Perineal tear compensation

Perineal tear compensation

For finding answers and getting justice

The pernineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. Perineal tears can happen naturally during childbirth or the doctor or midwife may need to cut the area to allow the baby to be delivered (an episiotomy). Sometimes the cut or can extend and become a perineal tear.

Obstetric tears include tears to the itself and these are classified on their severity with the most severe tears being third and fourth-degree tears as they involve the internal and external anal sphincters and cause impairment to bowel function, leading to women having problems with faecal urgency, incontinence and problems holding wind (flatus).

A perennial tear or a sphincter injury isn’t always preventable or a cause for a legal claim. However, if the doctor of midwife misdiagnoses the type or category of tear, or fails to treat your injury correctly, there can be much more serious consequences and long-lasting problems after childbirth. These may include physical and problems, such as severe pain or bowel incontinence and flatulence, that can significantly restrict your life and your ability to work and affect your relationships.

Examples of poor care can include:

  • If you weren’t properly advised or informed before suffering a tear
  • If reasonable steps weren’t taken to reduce the risk or the severity of the tear
  • The grade/severity of your tear wasn’t diagnoses correctly
  • The tear wasn’t repaired properly or promptly
  • Post-birth complications were missed or misdiagnosed

Many women who have suffered perineal or sphincter injury can find it difficult to discuss their symptoms. We understand that it’s a sensitive issue to discuss and cause not only physical symptoms but also distress. Our laywers are obstetric negligence experts and are consistently acknowledged for their understanding and sensitive dedication to their clients.

Get in touch for a free confidential discussion. We’ll listen to your story and be able to advise you on whether you can make a claim based on what happened to you. To talk about your circumstances with our experts, contact Switalskis today.

Call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website to get the process started.

How Switalskis can help you

Switalskis’ service is tailored to the individual needs of each client. We know that a perineal tear can be a sensitive subject to discuss and a traumatic experience to relive. We take the time to listen to your circumstances and build your case around you. You’re never just a client to us. It’s about supporting you through your recovery, and gaining answers as to what happened to you.

We’ll work thoroughly to review all of the relevant evidence, gather testimony from medical experts, and build the strongest possible case to support your claim.

If you need support in claiming perineal tear compensation, the experts at Switalskis can help. Call 0800 138 0458 today.

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

What is the process for a perineal tear compensation claim?

The unique circumstances that each person experiences affect how the claims process unfolds. However, there are general milestones through which every case will progress.

Step 1: Initial consultation

In our first meeting, we'll speak to you about the unique aspects of your case. We'll need to understand the condition of both the parent and baby, the events leading up to the perineal tear, and the 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 of the birth and the medical care surrounding the tear after the birth. This will involve obtaining and reviewing medical records, consulting with and instructing independent medical experts specialising in after-birth tears, and investigating the care provided. Our aim will be to prove that any harm you suffered 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 your perineal tear 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 than four months, particularly with birth injury claims.

Step 4: Defendant response

After the defendant has responded, our expert perineal tear 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. Should this happen, 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.

The team at Switalskis prioritises clear communication. We’ll stay in touch and offer regular updates throughout the process so you’ll always know what is happening with your claim. We’ll also remain dedicated throughout to moving your case forward and pushing for a positive resolution to your claim.

How much perineal tear compensation could I claim?

Many women suffer physical and problems after experiencing perineal tears or sphincter injuries, particularly third and fourth-degreee injuries. This can sometimes affect their ability to leave the house and they may have to give up work. It can significantly affect their relationships with family and friends.

Compensation will include:

  • Compensation for the injuries you have sustained, both physical and psychological
  • Any loss of earnings both now and in the future because of your injuries
  • Any additional losses and costs for treatment, further surgery or therapy

The amount of compensation will depend on your particular circumstances. When advising you, we will consider the nature of the negligence, the severity of the tear and your injuries, and the impact on your life and your future.

How can I fund a perineal tear claim?

The question of funding a legal case is sometimes enough to put people off the idea of making a claim. At Switalskis, we believe that this should never be the case. Everyone should be able to pursue justice when they’ve experienced medical negligence, no matter their financial circumstances. Thankfully, there are several ways to fund a claim that doesn’t pose a financial risk to the claimant.

  • No win, no fee agreement: Also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), this is the most common way to fund a perineal tear compensation 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 expenses 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 liaising 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.

When you call us to discuss your case, we’ll talk about your funding options and help you understand how they work. That way, you can be sure to choose the most suitable option for you.

Is there a time limit to make a claim?

Almost every medical negligence claim has a ‘limitation period’ that determines when you can make a claim. This is usually three years and begins from the date that the negligent incident happened. If the medical negligence isn’t immediately clear, the limitation period will begin from the point that you realise (or should’ve realised) that negligence caused the harm you suffered.

There are some specific cases where time limits may not apply. For example:

  • Children: If the person who suffered the negligence was under 18 at the time, the three-year period doesn’t start until their 18th birthday. This means they have until they turn 21 to start legal proceedings.
  • Mental capacity: If the person who suffered the negligence lacks the mental capacity to make their own decisions, there may be no time limit to claim on their behalf.
  • Fatal cases: If you’re claiming on behalf of a family member who passed away due to complications arising from a perineal tear, the claim must be made within three years of the date of death, or the date of knowledge that negligent treatment caused their death.

To make sure you don’t miss out on your right to claim, you should act as soon as possible. Get in touch with Switalskis today to find out whether you’re eligible to claim and start the process.

Throughout the process, we pride ourselves on communicating regularly, keeping you informed, and providing guidance. Our dedicated solicitors strive to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: caring for your child.

Our perineal tear compensation 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
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Why Switalskis?

Our team has a wealth of experience dealing with claims relating to perineal tears. We have secured compensation for a variety of claims settling for six-figure sums in many cases.

Suzanne Munroe is the head of the Switalskis clinical negligence team and has vast experience in perineal tear claims. She acts for claimants across a variety of obstetric cases and has successfully secured compensation for women who have suffered perineal injuries during childbirth.

Switalskis is committed to delivering the highest quality of medical negligence services and, in that spirit, we strive to provide the following for every client.

Clarity in complexity

The claims process can be full of complicated legal and medical terms that can make it difficult to understand what is happening and what you need to do. To help you, Switalskis will break everything down into clear language, answer any questions you have and provide regular updates on our progress throughout your claim.

Empathy at every step

A perineal tear can mean you have to deal with recovering from an injury and looking after a newborn at the same time. Our team isn’t just here to give you the best legal advice - we’ll also provide emotional support and resources to help you deal with the after-effects of the incident.

Expertise you can trust

Switalskis’ team has many years of combined experience in making third and fourth-degree perineal tear claims on behalf of our clients. Our understanding of the process means we’re fully prepared for whatever comes next, and we always know what it will take to keep moving towards a positive resolution for you.

Championing your rights

Perineal tear claims are about holding people accountable for the mistakes they made, and making sure that similar incidents don’t happen again in the future. When you have a right to make a claim, we’ll always work hard to uphold that right and amplify your voice throughout the process.

The solicitors at Switalskis approach every case with care, sensitivity and a personal touch. We’ll take on as much of the responsibility for managing your claim as possible, so you can focus on the things that matter most to you: your newborn and your recovery.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

When doctors let you down and fail to treat painful conditions, the consequences are not just physical. Get in touch with Switalskis, and we’ll be your ally on this journey. Call us on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website today.

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