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Neonatal Death Compensation Claims

 

The death of a child is the most heart-breaking and devastating experience a parent could ever have to go through. Losing a baby causes life-long pain and grief for the parents and their families, and the suffering of the parents can be particularly heightened when the death of their baby was as a direct result of medical negligence.

Doctors and midwives have a duty of care to you and your unborn baby, and it is their responsibility to recognise any existing and potential risks and manage them accordingly during pregnancy, labour, and after birth. If the medical team looking after you fails to fulfil their duty of care and their negligence ultimately leads to the death of your baby, you may be able to claim compensation.

Here at Lanyon Bowdler, our medical negligence solicitors are qualified and experienced to handle your neonatal death compensation claim with sensitivity and compassion, whilst ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your family. If you’d like to find out more about making a claim after the loss of your baby, please get in touch and our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

We understand that no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of your baby, but a compensation award can go some way towards easing any financial worries that may arise while you readjust to life after loss. Pursuing legal action can also help you to get answers as to what went wrong with your baby’s care, and can help raise standards at the hospital to prevent any other parents from having to experience the same tragic consequences.

What is classed as a neonatal death and what causes it?

A neonatal death is the term used to describe a baby who is born living but dies within 28 days of their birth. The neonatal death rate in the UK is approximately three in every 1,000 live births.

There are a variety of factors that may contribute to a baby dying within their first four weeks of life, including:

  • Premature birth
  • Genetic disorders
  • Infant infections and viruses
  • Maternal infections and viruses
  • Complications during or after birth
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Medical negligence

How does medical negligence cause neonatal death?

A neonatal death is a tragic and heart-breaking event, and the pain and suffering of the parents is magnified in cases where their child’s death could have been prevented. Medical negligence can lead to the death of a baby in their first four weeks of life for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Failure to diagnose and treat an infection in the mother before birth
  • Failure to diagnose and subsequently treat preeclampsia (which is a condition causing high blood pressure in mothers)
  • Failure to detect and manage gestational diabetes
  • Failure to act quickly in cases of placental abruption (which is when the placenta becomes detached from the wall of the womb before birth)
  • Failure to adequately monitor the baby’s heart rate during labour, meaning any fetal distress goes unnoticed
  • Failure to carry out an emergency caesarean section where necessary
  • Failure to adequately monitor the new-born baby, leaving complications and infections like jaundice, sepsis, Group B strep, or meningitis to go unnoticed and untreated
  • Failure to provide active or passive cooling to a baby deprived of oxygen at birth
  • Failure to resuscitate a baby or provide oxygen in cases of birth asphyxia (which is a lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • Failure to treat umbilical cord issues, for example if the umbilical cord is too short or too long
  • Failure to care for the new-born baby adequately, leading to fatal neonatal hypoglycaemia (which is low blood sugar)
  • Failure to provide the expected level of treatment and care during pregnancy, resulting in a premature birth

If you have experienced any of the above, or any other form of clinical negligence which you feel directly contributed to the death of your baby, our medical negligence team can help you investigate what happened and claim compensation, which can help to provide you with financial assistance and achieve justice for your child.

Why should I make a neonatal death compensation claim?

Losing a baby is the most heart-breaking thing any parent could ever experience, and as you process your grief, the thought of making a claim for compensation may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, we do recommend pursuing legal action after losing your baby due to medical negligence, for a number of reasons:

  • An investigation will be carried out, which can provide you with answers to what happened, some people find this helps them process their grief
  • We can seek to get you a formal apology from those responsible for your baby’s death
  • The money awarded in a compensation claim can help you to cover the costs of therapy and counselling as you process the traumatic event of losing your child
  • A compensation award provides a financial buffer allowing you to take time away from work in order to grieve without the added burden of loss of earnings

We pride ourselves in handling each case with the necessary dignity, diligence, and sensitivity, ensuring we are on your team and fighting your corner as you seek justice for your child.

How much does it cost to bring a neonatal death claim?

We are able to offer conditional fee agreements, commonly known as “no win-no fee”, which means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay any legal fees. If your claim is successful, we will deduct our fees from the final compensation amount you are awarded. We hope that by offering our services on a no win no fee basis, it will give you the peace of mind that we are on your team and working as hard as we can to ensure that your claim is successful, without the worry of being out of pocket in the event your claim is unsuccessful.

Will an inquest be held into my baby’s death?

An inquest is a formal investigation carried out by a coroner in order to determine the circumstances that led to a person’s death. The main purpose of an inquest is to establish how, where, and when the person died, therefore if medical negligence is suspected it may be necessary for an inquest into your baby’s death to take place. During the inquest, the coroner has the power to question key witnesses, such as medical and clerical staff at the hospital. The coroner may also allow interested parties, for example relatives or their legal representatives, to ask questions during the investigation.

It is not the intention of an inquest to determine who was to blame for the death, but rather to gather evidence and bring information to light which will likely confirm or refute the claim that negligent care contributed to the death of your baby.

Our medical negligence team are able to represent you throughout the inquest process, liaising with the coroner on your behalf, questioning witnesses, and keeping you apprised on any developments. We are also able to address any concerns you have and offer advice on the procedures involved in the inquest process.

What can clinical negligence compensation pay for?

