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Pregnancy & Gynaecology Injury Claims

Birth Defect & Wrongful Birth Claims

Birth defect test results present some parents with difficult choices during a pregnancy. But when these results are misdiagnosed, the parents lose the ability to make an informed decision about their child, sometimes with life-changing consequences.

Had you been warned that your baby had a serious health condition, you may have opted to not proceed with the pregnancy. In these situations, compensation can help you with your child’s needs, as well as replacing lost income, should you need to stop work to care for your child.

Our medical negligence solicitors have helped many parents who were let down by hospital staff during pregnancy, giving birth without knowing that their baby had a serious health condition. We understand how challenging the situation can be, dealing with a new set of expectations for your new-born child.

We could help if doctors failed to diagnose one of the following kinds of birth defect during pregnancy:

  • Hereditary/genetic – e.g. cystic fibrosis, Down’s syndrome
  • Structural (related to problems with body parts) – e.g. holes in the heart, spina bifida, brain malformations

We believe in the importance of rehabilitation, and we’ll make sure that your child has access to the best medical treatment during and after the claim.

For a free initial consultation about making a compensation claim, call us today on 0800 121 6567 or contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Help with rehabilitation
Financial advice from IM Asset Management
No Win No Fee*
Experience with complex, high value wrongful birth claims

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Birth Defect 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. 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?
    • If you weren’t told about your child’s condition while pregnant, you have three years from the day they were born to make a compensation claim. However, it’s important to get in contact with us as soon as possible so that we can start our investigation into your case.

      If you have questions or concerns about the time limits, please call us for free initial advice on 0800 121 6567.

    • 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.

    • How Our Other Teams Can Help
    • Because we’re a full-service law firm, we also have a number of other in-house teams with specialist knowledge in areas such as rehabilitation, Wills and asset management.


      We see rehabilitation as key and will make sure that you can access the care and support services you need to lead the best life possible. Our client liaison managers can provide support and information to you and your family, helping you with many of the other problems you may face, such as employment and benefit issues.

      Public Law & Human Rights

      Our Public Law & Human Rights department can offer advice on Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. The Act made sweeping reforms to child welfare legislation, affecting young people with special education needs under the age of 25. It replaced statements of special educational needs and learning difficulty assessments with a combined Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan).

      Please follow this link for more information on the Children and Families Act, along with factsheets and template letters.

      Asset Management

      Our Asset Management team can provide advice on how your compensation could be best invested. We also have Court of Protection lawyers who can set up personal injury trusts and make sure you have access to the benefits you’re entitled to.

    • Meet Our Experts
    • As the largest medical negligence department in the country, our solicitors are highly rated by independent legal guides.

      We have years of experience in securing compensation for those who’ve suffered as a consequence of medical errors. Our solicitors are aware that every claim is different and we make sure that we understand the care and support you need.

      Getting an apology and explanation for what’s happened can be just as important as the compensation award. We’ll take the necessary steps to help you make a complaint and will campaign to ensure systems are put in place to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to somebody else.

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 Are The Risks During What Kind Of Tests Are Used To Diagnose Birth Defects?

During pregnancy there are a number of tests you might be offered to diagnose any potential defects. They’re given at various stages in the pregnancy but aren’t compulsory. There are two main kinds of check:

  • Screening tests predict the likelihood of your child having a certain birth defect
  • Diagnostic tests are able to tell you whether your child actually has a certain defect

Typically, screening tests involve an ultrasound (for physical defects) or a blood test (for inherited conditions). They aren’t compulsory, but doctors should make sure that you’re fully aware of the options available to you, especially if your baby is considered at risk of a certain defect.

If a screening test reveals that your child is more likely to have a genetic condition, you’ll be offered a diagnostic test to give a more definite answer. The most common diagnostic tests are amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS – also known as placental biopsy). These are invasive tests that carry a small risk of miscarriage and infection, so they aren’t offered to all women.

In most cases the tests provide an accurate picture of the fetus’s health, but human error sometimes means that mothers aren’t given the right tests or results aren’t interpreted properly.

If you’ve received inaccurate test results and given birth to a baby with a serious health condition, our lawyers could help you make a compensation claim for wrongful birth.

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What If My Doctor Failed To Diagnose A Birth Defect?

Because screening tests don’t provide a definite answer, it’s important that you’re then referred for a diagnostic test if your baby is considered at risk of a defect. If either the screening or the diagnostic test is misread, the consequences could be severe and you may have a claim for medical negligence. Some of the conditions tested for include:

  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD – holes in the heart)
  • Spina bifida
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • DiGeorge syndrome (22q11 deletion)
  • Down's syndrome 

If your child is born with one of these conditions after being given the all-clear, we could help you make a wrongful birth claim.

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What Can Compensation Pay For?

Our solicitors will tirelessly pursue the funds you need for a good quality of life. We’ll make sure that your compensation takes into account all of your family’s requirements, both present and future. It can help pay for the extra costs associated with your child’s disability, such as:

  • Care and medical treatment
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Education needs
  • Accommodation needs
  • Medical treatment

We understand what an emotional and difficult decision it is to make a wrongful birth claim, so you can rest assured that we’ll treat your case with the sensitivity it deserves.

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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.

The Times Best Law Firms 2019 chambers-2019 legal-500-2019 chambers-high-net-worth-firm-2018-logo eprivateclient Top Law Firms 2017

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.

Our medical negligence solicitors work closely with rehabilitation specialists to ensure that our clients receive the support they need.

We want you to have the best possible quality of life after your claim, and we’ll make sure that you have access to advice, care and therapies to achieve this.

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

This data will only be used by Irwin Mitchell for processing your query and for no other purpose.

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