Medical Negligence*

Birth Injury Claims*

If you are subject to medical negligence during labour which results in birth injuries being sustained to you or your baby, you can bring these concerns to the attention of a solicitor.

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Medical Accidents

Delivering a healthy baby at the end of a pregnancy is the most important aspect of childbirth. Both from the mother’s point of view as well as the medical staff in the delivery room. This, unfortunately, is not always the case. Accidents can happen on the part of the medical staff which leads to an injury to the baby or at times a traumatic birth injury to the mother. Birth injuries can arise as a result of mismanagement of pregnancy, delivery or aftercare. In some cases, injury is not always immediately noticeable at birth. At times injuries to the infant can manifest after months or years following birth.

Types of Medical Issues – Injury or Defect?

Newborns can suffer from two different types of medical issues following birth:

  • Birth Injuries
  • Birth Defects

Understanding the difference between the two will help you and your solicitor determine if you are eligible to seek a legal remedy.

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries occur during or immediately after the delivery process. Types of injuries can range from nerve damage, broken bones to brain damage. Birth injuries sometimes can be unavoidable. For example, in instances where the baby is in a breech position. The baby is born in a position with their arms raised over their heads during delivery. This can lead to unavoidable brachial plexus injury. Causing damage to the baby’s network of nerves that send signals from your spine to shoulder, arm and hand.

In other cases, a birth injury can arise due to the actions or in-actions of the medical staff delivering the baby. For example, if a doctor inadequately uses forceps causing nerve damage to the baby.

Birth Defects

A birth defect happens as the baby develops in the womb and can affect any aspect of a baby’s body. This may naturally occur as the baby develops. However, it might be a result of toxins or medications that the mother is taking into her body.

Injury to the Baby

Step number one if you are pursuing a birth injury medical negligence claim is determining if the birth injury to the baby was a result of negligence by a third party. Birth injuries to a newborn baby as a result of medical negligence can have different medical complications for the newborn. This type of birth trauma can have life-long effects on the quality of life of the child. Some of the most common reason for childbirth malpractice cases are:

  • Brain Damage
  • Perinatal Asphyxia – where a newborn does not receive enough oxygen
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Seizures
  • Cerebral Palsy 
  • Erb’s Palsy – also known as Brachial Plexus Injury (damage to the nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand.)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Pelvic Injuries During Birth
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Fractures to Collarbone, Arm or Skull
  • Untreated Jaundice, Kernicterus and Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Forceps Tear Injury
  • Forceps and Vacuum Extractor Injuries

Injury to Mother

Injury to the mother can be sustained during before or after the birthing process. These injuries can be a result of medical negligence. Inadequate medical care can lead to the following complications:

  • Pregnancy Malpractice/Maternal Birth Injuries – Mismanagement of the Pregnancy
  • Complications Caused by Delivery Using Forceps
  • Abnormal Bleeding caused by Medical Negligence
  • Injury to Bowel or Bladder
  • Pelvic Injuries during Birth
  • Incontinence
  • Broken Bones
  • Vaginal Tears or Lacerations
  • Ruptured Uterus
  • Incorrect Caesarean Section
  • Infection
  • Pre-eclampsia or Eclampsia
  • Incorrect Stitching following Caesarean Section
  • Nerve Damage after giving birth
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Wrongful Death of the Mother
  • Forceps Injury


Not all births go to plan. Doctors do have to deal with difficult delivery of babies throughout their careers. A difficult delivery is something an experienced doctor should be able to handle. Enabling them to reduce the risk of any unwanted injury to both mother and baby. In cases, the actions or in-actions of medical professionals involved in delivering the baby can lead to injuries to the baby and/or the mother. Some cases of medical negligence that can lead to injury are:

  • Incorrect interpretation of ultrasound
  • Failure to perform the necessary tests and examinations during pregnancy
  • Prescription of the incorrect medication during pregnancy
  • Failure to track the baby’s heart rate
  • Improper manipulation of the baby’s body during delivery
  • Failure to deal with an emergency situation adequately
  • Incorrect use of forceps during delivery
  • Blunt force trauma to baby or mother
  • Delayed birth –  When the baby remains in the birth canal for too long, leading to injury from the prolonged pressure from the birth canal on the baby’s brain.

Any of these causes of birth injuries can lead to injuries of varying degrees. Some physical injuries to the baby or mother are noticed immediately and treated immediately. In more severe cases the injury may not be noticed immediately following the birth of the child.

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to and she can call you back.

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 specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your birth injury time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence of the doctor or medical staff tasked with either your prenatal care, pregnancy, delivery and/or aftercare. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence was the cause of the injury and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.

  3. Letter of Claim

    If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence has occurred, then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who treated you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, our dedicated birth and gynaecological injury solicitors have years of experience in helping parents deal with traumatic birth injury claims. We understand the injuries, both physically and emotionally, that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims in Ireland over the past 30 years.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your birth or gynaecological injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a medical negligence claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident 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 a medical negligence injury.

Special Damages

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

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim, which can vary depending on the situation. When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical negligence claims it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor may be in a position to bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal 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.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

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