By Julie Scott
Having a baby is one of the happiest times of most people’s lives. When you enter the hospital, the expectation is that both mother and baby will be safe and well cared for by medical professionals. While this is usually true, mishaps occur far more often than people realize. Ideally, everything goes well and mother and baby are back at home within a couple of days. In rare cases, however, tragedies occur. Injuries sustained during birth can be traumatic and have long-term ramifications for mother or baby. Sadly, these injuries may lead to lifelong disabilities for the innocent victims. For example, up to 90% of people with cerebral palsy developed it due to a lack of oxygen during their birth, which resulted in brain damage.
What are some birth injuries that can occur?
A birth injury is any harm or damage to a baby before, during or shortly after the birthing process. Some of the most commonly reported birth injuries suffered are:
- Nervous system injuries
- Cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen
- Erb’s Palsy from pulling too much on a child’s head or neck during delivery
- Cephalohematoma – Bleeding on the skull and brain that can cause physical and cognitive impairments
- Uterine rupture
- Pelvic trauma
- Brain damage
- Meconium aspiration
- Facial nerve injury
- Vacuum extraction injuries
- Intrauterine fetal demise
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries from forceps
- Infant skull fractures
- Head and neck injuries
Some of the long-term ramifications of injuries suffered during birth include:
- Cognitive difficulties
- Not meeting milestones
- Poor muscle tone
These longer-lasting conditions can require special therapies, medications, surgeries and/or medical equipment in order to help the child lead a more fulfilling life. The average cost of lifetime care for a child with special needs can reach a million dollars or more. This can place a very heavy financial burden on the average family, who may need one parent to stop working full time in order to stay home and be a caregiver to a severely disabled child.
Connecting a Birth Injury to Medical Malpractice
Giving birth has its inherent risks, and complications can arise which are unavoidable. Sometimes, though, the injuries are due to medical error. In this case, proving the connection between a medical professional’s harmful actions or negligent inaction and the resulting injuries becomes imperative.
Medical professionals are held to a high standard of care in maternal fetal medicine, which means that medical providers who work with expectant mothers are expected to use an even higher level of care and judgment. When that fails, and a baby or mother is injured as a result, the medical provider can be held liable for medical malpractice. Some of the events which can result in a malpractice claim include:
- Failing to order a C-section in time to prevent harm to baby
- Not treating infections or other conditions that arise during the birth process
- Failing to act quickly when a fetus is in distress
- Using forceps or vacuum extractors in a manner which harms the baby
How an Attorney Can Help
If you feel that your birth experience was not properly handled by the hospital or your medical provider and, as a result, your child suffers from any of the conditions listed above or any other condition caused by complications during their birth, an attorney can help establish the causation needed to win a lawsuit. You need an experienced attorney on your side who knows the laws in your state, knows what the courts require for proof of medical malpractice, and knows how much you can recover in damages. Some states impose caps on how much you can ask for or recover in a medical malpractice suit. All states have their own laws for statutes of limitations, which impose deadlines on how long you have to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may forfeit your right to any compensation through the legal system.
In a civil lawsuit, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that the defendant is guilty by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that there must be sufficient evidence presented to the court to show that the defendant more likely than not is guilty of the allegations in the complaint. The amount of compensation you are eligible to win depends on the state and jurisdiction.
What Should You Do if You Feel You Have a Birth Injury Claim?
Do not delay reaching out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney! Join Class Actions has attorneys in their network that can help you with these claims wherever you are located. Remember, the statutes of limitations impose hard deadlines on filing lawsuits after an incident. If the window closes, you will never get the opportunity to seek the compensation you and your child deserve. It doesn’t cost anything to consult with an attorney and have them evaluate the circumstances of your situation to see if a lawsuit can be pursued on your behalf.
No amount of money can compensate for your or your child’s physical and emotional suffering and trauma, but a financial recovery can help improve the quality of life of a child with special needs and show providers that they will be held accountable for their negligence or carelessness.
Contact us today to have your case reviewed at no cost to you. And if you know someone else that has been through a painful birth experience, share this link with them so they know they are not alone. There are people waiting to help you who are passionate about justice and will fight for you and your child!
Click here to submit your claim: https://joinclassactions.com/class_actions/ohio-birth-injuries/ or call Class Action Jen (Jennifer Malainy) at 772-SUE-THEM.