Birth Injury

Screening errors and genetic disorders

Missed genetic disorders

There are a huge number of possible abnormalities that can arise during fetal development, and which are often apparent from antenatal tests including the nuchal or ‘12 week’ scan, maternal blood tests, amniocentesis, chorionic villous sampling (CVS) and the anomaly or ‘20 week’ scan.

There are the more well-known disorders, such as Down’s Syndrome, Edward’s Syndrome or Patau’s Syndrome, to much rarer conditions involving other missing or duplicated chromosomes.

A parent’s right to have these conditions tested for during early pregnancy is to allow the option to terminate should it be found that the child is likely to be severely disabled. This is a very personal choice but one which is provided by law.

When is a screening error claim possible?

Children born with a genetic condition often require a large amount of extra care and the costs of providing for their disabilities can be huge. The presence of a genetic condition itself will be nobody’s fault. But if it should have been detected during antenatal screening and it wasn’t, then there may be a claim for clinical negligence. If the parents would have chosen not to proceed with the pregnancy had they been advised of the abnormalities, they have a right to claim compensation to cover the costs of caring and providing for their disabled child. This is what is known as a ‘wrongful birth’ claim.

Claims can also arise when a sterilisation or vasectomy procedure fails, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. If the baby is born with disabilities, again, the parents can claim for the cost of providing for their disabled child.

How we can help?

We are experienced in pursuing claims for missed genetic disorders or other abnormalities during pregnancy, and have helped many families obtain large amounts of financial compensation to ensure that the disabled child has the best care and support available. It is a niche area of law and one in which only specialist solicitors should be involved. We are able to offer this specialism alongside our extensive experience in all types of birth injury claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your child is born with a genetic disorder that was missed during screening due to negligent medical care you may be able to make a claim.

If you are ever unsure if you have a case, it is best to contact a solicitor.

We can provide a second opinion free of charge. We have acted for many clients who have been told they don’t have a case, but by looking at the claim in a different way and with our expertise, we have gone on to be successful

All birth injury claims are different and this depends upon when a final prognosis is known and a claim can be valued.

Once we obtain an admission of liability in your case we can request an immediate payment to help with your needs and put support in place.

Screening error claims rarely go to court, with only a small percentage of the more complex cases ending up there. However, in the unlikely event that your case reaches court, we will be by your side throughout the process.

It is important to pursue your claim as quickly as possible due to time limits and to also enable us to help you obtain compensation as soon as possible. This is especially the case in complex cases as the process can be lengthy.

You have to start your claim within 3-years (limitation period) from when the injury occurred or when you first became aware of any potential negligence or injury as a result. However, the time limit only begins when a child reaches 18 years of age.

There may be several options open to you to include legal aid, No Win No Fee and legal expense insurance. We can advise you on the correct funding method for you. We have designed a No Win No Fee package to protect you from paying any costs should your claim not be successful.


Contact us

There is a limit of 2,000 characters
Which part of the UK do you live in?
Please tell us how you learnt about CL Medilaw

Experts in birth injury claims

We have helped many families obtain substantial compensation for injuries suffered at birth, giving them financial security that has truly changed their lives for the better. Contact one of our birth injury lawyers today to see how we can help, at no cost to you.

Meet the Team

Keep up to date with everything going on

Join our mailing list