While many births go smoothly and the parents are delivered of a healthy baby, some births can be very traumatic and can result in injuries to the baby. Some birth injuries can be very serious, resulting in problems such as brain injuries, umbilical cord complications, cerebral palsy, or hypoxia. Some of these injuries have long-term implications, and parents have a right to seek compensation if the injuries could have been avoided.
Who Is Sued?
Along with injuries to babies, compensation for injuries to the mother during the birth of her child can be sought as well. Parents may also seek compensation if they feel their baby died as a result of a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence, or a mistake at the time of its birth. If you feel you have a case against a doctor or hospital, you need to seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in medical malpractice, so they can review the information to see whether you have a case.
If your delivery doctor is a private doctor, then he will be sued directly, but if he works for the NHS, then the solicitor will seek compensation from the NHS Trust. However, when a doctor is sued, they will be defended by a defence organisation which is a mix of a trade union and an insurance company.
If the doctor or another health professional is employed by a private hospital, then your solicitor will seek compensation from the company who owns the private hospital. Determining who is to be sued can be confusing in medical negligence cases, because some NHS cases are handled in private hospitals. Once a solicitor takes your case, they will investigate to determine who and which organisations they will seek compensation from in court.
How Compensation Is Paid
Seeking birth injury compensation via Mintons Solicitors can be complicated, because medical negligence has to be proven, which can be difficult to do. If the court determines there was negligence, then compensation—usually referred to damages—will be for the child’s current and future needs. This can include therapies, equipment needs, home adaptation needs, and other types of care that the child will need as they grow.
While some compensation is given to the plaintiff in a lump sum, there may also be ongoing payments for the child’s needs. However, if the child receives fatal injuries, the compensation will be made in one lump sum. If the damages awarded the parents are substantial, then the solicitor may ask for them to be put into a trust fund, or they may be held in the Court of Protection so they can be properly managed.
Even though medical negligence can be difficult to prove at times, if your child has endured injuries resulting from the manner of their birth, then you may be able to get compensation for the cost of their care and their future needs as well.