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Bringing a birth injury claim: heads of claim

Posted: 09/06/2021

The first and second articles in this series, which are linked here and here, examine the legal tests that must be established to bring a birth injury clinical negligence claim: namely, breach of duty/negligence and causation. The third article in this series considers how a severe birth injury case can be funded when a brain injury has been sustained by a child, and can be found here.

This final article of the four-part series will consider the types of claim that can be made in a severe birth injury case involving a brain injury suffered by a child.

Each head of claim that is made should be supported by appropriate evidence, whether in the form of documents, such as invoices and receipts, witness evidence or expert medical and quantum reports.

Potential claims which might be made are listed below.

General damages: these are damages for the injury itself and are awarded with reference to cases that have been decided by the court.

Care and case management: such claims are made to cover the past care and case management provided as well as the anticipated future care and case management required to meet the injured person’s needs.   

Accommodation: a claim can be made for the additional cost of any accommodation that is required as a result of the injured person’s disabilities.

Therapies: claims can be made for the past and future therapy needs of the injured individual, including for occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.

Loss of earnings and pension loss: if an individual’s earning capacity has been affected by their disabilities then claims for loss of earnings and loss of pension may be made.

Travel and parking costs: a claim may be made for these if the need for such travel and parking arises from the disabilities suffered by the injured person. The cost of an appropriate vehicle may also be claimed if it is needed due to the disability.

Aids, equipment and assistive technology: claims may be made for any aids, equipment and forms of assistive technology that are needed to facilitate the injured person’s day to day living in the context of their disabilities.

Education costs: if there are educational costs or costs likely to be associated with an appeal relating to special educational needs, then these costs can be claimed.

Court of Protection and deputyship costs: if the injured person is likely to lack capacity in adulthood and requires a deputy, the costs associated with this can be claimed.   

Each claim will need to be considered on its own facts in terms of what can be claimed and this is something the solicitor acting on the case will evaluate.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to contact the specialist birth injury team for an initial discussion about your options. 

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP