Neonatal care claims

Neonatal care claims

For finding answers and getting justice

When a newborn baby is seriously injured or tragically dies, this has devastating and life-altering effects on the entire family. If it turns out that these tragic events could have been prevented, this makes the whole experience even more difficult to cope with. In these circumstances, making a medical negligence compensation claim can go some way to alleviate some of the financial impact on families.

care claims can help you obtain the financial support you need to cope with what has happened and provide funds for the additional costs caused by what has happened. They are also an important way of making sure those responsible are held accountable so that other families can be protected from experiencing the same pain.

At Switalskis, we have the expertise and the right team of lawyers to help you through the complexity of the care claims process during a time of grief. Our medical negligence team specialises in navigating these sensitive cases, focusing not only on legal representation but on emotional support as well.

With years of experience in handling injury claims, compensation claims and other related cases, we've been at the forefront of securing justice and compensation for families in need. Whether you’re facing the aftermath of a injury or coping with the devastating loss of a child, the Switalskis team is ready to guide you through this unfamiliar and challenging process.

To enquire about your neonatal care claim, please call our Switalskis team on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch with us through our website to find out more about how we can help.

How Switalskis can help you

Families who have gone through the trauma of a injury or a baby's death will have their own stories to tell. We know that each family's experience is unique, and we tailor our approach to meet your specific needs and concerns.

Our experienced and compassionate medical negligence team will do the following for you:

  • Build the strongest possible case, pulling together all of the available evidence as well as securing reports from independent medical experts
  • Make the process as simple as possible, breaking down complex terms and procedures into understandable language, and answering all of your questions along the way
  • Connect you with support groups, counselling services and medical experts who can provide additional assistance tailored to your needs.
  • Offer a range of funding options for neonatal care claims, and discuss these with you in detail to help you find a funding arrangement that suits your circumstances

With years of experience in compensation claims, infection claims and more, we've built a reputation for excellence in this specific field of medical negligence. Our team includes legal experts accredited by the Law Society and AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents) , which underlines their industry-leading expertise.

If you’re dealing with a injury, or and believe medical negligence may have been involved, don't hesitate to reach out to Switalskis. We're here to provide the guidance, support and expertise you need.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis:

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What is a neonatal injury?

A injury refers to any physical harm, illness or medical condition that affects your newborn baby during the first 28 days of their lives. This is known as the period and marks the baby's transition from the womb to the outside world. Their bodies undergo significant changes during this time, and doctors must monitor newborns carefully to make sure they’re healthy.

injuries can range from minor issues to life-threatening conditions. Some injuries might resolve with proper medical care, while others can lead to chronic conditions or developmental delays. The impact on the child's life can vary widely depending on the nature and severity of the injury.

Prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are critical in managing injuries. Skilled medical care can help to limit the effects of an injury, or prevent it from worsening. On the other hand, negligent medical treatment can make the injury worse and lead to more severe outcomes.

If your child has suffered a injury due to medical negligence, you may have legal rights to claim compensation.

What are the most common types of neonatal injury?

Because the period immediately after birth is a delicate time for babies, there are several ways in which they could suffer an injury or illness during this time. Here's a closer look at some of the most common types of injuries:

  • Physical injuries: these can include fractures, bruising or cuts that may occur during a difficult delivery, or because of the inappropriate use of medical instruments such as forceps.
  • Neurological injuries: these involve damage to the baby's brain or nervous system. Lack of oxygen during birth (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or severe untreated hypoglycaemia) can lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy.
  • Respiratory injuries: problems with the baby's lungs or breathing apparatus can lead to conditions such as respiratory distress syndrome.
  • Infections: these can occur if the baby is exposed to bacteria or viruses, either in the womb or after birth. Neonatal sepsis is a severe infection that can be life-threatening.
  • Metabolic and genetic disorders: some neonatal injuries might be related to inherited conditions or metabolic imbalances that need immediate attention and care.

If your child has suffered from any of these types of injuries and you believe medical negligence may have been a cause, get in touch with Switalskis to see if you can claim compensation.

