Sadly, there are a great many reasons why it may be possible to make compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth, all of which result from medical negligence. Bruising, scarring and nerve damage are the most common types of birth injuries, but fortunately most of these heal naturally with no lasting effect.
When a soft tissue birth injury is long term or permanent – and the injury could have been avoided “at the time and in the circumstances” with greater care – you are advised to speak with a solicitor about making compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth.
A solicitor will be able to find out whether you have a justifiable claim which may be worth your while to pursue and – if so – guide you through the process of claiming soft tissue birth injury compensation with regard to your child´s specific injury and the circumstances in which it was sustained.
How to Make a Claim for a Soft Tissue Birth Injury
As there are so many unique ways in which a soft tissue birth injury can be sustained, we can only provide general guidelines on how to make compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth in this article. One process that every claim for a soft tissue birth injury will have in common is your solicitor will request your permission to access your medical records and those of your child.
The medical records will be assessed by an independent medical expert and, using any evidence of negligence that is found to support your case, a solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the hospital at which your child´s birth injuries were sustained. The hospital – or more often the NHS Trust – has ninety days to conduct its own investigation, and then either accept liability for your child´s injuries or contest the claim.
If liability is accepted, your solicitor will open negotiations with the NHS Litigation Authority to settle your claim for a soft tissue injury. If liability is contested, your solicitor will discuss issuing court proceedings with you – although a full court hearing may not be necessary, as compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth are frequently settled out-of-court before hearings commence.
How Much Will Your Child´s Claim be Settled For?
How much compensation for a soft tissue birth injury your child´s claim will be settled for depends on the nature and extent of the injury. Your solicitor will take into account the pain and suffering your child has experienced and may experience in the future, his or her loss of enjoyment as they are growing up, and the potential loss of income if your child´s soft tissue birth injury has the potential to negatively affect their employment opportunities in the future.
If your child is likely to have a permanent visible scar as a result of their soft tissue birth injury, your solicitor will consider possible future confidence issues that your child may have, and also any other emotional injuries that may develop as being “different” from his or her peers as they grow older. You may also be able to recover compensation for your own emotional trauma of learning that your child had suffered a soft tissue birth injury due to medical negligence.
When an injury 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 the settlement is in the child´s best interests. Consequently all compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth do have a court hearing at some stage; but these are straightforward affairs, during which time you will likely be read an apology from the hospital for the errors that were made during your child´s birth.
Further Advice about Making Compensation Claims on Behalf of a Child
Making compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth can be complicated. A parent or guardian has to apply to be the child´s “Litigation Friend” as they are representing a legal minor, and then have to be involved in the decision making process as the claim for a soft tissue birth injury progresses.
To help you receive helpful and impartial advice about making compensation claims for a soft tissue injury to a baby during birth, we have established a Medical Negligence Advice Bureau, which you are invited to call if you have any questions about claiming compensation for a soft tissue birth injury.
We may not be able to advise you immediately whether you have a compensation claim for a soft tissue birth injury which may be worth your while to pursue on behalf of your child, but we will be able to commence investigations into the viability of your claim so that you can focus on caring for your child.