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If your baby has suffered a birth injury, there are legal options around medical negligence and compensation. 

Life can be completely changed by one mistake.  Your baby might suffer the rest of their life from just one small mistake or wrong decision.  A simple mistake made during birth could risk your family’s financial situation and mental health.

The arrival of a new family member ought to be a pleasant event filled with hope and excitement.  However, nothing is more frightful than realizing that your newborn child has a problem or injury due to the birth process. Stress, worry, and feelings of hopelessness can often follow.

Birth trauma or birth abnormalities are two different medical conditions that may affect newborns.  Sometimes, they reflect harm done by physicians, paramedics, or other healthcare professionals.

According to hm-attorneys.com, to prove the medical professional’s fault, you can file a legal medical malpractice lawsuit.  This can be against the doctors who delivered your baby, the hospital where your baby was born, or another entity.

If you feel something like this may have occurred, discussing your legal options with a skilled birth injury lawyer is essential.

Birth Defects

These abnormalities often exhibit themselves when the child is still in the womb.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth abnormalities typically appear during the first three months of pregnancy.

Birth abnormalities can be more likely due to drug use, family history, and untreated illnesses.

baby with birth trauma

Birth Trauma

This often occurs when a baby is delivered.  A baby could be born with a birth injury for many reasons.  Commonly seen is a physical head injury or a brain hemorrhage from using a vacuum extraction at the time of birth.

Birth Injury And Medical Negligence

The process of giving birth is physically exhausting and and potentially traumatic for both mother and the child.  Indeed, this is often the case for either vaginal delivery, or through a cesarean section.

Newborns can suffer various degrees of birth trauma during their transit through the birth canal. This is especially true for larger babies or those in an improper position in the womb.   Mothers also, frequently sustain injuries due to the enormous stress on their bodies.

However, new mothers and medical professionals are aware that there is a definite distinction to be made.  There are the natural effects of childbirth and then some avoidable birth injuries.  These are usually due to a member of the labor or delivery team who fails to carry out their duty effectively.

Medical carelessness or negligence results in birth-related harm to mothers and and their babies.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

legal options for medical malpractice

Birth injury to a baby can result from a variety of factors.  One not so uncommon reason is medical misconduct/malpractice.

The following actions might lead to medical malpractice:

  • A lack of education for healthcare workers
  • Not keeping track of the fetus’s physiological parameters
  • Inadequate oxygen level
  • Mother’s bad medication
  • Inability to use hospital equipment wisely
  • Non-compliance with delivery protocols

What Birth Injuries Are Investigated?

Birth injury lawyers investigate any situation where an injury has occurred during a childs delivery.

These incidents of malpractice or negligence may occur during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or the immediate postpartum period.  In these situations, the mother, child, or both parties may sustain injury.

Common birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Birth hypoxia and brain damage
  • Failure to perform a timely cesarean section (C-section)
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Prematurity, preterm birth, and related conditions

 

birth injury causing cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy

This disorder affects the body’s capacity for coordinated movement.  It is commonly due to a brain injury that occurs before, during or after birth.

More than 200,000 new cases of cerebral palsy are identified in the United States annually.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is a birth injury involving damage to the brachial plexus of nerves from the neck.  It causes weakness and paralysis to the involved arm and affects around 1 in 1000 babies. 

In fact, it is commonly due to the use of pulling techniques during labor to assist babies progress through the birth canal.  It often involves the use of forceps or vacuum suction applied to the babies head.

Whilst stressful and traumatic, most cases of Erb’s palsy resolve with treatment.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a disorder that can occur during delivery and is a medical emergency.  It occurs when the baby’s head has been born but the shoulders get caught by the mother’s pubic bone.

Additional obstetric maneuvers are required to “dislodge” the shoulders and increase the likelihood of birth injury.  There is a high risk of harm to the mother and also baby.

Birth Hypoxia and Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

These are severe newborn brain disorders brought on by lack of oxygen before, during or after birth.   

These problems may gradually develop during pregnancy or postpartum.  However, they often relate to an abrupt, traumatic incident during delivery.

C-Section Negligence and Maternal Death

Any pregnant woman’s death within 42 days of the child’s birth is considered a maternal death.

The World Health Organization estimates that 810 incidents of maternal deaths happen every day.  Most are deemed to be avoidable and relate to improper C-section or other operations.

Prematurity and Preterm Labour and Birth

Premature birth is before 37 weeks gestation, and 200,000 infants are delivered each year prematurely.

Between 20 and 37 weeks, a woman is said to be in preterm labor.  Premature babies usually suffer low birth weight and many other health issues.

Premature babies are more susceptible to birth injuries due to the fact that they have not fully grown.

birth injury causes premature baby

Birth Injury Malpractice And Time Limitations

Filing a claim after your newborn suffers a major birth injury might not occur to you right away.  However, it is essential to begin the legal process as soon as possible.

The limitation period may be decreased in certain circumstances or extended in others.  For instance, a special statute of limitations can apply if the government owns the hospital.

Parents may have up to four years to initiate a medical malpractice case.  Especially if they are unaware that medical mistakes caused their child’s health issues.

It is crucial to talk with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible due to the various time limits.

Proving Birth Injury Malpractice 

There must be confirmed medical misconduct, regardless of the specifics of the case, to be awarded damages in a malpractice action.  You must prove that the responsible parties did not exercise the necessary level of care that reasonably skilled service providers would under the same conditions.

Expectations of treatment will depend on the type of healthcare provider and the region in which they operate.  To prove a healthcare providers treatment fell short of the applicable standard and resulted in harm at birth, your lawyer will need to consult a medical expert. 

To file a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must submit a certificate of merit.  These certifications attest that your case was evaluated by a medical expert.  This expert can attest to any damage to the plaintiff.

Your lawyer will employ an expert to testify in your case. The medical expert will often be needed to work in the same field as the defendant and will provide testimony on how the provider’s care fell short of the expected level of care.

birth injury medical malpractice claim

Conclusion

You may be able to file a birth injury claim if your infant was harmed or died unexpectedly during labor and delivery.  However, these sorts of claims can be difficult and require the aid of trained specialists and experienced malpractice attorneys.

You must demonstrate the injury resulted from medical negligence, which can often be challenging.  Your attorney must prove that the birth injury was brought on by the medical negligence or malpractie.

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