Proper care during the first weeks of life is crucial to the development of an infant. Any breach in standards of care at this critical time may lead to long-lasting or permanent damage. Further, the additional care required to then address the resulting complications can present a prohibitive expense on the family moving forward. Birth injuries may be a result of medical malpractice, however, the majority of these injuries are the result of medical mistakes that can’t be avoided even when proper protocol is followed.
What is a birth injury?
Birth injuries are those that occur as the child is being born. These types of injuries are particularly dangerous due to the fragile and vulnerable state of the infant during birth. Importantly, birth injuries are often confused with birth defects which do not occur as a result of malpractice. Common birth injuries include:
- Skull fracturing
- Cerebral Palsy
- Lack of oxygen inside the brain
- Facial nerve damage
- Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI)
- Intracranial Hemorrhage
Symptoms of a Birth Injury
While some birth injuries may be recognized immediately, others may not become evident until months or years later. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, please be sure to check with a medical professional as they may be associated with any number of medical issues that are not related to a birth injury.
- Scratches or abrasions
- Limp limbs
- Seizures within 48 hrs
- Inability to begin breathing upon delivery
Symptoms that appear later:
- Lack of coordination
- Problems developing motor skills
- Developmental issues
The financial impact of a birth injury, in addition to the emotional distress, includes both immediate medical attention and possibly long term care. Compensation will depend on various contingencies specific to the case, but in a successful case the plaintiff will be could be granted medical costs expended when the injury took place in addition to future medical costs if the injury requires more medical attention, rehabilitation expenses, medical devices required to treat the injury or maintain care, and costs generated by in-home care, therapy, or special education needs. As such, damage recovery may include:
- Lost wages due to the obligation of care
- Current, future, and past medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Healthcare costs
Is it medical malpractice?
The damage caused by birth injuries and medical malpractice should be legally compensated, but because of the nature of this type of incident, hospitals will often claim that the medical issue(s) is the result of a defect, not an injury. These cases can be hard to prove in court. If a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff must show that
- The hospital was responsible for the care of the child when the injury occurred
- The incident was the result of a breach of the duty of care
- The breach of care caused the injury
If there are any doubts about the cause of an injury to a newborn, you should contact an attorney. Please click here for a more detailed list of medical malpractice qualifications.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones with a Medical Malpractice Attorney!
If you or your loved ones have suffered pain and loss as the result of a birth injury, schedule a consultation with our experienced medical malpractice attorney today. Call 888-691-9319 or fill out this short form to get started.