Birth Injury Attorneys
Birth injuries caused by negligence from the doctor or medical staff can cause serious emotional & financial strain on the family. If your child was injured during birth because of mistakes made by the healthcare provider, you may be entitled to recover compensation.
Delivery is a stressful and difficult process for both the mother and the newborn child. It is the responsibility of the medical staff to ensure that the experience is as safe and as comfortable as possible, but when they fail to provide a level of care that meets the standards of treatment, the newborn may suffer trauma or permanent birth injuries as a result.
Birth injuries often have lifelong physical and emotional consequences for the victim and their family. Roughly 7 out of every 1,000 births in America are affected by some form of birth injury, leading to nearly 30,000 birth injuries occurring every year. According to the CDC, hospitalizations caused by these injuries cost the United States over $2.6 billion annually.
With the added costs of special education, ongoing physical therapy, and other costly care needed by many victims of birth injury, families can struggle to cover the constant expenses that can result from these types of serious injuries. But when a newborn’s injuries are caused by negligence from the medical staff or healthcare providers, the family may be able to recover compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. By filing a birth injury lawsuit, victims may be able to receive compensation for losses such as physical damages, medical bills, emotional suffering, loss of income or employment opportunities, loss of affection, and possibly, punitive damages.
Factors that Increase the Likelihood of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries become more common as the complexity of the procedure increases. These are factors that often lead to an increased risk of suffering a birth injury:
- Use of surgical instruments – While technology has helped make the birthing process easier over time, the improper usage of these devices can directly lead to serious birth injuries. While forceps have been shown to reduce the risk of a baby encountering oxygen deprivation or fetal distress when used properly, they can also cause extensive damage to a baby’s head, neck, or chest when used improperly. The vacuum extractor is a device that the medical team attaches onto the baby’s head or shoulder to help pull the baby through the birth canal. If this device is improperly attached, serious and even life-threatening injuries can occur to both the mother and the baby.
- Large baby size – The child’s head size is a major factor in how easy the baby is to deliver. The bigger the baby, the higher chance that an injury will occur because of the lack of space and extra force that may be needed.
- Breech (feet first) baby – If the baby is positioned in a way that the feet or buttocks will come out first, then this can create complications for the birth. The delivering doctor or medical professional may try to reposition the child or pull the baby with more force to try to ensure a proper delivery, but either of these solutions can create injury when implemented improperly.
- Mother with small pelvis – If the mother’s pelvic width and opening are too small, this can create difficulty for the doctor in guiding the baby out naturally.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Skull malformation
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Brain damage
- Cerebral Palsy
- Caput succedaneum
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Birth Injury Causes
Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of different medical errors made during the birthing process, but not all errors lead to the opportunity for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order for there to be a valid medical malpractice case, the victim’s legal representation has to be able to prove that the injuries were a direct result from a medical professional’s negligence or conduct that fell below the standard of care.
Some types of medical errors that can lead to birth injuries:
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Premature delivery
- Delay in performing the C-section delivery
- Failure to recognize the need for cesarean section
- Failure to identify a congenital issue in utero
- Head trauma during delivery
- Administering improper drugs or an unsuitable dosage of Pitocin
- Failure to recognize critical issues with the newborn such as jaundice
- Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) suffered during birth
- Failure to properly monitor the heart rate of both the mother and child during pregnancy & birth
- Failure to deliver a child whose progress has stopped during labor
- Excessive force used during delivery
- Failure to recognize infection during the gestation period
- Unskilled use of the vacuum extractor or forceps
- Failure to identify and properly treat a harmful complication or condition such as premature rupture of the membranes, unexpected bleeding, umbilical cord entrapment, or placental abruption
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Causing the Birth Injury?
Many of the most common birth injuries are completely preventable and result from the inability of the medical staff to effectively recognize & resolve problems that occur during pregnancy or birth. Depending on the cause of the birth injury, a number of different parties may be able to be sued to compensate the family for their suffering.
In nearly all of the birth injury case we’ve handled, one of the following parties was able to be held responsible for causing the damage:
- Doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professionals who were directly involved in causing the injury
- Hospital where the injury occurred
- Pharmaceutical company
- Manufacturers of the medical device that malfunctioned & led to birth injury
Birth Injuries vs Birth Defects
While birth defects are sometimes confused with birth injuries, the two are critically different in the sense that “defects” are mostly the result of natural causes which the physician is not responsible for while birth injuries more often occur from medical mistakes.
Birth defects most often occur during the first three months of pregnancy and can be caused by things such as genetics, infection encountered during pregnancy, fetal malnutrition, and exposure to harmful chemicals or medications. On rare occasions, a medical professional can be responsible for damages caused by a birth defect if the pregnant mother and fetus were not given the proper prenatal care, but more often than not, birth defects are not caused by the healthcare providers.
On the other hand, birth injuries are mostly avoidable and are typically caused by negligence from the medical staff, hospital, or medical manufacturer. Many birth injuries can be sued for because they were directly the result of a mistake whereas most birth defects cannot be sued for because they predominantly occur naturally from unavoidable factors.
Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer at Heidari Law Group Today
If your child suffered an injury at birth, it’s important to figure out how the damage was caused & who was responsible for making the mistake(s). Contacting a medical malpractice attorney can help you organize & build a winning case for your family.
Our team of medical malpractice attorneys has helped victims of birth injury and their families secure millions in compensation for the injustice they’ve suffered. Call us at 1-833-225-5454 or send us an email at [email protected] to get a free case evaluation today.