It is estimated that five out 1000 babies in the United States sustain a birth injury. Birth injuries are different from birth defects, as injuries are sustained before or during birth and could have been avoided. Typically, birth injuries are caused by the negligence of a doctor or obstetrician. Along with causing injuries, doctors can also fail to diagnose, assess, or monitor symptoms that may contribute to a birth injury. The most common types of birth injuries are those sustained to a baby’s head. When the delivery process starts, mechanical forces can injure the baby. These forces, include: pressure, stretching, and pulling. Bruising and swelling of the baby’s head is a common injury, as well as cranial bleeding. Compromising the infant’s oxygen supply can result in severe, permanent injuries like brain damage; this is one of the most serious complications during labor that should be diligently avoided.
While most deliveries go well and both the mother and baby get through the process just fine, complications do occur. If a birth injury does happen, the parents may be entitled to compensation for a variety of losses, including:
Pain and suffering
Birth Defects & Birth Injuries
If a baby is born with injuries, it is oftentimes difficult to determine whether the injury was caused by negligence or if the injury was an unavoidable birth defect. Typically, birth defects are unpreventable, however if the mother drinks alcohol or uses drugs during pregnancy, the baby may be born with birth defects; these defects could have been avoided.
Birth injuries can be minor to severe, depending on the level of negligence from the doctor. A few of the more severe, or life-changing, injuries include: cortical blindness, cerebral palsy, and Erb’s Palsy. Oftentimes caused by birth trauma, cerebral palsy is a condition where muscles have abnormal tone and/or coordination. Impaired motor function, communication problems, seizures, learning disorders, and epilepsy are other conditions that may be present with cerebral palsy.
Proving Your Claim
Should your baby be born with birth injuries, it is important to establish exactly how the injuries happened. Write down everything you can remember about the entire birthing process, from mid-pregnancy care to delivery. Keep all records throughout this process, as it will help your attorney establish possible occurrences of negligence. You will need to show that the baby’s injury was directly caused by the doctor or other medical providers’ actions falling below a reasonable standard of care that should be given throughout the birthing process. Once you provide all of the information to your attorney, he or she will consult with other medical professionals to see how they would have handled the same care and treatment; and also if the sustained birth injury could have been avoided.
Contact Legal Help
If you believe that your baby’s birth injuries were caused by negligence, consult with a medical malpractice attorney. Lawsuits involving medical care are complex and rely heavily on the knowledge of experienced attorneys. The attorneys at Bighorn Law know how to properly construct your case, as well as get you the compensation you deserve.