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Medical Negligence Claim

Birth Injury Solicitors Nationwide

We understand the devastating effects a birth injury can have on a family, especially if the injury was caused by medical negligence. Our experienced birth injuries solicitors can guide you through the entire legal process, while you and your family recover.

How we can help?

To discuss your case in detail, contact us today or request a callback from our experienced team.

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info@colemanlegal.ie

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Overview

During the birthing process, a baby or the mother may suffer a physical injury. This is called birth trauma or birth injury and may be due to the mismanagement of the delivery or the failure to cope with a medical emergency adequately.

While these injuries can be a consequence of several causes, many are due to preventable errors and/or medical negligence on the part of obstetric doctors or midwives.

Not all birth injuries in Ireland are apparent immediately after birth. Some will not manifest for months or years after your child has been born and can be caused by genetic or teratogenic factors (smoking while pregnant, excessive drinking, diabetes, etc).

Have you been affected as a result of medical negligence?

Our experienced birth injury solicitors at Coleman Legal have many years of experience handling cases for those who have suffered as a result of medical negligence.  The impact can be both physical and emotional and the effects long-lasting or even permanent.

Our help & support

Along with our expertise in the area, clients can expect support and sensitivity.  If you believe that you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, either in your treatment or as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, Coleman Legal can advise you as to whether you may have a case against another party and will support you through the entire process. 

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Medical Negligence Practice Areas

The following important areas are covered by our Birth Injury Solicitors

Although cerebral palsy is the most prevalent birth injury claim, there are numerous other sorts of birth injuries, such as various degrees of brain damage, scarring, or damage suffered during assisted delivery (e.g. forceps).

During Pregnancy
  • Maternal diabetes or gestation diabetes
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Uterine rupture and placental abruption
  • Wrongful birth cases
Birth Injuries During Labour
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
  • Erb’s Palsy or brachial plexus injuries
  • Congenital Hip Dysplasia
  • Episiotomy
  • Second & third-degree tears
  • Certain Forceps delivery or Ventouse delivery

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for a Birth Injury claim?

In order to be eligible to claim compensation for medical negligence at birth, it has to be shown that –

There is an existing

doctor-patient Relationship

Firstly, your solicitor would help you to prove that a doctor-patient relationship did exist. This is accomplished by obtaining medical records, prescriptions, and invoicing records from the doctor against whom you are filing a medical negligence claim.

Proof that the medical professional

 was negligent

It also has to be demonstrated by a “competent” doctor that an alternative course of action could “on the balance of probabilities” have prevented injuries to your child during birth from occurring.

Proof that the medical professional

lacked experience / skills

Also, that the person responsible for your child’s injuries displayed a lack of skill or was unable to deliver acceptable professional performance.

Starting the process early

If you’d want to seek compensation for a birth injury to your child, please schedule a call back request with one of our birth injuries solicitors.

+ (1800) 844 104

Birth Injury Claim – Useful Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors could give rise to the possibility of a Birth Injury Claim?

Birth injury compensation claims may be applicable when your child has suffered an injury during

  • The antenatal care,
  • Care during the intrapartum period,
  • Care during the process of delivery,
  • Care in the resuscitation techniques employed or
  • Lack of care in the neonatal period, and there is an element of negligence by one or more of the medical staff.

Heavier than average babies and those born prematurely are more susceptible to injury and nursing staff are aware that they must take greater care of these infants, however, any breach of that lack of care either during or immediately after the birth may lead to a birth injury compensation claim.

What is the time limit for a birth injury claim?

The current law in Ireland requires that a person must take an action for medical negligence, which includes a birth injury claim:

  • Within two years of the date of the event giving rise to the injury (Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004). This requires a Plaintiff in a medical negligence claim to act expeditiously.
  • However, birth injury compensation claims can be made by parents of children who have suffered a birth injury at any time up until the child’s eighteenth birthday acting as a “next friend”. Thereafter the child has two years to make a birth injury compensation claim in their own right.

However, we recommended that as soon as you believe your child has suffered a birth injury where an element of negligence was shown by a member of the medical staff, that you contact our experienced birth injury team who can assist you in the first steps in pursuing a birth injury compensation claim. You should act expeditiously to avoid Defendant successfully arguing that the case should be dismissed because of delay.

What are the essential criteria of a successful birth injury claim?

The existence of a duty of care, the breach of that duty, and a causal link between the breach and the resultant injury, loss, or damage to the Plaintiff are required for a successful birth injury claim. In such cases, it can be difficult to prove a causal connection between the alleged breach of duty and the resultant injury, loss, or damage.

Establishing a breach of duty:

In birth injury claims the alleged negligent care may arise as a result of failings in the antenatal care, care during the intrapartum period, care during the process of delivery, care in the resuscitation techniques employed, or lack of care in the neonatal period. Any or all of these elements of the care provided could give rise to a potential allegation of breach of duty.

How can I prove a breach of duty?

It is imperative to engage an appropriate expert to furnish his/her opinion on the level of care provided, such as an obstetrician, gynaecologist, neonatologist, etc. Usually, such experts are from the United Kingdom.

  • When we have received your instructions, we liaise with Senior Counsel on your behalf and consider the appropriate expert.
  • We then send him/her all of the obstetric, neonatal, and follow on paediatric medical records together with a detailed statement of events (prepared by the parents) and a letter of instructions summarizing the relevant facts and issues of the case requesting them to furnish their opinion on whatever specific areas are of concern.

In addition, it is worthwhile requesting the Hospital Protocols for the management of High-Risk Pregnancies, management of Foetal Distress in Labour, and Neonatal Management of Newborns. These protocols can assist in establishing or undermining a Plaintiff’s case at the outset.

Establishing a causal link between the disability and intrapartum events:

As above, it is essential that expert reports and opinions are sought from experts in paediatric neurology and/or paediatric neuropathology and/or neonatology to seek to establish a causal connection before pursuing a birth injury claim.

A legal representative  would usually be looking out for the following:

  • Evidence of foetal distress in labour
  • The cord blood pH
  • Condition at birth
  • Encephalopathy in the first 72 hours of life
  • The evidence available from radiological investigations including MRI scanning
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic injury to organs other than the brain

Birth Injuries in Ireland

At Coleman Legal, medical negligence claims constitute a large part of our caseload, and with that comes first-rate experience and high awareness of the area in general by our practitioners. We can advise you on your case and you will be guided through the legal process as sensitively as possible with our support. To speak with one of our solicitors call 1800 844104 (free phone) or complete our online enquiry form.

  • Negligently handled births
  • Problems not detected during pregnancy
  • Failure to detect serious abnormalities pre-birth
  • Errors during Ante-Natal care Injury or death due to medical instruments and/or anaesthetics or inadequate suturing

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.