How can medical negligence lead to neonatal injury?

injuries can be devastating, especially when they result from a failure by healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care, treatment or attention, leading to preventable harm. In order to be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim, you'll need to be able to prove that the care you or your baby received was below the proper standard and that this directly led to the harm you suffered.

Here are some examples of how clinical negligence can lead to injuries:

  • A failure to properly monitor the health of the baby or mother, such as inadequate monitoring of the baby's heart rate, or a failure to recognise signs of infection in the mother
  • Mishandling the birth itself, including improper use of birth instruments, excessive force being applied during delivery, or harmful delays in carrying out an emergency C-section
  • Incorrect administration of medication to the mother or baby, leading to harmful reactions or existing conditions being made worse
  • A lack of adequate care for premature babies, including failure to provide support for breathing problems or adequate treatment for jaundice
  • A failure to diagnose or treat neonatal conditions such as heart defects, metabolic disorders or other congenital conditions
  • Delay or failure in treating neonatal infections like sepsis or meningitis, leading to severe complications or death
  • Poor communication between medical staff, leading to inadequate care and avoidable injuries

If you believe your child's injury was caused by clinical negligence, you should speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor as soon as possible to help you build a strong case, based on all of the available medical evidence.

Can I make a claim for a neonatal infection?

Not all infections result from negligence, but in some cases, an infection may be caused by avoidable medical errors, or made worse by failures in care. In these instances, infection compensation claims are possible.

All of the following circumstances might be solid grounds for infection claims:

  • Failure to identify and treat infection in the mother: if medical staff neglect to diagnose or manage an infection in the mother during pregnancy or labour, it may spread to the baby.
  • Poor hygiene practices: inadequate sanitation and hygiene protocols within the hospital or among healthcare professionals may expose the baby to harmful bacteria.
  • Delayed diagnosis or treatment of the baby's infection: quick diagnosis and appropriate treatment are vital for treating or slowing down the spread of neonatal infections. A delay may lead to a more severe condition or long-term damage.
  • Inappropriate antibiotic treatment: using antibiotics in the wrong circumstances or administering the wrong antibiotics can make your baby's condition worse.

Our team has extensive experience in handling infection claims, and we'll carefully evaluate the circumstances of the infection to determine whether negligence occurred.

Can I make a claim for a neonatal death?

The loss of a newborn child is an unimaginable tragedy that no parent should ever have to go through. When deaths happen due to preventable medical errors or negligence, the grief and anger can be overwhelming.

refers to the loss of a baby within the first 28 days of life. This loss can be caused by various underlying health conditions, complications during delivery or infections. In some cases, may have been avoidable and can be proven to be the direct result of medical negligence.

You may have grounds to make a compensation claim if there is evidence that medical professionals made errors or acted negligently in a way that led to your baby’s death. Common grounds for claims include:

  • Mistakes during labour and delivery: this might include improper use of medical instruments, failure to monitor the baby's heart rate, or delays in performing necessary interventions like C-sections.
  • Failure to diagnose or treat medical conditions: if medical staff overlook or mismanage conditions in the mother or baby that should have been identified and treated, this can lead to tragic outcomes.
  • Negligent care of a premature baby: specialised care is essential for premature infants. Mistakes in this care can have fatal consequences.

When you make a compensation claim, we'll carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, seek the opinions of medical experts and gather evidence to build a strong case.

What is the difference between neonatal death and stillbirth?

and both have devastating effects on a family. If you're seeking to make a clinical negligence claim, it's important to know the difference between the two, to help you understand how your claim will be investigated.

The term ‘neonatal death’ applies when the baby dies within the first 28 days of life. deaths can result from a variety of causes, such as congenital abnormalities, infections, complications related to prematurity, or medical negligence during or after birth.

is defined as the death of a baby before or during delivery, typically after 24 weeks of pregnancy. might be the result of genetic conditions, problems, infections in the mother, or negligence during prenatal care. A baby dying before 24 weeks is medically called a miscarriage.

