Medical Negligence Claims

Pregnancy & Gynaecology Injury Claims

During a pregnancy, we expect to receive the highest standard of medical care. Sadly, not every pregnancy goes smoothly and if it’s mishandled by the doctor, gynaecologist or midwife, the consequences can be life-changing.

We understand the emotional and physical impact that this can have on you and your loved ones. We’ve helped people in a range of cases including:

If you or your child received negligent medical care and suffered an injury, our specialist team of medical negligence lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. Most of our cases are funded on a No Win No Fee basis* – we can help you gain the financial and emotional support you need to cope with whatever the future may bring.

We can help you access bereavement counselling
Links with support groups and charities
Accredited specialists across the country
Legal aid available for some cases*

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Pregnancy & Gynaecology 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 injuries. 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.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • In most clinical negligence cases, there’s a time limit of three years from when you suffered an injury because of medical errors, or the date you first became aware that your injuries were due to medical negligence. In cases involving children, you can claim at any time up until the child is 21 – the three year time limit begins on their 18th birthday.

      However, in the vast majority of cerebral palsy cases there is no time limit where the client has a profound mental disability. This means that even if you didn’t seek legal advice during their childhood, you can still claim compensation on behalf of a loved one with cerebral palsy as an adult.

    • 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.

    • Do You Accept Legal Aid Cases?
    • Legal aid for clinical negligence claims is available in serious neurological birth injuries like cerebral palsy that happened within eight weeks of the child’s birth.

      Not many law firms are able to take on legal aid cases in medical negligence, but we do. To qualify for legal aid, there is a means test (which isn’t based on the parents’ income) 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.

    • Meet Our Experts
    • Our clinical negligence solicitors have many years of experience in pregnancy, birth and gynaecology claims, and are rated as among the very best in the country by independent legal guides like Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Chambers & Partners says of our team: “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.”

They were always there to answer my questions and queries when I was at my most vulnerable and they persevered to obtain the best possible result."

Lisa, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kinds Of Pregnancy And Gynaecology Claims Are There?

Our medical negligence lawyers have helped hundreds of women with pregnancy, birth injury and gynaecology claims. You can rest assured that we’ll draw on this experience with your case, helping make sure that the same medical mistakes aren’t made again and securing justice for you.

Some of the pregnancy-related cases we commonly see involve:

We’ve also helped many women with gynaecological claims relating to:

  • Abortion
  • Damage during hysterectomy
  • Dilatation and curettage (D&C)
  • Failed contraception and problems with implants
  • Fitting of the coil contraceptive device
  • IVF errors
  • Laparoscopic sterilisation
  • Misdiagnosis of cervical or other gynaecological cancers
  • Pelvic floor repairs
  • Swabs or instruments being left inside the patient
  • Total abdominal hysterectomy

Whatever the nature of your case, our experience in medical negligence means that we have the sensitivity and dedication needed to fight for your claim.

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What Constitutes Negligence In A Pregnancy Or Birth Injury Claim?

During pregnancy and birth, it’s crucial that hospital staff recognise and act on any sign that the mother or child is in danger as quickly as possible – failure to do this may well be negligent. For example, the failure to recognise a medical emergency like a placental abruption could have tragic consequences for the mother.

Key areas in which mistakes are made include:

  • Antenatal errors - Despite highly advanced scans, medical professionals can miss serious problems or, very rarely, misdiagnose problems with a healthy unborn baby. Errors made at this stage can have huge consequences including misdiagnosed miscarriage, major unexpected conditions for the baby and even stillbirth.
  • Errors during birth - Damage from medical instruments, anaesthetics or inadequate suturing can affect the health of both mother and baby. For the mother, negligence can cause serious gynaecological injuries. Meanwhile, for the child potential injuries include cerebral palsybrachial palsy (Erb's Palsy), brain injury, facial paralysis, spinal injuries, fractured bones and perinatal asphyxia.

Doctors must be able to spot any abnormalities on antenatal tests during pregnancy – if they fail to do this and the mother isn’t given a chance to terminate the pregnancy, it’s known as a wrongful birth claim.

Medical staff should diagnose the severity of any maternal tears caused during childbirth and arrange surgery by a trained specialist if necessary. If this doesn’t happen and the injuries go untreated, it’s likely that there’s a claim for negligence.

We also represent families who have been affected by Erb’s palsy due to shoulder dystocia, which is where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during birth. In these cases, doctors should identify the dystocia quickly and follow the right procedure to help release the shoulder and deliver the child. But if too much force is applied or the correct positions aren’t adopted, the baby could suffer Erb’s palsy.

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What Constitutes Negligence In A Gynaecology Claim?

Our medical negligence solicitors have considerable experience helping women with gynaecology claims. We’re skilled at investigating incidents, working out who was to blame and getting justice for our clients.

Medical professionals must be able to recognise the early warning signs for cervical or gynaecological cancer. Negligence could involve failing to:

  • Notice abnormal cells on a cervical smear slide
  • Catch and treat dyskariosis before it becomes cervical cancer
  • Respond quickly to symptoms such as inter-menstrual and post-coital bleeding
  • Refer patients for smear tests or treatment of the disease

Other examples of negligent gynaecological treatment include:

  • The wrong embryos being destroyed or given to the wrong patient during IVF treatment
  • Surgeons failing to notice injury to the bowel or bladder during hysterectomy surgery to remove the womb
  • Leaving a swab or instrument behind following caesarean section – known as a ‘never event’

Our solicitors are highly skilled at investigating gynaecology errors of different kinds: we know exactly how to pinpoint who was responsible for your injuries and we’ll battle for your best interests.

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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 previous 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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We could help you access specialist care and rehabilitation that can make a huge difference to your life.

We’re proud to have links with Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. We also support the Lily Mae Foundation, a charity which helps bereaved parents in the West Midlands.

To mark World Cerebral Palsy Day 2015, we partnered with charity Brainwave to create Living With Cerebral Palsy, a showcase for the inspiring stories of eight families who are living with the condition.

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Alison Eddy - London

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