Birth Injuries INJURY & NEGLIGENCE SPECIALISTS

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1 Birth Injuries INJURY & NEGLIGENCE SPECIALISTS

2 Injury & Negligence My solicitors were dedicated, reliable and compassionate. They have delivered an excellent service that has improved the quality of my grandson s life. Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mr B. Farley

3 WELCOME TO PANNONE PART OF SLATER & GORDON When choosing a law firm, what do you look for? Quality service? Great reputation? Specialist solicitors at the top of their profession? Or simply friendly and approachable people? We offer all of these things. We focus on providing the highest standard of service with a personal touch that makes the difference. Our clients describe us as honest, professional and committed and in the words of the Legal 500 independent legal guide, we are excellent in every way, and never falter in support and availability. Our lawyers are easy to talk to and will keep you fully updated with no legal jargon. Whether you are entitled to legal aid, no win, no fee or legal expenses insurance, we ll find a way to fund your claim and fight for you. This booklet explains how to make a claim related to a birth injury. For more information or to set up a free consultation, please contact us on Emma Holt National Manager of Specialist PI 03

4 Injury & Negligence WHAT TYPES OF BIRTH INJURIES EXIST? There are many types of birth injury but the most common are: cerebral palsy, Erb s palsy and hip dysplasia. WHAT IS CEREBRAL PALSY? Cerebral palsy results from injury to the brain and can lead to partial or full loss of movement, defects of hearing and vision, and epilepsy. Intellectual function may be unaffected or it can be impaired leading to learning difficulties or behavioural problems. There are many types of cerebral palsy but the four main ones are: Spastic cerebral palsy where a person has stiff and jerky movements, and may have difficulty moving Athetoid cerebral palsy where there are involuntary, uncoordinated movements often affecting a person s ability to move and speak Ataxic cerebral palsy which affects balance and causes slow, uncoordinated, unsteady and shaky movement Mixed cerebral palsy where there is a combination of spasticity and athetoid movements.

5 They are nothing short of excellent Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mr M. Gingell (Essex) WHAT CAUSES CEREBRAL PALSY? Injury to the brain can arise without any currently known medical cause or through no-one s fault but it can also result from the following: Lack of oxygen during labour and delivery due to, for example, delays in recognising problems during the labour and failing to deliver quickly enough Trauma from inadequate or inappropriate use of forceps or ventouse delivery Inadequate planning and management of the delivery of a large baby Inadequate planning and management of the delivery of a small for dates baby (where the baby has not grown adequately during the pregnancy) Inadequate management of high blood pressure or preeclampsia in the mother Failure to recognise and properly treat meningitis or infection in the newborn period Hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar levels left undiagnosed or untreated Hyperbilirubinanaemia, a condition that develops due to inadequate treatment of jaundice in babies which if untreated develops into the more serious condition of Kernicterus, a type of brain damage that causes athetoid cerebral palsy and hearing loss. 05

6 Injury & Negligence WHAT IS ERB S PALSY? Erb s Palsy is paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the nerves (the brachial plexus) that supply the upper part of the arm. Depending on the nature of the damage the injury can resolve or can lead to a wide range of disabilities from relatively mild to severe. WHAT CAUSES ERB S PALSY? Erb s Palsy may result through no-one s fault but some of the more common causes arising through negligent medical treatment are: Shoulder dystocia, where the baby s shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother s pelvis during delivery. There are well known procedures to be followed when dealing with this medical emergency which, if not used appropriately, may negligently result in Erb s Palsy Force applied to the shoulders - excessive pulling during delivery may negligently cause damage to the nerves supplying the arm Excellent, professional and understanding service provided all the way from the very first call, right through to the final settlement. Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mr S (Slough)

