Caesarean Section Compensation Claims

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Caesarean Section Compensation Claims

Caesarean sections, also known as a C-section, are common procedures for helping with the delivery of a baby, and are generally very safe for the mother and child. However, mistakes can happen, which can have devastating consequences.

If the medical professional responsible for carrying out a caesarean behaves negligently, resulting in an injury to the mother or her child, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation.

The clinical negligence team at JMW has helped many mothers and children who have suffered unnecessarily during a C-section. We also have extensive experience in handling medical negligence claims for families who have been harmed due to delays in caesareans being carried out, and will provide the expert legal advice and support you will need to make a successful compensation claim.

Speak to the expert medical negligence team at JMW about your C-section compensation claim by calling us on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back. We are able to take on cases on a no win, no fee basis.

How JMW Can Help

Our solicitors are experts at dealing with caesarean section claims and have an excellent success rate when it comes to delivering compensation for clients who have been affected by clinical negligence. The team is viewed as one of the finest in this specialist area and has been able to secure large compensation settlements for many parents across the UK.

Our team is led by Eddie Jones, one of the most respected medical negligence solicitors in the UK, and members of our clinical negligence team are on the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel, as well as the Law Society’s specialist panel of medical negligence solicitors.

By getting in touch with JMW, you can be assured that you will receive the highest-quality legal advice and support for your caesarean section compensation claim. We will handle your case with care and compassion, ensuring that you are kept up to date at every stage of the process, while leveraging our strong track record of successful medical negligence cases to make sure you achieve the best possible outcome.

What are the Most Common Reasons For Making a C-section Negligence Claim?

There are several ways that medical professionals overseeing a C-section can fail in their duty to keep the mother and baby from harm. Common causes of injury to both the mother and child include:

  • A delayed decision to perform a caesarean, or failure to take action at all, resulting in an injury to the mother or child
  • A post-surgery infection contracted by the mother or child, which medical staff fail to diagnose and treat appropriately
  • Surgical errors during the procedure that injures the mother or baby

If medical professionals fail to provide the right standard of care during C-section surgery, it can impact the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies in different ways:

Examples of C-Section Errors Resulting in Injury to the Mother

Common causes of injury to the mother during a C-section include:

  • Insufficient stitching that results in scarring or an infection
  • Excessive bleeding due to an error during surgery
  • Blood clotting causing a blockage of blood from the heart to the lungs
  • Damage to the bladder or the kidneys that will require corrective surgery
  • Injury to the uterus requiring a hysterectomy

Additionally, mothers may develop an infection post-surgery. If the scar feels raw and tender, is expelling pus or has become red, swollen and painful, the medical professionals responsible for your care should administer antibiotics to counteract the illness; if they fail to do so and the infection becomes more serious, this can be classified as negligent care.

Examples of C-section errors resulting in injuries to the baby

Your child may experience the following if the medical staff responsible for performing the caesarean are negligent:

  • Lacerations or cuts to the baby's skin during the incision into the womb
  • Oxygen deprivation if there is a delay in delivering the baby, which can lead to brain injuries
  • Injuries caused by improper use of medical instruments
  • Premature birth if the C-section is performed too early, leading to complications associated with prematurity

Regardless of how you or your child have been injured during a C-section, if the incident was caused by the negligence of a medical professional responsible for the birth of your baby, you may be entitled to make a caesarean section claim.

What is the Process for Making a Caesarean Section Compensation Claim?

The process for claiming for compensation involves several steps:

  • Contact JMW Solicitors for your initial consultation. During this free initial advice session, we will discuss the circumstances of your case, the harm you believe you have suffered, and any evidence you may already have, so that we can advise you on whether we think you have grounds to bring a claim.
  • If you decide to proceed, we will begin an investigation. This typically involves gathering evidence, obtaining your medical records, and identifying the healthcare professionals involved. We will also consult with medical experts to get an independent assessment of whether the standard of care you received was acceptable.
  • Once we have assembled a strong case, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the healthcare organisation responsible. This letter outlines the details of your case, the negligence you believe occurred, and the impact it has had on your life.
  • The defendant will have four months to either admit or deny liability. If they admit liability, we can negotiate a settlement; if not, we may need to gather further evidence to support your claim.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may recommend issuing court proceedings. Even if this happens, it is still very unlikely that the case will not settle before the need for a trial before a judge. Throughout this process, the team at JMW will guide you, keep you informed, and represent your best interests. Our aim is always to secure the maximum compensation for you, while minimising the stress and disruption to your life.