The medical negligence specialists at Switalskis have experience in handling both and claims. We understand the complexities and sensitivities involved in these cases, and will do everything we can to help you seek justice for the death of your baby, whether you're making a or claim.

What is the process for making a neonatal care claim?

Starting a care claim can be an overwhelming process, especially when dealing with the emotional aftermath of a traumatic birth. At Switalskis, we're dedicated to simplifying the process and making sure that you feel supported every step of the way.

Here's an overview of what the care claims process involves:

Step 1: Initial consultation

In this first meeting, we’ll speak to you about the unique aspects of your traumatic birth. We’ll need to understand both the mother’s and baby’s conditions, and/or partner’s condition, the events leading up to the traumatic birth, and the profound impact it’s had on your lives. This consultation will help us form a clear picture of your situation and highlight what we need to investigate further.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

After this, we’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding the birth and medical care that lead to the traumatic experience. This will involve obtaining and reviewing medical records, consulting with and instructing independent medical experts specialising in birth trauma, and investigating the care provided. Our aim will be to prove that the traumatic birth was caused by medical negligence, and then to start to work out how much compensation you might be entitled to receive.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant - letters of claim and response

Once we gather enough evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the healthcare professionals involved. This letter will outline the full details of the birth trauma compensation claim and the evidence supporting it. The defendant will then generally have four months to respond, allowing them time to conduct their investigation and decide whether to accept liability or not. This can often be longer, particularly with birth injury claims. 

Step 4: Negotiation

After the defendant has responded, our expert birth trauma solicitors will begin negotiations. Using our extensive expertise and experience, we’ll work to establish who was at fault and secure the highest possible compensation amount for you and your family.

Step 5: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Most claims are settled through negotiation, resulting in a fair settlement without the need to go to court. However, we often have to issue court proceedings to secure a result. We may need to take your claim to trial. If this happens, we’ll be with you every step of the way, providing the full support and representation you need.

Step 6: Settlement and compensation

If your claim is successful, you’ll receive compensation. The amount will be calculated to reflect the pain and suffering you’ve been through, and any support you have used or will need in the future to overcome the trauma you experienced. 

Throughout this process, we pride ourselves on communicating regularly and keeping you informed. We understand the emotional toll that injuries can take, and our dedicated team will always work to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch via our form.

Our neonatal care claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
View more

Is there a time limit on claiming neonatal care compensation?

For most medical negligence claims, the standard limitation period is three years. This means that from the date of the injury or the date you became aware of the negligence (known as the date of knowledge), you have a three-year window to initiate legal proceedings.

However, because injuries involve children, the standard three-year time limit doesn't start until the child's 18th birthday. This means that parents or guardians have until the child turns 21 to bring a claim on their behalf. This extended period recognises that the full impact of some injuries may not be apparent immediately, and can evolve or become clearer as the child grows.

In tragic instances where negligence results in a death, the bereaved family typically has three years from the date of death to make a claim for compensation. Alternatively, the time limit may begin when the family first realised negligence may have played a part in that death.

If a injury affects your child’s mental capacity and leaves them permanently unable to make decisions on their own, there's no time limit for making a claim. These claims can be initiated at any point in the affected individual's life.

While these are the general guidelines, there are exceptions. The courts have the discretion to extend the time limits when they decide it's appropriate. However, it's crucial not to rely on these exceptions, as they are very rare.

Instead, seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Evidence is often more accessible and memories fresher shortly after the event, making the process of building a strong case more straightforward.

How much can I claim for neonatal care negligence?

The consequences of care negligence can be far-reaching, affecting not only the child but the entire family. Understanding how much compensation you can claim for care negligence may be vital for planning your family's future.

The amount of compensation will be calculated with the following factors in mind:

  • General damages - these damages provide compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the negligence. It includes both the physical and emotional impact on the child and possibly the parents.
  • Special damages - special damages cover the financial losses and expenses caused by the substandard care. This includes any medical and care costs and the expense associated with mobility aids and adaptations to the home, as well as any loss of earnings - for example, if parents need to reduce work hours or stop working to care for their child.

