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A birth injury lawsuit is a way for parents or legal guardians to seek justice and compensation for a child harmed through medical mistakes. If you believe your child suffered negligent injuries during childbirth, a lawsuit can give you a sense of justice. If guided by an experienced birth injury lawyer, it can potentially provide your family with the money you need to give your child the best care possible.
Types of Birth Injuries
A birth injury is a broad category of physical damage, mental injury, emotional, developmental, behavioral, and other types of injuries. They range from mild or severe and are related to pregnancy, labor, delivery, and care provided right after birth:
- The most common type of birth injury is cerebral palsy, a movement condition caused by brain damage that can cause difficulty moving, painful and spastic muscles, developmental delays, cognitive impairments, and many other possible complications.
- Birth injuries may also include skull fractures, which can cause brain damage, bleeding on the brain, and other complications.
- Brain damage, which is often caused by asphyxiation during birth, can lead to cerebral palsy. It can also lead to other conditions like cognitive impairment or later behavioral challenges, or even something as severe as physical paralysis.
- Damage to the spinal cord during birth can also be serious but is less common than brain damage.
- Nerve damage is another common type of birth injury. When the brachial plexus nerves are damaged during birth, it can cause Erb’s and other kinds of palsies. These result in paralysis, weakness, and loss of sensation in the arm. Nerve damage may also cause facial paralysis.
- Jaundice, brain damage, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, and other conditions a child may be born with, if untreated, can cause lasting damage.
Cerebral palsy can lead to a number of associated disorders, including emotional and cognitive limitations, seizures, oral health issues, and digestive problems.
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How Negligence Causes Birth Injuries
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to act properly when caring for a patient. A birth injury lawsuit may be warranted if you believe that negligence or medical malpractice caused your child’s injury or illness.
For instance, if long and complicated labor and resulted in nerve damage in your baby, they may be to blame for failing to recognize the potential for complications that should have led to a C-section.
Active mistakes can also cause birth injuries. If a midwife uses forceps to grip your child’s head and squeezes too hard, for example, that force can cause a skull fracture or brain damage. Doctors can make mistakes after a child is born too.
If your doctor fails to diagnose a condition and, therefore, does not treat it, your child may suffer. Hospitals have also been known to make mistakes with medications for newborns, and these mistakes can be damaging and even fatal.
How a Birth Injury Lawsuit Can Help
There are several ways a birth injury lawsuit can help you, your family, your child, and even other children:
- A lawsuit after the fact cannot reverse the damage done to your child, but it can bring you a sense of justice. It can bring the responsible parties to justice and hold them accountable for their actions (or lack of actions) and the careless mistakes they made that led to your child’s suffering.
- A lawsuit, if successful, can also protect other children. Lawsuits and settlements force hospitals, doctors, and other medical caregivers to be more careful in the future. By holding these professionals and organizations accountable for their mistakes, you force them to institute safer policies, more training, and greater self-accountability.
- Further, a birth injury lawsuit can help your family and your child by providing you with compensation. If your suit is successful, you should be able to win monetary and punitive damages, but that also provides you with the money you need to care for your child. Compensation from a lawsuit can pay for medical bills, treatments, therapy, adaptive equipment, future medical costs, and lost wages. It can even cover things like pain and suffering.
How to Start and Win a Birth Injury Lawsuit
To start a case against your doctor or hospital, you need the expertise of a reliable professional. You need a reputable and experienced lawyer to begin your birth injury lawsuit and to represent you and your child throughout the case.
A lawsuit like this starts with an investigation into the incident. Your lawyer will know how to do that and how to collect the evidence that proves that the person or persons responsible for your child’s care made a mistake that led to her birth injury.
To win a birth injury lawsuit means having the evidence and having the right lawyer. Make sure you choose a lawyer with the right experience and a proven track record of winning these cases for previous clients.
The lawyer will file the lawsuit for you, investigate and collect evidence, make a case for negligence, and represent you in either settlement agreements or at trial if it comes to that.
Most birth injury lawsuits end in settlements, but if the defendant’s insurance company does not want to pay or if either side cannot agree on a settlement amount, your case could go to trial.
How Difficult Will a Birth Injury Lawsuit Be?
Right now, a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. It is likely that you mainly want to focus on your child’s care. You may think that starting a birth injury lawsuit will be too difficult, too long, and also time-consuming.
The truth is that if you choose a good lawyer you can rely on them to do most of the work. You will be free to focus on the care of your child while your lawyer does all the hard work of making a case.
There is no guaranteed time frame when it comes to birth injury lawsuit resolutions, but you can trust an experienced and qualified lawyer will do their best for you.
- MBBS, MD;, N. L., & MD, T. R. (2019, November 10). Birth Trauma: Overview, etiology, prognosis. Diseases & Conditions - Medscape Reference.
Retrieved from: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/980112-overview
- Birth injury. (n.d.). Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.
Retrieved from: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=birth-injury-90-P02340
- Oh CK and Yoon SH. (n.d.). The significance of incomplete skull fracture in the birth injury. - PubMed - NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20005051
- Brachial Plexus Birth Injury. (n.d.). Boston Children's Hospital.
Retrieved from: https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/b/brachial-plexus-injury
- Cerebral Palsy - Symptoms and Causes. (2019, August 17). Mayo Clinic.
Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20353999
- Twenty Years of Evidence on the Outcomes of Malpractice Claims. (n.d.). PubMed Central (PMC).
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628515/
- Proving a Medical Malpractice Case I – Proving Negligence (Part I). (2017, March 17). Physician's Weekly.
Retrieved from: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/proving-a-medical-malpractice-case-i-proving-negligence-part-i/