Traumatic birth compensation claims

Traumatic birth compensation claims

For finding answers and getting justice

Whilst we refer to the term ‘mother’ within this content, we’re inclusive of all gender identities and expression.

The experience of childbirth should be filled with joy and anticipation but when something goes wrong and a traumatic birth happens, those feelings of excitement can quickly turn into a terrible ordeal. In these cases, making a traumatic birth compensation claim can be a crucial source of support and can help you to get your life back on track.

Birth injury claims play an important role in helping new parents and their families to get the compensation they need to aid their recovery. It can also be a way to hold those responsible to account, and provide some much-needed closure on a deeply distressing experience. If you're ready to make a birth injury compensation claim after experiencing a traumatic birth, Switalskis is here to help.

In an emotionally challenging time, you'll need an ally who can help you navigate the unfamiliar terrain of traumatic birth compensation. Whether you need help understanding the medical aspects and legal complexities, or you just want to talk to someone who truly empathises with your situation, the dedicated team of specialist birth trauma solicitors at Switalskis can support you.

Our medical negligence team specialises in traumatic birth compensation. We're here to answer your questions, guide you through the legal process, and help you claim the compensation that you and your family deserve.

If your family have suffered from a traumatic birth due to medical negligence, get in touch with us today. Call us on 0800 1380 458, or contact us through our website for a free, no-obligation consultation.

How Switalskis can help you

When navigating the birth injury compensation claims process, you need more than just legal representation. You need compassionate guidance, specialised expertise and unwavering support. At Switalskis, that's exactly what we provide.

We understand that every case of traumatic birth is unique, and that your individual circumstances and needs will be your own. That's why we're dedicated to listening to your story, getting to grips with your situation and finding out what you hope to achieve with the claim. With this personalised approach, we can make sure we're always working towards the outcome that you want.

No matter what the details of your case might be, you can always put your full trust in our highly experienced team of birth injury solicitors. Our medical negligence department, led by Suzanne Munroe , is accredited by both the Law Society and AvMA (Action Against Medical Accidents , recognising us as leading specialists in our field.

We pledge to offer you clear, understandable advice at every step of the process. We'll break down complex legal jargon, explain your rights and guide you through each phase of your medical negligence claim, from investigation to negotiation and settlement.

We also offer our services on a no win, no fee basis, so that you can seek justice without financial risk. It's part of our commitment to making legal support accessible to those who need it most.

At Switalskis, we see a birth injury claim as more than just a legal matter - it's an emotional journey for your whole family. As such, our birth trauma lawyers will act as compassionate allies, providing emotional support, encouragement and empathy at every step of the way.

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

What are the effects of traumatic birth?

A traumatic birth can have profound and lasting effects on the mother, father and any other individual present during the birth resulting in physical, emotional and impacts. The trauma of a difficult birth experience extends far beyond the delivery room in ways that are often underestimated.

Some of the most common mental health consequences of birth trauma include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to chronic mental health issues, including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
  • Depression and anxiety as a result of the emotional toll of a traumatic birth. Postnatal depression is a significant concern and requires professional support and treatment.
  • Feelings of guilt and shame, as mothers may feel responsible for what happened, or worry that they have somehow failed in their parental responsibilities.
  • Problems bonding with the newborn as a result of the emotional trauma, which leads to challenges in forming a healthy mother-child relationship.
  • Strain being placed on other close relationships, such as those with partners, family and friends, due to the stress and emotional upheaval of a traumatic birth.

Additionally, traumatic births can also lead to a number of physical health issues, such as:

  • Injury and pain, including fractures, tears or haemorrhaging. Recovery from these birth injuries can be painful and prolonged.
  • Chronic health problems, such as pelvic floor disorders or urinary incontinence, which may require ongoing medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments.
  • Third and fourth-degree tears/damage to the anal sphincter leading to faecal, wind and urge incontinence.
  • Fatigue from the physical stress of a traumatic birth, leading to lingering exhaustion at a time when the mother is already trying to manage their mental health and the demands of caring for a newborn.

The impact of injury or PTSD after traumatic birth can have long-lasting consequences. It can affect decisions about future pregnancies and childbirth, making women hesitant or fearful about having more children; it might also affect the mother's self-identity and financial stability.

