033 3320 8440

Birth Injury

There’s no doubt that having a baby is one of the most exciting times in many people’s lives. However, whilst advances in medicine and midwifery care aim to reduce the risks to mother and baby during birth, there are sadly still times when things go wrong, sometimes with tragic consequences. Any injury at birth to mother or baby can be devastating, but that can be particularly so when the injury was caused by an avoidable mistake by the medical professionals involved which could, and should have been prevented.

Whilst bringing a claim for compensation cannot reverse the injury caused, it can put in place help, support and treatment that individuals and their families often need.

It is vitally important that any solicitor instructed to bring a birth injury claim understands the full complexities of the injuries suffered, the individuals’ needs as a result of the same and the impact they are likely to have on an individual in the future.

At JCP Solicitors, our specialist team are experienced in investigating and pursuing birth injury claims. This includes claims for injury to the baby, such as Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy, as well as injuries sustained by the mother.

Our experience in this area means that we understand the sensitivity with which such claims need to be handled, and also the support that families often need both in relation to bringing a legal claim, and also practically in relation to coming to terms with what has happened and the impact day to day of the injuries suffered, and with putting in place any necessary therapies and care that may help.

The time limits for bringing a claim for a birth injury can vary. Where a child sustains injury at birth, the time limit for bringing a claim will often expire on their 21st Birthday. However, if the child never gains mental capacity, the time limits do not apply. Generally for a mother’s injuries, the time limit will be 3 years from the date of injury or from the date of when they became aware of the injury if it only comes to light later. It is however important that you contact us to discuss your case as soon as possible; the sooner we begin to take action the sooner we can seek to secure support, care and therapies to help you and your family day to day.

For a free no-obligation consultation or to start a birth injury claim, please get in touch by calling 033 3320 8440 or use the contact form on the right for a quick response.

  • Helen Cradick
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  • Mei Li
      • Mei Li
      • Director - Catastrophic Injury
      • 01792 529 615
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  • Matthew Owen
      • 01792 529 683
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  • Keith Thomas
      • 01792 529 673
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  • Rebecca Bennett
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  • Thomas Rees
      • 01792 529 672
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  • Rhian Smith
      • 02920 391 917
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  • Christine Rowlands
      • 01792 529 658
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  • Clare Rees
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  • Elinor Laidlaw
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  • Jessica Mahoney
      • 01792 529603
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Our goal is to help you secure appropriate compensation as quickly as possible, and to ensure that you, and your baby, have access to the support, treatment and care which is often so desperately needed, and which will go some way to restoring quality of life, now and in the future. Whilst we cannot wave a magic wand, we can try to help to ensure that your family endures no further hardship.

For a free no-obligation consultation or to start a birth injury claim, please get in touch by calling 033 3320 8440 or use the contact form on the right for a quick response.

How to make a birth injury claim

Our birth injury solicitors in Wales can support and guide you through the entire process of making a birth injury claim, keeping the process as straightforward, as possible. This process can take a long time and we may be able to provide you with interim payments of compensation to help relieve any financial pressure as well as access to therapists and specialists before your matter concludes.

We can help you with all types of birth injury compensation claims, including:

  • Birth asphyxia & hypoxia claims
  • Birth trauma claims
  • Cerebral palsy claims
  • Erb’s palsy claims
  • Brachial plexus injuries
  • Epilepsy claims
  • Jaundice claims
  • Meningitis claims
  • Claims for birth injuries to the mother
  • Multiple birth claims

With our expertise, experience and skill, we will do our very best to secure a fair settlement without the need for you to appear in Court.

At what point your claim will be resolved and exactly how long each stage will take will depend on the circumstances and we will discuss this with you throughout the course of your claim.

Assessing the strength of your claim

When you first get in touch with our birth injury solicitors, we will review the details of your claim with you and establish whether we think you have a good chance of your case succeeding. Our team we will be completely honest with you about the strength of your claim and the likelihood of success.

Gathering evidence

We will obtain your medical records, gather witness statements and consult independent medical experts to put together a clear picture of what happened and the impact on your/your child’s health.

Making a claim

Once we have all the details of your case, we will issue a Letter of Claim to the defendant. This will set out the specifics of your claim and the allegations regarding the substandard treatment you or your child received.

The defendant’s response

The defendant has four months to respond to the Letter of Claim. In their response the Defendant must either admit or deny wrongdoing. If they deny that they have done anything wrong then they must provide a full explanation as to why they feel that is the case.

If the defendant admits that they failed in your care at this stage, then we can look to value your case where possible, and ultimately seek to agree a settlement with the Defendant. 

