• Helen Dolan, specialist catastrophic medical negligence lawyer, recovered compensation in excess of £29million for clients with a brain injury (including cerebral palsy) in 2016
  • Hugh Potter secured a settlement figure of just under £13 million thanks to change in discount rate
  • Rachel Rees, expert personal injury lawyer, recovered over £15 million in compensation for clients with a brain injury last year

Birth injuries caused by clinical negligence

Potter Rees Dolan is here to help if mistakes made by medical professionals have resulted in an injury to your child during birth. Birth injuries are diverse, complex and often extraordinarily difficult for parents and children to come to terms with. In some cases, complications during birth can lead disability, including Cerebral Palsy.

Our team comprises experienced and highly trained solicitors that specialise in dealing with traumatic and difficult cases. They have first-hand experience in helping people like you get the compensation you need for your children, so that they have the care and support they need for the rest of their life.

Our highly regarded clinical negligence team is made up of Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson and Gill Edwards, who all feature in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers 2017 guides. Our guiding principles are to offer a personal service to every single person we work with, and to put our clients and their best interests first.

We’re here to listen and help you get the support you need. Call us on 0800 027 2557 to speak to a specialist solicitor. If you’d like one of our team to call you back, fill in the contact form on the side of the page and we’ll arrange a call at a time of your choosing.

Recent case wins include:

Baby born with cerebral palsy due to medical failings - £11 million

Wrongful birth claim for parents of significantly disabled child - £2.65 million

What are birth injuries?

There are a number of types of birth injury. Some birth injuries are short-lived whilst others are permanent, causing disability that lasts a lifetime.

Sometimes, the extent of a child’s injury might not be clear until they are close to starting school. On other occasions, they are immediately obvious. The severity of symptoms and signs will greatly depend upon the circumstances surrounding and the type of birth injury.

Causes of birth injury

Birth injuries can result from poor care during pregnancy, labour or after the birth. Some examples are given below:

Pregnancy

  • Undiagnosed gestational diabetes
  • Undetected pre eclampsia
  • Placental or uterine abruption
  • Wrongful birth (undetected birth defects that may have led to terminating the pregnancy had the mother been aware of them)

Labour

  • Failure to monitor the baby’s heart rate adequately
  • Delay in delivery
  • Substandard use of forceps or ventouse
  • Poor management of a shoulder dystocia

Post-delivery

  • Delay in resuscitation
  • Failure to treat severe post-natal jaundice
  • Undiagnosed hip dysplasia
  • Failure to diagnose hydrocephalus
  • Viral and bacterial encephalitis
  • Undiagnosed hypoglycaemia

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy describes a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and muscle coordination. The condition can have a devastating impact on those affected, with a lifetime of care often required for a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It can cause distress and concern for you and your immediate family, as you come to terms with the nature of the condition.

Cerebral palsy can vary in severity and cannot be cured. It is commonly associated with birth injury and can be subdivided into various categories depending on the type and timing of insult to the brain. These categories include: ataxic cerebral palsy, spastic cerebral palsy and dyskinetic cerebral palsy. It is important to get a diagnosis and professional support as soon as possible so that therapy and equipment put in place in order to maximise a child’s abilities and independence.

For more information about cerebral palsy and if you believe you have a case for medical negligence please visit our dedicated page.

Life after birth injuries

Living with the consequences of birth injury can be a challenging time for all of those concerned. It can place enormous stresses on you, your loved ones as well as your injured child.

As well as the huge emotional impact caused by a birth injury, you will have to face dealing with many practical issues such as:

  • Requiring rehabilitation and treatment for the physical injuries sustained
  • Making alterations to your home to accommodate a disabled and growing child with cerebral palsy
  • Requiring carers to support you in caring for your child
  • The impact of loss of earnings when you cannot return to work
  • Mental health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) issues associated with childbirth

How we can help

Potter Rees Dolan’s clinical negligence team has earned a reputation as one of the very best in the UK. Boasting a combined experience in serious injury law of over 60 years and comprehensive medical insight, the team has an unwavering dedication to help families recover the compensation they deserve in order to provide the support that families need

About Helen Dolan, head of the department, Chambers 2017 says: “A source describes Helen Dolan as ‘formidable in her knowledge of the law and medicine,’ adding: ‘She's one of the best clinical negligence solicitors in Manchester.’”

Chambers 2017 says, Lesley Herbertson “plays a crucial role in many of the firm’s diverse clinical negligence cases. A commentator highlights her “understanding of cases and the way she moves cases forward," while another interviewee adds: ‘She is an extremely bright lawyer who is lovely with clients and keen to put them at ease’.”

Gill Edwards is described as being “well regarded for work on catastrophic injury in both adults and children. Her background as a registered general nurse aids her in issues of medical negligence. One source notes that ‘she is really lovely with clients, very thorough, and has a warm personality.’”

Our clients tell us it is the empathy and care with which we act that sets us apart. We specialise in serious and catastrophic injuries, so we know how difficult it can be to live with severe disability. It is our aim, therefore, to make the claim process as stress-free for you and your family.

Funding

Most clinical negligence cases are funded on the basis of a “no win, no fee” agreement, otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. We can investigate your potential claim and you will not have to pay us a penny if your case is not successful. We will explain how a Conditional Fee Agreement works at our very first meeting.

You may already have a legal expense insurance policy. In the first instance, we’ll always start by investigating whether you can use the same policy for your case, before we consider whether a Conditional Fee Agreement is more appropriate.

What happens next?

First, we will discuss your circumstances in detail and help you understand whether you have a case or not. If we agree that you do, we will help you gather all of the necessary evidence to build a strong case. We do this to make sure we can give you the best chance to recover the right amount of compensation.

Your medical records are our first point of call - we will obtain them and go through them with you in depth.

We will then instruct independent experts to advise whether or not you or your family member has received substandard treatment. Once we have ascertained you have been a victim of clinical negligence, we will initiate court proceedings. We will progress the claim as quickly as possible, whilst always exploring opportunities to adequately settle the case early.

Where possible, we work to obtain early interim awards. For birth injuries, they can be a lifeline for those struggling to afford the costs of care or expensive alterations to your home, as well as those requiring help purchasing specialist equipment and property.

Contact us today

If you would like to know how we can help you claim compensation following a birth injury, please do not delay. Call us on 0800 027 2557 or, if you’d like one of our solicitors to call you back, fill out form on the side of the page or visit our contact page. If there is someone specific at the firm you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.

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