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Supporting you in a stillbirth negligence claim

If you suspect that medical negligence was a factor in your loss, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim. We understand that seeking stillbirth compensation is the last thing on your mind at such a stressful and traumatic time. But making a claim might help to prevent this happening to someone else, as well as bringing you the compensation you deserve.

Our legally trained advisors are here to offer you the legal support you need at this difficult time. We'll listen to what you've been through and put you in touch with specialist medical negligence solicitors to help support you through yourstillbirth negligence claim. Please contact us on or request a call back and we'll call you back at a time that suits you.

What is the process for making a stillbirth negligence claim?

If you believe that what happened to you was as a result of negligence, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

The level of a stillbirth compensation amount could reflect the physical and psychological suffering you've experienced. The compensation awarded might also take into account financial losses such as counselling costs, loss of earnings and funeral expenses.

A medical negligence stillbirth claim needs to be made within three years, but the time limit doesn't apply if the person affected lacks the physical or psychological capability to make a claim themselves. If that is the case, you can claim on behalf of someone else who can't claim themself.

Claiming on a no win no fee basis means there are no upfront charges or costs. You'll pay nothing at all if you lose and if you win, your contribution to the costs will simply be deducted from your compensation at a level agreed with your solicitor. There really is no financial risk to you.

If you have any questions or feel you might have a claim, please contact us for free on or request a call back. Our trained advisors will listen to what happened to you and let you know if they think you have a claim. If you wish, we can also arrange for you to talk to a specialist medical negligence solicitor for further advice and to take your claim forward.


What is a stillbirth?

The NHS and the UK government define a stillbirth as the death of a baby after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy, either before or during birth. If a baby dies before 24 completed weeks, it's classified as a miscarriage or a late foetal loss. 


How common are stillbirths?

A stillbirth happens in around 1 in every 200 births in the UK. A recent report from the Office of National Statistics stated that the UK rate has been falling in recent years in England. The rate unfortunately rose during the covid 19 pandemic, including a four-fold increase in one London hospital.


What are the main causes of a stillbirth?

The reasons for many stillbirths are unknown. However, there are many known causes explained by the NHS and NCT, the parents' charity. These include complications with the placenta that disrupt the link between the mother's blood supply and the baby. Other causes include bleeding, pre-eclampsia, problems with the umbilical cord and various types of infection.

After a stillbirth, parents may have the option of tests that can help to establish the cause. Pathologists may also hold a post-mortem to find out more, for example to establish whether the baby had a genetic disease.

Stillbirth due to medical negligence

Sometimes there's a shortfall in the level of care delivered during pregnancy or at birth and this leads to a stillbirth medical negligence case:

Mistakes when monitoring the baby's developments

If the right antenatal monitoring, tests and scans aren't done, doctors might miss problems with the baby. In other cases, doctors misinterpret the results of tests and scans, or test results aren't referred to a consultant when they should be.

Mistakes when monitoring the mother's development

There can be problems with the mother's healthcare such as infections and high or low blood pressure. These aren't always identified and treated or referred to an appropriate specialist.

Not listening to the parents' concerns

Parents might feel that health professionals didn't act as they should when they reported problems such as pain, bleeding, very painful contractions or the baby moving less. The worst outcome in such cases is that mother and baby miss out on the care and monitoring they need. This can sometimes lead to what may have been an avoidable stillbirth.

Poor communication between healthcare professionals

People involved in the pregnancy may not have communicated effectively with each other. The result can be inappropriate decisions about the care that's needed. 

Mistakes at delivery

Some stillbirth negligence involves poor decisions or mistakes when delivering the baby. This can include not choosing an assisted or Caesarean delivery when there were warning signs that should have prompted this.

Establishing the cause of a stillbirth 

Making a claim could mean that your solicitors ask independent experts to examine the case. It may also lead to the NHS trust involved investigating the circumstances that led to your loss. For many parents, these are important factors in deciding whether to start a claim, rather than seeking financial medical negligence stillbirth compensation.    

If you would like to talk to one of our team about making a claim for stillbirth due to negligence, please call us on or fill in our secure online form. We're here to listen to what happened, letting you talk it through in your own time and decide if you want to go ahead with a claim. If you do, your medical negligence solicitor will give you further support and take your claim forward.


What should medical staff do to prevent stillbirths?

GPs, midwifes, obstetricians and other health care professionals should do everything they can to ensure a safe pregnancy with a good outcome.

This should begin with assessing whether the mother has any medical conditions or special health needs. This would include asking about things that might affect the pregnancy, such as your general health and any previous pregnancies.

Expectant mothers should also have information about how they can reduce the risk of a still birth. This includes avoiding smoking, alcohol and certain foods, and reporting certain types of pain or a change in their baby's movement.