Initiating court proceedings

If the defendant denies liability then we will need to start Court proceedings.

This will involve the Court setting a timetable for the next steps to be taken leading, ultimately, to a trial. These steps would include the exchange of witness and expert evidence between the parties.

The vast majority of cases reach settlement as the parties work through the Court timetable, and only a small minority of cases reach the stage of trial.

Pre-trial settlement negotiations

Where appropriate, we will negotiate with the defendant on your behalf to try to agree a pre-trial settlement. Non-confrontational dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and arbitration are also often used at this stage to help both parties agree settlement without the need for a Court hearing.

Court hearing

The vast majority of claims settle outside Court without the need for a trial. If however the claim cannot be resolved during pre-trial negotiations, you may have to go to court for a hearing in front of a judge. We will make sure you have the best possible representation so your case is presented effectively and that you have the strongest chance of securing a fair settlement.

Time limits for birth injury claims

For most types of medical negligence claims, there is a three-year time limit to start a claim, this period runs from when the injury occurred or when you became aware of the injury if it only comes to light later. For birth injury claims, however, the time limits work a little differently.

A mother who has suffered injury at the time of the birth of her child will generally have three years from the date of injury, or from when she became aware of the injury, to make a claim. If the claim is being made by or on behalf of a child injured at birth, the child has until their 21st birthday to bring a claim.

Additionally, if you are making a claim on behalf of a child who lacks the mental capacity to bring a claim by themselves, there is no time limit to bring a claim.

Funding birth injury compensation claims

There are three main options for funding a birth injury claim:

Legal aid – Birth injury claims can qualify for legal aid funding in some circumstances, meaning you may be able to get some or all of the costs of making a claim paid for you.

Conditional fee arrangements – Also known as ‘no win, no fee birth injury claims’ this means that you pay no legal fees up front and will only pay if your claim is successful.

Insurance policy funding – You may be able to fund a medical negligence birth injury claim under your home insurance or other personal insurance if legal protection cover is included with your policy.

Why use our birth injury solicitors for your claim?

JCP Solicitors is home to one of Wales’ largest medical negligence teams with decades of experience dealing with all types of claims, including birth injury claims. Our solicitors hold memberships of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel, the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum, the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and we are recommended by leading brain injury charity Headway.

We hold the Law Society’s Lexcel Quality Mark in recognition of the high legal standards of our firm and are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), ensuring we maintain the highest legal and professional standards at all times.

We are equally happy to liaise with you in English or Welsh, with our firm including several Welsh speakers and a dedicated Welsh Language Co-ordinator. Our aim is to be as accessible as possible, so we are happy to communicate with you in person, over the phone, by email or via whatever means are most convenient for you.

We have a number of offices covering the whole of South Wales, East Wales and West Wales. Find out more by taking a look at the contact details for our other law offices in Wales.

Your questions about birth injury claims answered

Is my birth injury claim worth pursuing?

To be able to make a successful claim for medical negligence that resulted in a birth injury, we need to be able to show that the care you received fell below a reasonable standard. This means that the mistakes made would not have been made by any reasonable doctor of the same specialism under the same circumstances.

How much compensation can you get for a birth injury?

The exact amount you can claim for a birth injury will depend on the seriousness of the negligence involved, the severity of the resulting injuries and the impact on your and/or your child’s life.

You can normally claim two types of compensation for any type of medical negligence – general damages and special damages. Special damages are claimed to compensate you for any financial impact of the injury e.g. the cost of care, treatment or having to give up work. General damages reimburse you, or your child, for the pain and suffering endured as a result of the injuries sustained.

How long does a birth injury compensation claim take?

While we will always try to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, it is important that sufficient time is taken to fully investigate and value your claim. It can often take a number of years to reach the conclusion of a case, although we may be able to secure you an interim settlement in the meantime.

We will be realistic about the likely timeframe at every stage and will keep you updated at all times, so you are never left in the dark as to how your claim is progressing.

Start a birth injury compensation claim today

Get in touch with our birth injury solicitors in Wales about starting a claim now by calling 033 3320 8440 or use one of our contact forms to request a call back.

“A very efficient and knowledgeable team which is concerned about its client's welfare as well as the amount of compensation they can obtain."

Chambers & Partners 2016 Edition

Keith Thomas

Mei Li

Matthew Owen

Helen Cradick

Rebecca Bennett

Thomas Rees

Rhian Smith

Christine Rowlands

Debbie Bell

Elinor Laidlaw

Jessica Mahoney