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Stillbirth Negligence Claim: No Win, No Fee

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Contact us today by calling 0330 1332 857 to find out if you have a claim.

When your baby dies, there is no amount of money that can begin to cover your loss. 

However, our team of solicitors work hard to claim compensation for bereaved families to assist them with their lives moving forward, whilst bringing attention to the negligent care you suffered to prevent it from happening again. 

If you believe that negligent treatment or substandard medical care played a factor in the stillbirth or neonatal death of your baby, then you may have grounds to make a claim for compensation. Our medical negligence team understands the sensitive nature of stillbirth negligence claims and will guide you through the entire process with empathy and understanding. Please get in touch today to find out more. 

What is a stillbirth?

In the UK, a stillbirth is defined as the loss of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The loss of a baby before 24 weeks is classed as a miscarriage. 

Stillbirths can occur due to various reasons and are not solely always due to medical negligence. Sadly, some stillbirths occur due to genetic abnormalities in the baby or other medical conditions affecting the mother and/or child. 

It is important to remember that even if there was a medical condition that ultimately caused the loss of your baby, medical negligence may still have played a role in the stillbirth. Medical professionals are trained to notice and pick up on many conditions and abnormalities, and if it can be proven that earlier intervention by doctors could have prevented the loss, then you may still be eligible to make a negligence claim. 

Negligence leading to stillbirths

Medical negligence leading to stillbirths refers to situations where a healthcare provider fails to meet the standard of care expected, resulting in harm to the baby, including stillbirth. Medical negligence can occur at various stages of pregnancy and childbirth, such as failure to diagnose and manage conditions that may affect the health of the baby, improper monitoring of the mother and baby’s health during pregnancy, errors during delivery, and inadequate postnatal care.

Examples of medical negligence that could lead to stillbirths may include:

  • Failure to diagnose and manage maternal conditions such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or infections can increase the risk of stillbirth.
  • Inadequate monitoring of fetal well-being during pregnancy, including failure to recognise signs of fetal distress.
  • Errors during labour and delivery, such as improper use of medical interventions like forceps or vacuum extraction or delayed emergency cesarean section when medically necessary.
  • Failure to appropriately respond to signs of fetal distress during labour.
  • Inadequate postnatal care for the mother or baby, leading to complications that may result in neonatal death.

In medical negligence claims related to stillbirths, families should be reassured that their legal representative is advocating for fair and just compensation for their loss, whilst holding the healthcare provider accountable for their negligence. Our team of solicitors at Beacon Law are highly experienced in this area of the law and can offer specialist advice to clients during the claims process. 

What is the process of making a stillbirth compensation claim?

During your free initial consultation, our personal injury solicitors will provide you with legal advice about stillbirth negligence claims and will inform you about the relevant limitation rules.

Our personal injury lawyers will then ask you for details about your experience. We know this will be difficult but this will help our injury lawyers to assess the likelihood of your claim being successful. Examples of the relevant information that our lawyers may ask for include the location, time, and date of the negligence, details of anyone who may have witnessed the negligence, details of the hospital you received treatment, and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

During these initial stages of your claim for compensation, it is vital that you gather the relevant evidence to support your claim. Relevant evidence will include the medical records detailing your pregnancy, maternity care and birth.

If we think that your stillbirth negligence compensation claim would be likely to succeed, we will offer to proceed with your claim on a no win no fee basis; if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay any legal fees.

The defendant (healthcare trust) will be notified about your claim, after which point they will need to decide whether they accept liability for your injuries. If the defendant accepts liability, negotiations for a settlement fee can commence. Settlement amounts are intended to cover your pain and suffering, as well as any additional expenses due to the negligence such as having time off work and experiencing a loss of earnings. If the defendant denies their liability, court proceedings may follow.

Can you make a claim against the NHS?

Yes, it is possible to make a claim against the National Health Service (NHS) if you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm due to medical negligence. The NHS has a formal process for handling such claims.

In order to make a claim against the NHS, you will need to prove that:

  • The medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • The health professional breached that duty of care.
  • The breach of duty of care caused you harm.
  • You have suffered loss as a result of the harm.

How long do you have to make a claim?

You generally have three years to make a stillbirth negligence claim. This timeframe can be calculated in a few ways:

  • From the date of negligence: This applies if you were aware of the negligent act at the time.
  • From the date of your child’s death: This is the most common starting point.
  • From the date you became aware that medical negligence might have been a factor in the stillbirth: This can be particularly relevant if you weren’t initially aware of any potential negligence.

There are exceptions to this time limit. For instance, if you weren’t mentally capable of making a claim due to emotional trauma and/or psychological injury, the courts might consider your claim even if it falls outside the three-year window.

If you miss the deadline entirely, you may lose your legal right to make a stillbirth claim.

Who pays for the compensation against the NHS?

Compensation paid out as a result of successful stillbirth medical negligence claims against the NHS is typically covered by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), which is now known as NHS Resolution. NHS Resolution is a special health authority in England that handles claims against the NHS, including those related to medical negligence.

NHS Resolution manages the legal and financial aspects of claims against the NHS, including investigating allegations, providing legal representation, and arranging for compensation payments. It is funded by contributions from NHS trusts and other healthcare organisations across England.

When a claim is successful, the compensation awarded is typically paid out by NHS Resolution from its funds. These funds come from the collective contributions made by NHS organisations rather than being paid directly by the individual healthcare provider found responsible for the negligence.

Coping with your loss

Our team of solicitors at Beacon Law are highly understanding of the sensitive and emotional nature of making a stillbirth negligence claim. We believe that families deserve appropriate compensation for the trauma and loss they have suffered through no fault of their own. 

We also strongly believe in advocating for specialist trauma and bereavement therapy for our clients as part of their compensation package. NHS waiting times are at an all-time high, and having access to specialist counselling is not something you should be expected to wait for following your loss. 

As such, we can negotiate with the defendant to agree to include private therapy for our clients who wish to access it, even while the negotiations for financial compensation are ongoing. 

Why choose Beacon Law?

Whilst pursuing a stillbirth negligence claim, Beacon Law’s medical negligence solicitors can be your source of support and will help you recover the amount of compensation that you deserve for your pain and suffering. We understand that the process of making stillbirth compensation claims can be complex, so we will be there to guide you every step of the way.

We value each client that we have the pleasure of working with, listen carefully to our clients’ wishes, and will aim to complete your medical negligence claim in a timely manner so that you can receive the compensation that you deserve as soon as possible.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch today if you have experienced negligence that has resulted in a stillbirth and wish to discuss your case with a member of our experienced team. You can contact us using the online enquiry form below or email us at info@beaconlaw.co.uk.

 

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General Enquiries:

0161 428 1234

New Claims:

0330 1332 857

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0161 239 1072

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Beacon Law

1st Floor

Shirley House

12 Gatley Road

Cheadle

Cheshire

SK8 1PY