Injuries to mother during childbirth

Top tier ranked law firm for medical negligence cases

Highly experienced team of maternal injury solicitors

Solicitors you can rely on to discuss personal information with sensitivity

Excellent understanding of the complexities of birth injury claims

Over 100 years of combined medical negligence experience

Independently accredited by The Law Society, APIL and AvMA

Sensitive handling of claims arising from complications after childbirth

‘Aiming to achieve the best result for your birth injury claim’’

Although the birth of your child is usually a happy and memorable occasion, unfortunately sometimes things do go wrong and you may suffer an injury, either physical or psychological, which was unexpected. Avoidable injuries can happen if the delivery of your baby or your aftercare isn’t managed correctly. Royds Withy King’s dedicated team of medical negligence Solicitors have particular expertise in bringing claims involving many different complications which can occur around childbirth and will guide you in doing so. We will fight for you to achieve the answers that you seek and financial compensation that you deserve.

Advising and supporting you to bring a claim for injuries suffered during childbirth

If you’ve been injured during childbirth you may still be in some pain and are likely to be confused about what happened and why. Royds Withy King’s specialist Solicitors take care to get to know you and to provide calm and clear advice at this difficult time:

    • Guidance on whether to bring a claim
      You may be distressed about what has happened and uncertain about what to do next. Our specialist medical negligence team will take the time to listen to what has happened to you and to provide initial advice as to whether you can pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries.
    • Advice for any type of injury
      There are many injuries that can occur during and around childbirth, including physical injuries such as perineal tears, wound infections, haemorrhages, caesarean sections and placental abruptions, and psychological injuries due to the trauma of what you experienced. Our Solicitors have experience in all types of injuries and will advise you on your specific case.
    • Acting with sensitivity
      We understand that you will need to discuss very personal information with us and that this may be very difficult for you. You can be sure that we will always act with sensitivity and understanding, and to make you feel as comfortable as possible, while working hard to achieve the best results for you.




Our credentials

“A premier Somerset firm with experience of a broad range of high-value matters, including catastrophic birth injury claims. Routinely engaged on cerebral palsy cases and spinal injury claims, and offers expertise in weight loss surgery and dental negligence matters. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “Withy King were caring and understood us. They listened to our concerns and needs, and helped in whichever way they could.” “They are incredibly organised, easy to approach and they have a very supportive team who are incredibly sympathetic.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Simon Elliman (Band 1) oversees an array of complex claims, including cerebral palsy and spinal injury matters. In addition he acts on dental negligence cases. Sources say: “He is very able and he inspires confidence through calmness.” Market observers consider Paul Rumley (Band 1) “a very approachable lawyer with vast experience on high-value and complex cases.” He handles a range of matters including birth injury claims, fatal accidents and delay in diagnosis of cancer claims.” Chambers 2017 Somerset

“Highly commended firm with an excellent reputation across a broad spectrum of clinical negligence matters. Routinely acts on catastrophic cases including brain and spinal injury claims. Also noted for its handling of matters arising from amputation, delayed diagnosis and weight loss surgery. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They’ve been amazing. They spoke to me on a level I understood. They are very understanding and compassionate and they advised me well the whole way through.” Notable practitioners: Head of department Richard Coleman (Band 1) offers vast experience of complex claims involving cerebral palsy, spinal injury and bariatric surgery, among other matters. “He is very good at negotiating settlements in difficult cases” and “doesn’t lose sight of the human aspect of it all,” assert sources.” Chambers 2017 Oxford and surrounds

“Royds Withy King is a ‘leading firm’ for catastrophic birth injury cases. Key figures include practice head Simon Elliman, who handles dental negligence, cerebral palsy and spinal injury claims; ‘first-rate solicitor’ Paul Rumley; and Kerstin Kubiak, who stands out for her ‘exceptional analysis’.” Legal 500 2016 South West 

“The ‘knowledgeable, dependable and competent’ team at Royds Withy King is led by ‘astute strategist’ Richard Coleman and includes Tracy Norris-Evans, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and committed to her clients’.” Legal 500 2016 South East

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Since my initial enquiry to Royds Withy King regarding poor treatment by the NHS, I have received a first class service… the end result exceeded my expectations… I would wholeheartedly recommend Royds Withy King

Royds Withy King client

FAQs

Some examples are:

 

  • Perineal tears – these can occur during vaginal delivery, often involving a larger baby, and can vary in severity (grades 1 – 4). The most severe tears are very serious injuries and can cause permanent incontinence and sexual problems as well as significant psychological trauma as a result. If a tear does occur, whether due to negligence in the management of your delivery or for non-negligent reasons, it is very important that they are recognised early and repaired, as any delay in the repair can affect your prognosis.

