Obstetrics and Gynaecology Negligence Claims
If you have experienced pain and suffering after undergoing a procedure related to obstetrics or gynaecology that was performed incorrectly, or if you received the incorrect treatment due to a misdiagnosis, you could be entitled to compensation.
Obstetrics and gynaecology claims overlap considerably, and we are highly experienced in dealing with cases of this nature. Our expertise, combined with our empathetic approach, will give you the best opportunity to secure the outcome you deserve.
If you believe you have suffered unnecessarily due to the negligence of a medical professional, call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and we will get in touch at a suitable time for you. We are able to take on cases on a no win, no fee basis.
Why choose JMW?
If you have been left with an injury or health complications as a result of substandard obstetrics and gynaecology treatment, it is important to get in touch with a trained solicitor with a proven track record of making medical negligence claims.
JMW Solicitors has one of the most experienced and respected medical negligence teams in the UK. Headed by leading clinical negligence solicitor Eddie Jones, the team includes members of the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel, and the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence solicitors.
By contacting our medical negligence experts today, we will be able to review the details of your case and advise you on whether you have a valid claim. If you choose to take the case forward with us, we can then handle every stage of your obstetrics and gynaecology negligence claim, including gathering evidence, providing legal guidance and representation, and obtaining compensation to help you move on with your life.
Our team understands that cases of this type can seem complicated, which is why we aim to relieve you of as much stress and hassle as possible. We are highly experienced in claims against the NHS and private healthcare providers on behalf of clients who have suffered because of negligent treatment at the hands of medical professionals. We will put together the strongest possible medical negligence claim for you, giving you the best chance of successfully securing compensation.
We are able to handle cases using no win, no fee agreements, also known as conditional fee arrangements. This means you will not owe us anything if your compensation claim is unsuccessful. If we win your case, the majority of your legal fees will be paid by the other side, with only a capped amount left to pay from the compensation.
What are Obstetrics and Gynaecology?
Obstetrics and gynaecology are two distinct but often overlapping areas of medicine that focus on the female reproductive system, and the care of women and babies during pregnancy and childbirth.
- Obstetrics is a branch of medicine that specialises in the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the recovery period following delivery, known as the postpartum period. Obstetricians monitor the health of both the mother and the baby, manage labour and delivery, and provide postpartum care. They are trained to handle a variety of scenarios, including high-risk pregnancies, multiple births, and any complications that may arise during pregnancy, labour and delivery.
- Gynaecology deals with the health of the female reproductive system, which includes the vagina, uterus, ovaries and breasts. A gynaecologist provides preventative care, diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as pap smears, pelvic exams, cancer screenings, and surgeries such as hysterectomies and laparoscopies. They also assist with family planning.
While these are two distinct fields, many doctors are trained in both. This allows them to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare services to women from adolescence through to menopause and beyond.
What are the most common reasons for making obstetrics and gynaecology claims?
If a misdiagnosis is made or a procedure is performed incorrectly, this can have painful and devastating repercussions for the mother and, in some cases, the baby. At JMW, we are able to deal with a wide range of cases relating to obstetrics and gynaecology. These include:
- Birth injuries to the baby such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy or stillbirth
- Injuries to the mother such as tears and poorly performed C-sections
- Negligent procedures such as hysterectomies
- Failure of contraception
- Female sterilisation
- Urinary tract damage
- Vesico-vaginal fistula
- Conception and fertility
Common types of obstetrics claims include:
- Delays in diagnosis and treatment for conditions including ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and caesarean sections
- Problems concerning antenatal care
- Mistakes made during labour and delivery, including the use of forceps and damage to the mother and baby that could have been avoided
- Misinterpreting baby scans resulting in missed abnormalitiesThe most common types of gynaecological claims include:
- Failed sterilisation, or removal of a woman's ovaries without informed consent
- Failure to diagnose and treat cancer or an infection
- Substandard surgery, such as pregnancy termination and hysterectomy
If you believe you have suffered medical negligence during childbirth or surgery, you may be able to claim compensation for the impact it has had on you and your child. Obstetric and gynaecological negligence compensation can be used to cover the cost of medical care and lost earnings, and ensure that those responsible for providing the substandard care are held to account.
What is the process for making an obstetrics and gynaecology negligence claim?
The process for making any kind of claim relating to medical negligence can be complex and time-consuming, but will usually follow these basic steps:
- Initial consultation – consult with JMW's medical negligence team. During this consultation, we will discuss the circumstances of your case, the harm you believe you have suffered, and any evidence you may already have. We can then advise you about whether you have grounds to bring a claim.
