Compensation for a Soft Tissue Injury to a Baby during Birth
There are many different soft tissue injuries that can be sustained by a baby during its birth – bruising, scarring and nerve damage being the most common – and, although some of these injuries are unavoidable, when your child has suffered unnecessarily due to hospital negligence, it may be possible to claim compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth.
When you make a claim for a soft tissue childbirth injury, it has to be shown that the injury was avoidable “at the time and in the circumstances” and attributable to a level of care lower than the standard generally accepted by the medical community. In order to prove hospital negligence, you solicitor will request access to your medical records and those of your child.
The medical records will be reviewed by an independent medical expert, who will assess whether the injuries to your child could have been avoided with greater care, or if the situation in which they occurred could have been predicted prior to your labour. The medical expert will report back to your solicitor with his or her findings.
Making a Claim for a Soft Tissue Childbirth Injury
If there is sufficient evidence of hospital negligence to support a claim for a soft tissue childbirth injury, your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the NHS Trust responsible for the standard of care at the hospital where you gave birth to your child. The letter will advise the NHS Trust that you are claiming compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth on behalf of your child.
The NHS Trust has ninety days to respond to the letter, and either accept liability for your child´s injury or contest your claim for a soft tissue childbirth injury. If negligence is accepted, your solicitor will meet with the NHS Litigation Authority to settle the claim according to the nature and extent of your child´s injuries.
If liability is contested, your solicitor will discuss the options with you. These may include the issuing of court proceedings, but your solicitor will continue to attempt resolving your claim for a soft tissue childbirth injury by negotiation to spare you the trauma of a full court hearing. Quite often, the issuing of court proceedings encourages the NHS Trust responsible for your standard of care to review their response to your claim.
How Much Will Your Child´s Claim be Settled For?
As mentioned above, how much compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth your child will be entitled to will depend on the nature and extent of the injury. Your solicitor will also take into account any long term consequences of your child´s injury and how it may affect them in the future. This includes possible confidence issues as they grow up and any effect the visible consequences may have on their future employment prospects.
You will also be able to recover compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth for any emotional trauma you have experienced – for example, if you have had difficulty bonding with your child due to their injury – and any expenses you have incurred as a result of your child´s injury, or may incur in the future. Your solicitor will explain each element of your compensation settlement to you.
When a hospital negligence compensation claim has been made on behalf of a child, the settlement of the claim has to be approved by a judge in order to ensure that it is in your child´s best interests. Consequently, a court appearance will be necessary at some stage, but approval hearings are straightforward and brief affairs – during which time you will likely receive an apology from the hospital for the errors that caused your child´s injuries.
Legal Advice about Compensation for a Soft Tissue Injury to a Baby during Birth
If your child has suffered a soft tissue injury, and you believe that the injury could have been avoided with greater care, you are invited to call our free legal guidance service and discuss the circumstances surrounding your child´s injury with an experienced hospital negligence solicitor.
Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about claiming compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth and guide you through the processes of establishing hospital negligence and making a claim against an NHS Trust on behalf of a child.
All calls to our free legal guidance service are completely confidential, and you are not committing to making a claim for a soft tissue childbirth injury by calling us. Our aim is to explain your options in plain English, so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether you have a claim for compensation for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth that may be worth your while to pursue.