 

  • Haemorrhages following childbirth – these can occur for a variety of reasons including due to infection or due to parts of your placenta being retained. Haemorrhages can be very serious, potentially leading to the requirement for a hysterectomy, and therefore it is important that they are managed early.

 

  • Unnecessary caesarean sections – sometimes it is necessary to deliver your baby by caesarean section, either through personal choice or if required to ensure safe delivery of your baby. On occasions however, there can be errors made during labour which lead to a decision for a caesarean section when it was not actually necessary and as a result you will have suffered major surgery and the associated scarring and longer recovery from childbirth.

 

  • Psychological injuries – these can occur for a variety of reasons. If your childbirth was particularly traumatic then it can cause psychological injury, for example Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and you may require specialist psychological therapy as a result.

 

  • Maternal infection/sepsis – it is possible for new mothers to contract infections during or after childbirth which may require treatment with antibiotics.  An example infection is Group A Streptococcus infection.  In the majority of cases the infections are treated without any difficulties.  If these infections are not diagnosed and treated promptly they can on occasion become much more serious and develop into sepsis, which is a potentially fatal condition requiring urgent treatment, and can also lead to long-term consequences such as requiring a hysterectomy or organ failure.

 

These are some examples and the list is not exhaustive. If you think you may have a claim then please contact our specialist team for advice.

In every claim it is necessary to prove that firstly you have received care which was below an acceptable standard (negligent) and that, in turn, this negligent care has caused or contributed to you suffering injury which you should not have suffered. If you can do so then you can pursue a claim.

 

In order to advise you we also seek advice from experienced and independent medical experts – in cases involving injuries suffered around childbirth this is usually an independent midwife and/or an independent Obstetrician. The experts will review your medical records, and your own account of what happened, and then, based on their experience of caring for patients during childbirth, advise if your care was appropriate or not and if you have suffered injury as a result of any negligent care identified.

The very general rule is that you have 3 years from the date of any negligence, or becoming aware of any negligence, to commence a claim in the Court. In cases involving injuries suffered around the time of childbirth, you will usually then have 3 years from the date you gave birth to commence a claim. There are exceptions to this rule which we can advise you on based on your specific circumstances.

 

Our strong advice is not to delay in commencing investigations and to seek advice at the earliest opportunity, and not to wait until near to the end of the 3 year period or beyond, as that may prevent you bringing a claim completely.

This is a very frequently asked question. It is very unlikely that you will have to go to Court.

 

In some cases we do need to commence proceedings with the Court but this still does not mean you will have to go to Court, just that we are working towards it. After Court proceedings are commenced a Judge will set a timetable for pursuing your case which both you and your opponent have to stick to and this ensures efficient progression of your case. It is only necessary to go to Court if you cannot ultimately reach agreement with your opponent out of Court either as to (1) whether they are liable for your injuries, or (2) as to the amount of compensation you should be paid.

 

The vast majority of cases do reach agreement without the need to go to Court.

The amount of compensation you can claim will be based on the injuries you have suffered and therefore varies greatly from person to person and you will receive specific advice from your Solicitor.

 

In general terms, compensation is divided in to 2 types:

 

  1. General damages – these are compensation for your pain and suffering;

 

  1. Special damages – these are for any specific financial losses. In cases involving injuries suffered around childbirth, this can include the costs of additional care (for you and for your new baby if your injuries prevent you from caring for them). It may also include loss of earnings, equipment, treatment costs (for example if your fertility has been affected by your injuries) and travel expenses.

 

This is not an exhaustive list and your Solicitor will discuss with you the losses you have incurred and will incur in the future and advise you what you can include within your claim.


Contact us now to find out how we can advise on making a birth injury claim