Maternity Injury Claims – OASI Injuries

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    Maternal Injury Claims

    Enable Law has a highly specialist team of legal experts supporting women following injuries incurred before, during and after birth.

    Having supported hundreds of mums throughout the country, the maternity team at Enable Law have extensive experience helping them get answers in relation to the care they have received as well as a can-do approach to finding solutions to helping them address the long-term symptoms of these injuries.

    The team is familiar with all the commonly-made mistakes that can lead to maternal injuries with a specialism supporting clients following obstetrics anal sphincter injuries.

    Our expertise

    We understand it can be incredibly difficult to talk about OASI injuries. We pride ourselves at working through a claim at your pace and in a professional yet approachable manner when it comes to talking openly about how your life is impacted. We get it.

    These types of injuries are often not treated for a long time and have a very significant effect to the physical and mental wellbeing of women. OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury) injuries can also cause other symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary incontinence, painful sex, nerve damage, and pelvic organ prolapse. These injuries can have a devastating impact on quality of life, affecting a woman’s health, intimate relationships, family relationships and employment.

    Our extensive experience representing clients that have suffered an injury during giving birth, means we are well equipped to understand complicated medical records and seek support from experts well-versed in understanding the long-term effect an injury can have in a mum’s life. Through our holistic view, we are excellently placed to help mums get access to funds to get both their personal and family life back on track.

    Also, the maternity team is predominantly female-led by solicitors that often are mums themselves. Any conversation is always strictly confidential, and the aim of the firm is to improve outcomes for all and put an end to preventable maternal injuries by providing training to medical professionals including midwives on issues including record taking, informing patients about their choices and possible risks as well as obtaining consent.

    Sarah's Story

    Our client Sarah had a difficult delivery with her third child. She was told at the time of the birth she had a very small tear that happened naturally which did not need to be stitched. Unfortunately, this was not the case and Sarah’s symptoms got worse. Sarah decided to seek legal advice and came to our firm.

    Read Sarah’s Story

    Am I entitled to compensation?

    General damages are compensation awarded for the injury itself and the pain and suffering caused. Whilst no amount of compensation will ever make amends for what has happened, the Courts have created guidelines to help ‘value’ particular injuries. These are known as the Judicial College Guidelines. Courts consider this guidance together with previous cases concerning similar injuries to evaluate the amount of compensation.

    In addition to general damages, compensation is made up of special damages which are specific to the client’s own losses. This can include loss of earnings, treatments, therapies and care that has been received from a family member.

    In OASI claims, as well as the physical and psychological injuries, we appreciate that there can be significant financial losses. This can be as a result of a required change in employment, ongoing care from a family member or much needed treatments and therapies.

    In addition, we are aware there are new surgeries such as implantation of a nerve stimulator which can assist with bowel control. Whilst we appreciate this is not appropriate in every situation, if treatment is possible it can be undertaken privately. This gives our clients the option of making their own choice of which professional they will trust with their care at a time convenient to them and their family schedule. We use specialist experts who are leaders in this field and we trust having worked with them on a regular basis.

    We also appreciate there is more to these injuries than the physical impact.

    The majority of our OASI clients tell us their injury has had an impact on their relationships and often this is presenting them with equal level of difficulties as the physical injury itself. Relationships affected are not limited to intimate ones like the ones a mum may have with her partner, but often extend to the relationship they have with their children as they may feel that their injury is preventing them from being the parent they wanted to be. Likewise the nature and stigma around the symptoms of OASI injuries is such that mums may feel unable to share their worries with other family members, friends or even colleagues and make excuses for avoiding social gatherings that can result into them feeling isolated.

    . Compensation can include therapies, both for couples and the individuals themselves, to assist with coming to terms with what has happened and how to move forward.

    How long do I have to make a claim?

    There is a time limit on your ability to make a medical negligence claim in the UK – usually, this is three years. This runs from the date of the negligence, or the date you were first aware of the negligence. In OASI claims, sometimes women are not aware that they have suffered a tear at the time of the event, and therefore in most cases the limitation period will run from the date of the eventual diagnosis. It is important to seek legal advice as early as possible to enable sufficient time to investigate the claim.

    How long will my claim take to conclude?

    This will vary depending on the complexity of the case, and whether the Trust makes an early admission of liability. We usually advise that a claim such as this can take around 2 – 3 years to conclude, but it can be quicker.

    Will I have to go to court?

    Whilst it is possible, it is highly unlikely that a claimant will have to actually go to court and give evidence. The vast majority of claims settle out of court. Even if the claim has to be issued at Court, there are various steps that need to be taken before any final hearing, and settlement/mediation is considered at all times. In fact, the Courts actively encourage parties to seek alternative methods of resolution and so it is incredibly rare that a case will go to a final trial. We understand the stress that litigation can cause, and we do everything we can to minimise this stress and listen to you as the client as to what you need and when you are ready to take steps.

    Can an interim payment be obtained?

    An interim payment is an urgent payment to meet immediate needs.  A payment like this can be requested if an early admission of responsibility is made by the Trust but we are not in a position to fully conclude the case. This can happen when our experts need more time to fully assess a client’s future needs to make sure that their recommendations will be able to meet them. An interim payment means that you can access treatments or therapies whilst the claim is ongoing so rehabilitation does not need to be delayed. Depending on the type of treatment proposed or the symptoms a client is experiencing, they may want to explore treatment options privately to reduce waiting times.

    Proud to support MASIC

    We are proud supporters of The MASIC Foundation, an organisation who support women who have suffered severe OASI injuries during childbirth.

    Contact Our Expert Birth Injury Solicitors Today

    Our specialist birth injury claims lawyers have a history of success in complex, high-value lawsuits. We are known for our sensitivity as much as for our expertise, and we always aim to get the very best possible result for you.

    We offer a free initial discussion to talk through your issue, offer our opinion and guide you through the options available.

    Contact us today to book yours.

    0800 044 8488