Perineal Tear Injury Claims*

A perineal tear, also known as a vaginal tear, is a split in the skin and muscles between the vagina and the rectum. It can inflict a serious amount of pain on an individual and is usually due to a natural childbirth.

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Research Figures

Research studies carried out showed that over 85% of women who give birth naturally sustain some form of vaginal injury, 65% of these women required suturing in order to make a recovery. Although this form of injury is common for many women, in some situations it could have been caused due to the negligent treatment of the medical team.

Common Symptoms

Women who are most at risk to a perineal tear are those who are carrying a baby heavier than 8lb or 4kg. Likewise, if the second stage of labour is very short or assisted delivery is required using a forceps or ventouse this may increase a woman’s chances of sustaining an injury.

Damage to any of the muscles surrounding the perineum can cause severe pain to the pelvic and abdominal areas. This can impact on the bonding of the mother and child along with increasing the likelihood of postnatal depression.

In serious cases, these symptoms can last for years and cause serious pain and suffering in a woman’s life. It is important to note that if a woman suffers a tear and there is no clear or obvious reasoning it may be worthwhile reviewing medical records to see if medical negligence occurred. During birth procedures, haematomas can occur, if they are large in size it is likely that they will need to be drained.

Types of Tears

Periurethal Tear

These tears occur around your urethra. These tears are small and can heal on their own, however may need small stitches

First Degree Tear

These tears occur inside the vagina or outside the vagina on the perineum. First degree tears refer to tears when only the skin tears and everything beneath the skins remains intact. Dissolvable stitches may be used to stop bleeding.

Second Degree Tear

This tear is going to be deeper than the first degree tear and refers to a situation where both the skin and muscles below are torn and are usually treated with dissolvable stitches.

Third Degree Tear

This is a deeper tear which will tear the skin, muscles and part of the external anal sphincter. Stitches may be used to treat this type of tear.

Fourth Degree Tear

This is the deepest of all tears and involves a tear that extends into the rectum, resulting in a passage from the vagina into the rectum. Additional stitches and procedures are needed here to separate the vagina from the rectum. This will take longer to heal.

Perineal Tears and Medical Negligence*

While the birth of the baby itself may have gone without any complication to the child, negligence may be at play here if you received a substandard of medical care. Negligence has been noted in the following circumstances:

  • 4th degree perineal tear was not treated in a theatre by an experienced obstetrician
  • The doctor used an incorrect form of suture for the nature of tear you had experienced
  • You were not prescribed the correct dose of antibiotics to treat your tear.
  • You were not prescribed a laxative to prevent against constipation and related conditions
  • Your follow up appointment did not detect any present issues, or any illness or infection was missed or misdiagnosed.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a personal injury solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare the information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your injury claim it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • If any emergency services attended the scene and their details
    • Details of your injuries
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the injury claim process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    The most important document needed to prove your injuries is your medical report. The reason a solicitor will ask for your doctor’s details or if you have attended the hospital is so they can obtain all the medical reports required to pursue the case for you.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your injury claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an injury claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the injury (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages. 

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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