Birth Injury Lawsuits
Medical malpractice attorneys often represent clients for several types of birth injuries and birth defects. Filing a medical malpractice claim can result in much needed financial assistance for medical expenses and other costs. These cases require the specialized skill and knowledge of a birth injury lawyer.
Many types of injuries can occur during pregnancy, labor, or after birth. Birth trauma is an injury to the child during the delivery. Many times, these injuries are not preventable and not caused by medical negligence. However, there are births that result in serious harm to the baby that could have been prevented with proper care.
Medical errors can cause birth injuries or can increase their severity or permanence. These errors include failing to anticipate birth complications like a baby's twisted umbilical cord, the failure to respond appropriately to bleeding, and the failure to respond to fetal distress. Also, a delay in ordering a cesarean section when medically necessary can lead to permanent damage to a baby. Other errors include the misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery, or poor after-care after delivery.
One of the common birth injuries is shoulder dystocia which can be caused during delivery by a physician's improper use of forceps. Besides pain, the injury results a limited ability to move a hand or arm. Often a baby suffering from shoulder dystocia cannot lift their arm above the shoulder level. Similar type injuries to the shoulder and nerves include Erb's Palsy and brachial plexus damage.
The lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery can cause an anoxic or mechanical injury. Anoxic injuries are those caused by a reduced oxygen supply during delivery. The same kind of brain damage can be produced by a physical trauma during birth. This type of physical trauma is known as a mechanical injury, like a fractured skull.
Indicators that a fetus has a higher risk of birth injury include a difficult, prolonged labor, improper use of medication by the pregnant mother, a large fetus or a breech birth. An unreasonable delay in performing an emergency cesarean section can increase the risk of injury. Physicians are trained to anticipate problems before and at the time of birth and procced accordingly for the safety of the baby.
When a birth injury is the result of medical negligence, there is a basis for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The case is filed against all negligent medical providers responsible for the harm. This can include both doctors and nurses.
Lawsuits demand compensation for the lifetime of the child. Recoverable damages include payouts for all medical treatment, special education expenses, housing needs, and other future losses and needs for the child and family. These cases often result in significant settlements because the lifetime care of a special needs child can be astronomical. The settlements help provide some comfort and peace of mind for the parents knowing that they can afford the best care and education for their child.
Most times, the settlement payment is placed into a structured insurance policy with designated payout dates for the child. Parents are also often award compensation because many quit their jobs to stay at home to care for the child. The funds also help them purchase much needed suitable housing and vehicles. In most states, a judge must approve the settlement and its terms before it can be finalized.