The amount of neonatal death compensation you may be awarded will vary depending on your individual circumstances and the potential long-term affects you may experience after your loss, but it typically varies from several thousand pounds to six figure amounts.

Compensation can provide the financial support necessary to support your life after the loss of your baby, including:

  • Loss of earnings due to time already taken off work
  • Predicted future financial loss including further time off work or having to give up your job for a while
  • The cost of grief counselling and therapy for you and your family
  • The costs of travelling between counselling and therapy sessions
  • Childcare costs incurred for any additional care that your existing children may require
  • Funeral costs
  • Bereavement damages including emotional pain and distress
  • Any other expenses incurred as a result of the negligent care

We understand that no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of your baby, however we will endeavour to work hard on your behalf to ensure you are adequately compensated and able to grieve for your baby without unnecessary financial anguish.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

The standard time limit in which to pursue a clinical negligence claim for a neonatal death is three years from the date of death. In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to make a claim after this time, for example if you were only made aware of the role that clinical negligence played in your baby’s death at a later date. In this case, the three-year period would begin from the date at which you first realised that medical negligence was to blame for your baby’s death.

If you are unsure whether you have a case for claiming compensation, please get in touch and a member of our medical negligence team will be happy to advise you and guide you through the process.

Why choose Lanyon Bowdler to handle your claim?

By choosing Lanyon Bowdler to investigate your baby’s medical negligence claim, you will have some of the country’s leading legal experts on your team. We are committed to providing exemplary levels of care to our clients, working closely and considerately with you to ensure the best possible outcome to your compensation claim.

Our clinical negligence team features experienced solicitors, as well as in-house medical professionals, so we feel confident that we are the right team to represent you and your family.

In addition to this, we are also proud to have been ranked in Tier One for the West Midlands in the 2022 edition of The Legal 500, as well as Band 1 for Hereford, Worcester and Surrounds, and Shrewsbury and Surrounds in the 2022 edition of Chambers UK.

If you’d like one of the country’s leading law firms on your team as you seek justice for your baby, please get in touch with us today, and our qualified and experienced team of lawyers will be happy to help you in any way we can.

What support is available for bereaved parents?

The loss of a child is a life-changing event, and you may need help from outside sources as you come to terms with what has happened and learn to adapt to your life after loss.

There are several charitable organisations which exist with the purpose of helping bereaved parents and their families to readjust to life after suffering a neonatal death. These organisations tend to be run by people who sadly have first-hand experience of the devastation caused by a neonatal loss. As well as supporting families through their grief, these organisations also campaign for better health care, and fund research into neonatal deaths.

  • Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) - SANDS was founded in 1978 by two bereaved parents and has gone on to support thousands of parents and families after a stillbirth or neonatal death. The charity has a nationwide network of support groups, as well as a helpline, and a website where bereaved families can seek the help and support they need.
  • The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) - The Birth Trauma Association is a charity which helps people who have experienced trauma due to childbirth, including those who have suffered a neonatal death. A wealth of information can be found on their website and Facebook group to help families after the loss of a child or any other birth related trauma.

If you are struggling after the loss of your child, we encourage you to reach out and seek support from these charities. They can provide as much or as little support as you need to help you process the trauma and rebuild your life after your loss.

Contact our neonatal death negligence specialists 

If you think you or a family member has received negligent medical treatment which led to the tragic loss of a child then it is likely you are entitled to make a compensation claim.

Give us a call or complete our online enquiry form, to see how our team can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. 

There is no obligation or any charges for our initial assessment. 

By choosing Lanyon Bowdler for a Medical Negligence Compensation Claim, you can rest assured that you have the best legal expertise on your team. 

Lanyon Bowdler's medical negligence team is widely acclaimed and recognised as one of the best clinical negligence departments in the country. 

We have offices in Shrewsbury, Bromyard, Conwy, Hereford, Ludlow, Oswestry, and Telford, so are able to act for clients all over Shropshire, Herefordshire, Mid and North Wales and across the Midlands (including Wolverhampton & Birmingham). As a leading full-service law firm, we can represent you wherever you live in England and Wales.

We are committed to providing exceptional levels of client care and will work closely and considerately with you to help find the best outcomes and help to get your life back on track.

If you wish to complain or seek compensation for an incident of medical or clinical negligence, our team of specialists will be able to deal with it in a sensitive and approachable way.

Testimonials

I was very happy that I used Lanyon Bowdler.

- Mr Richard A Cave, Wrexham

Attention to detail at all times, all business carried out directly with one solicitor.

- Mr Ian H Jones, Flint

A complete honest and friendly service from start to finish. Thank you very much. 

- Mr William Peace & Richard Peace, Ludlow

Professional and caring towards clients.

- Mr Nicky John Mullis & Mrs Alison Jane Miles, Shrewsbury

Professional, clear on expectations, prompt on responding to my questions and queries. All paperwork sent promptly and clearly marked when you required my response. 

- Miss Nicola Georgina Foster

Every step of the way you have cared, you have listened, you have supported and you have fought for us. And you have done all this in the most professional and dignified manner. 

- Mr & Mrs XB

'You really cared and wanted the best possible outcome for our son'

- Mr & Mrs Abernethy, Cheshire

Great communication and persistence with difficult defendant.

- Mr J Partington, Whitchurch

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