Obstetrics is a branch of surgery which specialises in pregnancy & childbirth. Doctors who specialise in obstetrics are known as obstetricians. Obstetrics is basically a speciality that is involved with the management of pregnancy, fertility medicine, the delivery of babies and the management of mothers in the immediate-period after childbirth. Usually, midwives will also be involved in the management of the uncomplicated pregnancies & labour. Obstetrics can also include the specialist field-of reproductive endocrinology & infertility medicine, where doctors aim to assist-couples who are unable to conceive. Obstetric negligence is one of the main causes of clinical-negligence litigation. Some of the areas where errors are made and are usually the source-of litigation include:
- Management before pregnancy, which includes pre-conceptual counselling, treatment and infertility advice.
- Management during pregnancy & before labour.
- The interpretation of the scans looking-for serious abnormalities in your unborn baby and the delay in the diagnosis & management of an ectopic pregnancy.
- Failure to recognise & manage appropriately high risk pregnancies, including pregnancy induced hypertension (abbreviated as, PIH).
- Management during labour & delivery (that is, intrapartum).
- The interpretation of cardiotocograph trace (abbreviated as, CTG) which provides information about your baby’s heart rate & the appreciation-of the need to deliver-urgently, especially through caesarean section when necessary.
- The choice of delivery method, including the use of forceps.
- The technical performance-of the delivery, that might result in avoidable damages to the baby and/or the mother.
- Management immediately after the delivery (that is, postnatal).
- Appropriate management-of the 3rd stage of labour.
- Incorrectly sutured episiotomy.
Errors in obstetric-care may have catastrophic outcomes, with injuries/damages being sustained by the baby and mother, including cerebral-palsy, Erb’s palsy (also known as, obstetric brachial plexus-injury), dislocation of baby’s hips, & even death of both or either the baby or the mother.
How Much Compensation Can You Claim for Obstetric Negligence?
You’ll be entitled to two kinds of compensation. The first is known as general damages & is awarded-for what the court calls “pain, suffering & loss of amenity”. The second is known as special damages and covers the actual injuries, financial losses and expenses which arise from the injury. They can include any lost earnings, cost of physiotherapy and many other things. The more serious injuries, which result in life long incapacity affecting-someone’s ability to work and care for themselves, usually attracts the most compensation. These are often reported by the press and consist mainly of compensation for the future losses and expenses. The two biggest items that are usually the costs of care and loss of earnings. In case you recover fully from the injury, however serious the injury was at first, then the potential claim may probably be limited to a claim for the general damages, plus maybe some loss of earnings and incidental expenses. Figures that are awarded for the general damages are usually fixed by the judge on a tariff-basis, by comparison with other similar injuries and they’re usually low, even for the very serious injuries.
How To Make an Obstetric Negligence Compensation Claim?
The first step is a a formal chat with Tylers Solicitors. The process which most of these cases follow is:
- Taking a statement
- Getting medical records
- Investigation of that case by an independent expert reporter
- Issuing proceedings in the court and exchange of written-summaries of both of the party’s position
- Exchange of witness-statements between the parties
- Exchange of expert-reports & then awaiting & preparing for a trial & the trial itself.
How Long Until I Can Claim compensation for Obstetric Negligence?
The initial investigation may take longer than actual legal proceedings. Just how long an investigation takes will depend on a number of factors. Common factors can include; attitude of the health authority and its solicitors, volume and complexity of the case notes, number of medical specialities involved and the supply of doctors practising them whom are regarded as reliable experts. When it’s clear you’ve got a good case, a detailed letter will be sent to the hospital and/or the doctor, setting out the basis of your claim. They’ve three months to respond. In case their response/reply is a denial, then proceedings will have to be issued. Most cases usually go to trial within 12 to 15 months of the issue, some sooner and some later.
Contact Tylers Solicitors today!
To make a compensation claim for Obstetric Negligence please call Tylers Solicitors today on 0800 699 0079.
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No matter where you were injured in the UK, Tylers Solicitors are just a telephone call away from giving you expert advice about your compensation claim. If you would like to contact us about claiming compensation in the UK then telephone 0800 699 0079 today for a no obligation chat.