Birth Injury Claim

Last year saw the highest number of births recorded in Ireland since 1896. In total there were 75,065 births recorded.

For most people pregnancy and giving birth is one of the happiest times of their lives. Unfortunately, things can go wrong, injuries happen and when they do, the effects can be traumatic for everybody involved. When those injuries have been caused by negligence or a lack of care by the medical team involved in the delivery, you may want to consider making make a birth injury compensation claim.

There are a number of reasons why complications with the delivery may occur – many of them are overcome with professional medical attention. But sometimes the health of both the mother and the baby are compromised by medical negligence in instances where the umbilical cord compresses and gets trapped, or the foetus becomes distressed, and the attending obstetrician or midwife fails to deal with the emergency situation adequately.

Typical Birth Injuries

Mother and infant can both suffer birth injuries during a difficult delivery. The misuse of forceps or delay in carrying out a Caesarean as necessary may be considered as medical negligence as can certain cases of anaesthetic awareness – if pain relief given to the mother during suturing after an episiotomy or Caesarean wears off, and further doses are not sufficiently effective, resulting in a great deal of pain and discomfort.

The list of potential injuries that can be sustained by a new born baby are practically endless as a baby’s body is extremely sensitive and vulnerable at birth. Errors during the birth process can lead to life-long conditions such as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Neonatal hypoglaecemia – an abnormally low level of blood glucose which can cause long-term brain damage
  • Other physical and internal damage at soft spots (where a baby´s bones have not finished fusing prior to delivery) can cause irrevocable harm

Making a Birth Injury Compensation Claim

Birth injuries which could have been avoided come under the heading of clinical negligence, and you are entitled to sue the responsible medical physician who is liable for causing the injury. Whether you are the mother who has suffered an injury during birth, or the parent/guardian of a child who has been injured during a delivery, where it can be proven that the actions – or lack of them – performed by the medical practitioner displayed poor skill, or the ability to demonstrate that skill, you can make a birth injury compensation claim.

A birth injury compensation claim cannot be processed by the Injuries Board Ireland, so you will require the services of a specialised personal injury claims solicitor to guide you through the procedures in making a birth injury compensation claim. He will appoint an experienced neonatal physician to examine you or the infant to determine if there is cause to make a birth injury compensation claim, and, if so, support your solicitor’s arguments with his evidence in court.

Who Pays for a Birth Injury Compensation Claim?

Some mothers are apprehensive about making a birth injury compensation claim as they believe that they are claiming against an individual with whom they may have built up a friendly relationship during pregnancy. Although that individual may have been responsible for your, or your child´s, birth injury, any award given for a birth injury compensation claim is paid by the company which holds the negligent physician´s medical insurance policy, or the hospital, practice or health authority for which they work.

Frequently an insurance company – or the Health and Safety Executive – will be keen to make an early offer of settlement for your birth injury compensation claim, and the only thing you have to be assured of is that their offer represents a fair and adequate amount in respect of the trauma that you or your child have suffered. A specialised personal injury claims solicitor, working on your behalf, will be able to advise you if the amount of compensation offered is an appropriate amount, and will be able to negotiate with the insurance company or HSE – to try to save you the further trauma of having to go to court.

Birth Injury Compensation Claim Solicitors

A birth injury compensation claim is an exceptionally complex and lengthy case to pursue. As well as being based on medical opinion, judgment in a birth injury compensation claim may depend on how well the argument of medical negligence is presented and communicated to the court, and how well the solicitor and medical expert work together. So it is likely to be to your benefit to engage the services of a specialised personal injury claims solicitor experienced in making birth injury compensation claims.

A lot of background work is needed when making a birth injury compensation claim – ultimately with the aim of building a sufficiently strong case that the insurance company has no option but to settle out of court. This work can be undertaken and processed more quickly by somebody who has dealt with birth injury compensation claims before. If you would like to know more about the process, please call our free advice telephone service on .

If you or your child have suffered a birth injury during a delivery or in the immediate aftermath, our solicitors will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take. They will discuss with you the circumstances surrounding your or your child´s birth injury, and determine whether there is a birth injury compensation claim which is worth your while to pursue. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we also operate a call-back service. You are under no obligation to act on our advice, and all calls to our free advice telephone service are strictly confidential.

Suffering an injury during what is meant to be one of the most joyous experiences of your life is a terrible thing. No amount of compensation can ever replace the damage that may have been caused by a birth injury, but with a successful birth injury compensation claim, you will at least have the funds for adequate support and financial stability.



This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.