If you have sustained a third or fourth degree tear during childbirth, you might be wondering whether you have been the innocent victim of medical negligence. In this article we explore this question, explaining when you can claim for a tear and how to find out for certain.
Can I claim compensation for a third or fourth degree tear?
The incidence of a third or fourth degree tear is not, in itself, negligent. They are serious injuries, but unfortunately they are a natural part of childbirth. Although some women are known to be more at risk than others (for example, those with big babies or first-time mothers), there is little than can be done to prevent a third or fourth degree tear from occurring. Therefore just because you have suffered such an injury does not necessarily mean you will be able to make a claim.
Where birth injury claim often arise, however, is when a third or fourth degree tear was not diagnosed and/or adequately treated shortly after the birth. Indeed, all women who have a vaginal delivery should undergo a genital and digital rectal examination before being discharged from hospital. This will ensure that any tears are recognised and repaired in the appropriate fashion. If a third or fourth degree tear is diagnosed, a repair should be carried out in theatre by a qualified surgeon.
Nevertheless, this standard of care is not always achieved. This is often because an examination is not carried out. Other times it will be because an examination is performed, by the medical professional does not accurately identify the trauma, instead diagnosing a more minor injury. Birth injury claims can also arise if it is found that a third or fourth degree tear could have been avoided (for example, a woman was known to have large baby but a C-section was not organised), or if a repair was poorly performed.
How do I know if I can claim for medical negligence?
It can be difficult to know whether or not you can claim for a birth injury. To find out, all you need to do is contact a solicitor that specialises in birth injury claims. This will give you the chance to explain the care you received, after which a legal expert will suggest what options are available to you. If you do have the option to pursue legal action, you will be invited to begin a claim against the negligent hospital, allowing you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Legal advice for birth injury claims
To find out if you are entitled to compensation for a third or fourth degree tear, get in touch with us today.
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