You may also receive compensation for expected future losses. This takes into consideration the long-term impact of the injury, including projected care costs, potential loss of future earnings, ongoing therapy needs, and more. In tragic circumstances where negligence leads to death, the claim may include funeral expenses and bereavement damages.

Because each case is so unique, it's impossible to provide an exact figure without understanding your specific situation. Contact us for an initial consultation, and we can discuss the details of your case and provide a more tailored insight into the compensation you could receive.

How are neonatal care claims funded?

Worried about how to fund your care claim? Let’s put those concerns to rest. There are various funding options available for care claims:

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a ‘conditional fee agreement’ (CFA), this is the most common way to fund a neonatal care claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. Our costs are written off. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: we will begin an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we use. However, you may have legal expense cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaise with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in very rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

At Switalskis, we're committed to making legal support as accessible as possible. During the initial consultation, we'll discuss the funding options available to you, and help you find the best solution to suit your individual situation.

How long do neonatal care claims take?

care claims can be complex, and the time it takes to reach a conclusion will vary depending on the specifics. Generally, a straightforward case may be resolved within 18 to 24 months, while more intricate situations involving extensive investigation, expert reports, court proceedings and negotiations are likely to take several years.

Several factors can influence the length of the claim process. For example, complications might arise if there are difficulties in obtaining essential medical records, or disagreements between medical experts on the cause of the injury. The willingness of the defendant to negotiate and settle can also impact the timeframe. If a claim goes to trial, the court’s schedule may extend the process further.

At Switalskis, we understand that time is crucial, especially when dealing with the challenges that injuries present. We're committed to progressing your claim as swiftly as possible, always being transparent and keeping you informed of any developments that may affect the timeline of your claim.

Why Switalskis?

Navigating the aftermath of a injury or loss is an overwhelmingly painful experience, and having to go through a complicated legal process might feel like it's only adding to that distress. At Switalskis, we're aware of the emotional challenges you're facing, and we're here to guide you through with clarity, empathy and expertise.

Here's what you can expect from Switalskis:

Clarity in complexity

care claims may appear complicated and daunting, but with Switalskis, they don't have to be. We're committed to unravelling all of the legal jargon and translating it into language that you can understand. We'll address all of your queries, simplify the process, and ensure you're fully informed throughout your claim.

Empathy at every step

Your experience is unique, and we acknowledge the profound impact that injury or death can have on a family. We'll invest time to understand your specific situation, listen to your worries, and provide advice that resonates with both your emotional needs and legal requirements. You're more than just a client to us - you're a family in need, and we're right here, offering unwavering support and heartfelt empathy.

Expertise you can trust

With care claims, it's crucial to know that you're in capable hands. Our team, led by specialists in high-severity claims, recognise the sensitivities surrounding injuries, and are dedicated to handling your claim with care and professionalism.

The Switalskis team combines years of experience with an exceptional track record in handling care claims. We're committed to fighting for your rights and pursuing the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Championing your rights

We're dedicated to upholding your rights and ensuring that your voice resonates throughout the legal process. We'll not only help you claim the compensation you deserve, but also try to make sure the right lessons are learned, meaning your claim may also play a vital role in preventing other families from enduring similar pain and suffering.

The Switalskis team goes beyond legal representation; we're your partners in this journey. We understand that no amount of compensation can truly make amends for your loss, but we're committed to making the process as smooth and supportive as possible.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you believe that your child has suffered from injury or infection due to medical negligence, or if you have experienced the heartache of or death, taking the first step towards justice is vital. Switalskis is here to guide you through the complex process of care claims, providing expert advice, emotional support and strong representation tailored to your unique situation.

Contact Switalskis today by calling 0800 1380 458 , or get in touch with us through the website to discuss your concerns in confidence with our medical negligence team.

When completing this form, the details you provide will only be used to deal with your enquiry. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information on how your data is used and stored.

Contact us