This is why it's so important to explore the possibility of making a birth injury compensation claim if you've experienced birth trauma. If medical negligence is found to have played a part in your suffering, the birth trauma lawyers at Switalskis can help you claim birth injury compensation and move on with your life.

How does a traumatic birth affect the baby?

The consequences of a traumatic birth can have significant and lasting effects on the newborn baby. These effects can be immediate, long-term or even lifelong, depending on the severity of the birth injury and the quality of care the baby received.

Examples of birth injuries and health problems that can result from a traumatic birth include:

  • Physical injuries such as fractures, bruising or nerve damage. These injuries might need immediate medical intervention and careful monitoring.
  • Respiratory or breathing problems, which require specialised care and sometimes lead to prolonged stays in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Emotional distress, signs of which may include excessive crying or difficulties in feeding.

The most severe birth injuries from traumatic births have the potential to change the course of a young child's life. Some of the potential long-term consequences include:

  • Cognitive development issues. In cases where traumatic birth leads to oxygen deprivation, this can cause brain injuries that affect the child’s learning and intellectual abilities.
  • Problems with motor skills, as physical injuries or brain damage can make it difficult for babies to crawl, walk or perform coordinated movements.
  • Emotional issues, including behavioural and anxiety disorders.
  • Other chronic health conditions, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy or other neurological disorders, which require long-term medical care and support.

All of this can have a very significant effect on the whole family, both in terms of stress and the financial burden of providing specialist care for the child. If the parents or relatives are also experiencing an anxiety disorder or trauma at the same time, the impact can be devastating.

If this has happened to you, get in touch with our birth injury solicitors to find out whether you have grounds to claim compensation for your experience.

How can medical negligence cause a traumatic birth?

While some traumatic births are unavoidable due to complex circumstances or unexpected complications, others are a direct result of medical negligence. 

Medical negligence can lead to a traumatic birth in the following ways:

  • Failure to monitor the mother or baby's vital signs, meaning significant signs of potential complications with the birth are missed.
  • Improper use of medical instruments - for example, unnecessary or overuse of forceps or vacuum extractors can harm the baby, including skull fractures or nerve damage, while a poorly performed C-section may lead to cuts or other injuries to the child or person giving birth.
  • Failure to act quickly in providing necessary medical intervention, such as a delay in carrying out a necessary C-section, or slow response to signs that the baby was in trouble.
  • Substandard care during pregnancy, such as a failure to diagnose or treat a pre-existing condition like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
  • Prescribing the wrong medication, or failing to follow the expected treatment protocols during pregnancy.
  • A lack of communication and coordination among medical staff resulting in mistakes, oversights and a delayed response to emerging complications, or a failure to properly review the mother's medical history.

In order to make a birth trauma compensation claim, you'll need to be able to prove that the care you received from medical professionals fell below the necessary standard, and that this was directly responsible for the harm you suffered.

If you believe that medical negligence contributed to a traumatic birth, speak to our specialist birth injury lawyers, and we'll be able to advise you on whether you have strong grounds to make a claim.

What is the process for making a traumatic birth compensation claim?

Starting a traumatic birth compensation claim might feel overwhelming, but Switalskis is here to handle this process clearly and compassionately. We have years of experience dealing with birth injury cases, and we're committed to standing by your side every step of the way.

Here's an overview of what the traumatic birth claims process entails:

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 condition, 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 led 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. 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.

Throughout the process, we'll keep you informed and update you regularly, addressing any concerns and providing continuous guidance. Our dedicated birth trauma lawyers will always work to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters: healing and caring for your family.

Is there a time limit on claiming birth trauma compensation?

The general rule for medical negligence claims is that you have three years to make a claim. This starts either from the date of when the negligence happened or from when you first became aware of the negligence. This three-year window is referred to as the ‘limitation period’.

If the claim involves a child who suffered trauma during birth, the three-year limitation period doesn't begin until the child's 18th birthday. This means that a claim can be made at any time before the child turns 21. If the individual in question lacks mental capacity to make a claim by themselves (whether as a result of the traumatic birth or for another reason), the three-year time limit may not apply at all.

