Birth Defect Claims

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Birth Defect Lawyers

If you were not informed by a medical professional about potential problems with the development of your unborn child, and the child was born with a serious injury or condition, we may be able to help you to make a medical negligence compensation claim.

Our team of birth defect lawyers has years of experience in handling claims relating to negligence during foetal abnormality screening, representing families who have been let down by medical professionals. We understand that cases relating to birth defects can be extremely upsetting and difficult to deal with, which is why we take a professional and sympathetic approach to every case and help our clients pursue justice.

To speak to our medical negligence solicitors about making a foetal abnormality screening claim, contact us on 0345 872 6666, or request a call back from a member of our team by completing our online enquiry form. We take on cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you will not be expected to pay legal fees unless we are successful in securing your birth defect compensation.

How JMW Can Help with Birth Defect Claims

Our birth defect solicitors have been successfully recovering compensation for families for many years. Our experience and knowledge help us to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. We are friendly and approachable, so you can rest assured that we will handle your case with the care, sensitivity and dedication required.

We have worked on many different types of cases involving birth defects caused by clinical negligence, including:

  • Birth defects missed during foetal abnormality screening
  • Screening not being offered to the mother, leading to birth defects being missed

Our team, headed by leading medical negligence solicitor Eddie Jones, includes members of the Law Society’s specialist panel for clinical negligence solicitors and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel.

We have many years of experience in bringing claims against both NHS and private healthcare providers on behalf of families who have experienced birth defect negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, sonographers and midwives providing their care. We will guide you through each step of your medical negligence claim, making it as simple and stress-free as possible for you, while giving you the best chance of securing a settlement that will deliver support and security for your family’s future.

Making a Birth Defect Compensation Claim

When a problem is detected during foetal abnormality screening or another type of scan, the medical professional responsible will typically seek a second opinion from another member of staff, and you may be offered another test in order to establish for certain that there is a problem. You should be provided with information about further screening to give you an idea of what to expect.

You may be able to make a birth defect claim if you were not treated appropriately when undergoing screening, or if the medical team failed to spot your baby’s birth defect, resulting in health problems when the child is born. If this happens, you should contact the birth defect solicitors at JMW to learn more about your options.

When you call us, we will discuss your situation and suggest the best course of action to help you achieve the outcome you want. If you decide to make a birth defect negligence claim with us, we will need to gather information and evidence about your circumstances, such as medical reports and statements from medical professionals. We can guide you through the process of gathering this evidence, drawing upon our experience of handling birth defect claims like yours.

Once we believe we have enough evidence to make a strong claim, we will contact the other party to inform them that a compensation claim is being made against them. They will then have the choice to settle or dispute the claim. If they decide to settle, we will work to secure the right amount of compensation for you to be able to get the support you need. In the unlikely event of the claim going to court, we will represent you to pursue the compensation you deserve.

What Our Clients Say


What is a birth defect?

A birth defect is any kind of abnormality that develops in the womb and affects the child's health and development. Most common birth defects can be placed in one of two main categories:

  • Structural birth defects - these birth defects result when a certain part of the child's body develops abnormally. Common structural birth defect examples include cleft palate, heart defects, spina bifida, congenital hip dysplasia or club foot, while certain developmental issues affecting the child's growth may also fall into this category.
  • Functional birth defects - this type of birth defect relates to how certain body parts or vital systems within the body work. For example, this may include issues with brain development that cause learning difficulties and behavioural problems, or sensory issues such as blindness and hearing loss. Other functional birth defects might include a degenerative condition like muscular dystrophy, or a metabolic birth defect that affects the body's ability to break down food.

If a child's birth defect can be detected early on through routine screening, steps can be taken to plan for their future treatment.

What is fetal abnormality screening?

A foetal - or antenatal - abnormality screening is offered by the NHS at various stages of pregnancy. This enables healthcare professionals to scan for specific conditions at certain points during the baby’s development.

Examples of birth defects diagnosed through this method include:

Some antenatal tests are not diagnostic, and identify only the risk of abnormality. It is obligatory for expectant mothers to be offered a screening for physical abnormalities at 18-20 weeks.

However, the mother can refuse the screening if she wishes. If the mother was offered the screening and refused, and defects are later detected, this will not be classed as birth defect negligence on the part of the medical practitioner.

What is amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is another screening method that mothers may be offered during pregnancy to check if their baby has a genetic or chromosomal condition, such as Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome or Patau's syndrome. It is primarily offered to parents whose babies are judged to have a high genetic risk of these conditions.

Amniocentesis is usually carried out between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, and involves a long, thin needle being inserted into the abdominal wall, guided by an ultrasound image, to remove a small sample of amniotic fluid for analysis.

What’s involved in a 20-week scan?

A 20-week scan, also referred to as a detailed ultrasound scan, mid-pregnancy scan or foetal anomaly scan, is a common type of screening. Gel is placed on the mother’s stomach and an ultrasound device is passed forwards and backwards over the skin by a sonographer.

Read more about 20-week scans on the NHS website.

If you undergo this scan, you will typically be presented with a 2D black and white image that shows a side view of your baby - colour or 3D images are not provided by the NHS. This scan looks specifically for signs of the following:

Talk to Us

If you think you may be eligible to make a fetal abnormality screening negligence compensation claim, get in touch with our expert team today. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back at a convenient time.

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