Can I Claim Still Birth Death Compensation in the UK?
Still birth death compensation is a particularly complicated area of claims law. Despite there being over 3,500 cases of still births in the UK each year, the reasons why a still birth occurs are not particularly well understood. It is not unusual for the reason for a still birth never to be established and, in such cases, negligence in still birth death compensation claims can be particularly difficult to prove.
What also complicates matters is that The Fatal Accidents Act does not cover still birth death. In the eyes of the law a baby must be born alive in order for the baby to be recognised as a person. This means that a claim for still birth death compensation cannot be made for bereavement, neither can a claim be made on the child’s behalf. A claim for still birth death compensation can only be for any pain and suffering experienced by the mother.
In order to be eligible to claim still birth death compensation in the UK, the mother will need to establish ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that a still birth death was caused due to obstetric medical negligence or hospital medical negligence. Errors made in the diagnosis of a health condition affecting the child or mother, inattentive doctors and nurses who should have recognised health problems and taken action, or actions taken in hospital which could have prevented a still birth can all be the basis of a still birth death compensation claim in the UK.
The mother must also have sustained an injury for a still birth death compensation claim to be made. This could be a recognised and quantifiable psychological injury – such as post traumatic stress disorder – or a physical injury. However, still birth death compensation claims for psychological problems alone can be difficult to win; as it is necessary to prove that the psychological injuries are due to negligence and not due to the highly traumatic experience of the still birth itself. When there are accompanying physical injuries, the chances of success are greater.
If you want to determine whether you are eligible to make a still birth death compensation claim in the UK, you should speak with a medical negligence solicitor for legal advice. You should do this as soon as possible to ensure you can preserve your right to make a claim still birth death compensation in the UK.