In some rare circumstances, the courts may allow a claim to proceed even if the three-year limitation has passed. This could happen if there are exceptional reasons why the claim could not have been made earlier, but it's important to recognise that this does not happen often, and will entirely depend on the decision of the court.

This is why we strongly advise you to seek legal advice about your birth trauma claim as soon as possible. Gathering evidence, medical records and witness statements can become more challenging as time passes. Taking early action gives your birth trauma lawyers the best possible chance to build a robust case on your behalf, and means that no deadlines are missed.

How much compensation could I claim for PTSD after a traumatic birth?

The amount of compensation you might receive for PTSD after a traumatic birth depends on various factors specific to your case. Every compensation claim will be individually assessed, meaning there are no fixed amounts or averages that we can offer.

Here are some of the factors that will be taken into account when you claim compensation to determine how much you will receive:

  • The severity of your condition, and how much of a long-lasting impact it's had on your daily life, relationships and ability to work.
  • Whether your condition has prevented you from working or limited your career progression.
  • Costs for therapy, medication and any required mental or physical health treatment, either now or in the future.
  • The strain your trauma has placed on your relationships with family and friends.

We can’t provide an exact figure for compensation without understanding the unique details of your situation. Each case is individual, and the amounts vary widely. However, by getting in touch with Switalskis, you can arrange an initial consultation with us, and we will provide you with a more tailored estimate of what your birth injury claim might be worth, based on the specific details of your case.

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 traumatic birth 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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How are traumatic birth compensation claims funded?

If you're making a traumatic birth compensation claim with Switalskis, we provide a number of options for how your case can be funded. We're committed to making sure that nobody is prevented from accessing justice because they don’t have enough money.

  • No win, no fee agreement: most of our birth injury claims are handled under a no win, no fee agreement, also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA). This means you'll pay nothing upfront, and our legal fees are only payable if your claim is successful. If you don’t receive any compensation, you won't have to pay anything. This arrangement offers peace of mind and accessibility, especially for those concerned about the financial aspects of pursuing a claim.
  • Legal Aid: in some cases, Legal Aid may be available for birth trauma compensation claims but only in relation to the neurological injury caused during pregnancy or at delivery up to the first eight weeks of life - usually in cases where a child has suffered a brain injury or Erb’s palsy. This funding option is means-tested, and eligibility criteria can be complex. Our birth trauma solicitors will be able to assess your individual circumstances and help you understand if you qualify for Legal Aid.
  • Legal expenses insurance: you may have legal expenses insurance as part of your home or car insurance policy, which could cover the cost of a birth trauma claim. You should check with your insurer or consult our expert team to explore this possibility. If you're a member of a trade union, they may also offer legal assistance as part of your membership benefits.

If you're not sure about your options, speak to the birth injury lawyers at Switalskis, and we can set up a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and the most suitable funding option for your claim. We're transparent about all costs, and we'll work to ensure that funding your claim is as stress-free as possible. We'll explain each option in detail, answer any questions you may have, and guide you through the process every step of the way.

How long do traumatic birth compensation claims take?

Various factors can influence the length of a birth injury compensation claim. Generally, it can take anywhere from around a minimum of 18 months to several years, depending on the complexity of the case.

The duration of the claim will depend on how long it takes to put all the evidence together, demonstrate that medical negligence happened and get the other party to admit fault. If the case is particularly complicated, or the opposing legal team proves to be uncooperative, this can slow the process down.

You can always trust Switalskis to progress your claim as efficiently as possible, balancing the need for speed with thorough attention to detail, making sure you receive the compensation you deserve. We understand that waiting for a resolution can be stressful, so we pledge to keep you informed at every stage, providing regular updates and transparent communication.

Why Switalskis?

Navigating the aftermath of a traumatic birth injury can be an overwhelming and deeply emotional journey. The legal complexities involved might seem daunting, but Switalskis is here to guide you through these challenging times, transforming uncertainty into clarity and offering unwavering support. Here's why you can trust us to handle your traumatic birth injury claim:

Clarity in complexity

Traumatic birth compensation claims might seem confusing and complex, but we are committed to making them as simple as we can for you. Our team of birth trauma solicitors will break down the legal terms into understandable language, ensuring that you're fully aware of every aspect of your case. We'll also answer all of your questions and make sure you feel informed and confident throughout the journey.

