Birth Defect Claims
In most cases, birth defects are diagnosed in good time, and treatment can begin right away. However, in some instances diagnosis is delayed, and this can lead to further complications or severity of conditions. If it can be demonstrated that birth defects were caused or made worse by the action or neglect of somebody else, you may be eligible to make a claim for medical negligence compensation.
The injury solicitors we work in partnership with have helped numerous victims claim the compensation that is rightfully owed to them for birth defects caused by medical negligence, and always aim to secure the highest settlement awards possible for their clients.
If you would like to discuss your case, call free on 0800 678 1410 or click here to request a call back.
What is a birth defect?
The majority of pregnancies can be enjoyed free from serious complications. Unfortunately, there are some rare cases where defects can cause temporary or long lasting damage to the mother or baby. In these instances, a baby is said to have been born with birth defects – permanent damage caused to the health of the baby because of difficulties in birth.
There are two main types of birth defects, and they are:
Structural Defects: These birth defects cause problems with specific body parts and include common problems such as cleft lip or palate and heart defects. It can also limb abnormalities such as congenital hip dysplasia or club foot and developmental issues with growth, the brain or spinal cord.
Functional Defects: Functional birth defects relate to problems with how specific body parts work and include:
- Nervous system or brain problems such as mental health, behavioural problems, learning difficulties and mobility problems. Conditions that might fall into this category include autism, Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome.
- Sensory problems such as blindness, hearing loss and vision impairments
- Degenerative complaints. These problems may not be clear from birth but can lead to ongoing health deterioration and include conditions such as muscular dystrophy and Rett syndrome.
Birth defects can have a severe impact on the child’s ability to develop normally, live independently and engage in pursuits enjoyed by other children. The defect can also have huge impacts on the family as additional care may be needed, developmental work is likely to be required, and it may not be possible for the parent to return to work in order to cater to the child’s needs. Injury solicitors are therefore committed to achieving the highest levels of compensation they can for victims of birth defects.
What causes a birth defect?
There are a number of potential causes of birth defects, and when it can be demonstrated that the actions or negligence of another person caused the illnesses or injuries sustained, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Some of the most common causes of birth defects that solicitors may be able to help with include:
- Environmental issues such as a pregnant woman being exposed to harmful substances.
- Medical negligence such as failure to diagnose or recognise potential risks to a mother or baby.
- Medical negligence during delivery such as not recognising the need for an emergency cesarian section when a birth is suffering from complications.
Birth defects can regularly be caused by negligent medical treatment or failure to provide adequate care and management of pregnancy and labour. In these instances, common birth defects include:
- Maternal diabetes which can, in the most severe cases, be fatal to the unborn child and have a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of the mother.
- Cerebral Palsy – This can occur during pregnancy or birth and refers to a host of illnesses and conditions that can be the result of oxygen starvation. This could be caused by a doctor failing to recognise complications during labour or damage to the umbilical cord in pregnancy.
- Failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia, a serious condition which refers to damage caused to the placenta. The condition can lead to growth defects and if left unaddressed, can be fatal. Symptoms of pre-eclampsia are not always obvious and so close examinations must be carried out on a regular basis in order to spot signs and provide treatment as swiftly as possible.
- Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus injuries – these are conditions which can be caused by birth errors and negligent delivery of babies.
- Forceps delivery – although many deliveries that require the use of forceps are performed without further complication, in rare instances the forceps can be used incorrectly causing damage to the baby’s facial nerves and resulting in palsy, which leaves the child with a droop on one side of their mouth
In these instances, the likely cause of the birth defect is because of action or inaction by a responsible person and if this can be proven, you will be eligible to make a compensation claim.
How much compensation will be awarded?
Your solicitor will have a wealth of experience in this field, and will seek to ensure that those responsible for the defect are made accountable and that the maximum level of compensation is awarded.
Your solicitor will offer clients a free initial consultation where they will answer any questions that you may have about the claims process. During the consultation your solicitor will also offer guidance on the requirements for a successful case as well as an estimate of the likely sum that you could be awarded.
To arrange a free consultation, call free on 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into the contact form below. An experienced and fully trained legal adviser will be in contact asap to discuss your claim and let you know how they can help.