Claim for a Cranial Injury at Birth

I recently had a forceps delivery and my baby suffered severe head injuries, will I be entitled to make a claim for a cranial injury at birth against the hospital?

When a baby is born with cranial injuries it can be devastating for the parents, and it is natural to want answers and to consider making a claim for a cranial injury at birth to recover personal injury compensation. An award of compensation for a cranial birth injury will help to ensure that the best medical treatment can be afforded, and the baby will be able to life as normal a life as possible.

It is your legal right to make cranial birth injury claims on behalf of your baby and to receive recompense for the pain and suffering caused from injuries sustained due to carelessness of a midwife, doctor or an attending obstetrician. If the hospital staff should have been able to deliver your baby safely under the circumstances, without causing a head injury at birth, you should certainly be entitled take legal action against the hospital/HSE.

Although a claim for a cranial injury at birth should be possible, birth injury claims are usually highly complex. It must be established and proven that a reasonably competent and attentive doctor or nurse would – on the balance of probabilities – have been able to deliver the baby safely without causing an injury, when faced with the same circumstances.

To do this, medical opinion must be sought from an expert paediatric doctor and the case must be thoroughly investigated. All persons involved in the delivery of the baby must be contacted, from the hospital administration staff to those present during the delivery of your baby. Opinions must be obtained to establish whether mistakes were made during the forceps delivery, or if the decision to use forceps was inappropriate under the circumstances. Your baby will be required to undergo a range of diagnostic tests to help establish medically how a head injury at birth was suffered, and if the incorrect use of forceps caused or contributed to the severity of your baby’s injuries.

To ensure a strong case is prepared you will need to use a specialist medical negligence solicitor. A medical negligence solicitor will ensure the best paediatric doctors are consulted to assess both medical negligence and the severity of your baby’s injuries, and if negligence is established and proven, an appropriate level of compensation for a cranial birth injury will be calculated.

It is not always possible to pursue cranial birth injury claims in Ireland, although if you are legally entitled to compensation under the circumstances. An experienced medical negligence solicitor will take the necessary steps to ensure your case has the maximum probability of being successful.

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.