We can represent your case on a no win, no fee basis, also known as a conditional fee agreement. This means that you do not pay any legal fees if your case is unsuccessful. If the case is successful, the majority of your legal fees are paid by the other side; only a capped amount will be left to be paid from your compensation, which will be discussed with you in advance.

How much compensation can I expect to receive for a caesarean section injury?

The amount of compensation you can expect to receive for a caesarean section injury depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The pain, suffering, and loss of amenity you or your child have experienced as a result of the caesarean injury, and the impact on your quality of life
  • Any financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the negligence, including loss of earnings if you have been unable to work, medical expenses for treatment and rehabilitation, travel costs for medical appointments, and the cost of future care and assistance you may need

If the injury has resulted in long-term or permanent disability, the compensation amount will be much higher. Children who experience a significant birth injury may have lifelong care requirements, necessitating adaptations to your home and long-term care, and the compensation will need to reflect this.

It is important to note that every case is unique, and the amount of compensation awarded can vary significantly. A specialist medical negligence solicitor can provide a more accurate estimate based on the specifics of your case.

Is there a time limit for making a caesarean section negligence claim?

In the UK, you generally have three years from the date of the negligence or from the date you became aware of the negligence to make a claim. However, if the person who suffered the negligence is a child, the three-year limitation period does not start until their 18th birthday. If the person lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, there is no time limit to make a claim on their behalf.

Exceptions to these time limits are provided only in very rare circumstances, so if you are claiming compensation for caesarean section negligence, it is always best to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible.

Can I make a caesarean section negligence claim on behalf of my child?

Yes, if your child has been injured as a result of negligence during a caesarean section, you can make a claim on their behalf. This is known as acting as a litigation friend, and it is usually a parent or guardian who takes on this role.

The litigation friend is responsible for making decisions about the legal case and instructing the solicitor. They must always act in the best interests of the claimant.

In the case of a child, the claim can be brought at any time before they turn 18. Once they turn 18, they can bring the claim themselves, but they must do so within three years, i.e., before they turn 21.

FAQs about Caesarean Section Negligence Claims

What happens during a caesarean birth?

C-section surgery involves making an incision either across or down the stomach, below the bikini line, to provide a gap for the baby to be delivered. Once the baby is delivered, you should receive an injection of the hormone oxytocin, which encourages the womb to contract, reducing the amount of blood you may lose. 

The womb and stomach should be closed using dissolvable stitches. Medical staples can also be used but must be removed after a few days.

What are the reasons why a caesarean section may be necessary?

A caesarean section may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The baby is in a breech position (feet or buttocks first) and hasn't turned when labour begins
  • The mother is carrying more than one baby (twins, triplets, etc.)
  • The mother has a medical condition such as heart disease or high blood pressure
  • The mother has an active genital herpes infection
  • The mother is experiencing excessive vaginal bleeding
  • There are complications with the placenta, such as placenta previa (where the placenta is too low in the uterus and covers the cervix)
  • The baby is not getting enough oxygen or nutrients
  • Labour is not progressing as it should

In these cases, a doctor or midwife may decide that a traditional vaginal birth is no longer safe or possible, and that removing the baby via surgical procedure is the best option.

What complications can occur during a caesarean section?

Although the majority of C-section operations are completed safely, there is a potential risk of certain complications, including:

  • Infections, either at the incision site or internally
  • Blood clots, which can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs
  • Excessive bleeding or haemorrhage
  • Damage to surrounding organs, such as the bladder or bowel
  • Complications from anaesthesia, such as allergic reactions or breathing problems

The medical professionals responsible for delivering care for the mother and baby have a duty to monitor these potential risks and prevent them wherever possible. If it can be shown that a new mother or child has experienced complications as a result of negligent treatment, it may be possible to obtain compensation.

What Our Clients Say

Talk to Us

If you suspect that medical negligence was responsible for your C-section injury, contact the experts at JMW today by calling 0345 872 6666, or by filling in our online enquiry form to request a call back. We are able to handle cases on a no win, no fee basis. 

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