Fatal Claims

Stillbirth / neonatal death claims​

Stillbirth and neonatal deaths

We are here to support you at an extremely difficult time to get the answers you need surrounding the care provided to you and your baby.

You may feel that if the care you received had been different then the outcome would not have been the same.

We have a team of lawyers specialising in this area who can help you get the answers you need, we will fight your corner and be your voice when you need one.

You may require support through an inquest process or events may have been referred to HSIB or the MNSI or the hospital is undertaking their own internal investigation. We can ensure the right questions are asked, providing you with the answers you deserve and ensure those involved are held to account.

There are a number of reasons why you may be concerned with the care provided to you and your baby during pregnancy, labour or the neonatal period.  These may include:

  • The management of complications during pregnancy, such as infection, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placenta complications or reports of reduced fetal movements
  • Misinformation or a lack of information surrounding where to deliver your baby, whether this was a lack of information on who would be available to assist during labour, whether at home or in a midwifery led unit, how you would be monitored, what interventions would be available and what the plan would be should you need to be transferred to hospital
  • Unexpected complications during labour, such as signs that your baby was in distress or the sudden need to switch to an emergency caesarean section delivery
  • Unexpected complications during the neonatal period such as the need to resuscitate, admission to the neonatal ward or to provide cooling.monitor, identify and treat for infections such as GBS, meningitis or sepsis

Support during inquests

If a baby has died and their death is sudden or unexplained, an inquest, led by a Coroner, might be held to establish the facts surrounding the death.

We can guide you through the process of the inquest to ensure you are represented and the concerns you have are raised to ensure you to get the answers that you need to understand what went wrong.

Although the inquest will not look to apportion blame, it can be an important step to getting answers and help bring a compensation claim. Even while the inquest is ongoing, we will start our own specialist investigation into a compensation claim for you.

MNSI (Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations) and HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch)

The MNSI, formally HSIB, is a government-funded body responsible for the national maternity investigations programme. The purpose is to provide independent and family-focussed investigations into maternity care.

Cases are usually referred to HSIB or the MNSI if there has been a stillbirth or an early neonatal death (a death within the first week after birth).

It is possible that an investigation into the death of your baby has been opened by HSIB or MNSI and we can help guide and support you through this process.

Physical and psychological injuries to mothers

As a mother, you may have a separate claim for damages where you have been physically injured during the delivery process.

Likewise, traumatic circumstances surrounding your labour and delivery can leave you with a psychological injury such as anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

You may need to take an extended period off work or you may need specialist assistance to help support you.

We can help you obtain support through counselling and rehabilitation as well as reimbursement of your losses where a claim for damages is successful.

Cases are usually referred to HSIB or the MNSI if there has been a stillbirth or an early neonatal death (a death within the first week after birth).

It is possible that an investigation into the death of your baby has been opened by HSIB or MNSI and we can help guide and support you through this process.

How we can help

If you or your family believe you have lost your child as a result of the failings in care provided to you or your baby, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

We will sensitively discuss the events surrounding the death of your baby with you and advise you on what to do next – we can discuss all the options available to you.

We are specialist clinical negligence lawyers that have you and your family’s concerns at the heart of everything we do. We are here to listen to you, fight your corner and use our expert knowledge to help you to seek justice and compensation when needed.

The cost of obtaining specialist legal advice should be your last concern. We offer a free initial assessment of your case, and we are happy to act on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Neonatal death refers to the death of a newborn infant within the first 28 days of life. There are several factors that can contribute to neonatal death, including:

  1. Prematurity: Premature birth is a leading cause of neonatal death. Infants born before 37 weeks of gestation are at higher risk of health complications and death.

  2. Birth defects: Birth defects, such as heart defects or neural tube defects, can increase the risk of neonatal death.

  3. Infections: Infections during pregnancy or after birth can increase the risk of neonatal death. Examples include Group B strep, syphilis, HIV, and respiratory infections.

  4. Birth complications: Complications during delivery, such as prolonged labor, breech presentation, or umbilical cord prolapse, can increase the risk of neonatal death.

  5. Neonatal conditions: Neonatal conditions, such as respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis, or jaundice, can increase the risk of neonatal death.

  6. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): SIDS is a sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant that usually occurs during sleep.

The death of a baby before or during birth is a devastating event that can have long-lasting emotional and financial consequences for the parents and their families. While no amount of compensation can fully address the emotional toll of stillbirth, there are various forms of compensation that may be available to parents, depending on the circumstances surrounding the stillbirth. These may include:

  1. Funeral and burial expenses: The cost of a funeral and burial or cremation services for the baby may be covered.

  2. Medical expenses: The cost of medical treatment for the mother and the baby during the pregnancy and delivery may be covered.

  3. Loss of income: If the mother or father took time off from work due to the stillbirth, they may be eligible for compensation for lost wages.

  4. Pain and suffering: Parents may be able to receive compensation for the emotional pain and suffering resulting from the stillbirth.

  5. Counselling and therapy: The cost of counselling or therapy to help parents cope with the emotional impact of the stillbirth may be covered.

  6. Wrongful death lawsuit: In some cases, parents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical professionals or facility responsible for the stillbirth.

Yes, there are limitations on pursuing a fatal claim in the UK. The time limit for bringing a claim is generally three years from the date of the deceased person’s death. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  1. If the cause of death was not immediately known, the time limit may be extended until three years from the date of knowledge.

  2. If the person bringing the claim is under 18 years of age, the time limit may be extended until three years from their 18th birthday.

  3. If the person bringing the claim has a mental disability, the time limit may be extended until they are no longer mentally disabled.

  4. In cases of medical negligence, the time limit may be extended if it can be shown that the claimant did not become aware of the negligence until after the three-year time limit had expired.

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.

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.

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