Experiencing a stillbirth is every expectant parent’s worst nightmare. To carry a child past 24 weeks gestation, and even up to full term, and to then not bring that child safely home, is one of the most devastating and life-changing things that can happen to an expectant parent. Suffering a stillbirth takes a huge psychological toll on parents, as well as the physical impact of the pregnancy and birth. The suffering of the parents is further exacerbated in cases where the stillbirth was a direct result of medical negligence during pregnancy or labour.
No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a baby, but stillbirth clinical negligence compensation can go some way to ensuring the bereaved parents are able to grieve properly and process their loss, without the added worry of financial hardship due to funeral costs and loss of earnings. Pursuing legal action after a stillbirth can also help to ensure no other family has to suffer in the future due to the negligence of medical professionals.
Here at Lanyon Bowdler we understand how heart-breaking a stillbirth can be, and we pride ourselves on handling such legal cases with the sensitivity, dignity and diligence they deserve. We are on your team, and we strive to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
A stillbirth is defined by the NHS as a baby born after 24 weeks gestation who is no longer alive. If the baby is lost before 24 weeks of gestation, it is usually classed as a miscarriage. Sadly, stillbirths happen more often than people realise; according to official figures from the ONS, in 2020 the stillbirth rate in the UK was around one in every 263 births.
Some stillbirths occur due to natural causes; for example, placental issues, the health of the mother, and birth defects which are incompatible with life can all potentially lead to the death of a baby in utero. However, in some cases a mother may have a completely uncomplicated, textbook pregnancy, but a stillbirth could occur due to negligent care provided to the mother and child at any stage during the pregnancy or labour.
Medical negligence that could lead to a stillbirth can include the following:
If you have experienced a stillbirth which you feel was caused due to negligence, please get in touch with us, and our friendly and sympathetic team of solicitors will be happy to discuss your legal options.
Losing a baby to stillbirth can have a serious and lasting psychological impact on parents, which can be made worse in instances where the death of a baby could have been prevented through due diligence during pregnancy and labour by the midwives, obstetricians, and any other medical staff involved in the care of mother and baby.
In some cases, parents may have attended hospital with concerns for their unborn child, such as experiencing reduced fetal movements, and they may find that their worries were not taken seriously enough. If this is the case and it results in a stillbirth, parents can feel an overwhelming sense of guilt that they could have done more to prevent the death of their baby.
Pursuing a compensation claim for medical negligence resulting in a stillbirth can help parents to process what has happened and can aid them in their grief. It can help parents to find out what caused the stillbirth, ensure they get justice for their baby, and also help to prevent the same thing from happening to another family in the future.
Our compassionate and dedicated solicitors are on your team, we will work closely with you, taking the time to get to know you and understand your circumstances in order to provide you with clear advice of your options.
Yes, you can do both. If you wish to make a complaint against the NHS you need to do so within 12 months of the incident. After submitting your complaint, the NHS will respond by outlining how they intend to investigate the matter and provide you with a timescale in which you can expect a formal response from them.
In addition to making an NHS complaint, you can also pursue a compensation claim for the negligent treatment you have experienced. In many cases, following the complaints procedure can support your legal claim as an investigation will be opened by the NHS which can then be used as evidence in support of your stillbirth compensation claim.
When you contact us regarding a potential medical negligence claim, we will arrange for a member of our team to speak to you, ensuring they listen to your story, ask any relevant questions, and take the time to understand what you are going through. From there, we will then assess all the information you have provided us with, before advising you on the next steps that need to be taken.
It can help your claim if you are able to collect any supporting evidence, such as hospital reports, medical records, statements from medical professionals, your maternity and delivery notes, and anything else that may be relevant to your case. The more evidence and information you are able to provide us with, the faster we can assess your claim and help you in seeking justice for you and your family.
The amount of compensation you could be awarded will vary depending on your individual circumstances and the extent of the physical and mental suffering you have experienced or may be likely to experience in the future.
When assessing your claim, the following aspects will be taken into account:
Our team of medical negligence lawyers are highly experienced in claims of this nature, and we can offer advice throughout your claim to give you some idea of the projected amount of compensation that you may be likely to receive.
The timeframe in which to make a claim is typically three years from the date that the negligent care occurred, or from the date on which you first discovered that your stillbirth was as a direct result of clinical negligence. The earlier you are able to contact us, the more time we will have in which to build your case and achieve the best possible outcome for you. If you have any concerns, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
In line with the law in England and Wales, coroners don’t typically have the jurisdiction to investigate stillbirths, so an inquest may not need to take place. A review into how the stillbirth happened will usually be conducted by the NHS Trust responsible for your care. In instances where a review is not carried out, or the review is inadequate, we can request on your behalf that a formal inquest take place if there is reason to suspect that the death was “unnatural” and preventable. If this is the case, we can assist with representation at the inquest.
We understand how harrowing the process can be for grieving parents, and we handle each case with compassion, ensuring your mental wellbeing is not compromised in the pursuit for justice.
A stillbirth is likely to leave parents with long-term problems, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and in some cases there may be ongoing physical problems faced by the mother after the birth. In cases where the stillbirth was a direct result of negligent care, it’s understandable that bereaved parents may lose faith in the medical profession, and therefore be unsure who to turn to for help and support.
There are a number of charities dedicated to supporting anyone who has been affected by the loss of a child:
Most maternity wards will have a bereavement midwife who is able to offer advice and care to bereaved parents. It is not a position that any expectant parent ever wishes to find themselves in, however there is a wealth of resources available to guide you and counsel you through your tragic loss.
Our people, your team. Working together, we can achieve the best possible outcome for your clinical negligence compensation claim.
Our Medical Negligence department includes an in-house doctor and two nurses, and the team has been awarded the Specialist Quality Mark by the Legal Services Commission. In addition to this we also have members of the team who have been individually recognised by AvMA.
We are one of the leading law firms representing the West Midlands, North Wales, and the Marches, with our Medical Negligence team being recognised in Tier One in the 2022 edition of The Legal 500, in which the department was described as “distinct and outstanding”.
We offer flexible pricing options, including conditional funding arrangements (also known as “no win-no fee”), so we are able to accommodate clients with a variety of budgets and requirements, tailoring our services to meet your needs.
We strongly feel that our reputation and accreditations put us in the fortunate position to be able to offer our clients the highest level of service. If you’d like us on your team as you seek justice for your child, we would love to help you.
At Lanyon Bowdler, we take pride in being a friendly and approachable law firm, so please get in touch to discuss what has happened to you and find out how we can help. Our team of specialist Stillbirth Negligence Lawyers are part of our award-winning medical negligence team, we will be happy to talk you through the process of filing a compensation claim.
If you think you or a family member has been treated negligently by a hospital or medical staff during pregnancy or childbirth, then it is likely you are entitled to claim compensation. 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 on you or any charges for our initial assessment.
By choosing Lanyon Bowdler for your Stillbirth Medical Negligence 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 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.
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.
Mr L originally presented to Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)...
We were instructed by AW in late December 2020, having lost his wife suddenly...
This was a claim brought under the Fatal Accidents Act and Law Reform (Miscel...
Lanyon Bowdler was instructed to investigate a potential claim arising from t...
Lanyon Bowdler helped C to claim compensation from Worcestershire Acute Hospi...
In September 2020 Lanyon Bowdler successfully settled the case brought on beh...
In October 2020 Lanyon Bowdler recovered damages for loss of dependency follo...