Wrongful Birth Claims
Wrongful birth is the name given when medical negligence has resulted in unwanted pregnancy. If this has happened to you or someone you know, it is important you are able to claim compensation for any emotional or physical pain caused. The expert solicitors at Hospital Negligence are here to help.
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Wrongful Birth Claims Explained
Wrongful birth is the term the courts use to describe a claim which arises out of the birth of a child who would not have been born without negligent treatment or care. Wrongful birth claims fall into two categories. The first is failed sterilisation, contraception or failed vasectomy. The second arises where parents have not been warned - as a result of incorrect screening - that a child may be born with a specific disability and, if they had been warned, would have terminated the pregnancy.
Failed sterilisation occurs when a sterilisation operation has not been successful and has resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. If conception occurs soon after the sterilisation operation, then it is likely that the operation was carried out negligently.
Sometimes, even when an operation is properly performed it may still fail if one of the fallopian tubes re-canalises, although this normally takes about a year. It is likely that patients will have been warned about the risk of this occurrence in advance of the operation. However, this does not excuse a negligent operative technique.
This is where due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, a failure of contraception has resulted in pregnancy.
Failed Vasectomy occurs when an unwanted pregnancy has occurred as a result of an unsuccessful male sterilisation operation. Common grounds for negligence include the failure to advise about the need to use alternative forms of contraception for several months post-vasectomy and failure of operative technique.
Making a Compensation Claim
Compensation can be claimed in relation to a wrongful birth for a number of reasons. These include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional pain
- Distress of an unwanted pregnancy and labour
- Costs of an additional re-sterilisation or vasectomy procedure
- The additional costs of raising a child with disabilities
Compensation can also be claimed following a termination. Some incidental losses and expenses relating to the child's upbringing can be claimed and considerably more can be claimed if the child has any disability. To succeed in a claim for compensation it is necessary to prove firstly that the treatment was negligent, and secondly that if it had not been, the pregnancy would have been terminated.
It is important to remember that a claim must be brought within three years of the birth of the child if the pregnancy was not terminated.
How Hospital Negligence Can Help
Our solicitors include members of the Law Society panel of medical negligence experts. It is important that you make the right choice of solicitor at an early stage of your failed vasectomy or failed sterilisation compensation claim. We offer the ‘no win, no fee’ scheme for many cases, so that legal proceedings can be brought for medical negligence. Healthcare providers, including hospitals, consultants, doctors, nurses and technicians, are fully insured against medical negligence that results in wrongful birth claims, and it is the insurer who will pay any compensation that is awarded.
Talk to Us
For free advice regarding your wrongful birth claim, call the sympathetic and professional team at Hospital Negligence on 0800 014 7481 or simply complete our online contact form and a member of the Law Society panel of medical negligence experts will phone you to discuss your situation at no charge and with no obligation.