- Investigation – 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. They may also consult with medical experts to understand whether the standard of care you received was acceptable.
- Letter of Claim – if your case is strong, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to the defendant. 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 a set period of time (usually four months) to respond.
- Response – the defendant can either admit liability (by accepting that they were negligent) or deny liability. If they admit liability, your solicitor will negotiate a settlement; if they deny liability, your solicitor will need to gather further evidence to support your claim.
- Issuing proceedings – if a settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may recommend issuing proceedings, which means taking the case to court so that the defendant can see that we are prepared to continue to fight for justice. This does not necessarily mean that there will be a trial, and many cases settle at this stage without the need for a court hearing.
- Trial – It is very rare for a case to go to trial, and the vast majority settle without the need for the case to be heard in court. if your case does goes to trial, a judge will hear evidence from both sides and make a decision. If your claim is successful, the judge will decide the amount of compensation you should receive.
Throughout this process, the specialist solicitors at JMW will guide you, keep you informed at every stage, and represent your best interests. They will aim to secure the maximum compensation for you while minimising the stress and disruption to your life.
FAQs about obstetrics and gynaecology claims
How long do I have to make an obstetrics and gynaecology negligence claim?
As a rule, you will have three years from the date of the medical negligence, or from the date when you first became aware of the negligence, to make a claim. This three-year period is known as the limitation period.
However, there are some important exceptions to this rule:
- If the person who suffered the negligence is under 18, the three-year limitation period does not start until their 18th birthday. If a claim is being made on behalf of a child by a parent or guardian, it can be made at any time until the child turns 18.
- If the person who suffered the negligence lacks the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, there is no time limit to make a claim on their behalf.
- If the medical negligence resulted in death, the family has three years from the date of death or the date of the post-mortem results to make a claim.
In some exceptional cases, the court may decide to extend the limitation period. However, this is rare and usually only occurs when it would be unjust not to allow the claim to proceed. As such, it is always recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you have a potential obstetrics or gynaecology negligence claim.
How much compensation can I expect to receive for an obstetrics and gynaecology claim?
The amount of compensation you can expect to receive for any clinical negligence claim will depend on the specifics of your case. Compensation is calculated based on two types of damages:
- General damages, which are awarded for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have experienced as a result of the negligence. This includes direct pain and suffering from a physical injury, as well as mental trauma and the impact on your quality of life.
- Special damages or past losses, which are awarded for any financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the negligence. This can include loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel costs, costs of care and assistance, and any other expenses directly related to the injury.
- Future losses, which are calculated to take into account the cost of any future medical care that the mother or baby might require, as well as the longer-term impact on the family’s earning power.
In severe cases, where clinical negligence has resulted in long-term or permanent disability, the compensation can be substantial, as it will need to cover ongoing care costs, adaptations to your home, and loss of future earnings.
It is important to note that every case is unique, and the amount of compensation awarded can vary significantly. As such, you should speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor such as JMW to provide a more accurate estimate based on the specifics of your case.
Will I need to be examined by an obstetrician or gynaecologist in order to make a claim?
In many obstetrics and gynaecology negligence claims, it may be necessary for you to be examined by a medical expert. This is an important part of the process as it can provide crucial evidence to support your claim.
The medical expert is usually a specialist in the area of medicine relevant to your claim - in this case, a consultant obstetrician or gynaecologist. They will be independent, and their role is to provide an impartial opinion on the care you received and the impact it has had on your health.
The examination itself is likely to be similar to a standard medical examination. The expert will review your medical history, ask you about your symptoms and the impact they have had on your life, and carry out a physical examination if necessary. This could involve a general physical examination as well as specific examinations related to your claim, such as a pelvic examination.
The expert will then write a report based on their findings. This report will include their opinion on whether the care you received fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent healthcare professional in the same field, and whether this has caused or contributed to your injuries. This report can be used as evidence in your claim.
It's important to remember that the medical examination is a professional procedure and the expert will do their best to ensure you are comfortable and informed throughout the process, including giving you the option of specifying a female specialist. If you have any concerns about the examination, you should discuss these with your solicitor.
Talk to Us
Speak to a member of our team today about making a no win, no fee obstetrics claim or gynaecology claim by simply calling us on 0345 872 6666 or by leaving your details via our online contact form, which will enable us to call you back at a suitable time and discuss your situation in greater detail.