A guide to birth-related injuries and legal options for parents

A guide to birth-related injuries and legal options for parents

Many babies suffer from injuries before, during, or shortly after delivery – these are called birth injuries. You might have heard of some as minor but they can also cause serious harm. Birth injuries may seem like an inevitable and banal part of having a baby, but that is not the case. More often than not birth injuries heal on their own, but in other cases, prompt treatment can help manage the pain and discomfort – so it’s important to seek medical intervention from a doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms.

The implication of a birth injury caused by medical negligence is truly devastating and this unfortunately has no cure. However, if you believe your child has been disabled due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for compensation. There are quite a few disabilities that arise due to negligence on the part of your doctor. Disorders such as cerebral palsy are lifelong without any cure and can be due to an injury sustained during birth.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

There are many types of birth injuries. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, it can cause lifelong disability or impairment. People with brain injuries due to being born with severe abnormalities are often mentally or physically handicapped for life. Milder injuries, however, can heal over time with or without treatment.

Brain damage

Brain damage in newborns can be caused by a brain injury incurred during delivery. This can lead to physical and neurological impairments.

this can be caused due to:

  • Asphyxia (loss of oxygen)
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Physical injuries arising from blunt force, pulling on the head, or vacuum extraction
  • choking due to the umbilical cord
  • an undetected brain infection

Brain damage varies from person to person and depends on things like the extent of the injury and which part of the brain is affected. Depending on these factors, your baby may either make a full recovery or live with a long-lasting disability.

Cerebral palsy

The majority of cerebral palsy cases are a result of brain injuries that occur in the womb while the child is developing. This condition can threaten a person’s normal muscle control and often causes speech and developmental delays. Medical negligence is a huge risk factor for developing this lifelong disorder.

Spinal cord injuries

Your child’s spine sends signals to the brain telling it how to control its movements. If their spine gets damaged, these signals can be interrupted and their sense of touch may be reduced. Spinal cord injuries in newborns are most often caused when a doctor pulls them out in the wrong way.

Medical Malpractice

There are quite a few ways in which doctors can be negligent when delivering your child that may lead to injury to the newborn. One of these mistakes is insufficient monitoring during the birth process, meaning they miss certain vital indicators that may indicate a problem developing.

Medical staff are trained to understand the birthing process and they should be monitoring any risks to both the mother and baby. However, the standard of care that is expected may not always happen in some situations.

Some of the mistakes include forcefully using forceps or vacuum extractors, administering the wrong medication to the mother or baby, and failing to diagnose serious medical conditions in the mother or baby.

Birth Injury Lawsuit Process

Besides your medical records, you should ask your lawyer to take statements from the hospital staff as well as your family members. The parties will try to reach an agreement and settle the matter, but if it does not work out, the next step is for the court case to be heard.

Once you have gotten birth injury lawyer representation you will have your consultation and establish an attorney-client relationship. Building a strong case is the typical course of action here in order to achieve financial compensation.

Most lawsuits follow the same process but it will differ from case to case for instance some cases don’t reach all stages of litigation. 

When Should You File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Filing a birth injury lawsuit can provide financial compensation for those who have suffered from pain and physical or emotional trauma, or other relevant expenses. It’s important to start filing as soon as possible to make sure that you’re not waiting at all.

In some states, you may need a sworn statement from a doctor before taking legal action. They’ll also need evidence to show that this doctor is in fact responsible for your damages.

It is important to know what your rights are in case your child has been hurt badly. Use this article to understand how to navigate this process.