A good level of antenatal care throughout the pregnancy is also essential. Regular midwife appointments are important opportunities to properly monitor the baby's development. 

Midwives, nurses or doctors should carry out urine and blood pressure tests at appropriate times. These can identify potentially serious problems such as pre-eclampsia. Ultrasound scans and antenatal screening tests should also be done during the pregnancy.

If you feel that the level of care you received didn't meet these standards, you may be able to make a stillbirth compensation claim. Start by calling us on or request a call back from one of our legally trained advisors. 

If we think you may be eligible to make a claim and you'd like to go ahead, we'll connect you with a specialist solicitor who will take on your case


Can I get support following a stillbirth?

The NHS has clear procedures in place to support parents in the hours and days after a stillbirth. This may include an appointment to discuss the results of any tests or a post-mortem, and implications for future pregnancies. Further support may be available from your GP, the community midwife or health visitors. 

Support is also available from National Accident Helpline. We'll provide a sympathetic ear and practical information about your eligibility for a negligence claim. The same is true of the solicitors we can connect you with, who are experienced in stillbirth medical negligence cases


gemma-kane

At National Accident Helpline, we understand that losing a baby is devastating, and how distressing it is to talk about what happened. Rest assured all our advisors are fully trained to support you. You won't ever feel rushed or pressured and we'll answer any questions you might have.

Gemma Kane

Operations Quality Manager, National Accident Law

Parents might consider counselling or therapy to help them cope with their bereavement. This may be available from the NHS, or charities who offer support for parents and families going through the trauma of a stillbirth. Charities specialising in this area include Sands, the Birth Trauma Association and Tommy's.

Sometimes there are waiting lists for NHS or charity services, and parents choose to get private treatment instead. Compensation following a stillbirth compensation claim may include damages to cover private bereavement counselling. This may make an important contribution to helping you cope with your loss.


Can I make a stillbirth negligence compensation claim?

Medical negligence is a situation where medical professionals don't act to a standard that you as a patient could reasonably expect from them. Compensation may be possible if there's proof that your baby's stillbirth was a result of negligence.

The definition of medical negligence is open to interpretation in each individual case and can be a complicated area of law. That's why we'll match you with a specialist medical negligence solicitor who can assess your case. They will listen to your story and let you know whether you may be able to bring a stillbirth negligence claim


Should I claim against the NHS?

NHS Resolution is the NHS's specialist insurance company that manages stillbirth claims. They explain the following circumstances in which you may be able to make a claim for compensation following NHS negligence:

  • The treatment you received fell below a minimum standard of competence.
  • You suffered an injury as a result. (This could be a physical or psychological injury, or both.)
  • It is more likely than not that the injury could have been avoided or less severe with proper treatment.

Some people worry that claiming against the NHS for stillbirth due to negligence will take money out of the NHS budget. But in fact, funds are set aside to resolve patient claims and nothing comes out of budgets for delivering NHS services.

As well as leading to stillbirth medical negligence claims awards, cases against the NHS might also help other parents in the future. The medical profession may learn lessons from what happened and take them on board across the NHS and the wider medical community.

We understand that making a claim against an organisation as large as the NHS may seem daunting and stressful. That's why weonly work with specialist medical negligence solicitors with experience of bringing claims against the NHS. When you are ready, please call us on or fill in our secure online form and a member of our specialist team will call you back.


Frequently asked questions...

Quite simply, yes. If you're thinking of making a claim on behalf of a friend or loved one, then it's likely we can help you.

To find out more information please visit our claiming on behalf of someone else page.

The most common uses for compensation are to replace lost earnings, to cover the cost of rehabilitation and medication and to pay off debts and bills that might have built up during time off work.

No. National Accident Helpline is a brand that belongs to the personal injury legal practice National Accident Law. We're regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the independent professional ethics body that licenses all solicitors in England and Wales. Our SRA number is 655606.

Claims management companies (CMCs) are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). CMCs do not have their own legal practices. 

We process personal injury claims as part of National Accident Law. We also work with a national network of specialist personal injury legal firms who we vet very carefully to provide you with the best possible customer experience.

With us, you're in safe and highly-capable hands.

What will happen when I make a claim?

The first step of the claims process is to call us on  or request a call back to find out if you can make a stillbirth negligence claim. If we think you are eligible to make a claim and you decide you'd like to go ahead, we'll put you in touch with one of our panel of no win no fee specialist medical negligence solicitors. 

If you decide to go ahead and claim, your solicitor will contact the other side. This is the person or organisation you believe is responsible, such as a hospital trust. They'll contact them on your behalf and let them know that you'll be making a claim.

The process that follows will depend on whether the other side accepts liability for what happened. For example, if they don't accept liability, your solicitor will gather reports of any investigations into what happened to gain a fuller picture. You can read more the process on our claim settlement process page.


