Having a baby is a very exciting and very stressful event in the life of any parent. Most people experience a wide range of emotions as they transition through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. So when your newborn or the baby’s mother has suffered an injury in the process, it’s especially traumatic.
Sadly, birth injuries are much more common than most people think. In the United States, between five and seven out of 1,000 babies are delivered with some form of birth injury.
Birth injuries are often the result of a medical mistake. As such, they can seldom be predicted, and the affected family is not prepared for the emotional and financial burdens that result from dealing with a birth injury.
Of course, no amount of money can make a birth injury go away. But a lawsuit can provide an affected family with financial compensation that will help cover the cost of treatments, medicine, and physical therapy during the child’s life.
What Is A Birth Injury?
A birth injury is often defined as any form of injury that a newborn suffers during the labor and delivery process, such as nerve damage, lack of oxygen, or any damage to a baby’s body or brain. But such injuries can also result from improper prenatal care.
Sometimes birth injuries happen even when a skilled doctor or nurse TK. But more commonly, such an injury can happen at the hands of a doctor who didn’t follow proper medical techniques or utilized a delivery device, such as a forceps or vacuum extractor, improperly.
A doctor can also be held liable for a birth injury if a newborn or mother has suffered harm as the result of negligent or improper prenatal care. This includes failing to diagnose a mother’s medical condition or a disease that could be contagious to the fetus, failing to notice an ectopic pregnancy, and even not identifying birth defects.
Certain combinations of prescription drugs can also cause birth injuries. If a prescription drug taken on the advice of a physician or pharmacist results in an injury to the baby, you may be able to take legal recourse against the doctor, pharmacist, and even possibly a drug company.
Common Types Of Birth Injuries
Some birth injuries are mild and can be treated while others can be severe, resulting in the need for lifetime care. The different types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy, the most common type of birth injury (and subject to its own set of Law Leader specialists)
- Erb’s palsy
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Fetal or maternal bleeding
- Bleeding or lack of oxygen inside the brain
- Complications with the umbilical cord
- Cesarean section issues
- Developmental delays
- Facial nerve damage
- Skull fracturing
- Negligent prenatal care (affecting the mother the baby, or both)
Birth Injuries And Birth Defects
As outlined above, birth injuries occur due to largely preventable events. Birth defects, on the other hand, can stem from a wide number of unpreventable reasons, including genetics, the use of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, and many other unknown factors.
It can be difficult to initially ascertain if complications suffered by the baby are the result of a birth injury or a birth defect. Determining the cause is a critical step in the legal process. It’s possible to recover a claim against a birth injury. But it’s more difficult to do so for a birth defect because of so many factors that could be responsible.
Responsible Parties For Birth Injuries
The circumstances surrounding a birth injury can vary. As a result, a birth injury claim can include more parties than just the delivering doctor. Depending on what happened to cause the injury, a claim could be made against the attending nurses, the anesthesiologists, the hospital, and even any pharmaceutical companies that might be at fault.
In general, any medical professional or member of a doctor’s support staff who contributed in some way to the injury can be held liable for the birth injury.
Under certain circumstances, the hospital itself can also be held liable or a claim can fall under what’s called “vicariously liable” (where a party is held responsible, in full or in part, for the actions of a third party) due to the actions of the hospital employees while under the institution’s employment.
If it’s determined that the birth injury was the result of a prescription drug, a claim can be made against the drug manufacturer. it’s the responsibility of a drug manufacturer to ensure that a given drug is reasonably safe when used as prescribed. The doctor, in turn, acts as an intermediary between the drug manufacturer and the patient.
So if a company fails to properly notify a physician of possible dangers or side effects of a particular drug that then results in a birth injury, that company could be held liable. However, this legal avenue can be difficult to successfully pursue.
Birth injury cases can be quite complex. While many times the injury is obvious from the moment of birth, sometimes you may not realize something is wrong for months or even years. And sometimes if you do realize your family has suffered a birth injury, it can be difficult to get a medical professional to admit any wrongdoing.
Contact Trusted Lawyers for Birth Injury Concerns
A birth injury can be a surprising and traumatic event. It can cause significant pain to the newborn and overwhelming mental distress to the parents. A birth injury can result in lifelong damage that may never heal properly, even with treatment and physical therapy.
As we’ve illustrated above, there are many different kinds of birth injuries and each case is unique. If your baby or the delivering mother has suffered a birth injury, it’s critical to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
At Law Leaders, we have the resources that can help you build a claim for your injury and get the compensation you deserve. Their team of expert lawyers and committed to helping you and any other injured American get the settlement they need to live comfortably with their injury.
Contact Law Leaders today to find out how they can help!