• Lesley Herbertson has settled a complex cerebral palsy claim for £10.6 million
  • Gary Herbert achieved total compensation for brain injured clients of more than £16.5m in June 2018
  • Potter Rees Dolan were on the Legal 500 Awards 2018 insurance shortlist for the North West
  • Helen Dolan, specialist catastrophic medical negligence lawyer, recovered compensation in excess of £45million for clients with a brain injury (including cerebral palsy) in 2016 and 2017
  • 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
  • We secured an interim payment of £2.1 million for 20 year old with cerebral palsy to purchase a permanent home - official judgment to follow shortly

Vaginal Tear Claims

The specialist medical negligence solicitors at Potter Rees Dolan are here to help if mistakes by midwives or doctors led to you suffering a vaginal tear in childbirth.

We understand that the impact of vaginal tears can be devastating, and that you have likely suffered severe pain and discomfort as a result. We work regularly with people who have sustained serious injuries as a result of medical negligence during childbirth and we are dedicated to providing expert support, advice and care to make your life easier.

The highly reputable clinical negligence team includes Helen Dolan, Lesley Herbertson and Gill Edwards, who have more than 60 years’ experience between them and who are all featured in the prestigious Legal 500 and Chambers guides.

The team offers a highly personal service, working to give their clients a voice when things have gone wrong and is dedicated to improving standards in healthcare.


Helen Dolan was very efficient and courteous and, in many areas exceeded, our expectations. All members of staff were very approachable and helped to make a very difficult situation more bearable.”

Mrs H, Birmingham

“I am delighted with the level of support I have received. In particular, Lesley's explanation of the Part 36 process and achievement of early settlement through informed recommendations. This experience is just what you need when you are left vulnerable.”

Ms Turner, Manchester

“Friendly, understanding, clear and accommodating. Took the time to explain rationale for decisions and legal processes. Exactly the right balance of direction and recommendation. Very personable service, can't fault the service. From receptionists to solicitors to specialist help.”

Mrs B, Turton

“Just want to say thank you very much for all you have done Lesley. ‎ Not only have you done a very good job but your support to my wife and me has been outstanding and it's not all been about our son. I was very impressed with the way you pushed that little bit further. ‎I thought you were a great team.

We are very pleased with outcome and I like the way you took nothing for granted always looking at detail. Look forward to working with you on the stages ahead.”

Mr W, Cheshire

Read more testimonials from our clients here.

To speak to a member of our specialist team about your injury, call us on 0800 027 2557 and you will be able to speak to one of our senior solicitors who will spend time going through the legal process with you.

You can also arrange for us to get in touch with you by completing the online contact form on the side of this page or on our contact page. If you have someone specific in mind that you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.

What is a vaginal tear?

There is usually no way to predict that an expectant mother will sustain a tear during childbirth, and they are a recognised risk. However, some tears are more severe because of sub-standard treatment and some are either missed or not repaired properly which can lead to long term problems.

Following childbirth, obstetricians and midwives should check for tears and other injuries and advise on relevant treatment.

Vaginal tears can vary in severity, ranging from those affecting only the skin around the vagina, which typically heal within a matter of weeks, to more extensive tears that can take much longer and in some cases require surgery. Excessive pain following this type of injury may be a sign of an infection.

Other birth injuries

During childbirth, other injuries may occur, including damage to the anal sphincter. A full inspection of the perineum, vagina and rectum is usually carried out after a delivery, and healthcare professionals should spot any injuries before a mother is allowed to leave the hospital.

Symptoms of a sphincter injury include:

  • Faecal incontinence
  • Uncontrollable flatus
  • Vagina faecal loss
  • Faecal seepage

Causes of vaginal and anal sphincter tears

Tears such as these can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • If the baby is particularly large
  • If the baby’s shoulder gets lodged behind the pubic bone
  • If the second stage of labour takes longer than expected

Injuries of this type can have considerable long-term effects if they are not treated correctly. Vaginal, perineal and anal sphincter tears can lead to the following:

  • Anal fistula - the growth of a small channel between the skin around the anus and the end of the bowel
  • Infection
  • Incontinence
  • Severe pain and discomfort
  • Fear of having sex or giving birth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

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.

About Helen Dolan, head of the department, Chambers 2018 says: “Helen is scrupulous in her preparation and organisation, highly experienced, and her knowledge and insight was extremely reassuring.”

Chambers 2018 says, Lesley Herbertson “has recently handled a delay of treatment case concerning cauda equina. She has additional capabilities in assisting with failings in district nursing and delays in diagnosis leading to brain injuries.”

Gill Edwards is described as being and "exceptionally good solicitor" and garners praise from a client who says: "The way that she helped me is amazing. She is fantastic.”

About our clinical negligence team, our clients are quoted in Chambers 2018 saying: "it was the personal attention we received, the knowledge of the specific needs and future hopes of the claimant, and consideration for our family life that made the firm the right match for us."

Our clients tell us that 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 as we can.


In most cases, clinical negligence cases are funded on the basis of a “no win, no fee” agreement, also known as a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means we can look into your potential claim and investigate whether you will have to pay any costs if the case is not successful. We will discuss how a Conditional Fee Agreement works at our first meeting.

You might already have the benefit of a legal expense insurance policy, and we will always start by looking into whether you can use the same policy before considering whether a Conditional Fee Agreement is more appropriate.

What happens next?

Initially, we will discuss your circumstances in order to gain a clear understanding of your case, and to determine whether or not your claim can be pursued. We will then help you to gather all the evidence required, and build a strong case in order to give you the best possible chance of recovering compensation.

We will then obtain all relevant medical records and go through each of these with you. We then instruct independent experts in the appropriate disciplines to advise on whether or not you or your family member has received substandard medical care.

Once we have supportive expert evidence, we will commence court proceedings and progress the claim as quickly as possible, whilst always looking at whether there is any way that the case can be properly settled early.

Contact us today

If you believe you may be entitled to compensation, contact us by calling 0800 027 2557. You can also arrange for us to get in touch with you by completing the online contact form on the side of this page, or by visiting our our contact page. If you have someone specific in mind that you would like to speak to, visit their profile on our people page.

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