Will I have to attend an inquest?

Coroners in England and Wales don't usually hold an inquest into a stillbirth. This is because they can only investigate if the baby showed signs of life after being born. The situation is under review following a government consultation.

Your solicitor can however request a formal inquest. You would normally need to attend as a witness, but you may be able to submit a written statement instead.


Will I need to go to court?

We understand that going to court isn't something most people would choose. In our experience, most personal injury and medical negligence claims settle without a court hearing. 

However, sometimes it isn't possible to avoid going to court. It may in fact be the best way to reach a conclusion in your case and get the compensation you deserve.

If your case does go to court, please know that your solicitors will be there to guide you through each step of the way. This includes taking you through the preparation process and negotiating on your behalf throughout the court hearing.


How long do I have to make a stillbirth negligence compensation claim?

You will normally have three years to make a stillbirth negligence claim. There are two main exceptions when someone will have longer than three years: 

  • If you were under 18 at the time and haven't made a claim, you have three years from your 18th until your 21st birthday to claim.
  • There's no time limit where someone lacks the physical or psychological capability to make a claim. That could be as a result of what happened or due to a pre-existing condition.

If you have any questions about making a stillbirth claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on or request a call back. We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim.


How long could my claim take?

Every claim we handle is different. That makes it difficult to estimate how long it takes to process specific stillbirth negligence claims. Cases where fault is clear may settle sooner than more complicated medical negligence cases. 

With complex stillbirth settlements, claimants may need some compensation before the case finishes. For example, someone may be struggling with lost income, or the cost of counselling or therapy. This is why in some cases, compensation may be possible in stages ahead of a final settlement.


Can I claim on a ‘no win no fee' basis?

Yes, and at National Accident Helpline we specialise in no win no fee claims. Often known as a conditional fee agreement, it's the contract between you and your medical negligence solicitor.

Once your solicitor takes on your case there are no upfront costs or hidden charges. All of the costs are covered throughout your case and you'll pay nothing at all if your case isn't successful. 

If you win your case the other side will be required to contribute towards your legal costs and expenses. Any shortfall in their contribution would be deducted from your compensation.

The costs may include an ‘After the Event' (ATE) insurance policy taken out to make sure your claim is risk free. Any legal costs including fixed fees not met by the other side may also need to be covered, and where applicable a ‘success fee' for winning your claim.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will explain and discuss how much you'd need to pay if you win your case. You'll know what to expect, with no hidden surprises.


How much compensation could I receive?

Every stillbirth claim is unique, and stillbirth medical negligence claims awards will differ in every case. The amount awarded will depend on the level of any physical injury and psychological suffering, and the overall impact on your life. Financial losses are also taken into account when negotiating a settlement.

These are factors that an experienced medical negligence solicitor can discuss with you. We can arrange that for you by connecting you with solicitors with the right experience and specialism for your still birth claim due to negligence.

If your claim does lead to a stillbirth settlement, it may include compensation in two categories:

  • Special damages are the financial losses you experience as a direct result of what happened. These might include loss of earnings, prescription costs and private counselling, therapy or other treatment. 
  • General damages cover pain, suffering and ‘loss of amenity'; everyday things you can't do because of your physical or psychological injury.   

Guidelines for the level of general damages in personal injury and medical negligence cases are issued by the Judicial College, a government department in the Ministry of Justice. Here are some examples of damages that may be relevant in the case of a stillbirth due to negligence

Psychiatric injury severityCompensation range
The ‘moderate' category covers cases where there has been a ‘marked improvement' for the injured person and the prognosis for recovery is good£5,500 to £17,900
The ‘moderately severe' psychiatric damage category is where cases involving psychiatric injury following a negligent stillbirth tend to fall, with the same problems as the ‘severe' category but a more optimistic prognosis for recovery£17,900 to £51,460
The ‘severe' psychiatric damage category covers claims involving difficulty coping with life, education or work, an effect on relationships with family and friends, and a poor prognosis for symptoms and treatment£51,460 to £108,620


Stillbirth medical negligence claims awards considerably larger than the guidelines shown above have been made in some cases. Sometimes that's because of special damages awarded in addition to the general damages shown here.


How do I start my claim with National Accident Helpline?

We know that you may have questions or might be unsure about whether to start a claim. That's why we're here to listen and support you at this difficult time. 

We'll start by listening to what you've been through. Then, if we think you may have grounds for a stillbirth compensation claim, we'll carefully match you with suitably trained and experienced medical negligence solicitors. They'll give you a free consultation and assess how they can help you. 

You can decide whether to go ahead with a claim only when you're sure it's the right thing for you. Please call us on or request a call back.



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