impaired vision and deafness. His compensation was calculated to reflect the costs of meeting his needs arising from his disability in the USA, where he now resides. Interim payments of £1,350,000 were obtained to meet his urgent needs whilst the claim was ongoing.

£7 million settlement for a child whose kernicterus brain injury was caused by delayed referral to hospital for treatment for neonatal jaundice. The brain injury led to dyskinetic cerebral palsy and severe neurological disability, impaired feeding and swallowing, and hearing loss.

Liability (fault) judgment for a client who suffered kernicterus brain damage leading to cerebral palsy after hospital staff failed to treat his rising bilirubin levels in the neonatal (newborn) period after his birth. The hospital admitted liability for our client’s injury. Judgment and interim payments were obtained, and the case put on hold until our client is old enough for his future needs to be accurately assessed. 

Out of court compensation settlement for a child who suffered a brain injury when the post-natal midwives failed to diagnose neonatal jaundice. Following discharge from hospital he developed hyperbilirubinaemia and kernicterus damage to his brain. 

Compensation settlement for a baby who suffered a kernicterus brain injury from delayed phototherapy treatment for neonatal jaundice after his premature birth.

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Meet your specialist team

Our specialist Kernicterus brain injury claims solicitors team are considered leaders in the field and have a significant amount of expertise.
Susan Brown photo

Susan Brown

Partner

Julie Marsh headshot

Julie Marsh

Partner

Richard Money-Kyrle headshot

Richard Money-Kyrle

Partner

Sita Soni headshot

Sita Soni

Senior Associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand photo

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore headshot

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo

Tara Pileggi-Byrne

Associate - Solicitor

Alpa Rana headshot

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Ben Ireland headshot

Ben Ireland

Solicitor

Alice Carley headshot

Alice Carley

Paralegal

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
Rachel Makore headshot
Tara Pileggi-Byrne photo
Alpa Rana headshot
Fran Rothwell
Ben Ireland headshot
Alice Carley headshot
Audrey Elmore headshot
Nicky Melville headshot

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Kernicterus cases

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Awards & accreditations

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.

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What our clients say

"Amazing support"

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.

Ms Alison

"Honest, approachable and truly empathetic"

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.

Boyes Turner Client

"they kept us fully informed "

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.

Boyes Turner Client

"Thoroughly professional, knowledgable and approachable"

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

Boyes Turner Client

"Amazing professional firm"

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.

Boyes Turner Client
Rated Excellent 4.8/5