Birth Injury

What is birth injury compensation?

Whilst Australians generally receive high-quality health care from trained professionals, unfortunately, operations and births don’t always go to plan. Sometimes, this can result result in injuries and trauma which may be catastrophic in nature. When things do go wrong, it is possible that you might be entitled to compensation.

A birthing injury (including death during birth) refers to one that a woman or her baby sustained before, during or immediately after childbirth. Related factors could include:

• The competence, training, qualifications, and experience of the doctor or midwife
• The facilities available at the hospital including emergency care
• The competence and experience of the medical staff

Compensation may be available if it is possible to demonstrate that the medical care received fell below a reasonable standard. Examples include:

• Delayed decision-making, for example, emergency caesarean sections not being instigated in a timely manner
• Inadequate, or lack of monitoring, for example failure to monitor baby’s movement or induce

Making birthing injury claims for compensation

If it can be established that the trauma caused to the mother or baby was caused by the negligence of the medical practitioner during or before delivery, then a claim for compensation may include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of past income
  • Inability to earn income in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical equipment
  • Home modifications
  • In-home Nursing
  • Out of pocket expenses

These claims cover psychiatric or physical injury caused by neglectful medical practitioners. Common injuries that a birthing mother might experience include damage to the uterus or other abdominal structures, tearing or damage to the pelvic floor and vagina or a psychiatric injury from a negligently traumatic delivery.

Common injuries that a newborn may experience include:

  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Head injury, brain damage or cerebral palsy
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones

Tragically, babies can pass away when labour isn’t managed properly or when caesareans should have been instigated earlier. Birth injury compensation claims can include compensation for the psychiatric injuries incurred following the loss of the labouring mother or child.

How much compensation you may be entitled to

How much compensation you may receive completely depends on your individual situation. We don’t just look at the birth injury, we also look at the total effect it has had on your baby’s life and yours, including related health issues and complications. We will ask a lot of questions and get to know you and your situation, so we can fight for the full compensation you deserve.


If you or your baby have been injured due to negligence during delivery, it’s important to engage an experienced and compassionate birth injury law firm to guide you through your entitlements.

Suffering a physical or psychological injury during childbirth due to negligence may make you feel alone. With nearly one third of Australian deliveries resulting in trauma, its prevalence is on the rise.

If your baby has suffered preventable trauma during this time, you’ll no doubt feel incensed. The baby’s injury could be physical or hypoxic meaning a lack of oxygen to the brain has caused brain damage. This could give rise to a birth injury compensation claim.

Time limits do apply when making a claim. Adults have three years to apply for compensation from the date they knew or ought to have known that they have an injury caused by negligence. In some circumstances, the injury may not be apparent immediately, particularly in children who fail to meet developmental milestones. A common example may be children diagnosed with cerebral palsy around 18 months of age or older. Minors have six years in which to bring proceedings. In some circumstances, our birth injury lawyers can seek extensions to extend time limits.

Arnold Thomas & Becker birth trauma lawyers only require legal fees paid upon you receiving your financial compensation. However, there may be some instances in which you may need to pay for medical assessments and expert opinions to build the strength of your case. In most circumstances, we may be able to seek funding for this.

Most commonly, shared care general practitioners, nurses, obstetricians, midwives, surgeons and anaesthetists can be responsible for causing trauma. Lack of continuity of care between specialties can also pose an issue and cause negligence.

Caesareans are on the increase and account for around 34% of Australian deliveries. The propensity of caesareans is increased in mothers over 40, breeches or multiple births or if in a private hospital. If you or your baby has suffered an injury caused by negligence whilst having a caesarean, you could have a claim for compensation.

The length of your case will vary depending on the injuries obtained and can take, and in some cases can be three to four years. Your birth injury lawyer will provide you with updates throughout the process.

Call us today on 1300 333 300 and speak directly with a specialist birth trauma lawyer.