Medical Negligence Claims

Birth Injury Claims

Childbirth is an emotional experience. We expect a certain level of medical care during childbirth and when the standards of the doctor or midwife slip, the effect of a birth injury can be devastating for mother and child.

We represent clients in more birth injury compensation claims than any other firm in the UK. We understand the consequences of medical negligence and know how life-changing a birth injury can be.

Our solicitors are experienced in birth injuries to babies and mothers, including cases where, sadly, someone died. We’ll always fight to get you the support and rehabilitation you deserve, whatever the nature of your claim.

We could be able to help you on a No Win No Fee* basis, and are one of the only law firms in the UK that can offer legal aid for certain birth injury claims.


Access to client liaison managers and rehabilitation contacts
Links with support groups and charities
In-house public law and Court of Protection experts
Legal aid available for some cases

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Birth Injury Claims - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and whether you have a legal claim. We’ll discuss what funding options are available to you to pay for your claim, including No Win No Fee agreements*.

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your negligent treatment at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for your illness. If they accept responsibility, we’ll try to secure interim compensation payments which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. Any interim payments will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Our experts will look into your case in detail, gathering evidence from independent medical professionals. These experts evaluate what care you should have received and can determine any future implications to your health. They’ll also advise us on the care you’ll need in the future.

      We’ll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim does need to go to court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

    • Can I Make A Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • What Are The Time Limits For Making A Claim?
    • In most medical negligence cases, you have three years to make a compensation claim, starting from the date your injury happens (or the date you first became aware that your injury was a result of negligence). For children, this three year period begins on their 18th birthday, so you have until they’re 21 to make a claim.

      However, there’s no time limit for people with profound mental difficulties (this applies to many cerebral palsy cases, for example). So, even if you didn’t make a claim for a loved one with cerebral palsy within the usual time limits, you can still begin a claim with our solicitors later on.

    • Do You Handle Legal Aid Cases?
    • Legal aid for clinical negligence claims is restricted to serious neurological birth injuries like cerebral palsy that happened within six weeks of the child’s birth.

      We’re one of a select group of law firms that can take on legal aid cases in medical negligence. To qualify for legal aid, there is a means test (based on any savings the baby has) and a merit test that simply requires that there’s enough reason for us to investigate the case.

      If your claim qualifies, then you’ll receive funding for our initial investigation. After that, you’ll receive legal aid funding for full representation if we take your case on. Our specialist lawyers will talk you through the different funding options available to you.

    • Meet The Team
    • Our clinical negligence solicitors have many years of experience in birth injury claims, and are rated as among the very best in the country by independent legal guides like Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Speaking to Chambers & Partners, one client said of our medical negligence team: “The advice is very friendly and they go a long way to make you feel comfortable."

It’s not an easy situation to deal with, but there is assistance out there which has a massive positive impact."

Valerie, client's mother
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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Claim For A Birth Injury?

Midwives and other hospital staff usually provide a high standard of care during childbirth, but if procedures aren’t followed correctly or there’s a breakdown in communication, there could be tragic consequences for the baby.

A number of our lawyers specialise in helping families with claims involving cerebral palsy, which can happen when the child’s brain is starved of oxygen before or during birth.

Other injuries that may be caused by medical negligence during birth include:

  • Erb's palsy (brachial palsy)
  • Facial paralysis
  • Spinal injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
  • Stillbirth and fatal cases
  • Kernicterus, caused by untreated jaundice

These injuries can have life-changing effects on the child and the family, so it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as you can if you think that medical negligence was to blame. We can help you seek answers from those responsible and make sure that your child receives the compensation and rehabilitation they need.

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What Kinds Of Medical Negligence Can Cause A Birth Injury?

Medical negligence could stem from a failure on the part of hospital staff to:

  • Detect signs of distress in the baby by monitoring their heartbeat using a cardiotocography (CTG)
  • Deliver the baby in time
  • Notice that the baby’s shoulder has become stuck during birth (dystocia) – this could lead to Erb’s palsy
  • Diagnose low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) in the baby

In order to make a successful compensation claim, we’ll need to prove a direct link between the negligence and your baby’s injury. Our solicitors have years of experience investigating claims like these, so we know exactly how to get expert evidence that backs up your case.

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How Can You Help With Access To Rehabilitation Services?

At the start of your case and before we’ve proved that your injury was caused by negligence, we’ll put you in touch with any relevant support groups. Our client liaison managers and Public Law team can also help you access various therapies if they haven’t been provided.

Once we’ve established that there was negligence involved in your case, we can put in place a full programme of therapies including:

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy

We’ll contact an assistive technology expert to see how technology could help support your child if they’ve suffered a serious birth injury. We also understand the importance of making sure that your home suits you and your child’s needs, and can advise you on making any adaptations you might need.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Proudly supporting vital charity work.

We’re proud of our links with organisations like disability charity Scope and children’s charity Brainwave. To mark World Cerebral Palsy Day 2015, we teamed up with Brainwave to create Living With Cerebral Palsy, a project to showcase the inspiring stories of families who have been affected by the condition.

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Alison Eddy - London

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