Stillbirth & neonatal death compensation claims

No parent expects to be faced with the loss of their baby. If you have unfortunately experienced this, please know that you’re not alone. Speak to our experienced baby loss negligence lawyers today and let us help.

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Understanding stillbirth and neonatal death

Not all stillbirths and neonatal deaths can be avoided, but in some cases clinical mistakes or mismanagement during pregnancy, labour or a baby’s early life are a factor.

Clinical mistakes that may lead to baby loss include failures in:

  • diagnosing and responding to problems with the placenta
  • diagnosis and treatment of pre-eclampsia
  • management of conditions such as (gestational) diabetes, high blood pressure and obstetric cholestasis
  • spotting and treating an infection, such as Group B Streptococcus
  • recognising and responding to reduced fetal movements
  • complications in labour, including not involving a senior obstetrician appropriately
  • inappropriate midwifery advice
  • interpretation of and responding to CTGs (which monitor a baby’s heart rate)
  • conducting regular check ups, particularly monitoring the baby’s size
  • taking appropriate action in relation to test results or in the interpretation of them.

We can help you to understand whether mistakes were made in your care or that of your baby, and if they contributed to your baby’s death.

We’re here to help. You can call us on 0800 0448488 or email or request a call back

Your rights and eligibility

We understand that no amount of money will change what has happened and it is often not the driving force for you considering a claim.

However, if the stillbirth or neonatal death was the result of, or was contributed to by, someone else’s negligence, the only outcome a court can award is compensation.

A claim can also be a route to ensuring a thorough investigation into your baby’s death and allowing you to access the best support available to help you navigate your loss.

If you feel your baby may have survived given the right medical care, or if a stillbirth or neonatal death was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can discuss this with you.

How can compensation help?

We understand that compensation cannot take away the loss or suffering you are experiencing due to the death of your baby. What it can do is give you and your family answers that help you understand what went wrong (if anything), help achieve change so other families don’t experience the same loss, and compensation to access care and support as you cope with the impact of your baby’s death.

Compensation can help families to access bespoke counselling, receive repayment of loss of earnings caused by having to take time out of work and to begin putting their lives back together.

Compensation can be received for:

  • the impact on your mental health
  • loss of earnings due to having to leave a job or take time off, for example
  • therapy
  • additional care and support you required or require
  • funeral expenses
  • other expenses including travel to therapy sessions, future pregnancies, etc.
Trusted expertise

As expert solicitors focusing on serious injury, medical negligence, mental capacity and education, you can trust us to get the best results for you.

We know how hard it is to deal with the harm you or a loved one has suffered. We’ll support you with empathy every step of the way.

We can help you on a no win no fee basis, meaning you don’t need to worry about funding legal costs

Our support doesn’t end after a claim. We can help you with your financial affairs after settlement and introduce you to charities and organisations that might be able to help you going forward.

Choosing a lawyer to support a stillbirth or neonatal death claim

Although compensation has its place in ensuring you can rebuild aspects of your life, we also understand that a baby loss claim isn’t about the money. It’s about getting answers, getting justice for your baby and helping you to navigate the devastating effects of their death.

Our expert stillbirth and neonatal death lawyers have significant experience of how things should be managed during pregnancy, childbirth and the care of young babies. We can help you get the answers you need around what happened to your baby.

Through our experience we’ve also learnt about what can help parents to move forward and our aim is to ensure that you can access the right support. We have helped many parents following baby loss and know you need us to listen and support you through the process. We’ll treat you with care and empathy, and fight for your voice to be heard. Please contact us for a warm, free initial conversation.

Client stories

Charities we work with

Enable Law supports Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, so we can offer our clients an additional level of care and support. Sands is constantly searching for ways to improve antenatal care so that as few families as possible will have to live with the heartbreak of baby loss.

Our partners

Expert help following stillbirth or neonatal death

Speak to an expert today for a free, confidential chat about how we can help you.

Stillbirth and neonatal death claims FAQs

This will vary from case to case depending on when in the legal process the case settles and the family’s personal circumstances.  The two biggest things that will impact the value of the claim are a) the impact of your baby’s death on your mental health and b) whether you have experienced a loss of earnings. For example, if there is no loss of earnings, a claim may settle for £40,000 but if you have been unable to work since your baby’s death, the claim value could be £200,000+.  However, most claims will settle for between £60,000 to £100,000.

Yes – this is called the limitation period. You must bring your claim within 3 years of the day your baby died.  If your baby is stillborn, you may have been told that they died several days before they are born. Therefore, the 3 year period starts to run from the date you were told they had died. ‘Bringing a claim’ means that you must start the court process (called issuing a claim) not simply talking to a lawyer.  Therefore, it is important to raise any concerns you may have at the earliest opportunity.  In some exceptional circumstances, you may be able to bring a claim after this 3 year period.

This will vary from case to case depending on how many experts are required, how long it takes to receive their advice on your care and whether the Hospital admits that they are responsible for your baby’s death.  However, an average claim will take 2 to 3 years.

To bring a claim you need to sure that the care you or your baby received was substandard and that no other responsible medical professional would have treated you in this way (breach of duty).  You then need to show that this breach of duty caused your baby’s death on the balance of probabilities i.e. over a 50% chance.  To meet these tests, we usually instruct independent medical experts (such as a midwife or obstetrician) to advise on the care, what should have happened and whether this would have avoided your baby’s death.

Yes – most baby loss claims will settle without starting the court process or before trial.  You and the Hospital can make an offer to settle the claim at any time.  This may be without the Hospital admitting it is at fault or without knowing the full value of the claim.  Your options will be explained to you fully throughout your claim.

We understand that baby loss impacts the whole family.  However, when a baby is stillborn, only the mum can bring a claim as she was the patient at the time.  Therefore, the Hospital owed her a duty of care but not the father/birthing partner.  If the baby dies after they were born, but the poor care happened before they were born, mum can bring a claim.  If mum and dad are married, the dad will be entitled to half of the bereavement award (a fixed amount set by Parliament) but generally cannot claim for any other losses.  If the poor care happened to the baby after they were born, then mum (or dad if they are married) can only claim for the bereavement award, funeral costs and some other small items.

For a claim to succeed, you have to show there was substandard care which caused the baby’s death.  If there are no concerns about the care you or your baby received, then a claim cannot be pursued.  If you have concerns about the care you or your baby received, our experienced baby loss team can advise you whether they consider there are issues that should be investigated.

Possibly.  It will depend what condition your baby had and whether it sadly meant they always would have died, even with better care.

Yes, if there was poor care before the baby died.  Often claims are based on the care that happened before mum goes into labour or the baby was born, for example, a failure to monitor a baby’s growth.

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If you would like us to call you back to discuss a potential claim, please complete the form below and a member of the team will call you at a time convenient to you. We are in your corner and ready to help. Alternatively, you can contact us by email.

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