If your child or a child of someone you know has suffered a severe birth injury that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.
A birth injury is a type of injury that occurs to a baby before birth, during birth, or shortly after the child is delivered. Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of different circumstances, most often:
- Complications during the pregnancy
- Lack of oxygen to the baby during the birthing process
- Trauma caused by instrumentation used during the birthing process
- Infections that are not diagnosed in a timely manner
- Failure to properly treat the baby after delivery
Not every birth injury is the result of medical malpractice (substandard medical care). However, if your child has suffered certain types of birth injuries, such a cerebral palsy, and brachial plexus injury, medical malpractice may very well have been caused.
Cerebral palsy is an injury that is often the result of a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during the delivery process. Cerebral palsy is a catastrophic medical condition that leaves a child with lifelong physical and mental disabilities and that will often require millions of dollars in future medical expenses.
Brachial Plexus Injury
A Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI) is a severe injury to the nerves, muscle and/or bones in the child’s shoulders due to the shoulders becoming stuck in the birthing canal during labor and delivery. Children who suffer severe BPI are also subject to lifelong disability to their arms and shoulders and will need lifelong medical care.
Other types of birth injuries include:
- Erb’s palsy
- Mental retardation
- Face or body paralysis
- Brain Damage
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
Evaluating a Potential Birth Injury Case
As mentioned above, not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice and sometimes pregnancy complication can be anticipated before birth, such as with a suspected premature birth, premature rupture of the mother’s membranes, or when sonograms show that the baby is disproportionate in size compared to the mother’s pelvis.
However, whenever a child is born with an unexpected birth injury, it is worthwhile to investigate the circumstances. This is because doctors, nurses, and hospitals rarely admit when their mistakes cause a child to sustain a birth injury.
When looking into at a possible birth injury case, your attorney will first need to determine if the injury was preventable and when the preventable injury took place. To this end, there are certain steps your attorney must take to evaluate the case––first and foremost are talking to you (the family) and seeing the baby.
The family’s version of what took place while the mother was in labor is invaluable to a birth injury case. Often a lot of what the father of the baby and/or another family member observed, while in the room during the delivery process, will not be written in the medical records.
The next step is to actually obtain the medical records and have them reviewed by experts in the medical field to determine if there were any areas where the medical care was substandard and if that substandard care was the cause of the baby’s injuries.
Compensation For a Birth Injury Caused by Medical Malpractice
If your baby or child has sustained a birth injury due to medical malpractice, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Pain, suffering and mental anguish
- Disfigurement or impairment
Birth injury cases are very complicated because they are fought vigorously by the defense and because they often require the opinions of dozens of experts from a variety medical disciplines, such as Neonatology, Pediatric Neurology, and Neuroradiology. It is, therefore, imperative that a birth injury case is handled by a lawyer or law firm experienced in managing these complex cases and who has done so successfully.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child or a child of someone you know has suffered a birth injury and you suspect that it is due to medical malpractice, you only have a limited time to sue. Call an experienced birth injury lawyer today to learn your rights and to determine if your child received improper medical care