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I suffered serious side effects from a severe tear during child birth 2 years ago — can I claim for medical negligence?

Although your injury was two years ago, you still have time to make a claim for medical negligence as you are within the three year time limit.

Most women experience some degree of tearing during childbirth but this does not mean that there was medical negligence. For example, a tear is harder to avoid if:

  • your baby’s shoulder got stuck behind your pubic bone
  • you had a long second stage of labour
  • you were having a large baby (over 8 pounds 13 ounces)
  • it was your first birth
  • you were induced
  • you had an assisted delivery (with forceps or ventouse)

The key to knowing if you can claim will be, firstly, whether your care fell below the reasonable standard of care expected.

Your solicitor will want to find out more about your experience during labour to gauge if your labour was managed properly. For example, perhaps you were told to push before being fully dilated, or a caesarean section should have been considered.

The treatment you received after your tear is another factor to consider. For example, whether you were given the correct medication or suffered from a serious infection, and whether the repair was carried out within a reasonable time after the birth.

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