Empathy at every step

We understand that the effects of a traumatic birth on the mother and baby can be far-reaching, and we take the time to understand your unique situation. We'll listen to your concerns, acknowledge your emotions, and tailor our advice to meet both your legal needs and emotional wellbeing. You're not just a client to us - you're a family going through a profoundly difficult time, and we'll be there with compassionate, empathetic support at every stage.

Expertise you can trust

When dealing with a matter as serious and emotionally challenging as a traumatic birth injury claim, it's crucial to know you're in the hands of experts. Our team at Switalskis is led by Suzanne Monroe and we are specialists in birth trauma cases, with decades of combined experience and a proven track record in securing compensation for traumatic birth injuries. You can trust us to be steadfast and dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Championing your rights

Our passion for justice drives us to advocate for your rights and ensure that your voice resonates in the legal system. We'll help you claim the compensation you rightfully deserve and ensure that those responsible for the traumatic birth are held accountable as far as possible. By pursuing a claim, you will contribute to broader efforts to try to prevent other families from suffering similar experiences.

We understand that this is more than a legal claim; it's about your life, your family and your future. We're here to stand by your side, offering our unwavering support and legal excellence in handling your traumatic birth compensation claim.

FAQs about traumatic birth

Can a traumatic birth cause PTSD?

The experience of a traumatic birth can have far-reaching implications, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically as well. is one of the most serious potential consequences.

A traumatic birth, whether it involves unexpected complications, intense pain, a sense of loss of control, or concerns for the baby's wellbeing, can be a deeply shocking and frightening event. Such experiences can leave a lasting emotional impact, and for some, this can develop into PTSD.

It's widely recognised that PTSD is a potential consequence of serious birth trauma, and there are numerous treatments available for those who experience this. Early intervention, professional support from mental health experts, and therapy such as can significantly aid in your recovery. Making a claim for compensation can help you to access this support more easily.

What are the symptoms of PTSD after traumatic birth?

PTSD following a traumatic birth can manifest in various ways, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. Here's a more detailed look at the symptoms:

Reliving the experience

  • Flashbacks - vivid and intrusive memories that can come at any time, making a person feel as though they're reliving the traumatic birth.
  • Nightmares - disturbing dreams related to the traumatic event may result in sleep disturbances and increased anxiety.
  • Triggers - certain sounds, smells or sights may trigger memories of the event, leading to panic attacks or severe anxiety.

Avoidance and emotional numbness

  • Avoidance of reminders - this could include avoiding hospitals, medical professionals or even discussions about childbirth, leading to social isolation.
  • Emotional detachment - feelings of numbness or detachment from others, even close family members, can make it hard to form or maintain relationships.
  • Loss of interest - you may find you suddenly lack interest in activities you previously enjoyed, or you may simply feel unable to experience pleasure or happiness.

Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

  • Irritability and anger - short temper, anger outbursts, and irritability with friends and family are all possible PTSD symptoms.
  • Difficulty sleeping - insomnia or difficulty maintaining sleep due to anxiety or nightmares are a potential risk.
  • Hypervigilance - many mothers with PTSD feel constantly on edge, are easily startled, or experience a perpetual sense of danger.
  • Physical symptoms - physical signs such as sweating, shaking, heart palpitations or nausea can emerge when you are reminded of the traumatic birth.

Negative changes in thoughts and mood

  • Guilt or shame - you may feel guilt, shame or self-blame regarding the traumatic birth experience.
  • Depression - you might struggle with persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness or even suicidal thoughts.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions - struggling with concentration or decision-making processes in daily life can also result from PTSD.

These symptoms can have a massive impact on daily living and relationships. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seeking professional mental health care is vital.

If the traumatic birth was the result of medical negligence, consulting with the birth trauma solicitors at Switalskis may be an essential step towards justice and healing. We can help you obtain an acknowledgement of what went wrong, as well as compensation that can aid your recovery.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

Find out how Switalskis can help you

At Switalskis, we understand the profound effects of traumatic birth on the mother, baby and family. Our compassionate and experienced birth trauma lawyers are here to guide you through this difficult journey. Call us today on 0800 1380 458 to take the first step towards healing and justice.

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