4th Degree Tears / Fourth Degree Tears

Tearing and laceration during childbirth is extremely common, in fact it is much more likely that you will tear than not. However, severe tears such as fourth degree tears are less common and sometimes they become much worse than they should have been due to appropriate preventative steps not being taken by the doctors, midwife and nurses dealing with you in hospital.

What is a 4th Degree tear?

A fourth degree tear (also known as a fourth degree laceration) is one of the most serious tears a mother can suffer. When a woman suffers from a fourth degree tear she tears through the perineum and the anal sphincter to the tissue beneath. Due to the extensive damage which is incurred to muscle and tissue after a 4th degree tear, this type of tear is painful for the sufferer and it can take some time to repair and heal fully. Symptoms of 4th degree tears can include incontinence, pain, constipation and severe discomfort during intercourse.

What Can I Do?

If you have suffered from fourth degree tearing following a vaginal birth you may be feeling embarrassed or distressed by the symptoms you are experiencing. Don't suffer in silence because if your tear or laceration has occurred due to the failure of the medical team who dealt with you, you may be able to make a birth injury claim. You will also be able to claim for compensation if the extent of your tearing was not diagnosed and treated appropriately by your doctor. This will have meant that you suffered unnecessary pain and discomfort from your fourth degree tear, which could have been alleviated with appropriate treatment.

How Do I Make A Birth Injury Claim?

Firstly, you should get the medical treatment you need. Then when you feel ready to, you should contact a medical negligence solicitor here at 1stClaims. Our medical negligence solicitors specialise in dealing with Birth Injury claims cases. Your fourth degree tear claim will be classed as medical negligence should it be ruled that a 'reasonable body of medical professionals' would have acted in a different way. For example, they may have offered you the option of a caesarean section, an episiotomy, or would have diagnosed and treated the tear immediately following your delivery.

Talking through your 4th degree tear claim with one of our medical negligence expert team will give you the legal advice you need and the peace of mind you need. A birth injury claims lawyer will be able to tell you whether your claim is likely to be viable with a matter of minutes and you will either be able to progress your claim with them or you will be able to move on knowing the matter has been put to rest.

As with all personal injury claims, entering into a fourth degree tear claim sooner rather than later is always advisable as you will have the best memory of the circumstances in which the tear occurred and your symptoms will be at their most prominent. However, you have 3 years from the date of the incident in which to make a medical negligence claim.


1stClaims does not charge you for using our service and all initial enquiries with our Solicitors are also free of charge, so rest assured, this initial step of making an enquiry will not cost you anything.

Once one of our Solicitors has assessed the merits of your enquiry they will make a judgement on the likely chances of bringing a successful claim and if the prospects are good, they will normally offer to take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. NOTE: If your case is successful your Solicitor will deduct up to a maximum of 25% of your final settlement or compensation award as payment for their fees. You can find out more about No Win No Fee arrangements and the potential costs that can be incurred by clicking here.

Contact Us Today

Please contact us now for a free, no obligation discussion about your legal rights after a birth injury. Call us free on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01348 630 720) or complete an online 3rd Degree Tear enquiry to be advised of your options.

We are here to help you from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday,
8.30am to 6pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.

Remember, all initial enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you.

Make a claim now or you can speak to us on 0800 2888 693

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