7 WHAT IS HIP DYSPLASIA? Hip dysplasia is dislocation of the leg from the pelvis i.e. dislocation of the hip. It is not always present at birth and may go on to develop at a later stage. WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA? In many cases the cause is unknown, although there may be an increased risk of it arising where: there is a family history of such a condition there is a breech birth there has been reduced fluid around the baby in the womb. WHEN MAY NEGLIGENT TREATMENT OF HIP DYSPLASIA OCCUR? Delay in diagnosing and treating this condition can result in a more serious and permanent disability. Children are monitored regularly throughout infancy by doctors, midwives and health visitors. Common problems include: Failure to undertake proper examination of the hips at birth, 6 to 8 week check and subsequent milestone checks at 6 to 8 months resulting in the condition being missed. If diagnosed early enough it can nearly always be treated with a splint. Where the condition has been missed, more complicated and difficult surgery may be required. 07

8 Injury & Negligence MAKING A CLAIM Stephen Jones, Principal Lawyer in our Clinical Negligence Team explains the steps involved with making a claim. We know from years of experience how an injury can change your life and affect your family. We are here to support you. Our specialist solicitors will fight to prove your case and to get you the best possible result. Talk to us Call us for more information and a free no obligation consultation with one of our team which includes a qualified nurse and a midwife. We can discuss what has happened to you or your loved one and how we can help.

9 Stephen Jones is down-to-earth, straight talking and fights every inch for his client. Quote from Chambers (Independent Legal Guide) Stephen Jones, Principal Lawyer, Clinical Negligence Funding a case We understand that the cost of legal advice can be a worry, but if you do have a claim there are a number of options available to fund your case including no win, no fee and in some cases legal aid. For more information on funding options, please ask for our funding booklet. Investigation For your case to succeed, we have to prove that your injury or condition was the fault of another person. In a case of medical negligence, we have to prove the care provided was so bad that no reasonable doctor would have treated you in that way. We will work with you to gather the evidence to support your claim. This will include taking witness statements, obtaining relevant documents including medical records and instructing independent experts to report. 09 Continued over

10 Injury & Negligence Support during your case We are specialist solicitors who are classed as leaders in our field of law and we are here to provide you with support and guidance throughout your case. In some cases, where we have proved the defendant was at fault, we can obtain financial assistance for you in the form of an interim payment of compensation. Interim payments can help with the cost of private medical treatment such as surgery or counselling and in some cases the money can pay for rehabilitation, adapted accommodation, equipment and professional care. Medical cases In addition to helping people who have suffered injury due to poor medical care, we also have expertise in advising families on other health issues, such as obtaining access to medical treatment for your illness or condition; the withdrawal of life support; care in the community and claims under the Human Rights Act. We have taken cases to the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice. We strive to help our clients achieve justice and we are not afraid to push legal boundaries. Time limits You must make your claim within 3 years of the date of the negligence or your date of knowledge that you have suffered a significant injury due to the negligence. If you leave it longer than this, you may lose the right to make a claim. Different time limits may apply if the negligence happened abroad. The time limit for bringing a claim under the Human Rights Act is 1 year. The time limits for children do not run until they reach 18 years of age. In cases where a person may lack mental capacity, there is no time limit to bringing a claim

11 Using my experience as a midwife to advise on cases is more than just a job for me; it s enormously rewarding to help people who have suffered an injury at birth. Sue Austin, Midwife at Pannone Part of Slater & Gordon Sue Austin

12 Injury & Negligence Harry is a young boy with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. This is because his labour was not managed correctly. During birth he developed difficulties which were not recognised, meaning his delivery was delayed. As a result, his brain suffered a lack of oxygen and was irreparably damaged. With the help of our expert team, Harry received a large sum of money which means he now has the security for an optimistic future.

13 They have given our son a quality of life we never thought possible. He now has the security for a brighter and happier future. Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mr. Booth (Oldham) Harry Booth 13

14 Injury & Negligence Their knowledge and experience are remarkable; they have a vast understanding and their negotiating skills are excellent. Quote from Chambers (Independent Legal Guide)

15 CONTACT US Highest quality advice (ranked in top tier by leading independent legal guides Chambers and Legal 500) Free no obligation consultation Experienced specialist solicitors and principal lawyers who are Leaders in their field Range of funding options including no win, no fee and in certain cases Legal Aid National UK coverage and home visits For more information, or to discuss your claim, please contact Jane Whitaker on Pannone part of Slater & Gordon have offices nationwide. To find your local office visit For further information, please go to:

16 For more information, please contact Jane Whitaker on or Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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