Birth Injury Claims – What is the process and how long does it take?

By Jason Brady

newborn baby in hospital after just being born, mother holding him and breastfeeding in hospital bed

If you’ve been let down by medical professionals responsible for your maternity care, seeking redress through a birth injury compensation claim can be an effective means of securing the support that you need to get life back on track.

How long is the process likely to take? The answer depends on several factors specific to your case.

  • Specialist birth injury solicitors
  • No win, no fee claims
  • Independently recognised as experts

Establishing liability in birth injury claims

Before making a birth injury claim you must be aware that there is a time limit for when you can make claim. Generally, you have 3 years from the date of the injury to make a claim. If the injury is to a child, you have until their 18th birthday.

The first step in any successful birth injury compensation claim is establishing who is liable for the harm suffered by the mother and/or baby. The process can prove complex, as your birth injury solicitor will need to gather and assess all the available evidence, including:

  • Medical records detailing any pre-existing conditions or diagnoses in relation to the parent or child(ren).
  • Witness statements from personnel involved in the delivery of allegedly substandard care, including doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and patients.
  • Evaluations are carried out by health regulators of the facilities responsible for administering the care in question.
  • Assessments from experts are required to clarify exactly how and why the standard medical practice was not followed and the potential results.

Once liability is provisionally established, the claims process can be progressed to the next stage. Establishing liability in complex cases where multiple parties may be at fault for birth injuries can take years.

  • Get free initial advice Call 0800 083 5500
  • Or send us a message

Acceptance or refutation of liability

When the responsible parties are identified, your birth injury solicitor will send a Letter of Claim detailing the lawsuit against them, providing the opportunity to either accept or deny liability.

Should they choose to accept liability for your birth injury compensation claim, the case can progress swiftly to the settlement stage. In the event they deny responsibility, their solicitors will need to arrange a Court hearing to contest liability. This process can again take years to conclude.


If you have suffered an injury because of poor care, you may want to sue the NHS for negligence. This complete guide can help you make the best decision for you and your family. More
Timelines can vary significantly from one case to another and there are a few things to consider before starting a claim. More
If you have questions surrounding your pregnancy, labour or post natal care, we may be able to provide answers for you. More

Calculating damages in a birth injury case

Finally, once liability has been determined, the Court can proceed to calculate the damages to be awarded to the claimant. This stage of the birth injury compensation claim will likely again require input from medical specialists qualified to identify the nature and severity of the harm suffered by the defendant, and how long it is likely to persist.

Depending on the injuries sustained by the mother and/or baby, input may be required from paediatric, neurological, psychologist and long-term care specialists whose availability may be restricted. It’s worth also mentioning that this stage of the proceedings may also be contested, with the defending party bringing their own experts to Court to counter the claims made by your birth injury solicitor.

The Court will weigh the testimonies submitted by the various experts up against each other to determine what level of compensation is required to ensure the claimant can go on to enjoy as much quality of life as possible. It will need to consider any corrective surgery, medication and home-environment modifications required by the claimant to achieve this.

Unsurprisingly, the complexity of the claims being examined, and the availability of the experts required to do so can again mean that this stage of the case can require years to conclude.

Need answers about your maternity care?

Speak with one of our solicitors and see if we can help

CALL 0800 083 5500

How long does a birth injury lawsuit take?

It is impossible to say before a case gets underway how long a birth injury compensation claim will take. With each of the aforementioned stages potentially requiring years to conclude, it is not unreasonable to expect a timeline of around five years from the point of submitting your claim.

If you’re not unsure whether submitting a birth injury compensation claim is the right course of action for you, you can speak to a medical negligence solicitor for free initial advice and no obligation to proceed on 0800 047 3151.

Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.

New-born baby in hospital