These days, no expectant parents ever anticipate that a medical mistake during childbirth could lead to a serious birth injury for their newborn. We all trust that the nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals who guide us through our pregnancies will make sure that our children are delivered safely and without any serious complications. Unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals break this trust by making preventable mistakes which end up affecting the child and their family for the rest of their lives. Families in this unfortunate position should be aware that there is financial support available for the various damages that can arise following a serious birth injury, which can be pursued through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Birth Injuries
Medical errors can lead to a wide range of serious birth injuries and related complications, such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Traumatic brain damage
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Erb’s palsy
- Wrongful death
If your child has suffered one of these or another birth injury and you believe medical negligence may be to blame, we’d advise discussing your family’s situation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
What Is Medical Negligence?
All healthcare providers have a legal duty to meet the standard of care in their field. This standard of care is a term which encompasses the accepted medical practices and methods of a particular field. When properly followed, the medical standard of care makes sure that all patients receive the highest quality medical treatment available, and that their healthcare provider does everything in their power to make sure their patients are treated safely.
When a doctor, nurse, obstetrician, midwife, or other healthcare fails to meet this standard of care and an injury occurs, he or she may be considered medically negligent. Establishing medical negligence is the basis for any successful medical malpractice claim. If a healthcare provider’s medical error led to an injury or health complications for your child, your family could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against that healthcare provider and their employer.
Forms Of Medical Negligence Leading To Birth Injuries
There are numerous ways medical negligence before, during, or after delivery can lead to a serious birth injury. Each year, about 28,000 infants will suffer a birth injury, which works out to about 76 every day. Many of these injuries may have been prevented by more careful medical attention.
Some of the more common forms of negligence we see cited in birth injury lawsuits include:
- Failure to properly monitor the pregnancy and respond to fetal health issues (like lack of oxygen intake)
- Failure to diagnose and treat maternal health conditions, like preeclampsia (high blood pressure) or infections, which can harm the infant
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during difficult deliveries
- Failure to order a necessary C-section which could’ve prevented health complications
- Failure to properly respond to birth complications, like a prolapsed umbilical cord
In most malpractice cases, the evidence of medical negligence may not be immediately clear. In order to get a better picture of how your child’s birth injury occurred, you’ll need to have the details of your case analyzed by an experienced Queens medical malpractice lawyer. Individuals, as well as hospitals and other healthcare facilities, can all be held liable if their negligence played a role in your child’s birth injury.
How Can A Birth Injury Lawsuit Help My Family?
Raising a child with a serious birth injury can be difficult, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. With the right support system, you can help your child recover as fully as possible and live comfortably. A birth injury malpractice lawsuit can help provide financial compensation both for the direct costs of the injury and personal damages, including:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Occupational, physical, verbal, and other therapies
- Adaptive devices (like wheelchairs, braces, etc.)
- Handicap-accessible home renovations (like wheelchair ramps)
- Handicap-accessible vehicles
- Lost wages from time off to care for the child
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
In rare cases involving extreme negligence, your family could also qualify for punitive damages. The amount of compensation you receive will be based on both the economic and noneconomic damages related to your child’s birth injury.
Do We Have A Case For A Lawsuit?
In order to determine if your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence, you’ll need to have your medical records and other evidence reviewed by both an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and a qualified medical professional in the same field as your healthcare provider. Malpractice cases are more complicated than other personal injury claims. When bringing your case to court, your lawyer will need to establish three things:
- The defendant (your doctor, nurse, hospital, etc.) was responsible for the health and well-being of the mother and child
- The defendant failed to meet the medical standard of care
- This failure to meet the standard of care caused unnecessary harm to your child
Your lawyer will draw upon testimony from expert medical witnesses who can explain the medical standard of care, how your healthcare provider violated this standard, and how this violation caused a preventable birth injury for your child. Additionally, your lawyer will propose an appropriate amount of financial compensations based on your economic setbacks as well as personal ones, such as pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life.
To find out more about your family’s options after your infant suffered a birth injury, get in touch with the lawyers at Lipsig Queens today for a free consultation. We can help you determine if you have a case and represent you through each aspect of the claims process. And we’ll do all of that on a contingency fee basis – meaning you only pay us at the end of your case if we helped you win.