Bilirubin Brain Injury Claims
Bilirubin is a natural compound created in the body by the breakdown of red blood cells. However, excessive build-up of bilirubin in the blood (known as ‘hyperbilirubinemia’) can be an indicator of a number of diseases and high bilirubin levels can be toxic. Hyperbilirubinemia can be particularly dangerous for newborns, with the potential to cause severe brain damage or even death.
If excessive bilirubin levels in a newborn baby are not identified quickly, this can result in irreversible damage to key regions of the brain, resulting in symptoms including seizures, abnormal reflexes, and unusual eye movements. This type of bilirubin-related brain injury is known as 'kernicterus' and is incurable.
There are various risk factors for hyperbilirubinemia in newborns, including premature birth. Medical staff should be aware and manage these risks. However, where warning signs are missed or medical staff fail to take the appropriate action, the consequences can be severe.
If you or a loved one have been harmed due to negligent treatment of hyperbilirubinemia, you may be entitled to claim compensation. This can offer a vital lifeline to help you cope with the impact of bilirubin toxicity. Compensation can pay for private medical treatment and care support where required, as well as replacing lost income and other costs you have incurred.
Because bilirubin toxicity can result in serious, lifelong damage, the level of compensation available can be significant. These types of claims can be very complex and contentious however, requiring a legal standard of proof for a successful claim. It is therefore critical to have specialist legal advice and support from the outset when considering whether to pursue a bilirubin brain injury claim.
IBB Claims medical negligence team have strong experience with many types of brain injury claims, having helped many clients to secure substantial damages over the years. We can offer the expertise and skilled advocacy needed to help you achieve the best available result.
We offer a free initial consultation for all head and brain injury claims so we can get a clear understanding of your situation and give an honest assessment of whether we think you have a claim worth pursuing.
Where we believe your claim justifies further investigation, we are usually able to offer a no-win no-fee agreement. This means there is normally no upfront cost to start a bilirubin brain injury claim with IBB.
- No WinNo Fee
- FREE inital consultation
- Help with rehabilitation
Our expertise with hyperbilirubinemia negligence claims
Our medical negligence lawyers and personal injury lawyers regularly support clients across the country with all types of brain injury claims.
We are able to secure substantial compensation for our clients in relation to issues such as:
- Misdiagnosis and late diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia
- Misdiagnosis of the cause of hyperbilirubinemia
- Failure to provide effective treatment for hyperbilirubinemia
- Failure to properly identify and monitor risk factors for hyperbilirubinemia
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury Law reflecting our expertise. IBB Claims’ partner Malcolm Underhill and Simon Pimlott, both have particular expertise with all types of brain injuries, with being accredited as a Brain Injury Specialist by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Legal 500 judges IBB as having a “good” clinical negligence department and “puts the client’s interests at the forefront of every decision.” Simon Pimlott has “a real eye for detail and works incredibly hard to get the best result for each client.”
Chambers describes Malcolm as being a highly experienced personal injury practitioner with a strong focus on cases that involve brain injury. A client notes: "He is a very personable, sympathetic professional that has helped us as a family….."
How we handle bilirubin brain injury compensation claims
In the majority of cases, we can secure a settlement for your claim out-of-court through negotiation and other alternative dispute resolution methods. This allows you to receive compensation faster, with less stress.
Where we do have to initiate court proceedings, most claims can still be resolved with a pre-trial settlement, meaning it is unlikely you will need to attend a court hearing.
However, if a hearing is required to achieve a fair outcome, we have the necessary experience and skills to give you the best possible representation. As well as our own expertise, we have good working relationships with a number of specialist barristers and other professional experts, so provide the full range of expertise needed for even the most complex and contentious cases.
Our no win no fee bilirubin brain injury claims service
We represent most of our clients using a ‘conditional fee agreement’. This type of funding agreement means you will only contribute towards our legal fees if we secure compensation for you. If we are unable to secure compensation, you will have no fees to pay, hence why this is often called a ‘no win, no fee’ deal.
We will be happy to provide a breakdown of how our fees work during your initial consultation with our team, ensuring you have a clear picture of the likely costs involved before you decide how to proceed
You will then have all the information you need to decide whether to proceed with a claim supported by our team.
We seek to explain the costs of pursuing a claim clearly. A client has said, “we were reassured by the no win, no fee guarantee as well as IBB's instructions to take out an insurance for every possibility.”
To find out more about the costs of a bilirubin brain injury claim, please get in touch.
Who can pursue a claim for bilirubin level negligence?
The injured person can pursue the claim. However, as the brain damage caused by negligent treatment of bilirubin toxicity can result in the injured party being left without the mental capacity to make a claim themselves, a loved one will usually be able to pursue a claim for the injured party by acting as their ‘litigation friend’.
To become a litigation friend, you will need to apply to a Court. If you are already acting as the claimant’s Court of Protection deputy, this will usually be straightforward. Even if a deputy has not been appointed, we can carry out that work for you. A litigation friend is legally empowered to make decisions about the claim on the claimant’s behalf.
If the claimant is under 18, their parents or guardian will normally be the ones who pursue a claim for them.
How much compensation can you claim for a bilirubin brain injury?
Exactly what level of damages you can claim for a bilirubin brain injury will depend on factors including:
- How serious the brain damage is
- The impact this has had on the claimant’s life
- Any specific costs incurred or expected to be incurred due to the brain injury
There are two types of damages you can normally claim for a bilirubin brain injury:
Financial Losses and Expenses – For specific financial losses. This includes things such as paying for private treatment and care, as well as lost income due to having to take time off work and not able to return to work, or perhaps not able to command the same level of income enjoyed before Bilirubin negligence. It also includes the cost of care and medical treatment, as well as adaptions to accommodation.
General Compensation – For non-financial losses, such as pain, suffering and lifestyle changes.
We will provide an estimate of the potential value of your claim at the earliest opportunity, so you will have a clear idea of how much compensation you may be able to achieve.
Time limits for bilirubin brain injury claims
How long you will have to make a claim for bilirubin toxicity negligence will depend on the circumstances.
If the claimant was under 18 when the negligence occurred and is considered to have mental capacity, their parents will have until the claimant turns 18 to make a claim. Once the claimant turns 18, they would then have a further 3 years to bring a claim of their own.
If the claimant is not judged to have mental capacity as an adult, then there will generally be no time limit for someone else to bring a claim on their behalf.
Assessing what the relevant time limit is for your particular circumstances can be complicated, so we recommend speaking to our expert brain injury claims team as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to claim.