Claim for Asphyxia at Birth
In order to be able to claim for asphyxia at birth there must have been a breach in the duty of care owed to you and your child at the time before or during your child´s birth due to which your child was deprived of oxygen.
To be eligible to claim compensation for childbirth asphyxia on your child´s behalf, the “breach in the duty of care” is an important consideration. Oxygen deprivation in the womb sometimes happens naturally or occurs as the child is being born.
Only if it can be established that that the reason for your child´s brain injury was the negligence of a medical professional who, “at the time and in the circumstances” demonstrated a poor professional performance, will you be able to make a compensation claim for asphyxia at birth.
Making a Claim for Asphyxia at Birth
To establish whether the negligence of a medical professional was attributable for your child´s injury, your solicitor will engage the services of an independent medical expert to review your medical records and those of your child to determine whether your child´s injury was avoidable “at the time and in the circumstances”.
If negligence is determined, your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the NHS Trust responsible for the standard of care at the hospital at which your child was born. The Letter will advise the NHS Trust that you are making a claim for asphyxia at birth on behalf of your child and support the letter with the evidence of negligence compiled by the medical expert.
The NHS Trust has ninety days to conduct an investigation into you allegations – after which it will either concede liability or contest the claim for asphyxia at birth. When hospital negligence claims are contested, the normal course of action is to issue court proceedings. This does not necessarily mean you will have to attend a full court hearing, as settlements of compensation for childbirth asphyxia are often negotiated once a court date is scheduled.
How Much Compensation for Childbirth Asphyxia?
How much compensation for childbirth asphyxia your child will be entitled to will depend on the nature and extent of his or her injury, and the impact the injury will have on your child´s life as they grow older. When catastrophic brain injuries have been sustained due to asphyxiation at birth, your child is likely to need full-time care and support for the rest of their lives and the settlement of your claim for asphyxia at birth could run into many millions of pounds.
In such cases, your child will usually be awarded a lump sum of compensation for childbirth asphyxia and index-linked periodic payments for the remainder of their life. This will ensure that the funds will always be available to pay for the services your child needs and relieves you of any financial pressure. Your solicitor will explain how settlements of compensation for childbirth asphyxia are calculated.
When your claim for asphyxia at birth is finally resolved, it will be necessary to make a brief court appearance. This is because the settlement of all hospital negligence claims made on behalf of children must be approved by a judge to ensure they are in the child´s best interest. The hearing usually includes an apology from the MHS Trust for the breach in the duty of care.
Further Information about Hospital Negligence Claims
No two claims for compensation for childbirth asphyxia are identical because of the consequences of the injury to your child. For this reason it is recommended that you receive professional legal guidance from an independent hospital negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity.
We offer a free legal guidance service which allows you to speak discretely with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor. Our solicitor will answer any questions you have about claiming compensation for childbirth asphyxia and guide you through the process of making a claim in respect of your child´s individual injury.
Although out solicitor may be unable to tell you during the initial conversation if you have a claim for asphyxia at birth that may be worth your while to pursue, he or she will be able to explain your options to you in plain English so that you are able to make an informed decision about claiming compensation for childbirth asphyxia.